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En-duhl-jer: The one who indulges

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Top Ten Best Boss Themes (RPG)

What can I say? I love Role Playing Games. I love Boss Fights. I love video game music. Combine all three and you’ve got a lot of love.

I’ve played a fair share of my RPGs. I’ve listened to a lot of songs. Here is my top ten list of the absolute best RPG boss themes, according to me. … And I’m never wrong. However, I’m always free to change my mind. In an effort to keep some variety, I’ve only included one song per game. There are certainly tons and tons of great battle songs in many of the games listed here.

10 – J-E-N-O-V-A (Final Fantasy VII)

What’s so great about it?

Come on, man! It’s freakin’ J-E-N-O-V-A! Do I really need to explain myself? “I’m fighting some random body part….umm, the hell?…OK! This music sure kicks ass though, it must mean it’s important!”

Look, Final Fantasy VII has a whole array of great battle songs. Substitute Fight On! or One Winged Angel for this spot and I won’t blame you.

9 – Dragon God (Chrono Cross)

What’s so great about it?

Indecipherable vocals and a crazy violin. I’m a sucker for them. This is in my opinion, the best song from the Chrono series.

8 – Cry, for ‘IDOLA’ the holy (Phantasy Star Online)

What’s so great about it?

Celestial. Sad. Epic. Holy. Terrifying. When those violins start kicking at 0:47, man. Watch out! Any of the ‘IDOLA’ songs from Phantasy Star are top notch, but this is just a special song.

7 – Feldschlacht IV (SaGa Frontier II)

What’s so great it?

This is a fun song. Probably more fun than it should be. SaGa Frontier II is a pretty serious game…

Check out I, II, and III too. They’re all good. IV is just “fun”.

6 – Unfinished Battle (Xenoblade)

What’s so great about it?

This song is so awesome I listened to it for three days straight. I literally just had it looping forever.

The sad thing is…this song plays ONCE in the actual game! And it’s basically a cutscene that drags into a boss battle…and then fades away! What a travesty…

The violins and piano bring so much gravitas here, I’d love to hear a symphony cover this.

This is an amazing song. It just never lets go. Very emotional.

5 – Integral Body and Imperfect Soul (Star Ocean 2)

What’s so great about it?

This is Motoi Sakuraba on top of his game. This song should scare the hell out of you! Pretend you’re getting attacked by an angel, and that pretty much matches the mood of the piece.

4 – Iconoclasm (Baiten Kaitos II)

What’s so great about it?

The Baiten Kaitos series; two very underrated games for the RPG starved Gamecube. One reason that makes this song so special is that it’s only played in the hardest fights in the game. I believe you only hear it four times. Rare songs increase the value of the song. It’s a fact!

This is an unrelenting piece. It just never lets up. 1:48-2:05 has one of the best guitar solos I think I’ve ever heard in a video game. The song really comes out of nowhere, and it just blows you away! One of my absolute favorites.

3 – The Almighty (Persona 4)

What’s so great about it?

This is such a simple song when you break it down. It has drums. It has guitar. Occasionally, some ambient sounds creep in. That’s it! But man…that guitar…MAN!

The guitar steals the show, by far. Just listen to it. Listen! 2:34 – 2:43, it’s just so, so sad. It sounds like it’s crying…

The drums pick up after that, and restore order! By 3:17, it feels like the guitar has a new lease on life. There’s hope here. 3:43 – 3:47…man. What a wail! We’re not to sure what to think. Is it going to be OK?

3:58 – 4:08, the guitar talks to you, and gives you its answer. It lets you know it’s going to be OK, but it’s been through a lot. And it’s time to start over…

This is “the end”. There’s all kinds of emotions in this song, and you can “feel” it. And that’s what makes this a fantastic song.

2 – Force Your Way (Final Fantasy VIII)

What’s so great about it?

This is just a great “build” and “disperse” song. I love the “Psycho” intro, which cuts off around 0:23, all the while you have insane drums (love those drums). Huge disperse from 0:33-0:40. Love it!

You get a little more cool down, and then the song goes into overdrive around the one minute mark. Those drums come back, more buildup, and then…you’re in the zone. 1:07 – 1:40, I feel like I can take on the world man when I listen to this part. THE WORLD! Cooldown to 1:53 and start again. This song just gets better and better as you listen to it.

It’s the only song in my library that I just outright RESPECT. The sounds just flow so well together, it’s just fantastic. It deserves the number 1 spot. Well…except…

1 – Dancing Mad (Final Fantasy VI)

What’s so great about it?

…there’s a song called Dancing Mad. It’s kind of a big deal. It umm, runs 17+ minutes long. It is basically a medley of four songs. It chronicles the rise of a madman who dared to become a god. It defines “epic”.

This is Nobuo Uematsu’s greatest work. His masterpiece. And it is easily the best video game boss song ever created. Keep in mind as well that the song is almost 20 years old. And was recorded on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Yeah, the SNES. Not exactly a powerhouse audio showcase. This…this was unheard of. Nothing compares to it!

For more reasons why this song is amazing, read more on the topic here. It turns out, hey, the song is actually telling a story. Oh, and yeah, it’s inspired by real classical music. Fancy that.

Don’t agree with this list? Got something better? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below. Just know that you’re wrong! =E

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