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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

Fusion Dragon | Golden Sun | Orchestral Cover

Not gonna lie, this one was HARD! But here you go! - an orchestral cover of the final boss from the original Golden Sun, "Fusion Dragon".

Feel free to check out the landing page with links to the recording, sheet music and more!

If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML and SIB files I created for this arrangement now available to download from Patreon!


Arranger's Note:

From the first bar, we have some striking dissonances. The chords are constructed out of a partial dominant 7th (F♯-A♯-E) combined with the leading note (E♯ / F), giving us a devilish chord of F-F♯-A♯-E which rises by step via semitones. This gives us our terrifying introduction to the Fusion Dragon.

Once the main section begins, chaos runs rampant (0:05): there is no anchor to any particular tonal centre; the melody is doubled at the tritone (the "Diabolus in musica" / "Devil in music"), and any semblance of a regular pulse is thwarted by an unexpected 7/8 meter. These combinations generate absolutely fiendish-sounding music - perfect for a final boss theme where the antagonists are giving everything they've got to stop us.

To complement this narrative, I've added a choir with English text to enhance the drama (yes, I wrote some actual cheesy lyrics to this arrangement - come at me!). It is as if the Mars clan themselves are shouting for Isaac to stop fighting Saturos & Menardi, and instead to help them light the beacons. This choir continues periodically throughout (see lyrics above).

When we reach 0:15, we get a respite with some stability. Here, we finally have a tonal centre (A minor; A-C-E) in a 4/4 meter and a relatively diatonic melody that outlines this triad with various added notes. Alongside this, the woodwinds swirl through various arpeggios and chromatic scales, contributing to the climactic nature of this theme.

This respite is but brief, as we quickly return to the chaos (0:28) with full-blown chromaticism and a heavily treading chromatic bassline. While still in our simple 4/4 meter, this is cut short with a surprising 7/8 bar (0:32). And as the dissonance climbs, we get another statement of our previous stable section (0:39), with some orchestrational development so that it is not an exact repeat.

By 0:52, we have an unusual turning point to the theme. In the original, everything drops out barring the violins and hi-hat. To me, this section speaks of a future where they fail to light the beacons, resulting in the destruction of the world. I conveyed this narrative through the choir: "what if we don't complete our mission?". This spirals ever downward, as if plummeting over the edge of Weyard's waterfalls.

At 1:11, we get a tricky little section of despair, returning to our opening dominant 7th chords (F♯-A♯-E) that swirl chromatically down and up. And finally, we return to the unstable 7/8 meter at 1:20 for a final "uplifting" triadic passage that ascends ever upward (seemingly more optimistic than the previous descents). These triads sit above a pedal B in the bass instruments, creating some softer dissonances as the pedal note becomes an honorary member of each triad due to its longevity.

And to tail us off, I wrote a brief conclusive ending referencing some earlier material from 0:06.


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