Final Fantasy VI: Kefka’s Madness (FFVI-13B)

Start the finale here!

Movement II

The second movement begins at about 4:30, after the first beast is defeated and the party moves up on the monster tower. They now face a beast comprised of multiple faces and bodies merged together through some foul means. This enemy is split into four names: Power, Tiger, Magic, and Machine. All of these names—like Visage in the first stage—seem to have specific meanings, suggesting that Kefka has some darker purpose in this final confrontation. It is at this point that the game begins to exceed expectations one might put on even a very good game. The music, the visual art, and the storytelling all begin to converge on something very beautiful. I’ll avoid drawing any conclusions for now and let you do some brainstorming as we explore Movement III and beyond.

Movement II’s music is really where Kefka’s madness is made plain. The combination of repeating patterns in the organ and off-beat choir really bring Kefka’s insanity to light in the music. This leads to the powerful interchanging hits of organ, percussion, and choir, displaying Kefka’s power. The third section of Movement II is intrusion-cadenza-like organ solo, which is a teaser and follow through to Movement III, and displays the new aspect of Kefka which we will explore in depth in that movement. This allows the music to drive a great deal of development in the fight itself. After the first movement revealed the full extent of Kefka’s evil works, this movement gives us a musical description of his evil being—a description which only serves to heighten and highlight the nervousness that attends fighting any final boss.

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