Many of the game music remixes out there focus on soundtracks from earlier console and platform generations for their source material. However, every once and a while more recent material gets a chance to shine. For this week’s Arrangement of the Week we will be looking at an electronic dance remix of a piece from Super Mario 3D World.
The source track is the “World Bowser” map theme, which has been arranged by Flexstyle and XPRTNovice. The remix, titled “Caravan Bowser” is part of a collaborative album Super Cartography Bros., which as the name implies focusses on the map music from various Super Mario Bros. games.
The track is an interesting mixture of genres. There’s your standard EDM elements present of course, but its combination with the live gypsy jazz instrument performances from XPRTNovice really helps give the track a unique sound. The rhythm guitar parts blend well with the percussion and the various solo instruments find their space in the mix without fighting against the other music elements.
The electronic instruments get their time to shine in the remix as well. At around the 1’20” mark the acoustic instruments drop out and let the synth instruments have the spotlight. The track has a wonderfully upbeat feel that is maintained throughout the track’s runtime. All in all, it’s a great blend of jazz and EDM from an unlikely source.
Have you heard any cool game music EDM remixes this week? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out the “Caravan Bowser” track and the full Super Cartography Bros. album on the album’s OC ReMix page.
MAGFest has three days of chiptune performances lined up on the main stage this year. It all culminates with a CHIP RAVE that daringly, brazenly lasts “until we are done, baby!”. Amidst that chaos of square waves and laser lights will be Chipzel. So let’s get to Know Your MAG.
Born in Northern Ireland, Niamh Houston discovered the chiptune scene around 2006 and quickly set out to explore the space in her own way with Game Boys in hand. In the following years she released several original albums and performed at Blip Festival 2011 before being contacted by Terry Cavanagh about a game jam project called Hexagon.
Later in 2012 Cavanagh would set out to recreate his game jam entry in a super way and once again contacted Chipzel about her music. Creating an original track for Super Hexagon motivated her to get much more involved with game soundtracks. After nearly two years she released her first large scale project, the 55-track score to Interstellaria which you can read much more about in our review. It took so long that she released another soundtrack in between for the twitchy neon arcade racer, Spectra.
And now she’s traveling far overseas from her home in London to perform amongst the chiptune artists on Saturday night at the MAGFest Chip Rave. Her portion of the show will be lit, animated and overscanned by the Visualist stylings of Pixelseed, aka Sean Smith from the local Baltimore area. Check her out!
Leading up to its release on February 9th, the team at Coldwood Interactive have been spinning up the hype machine for their title that surprised everyone at E3, Unravel. Revealed on the same stage where Pele relived the majesty of futbol and DICE showed off their million dollar investment in Star Wars was this tiny, sweet little yarn character helping an old lady rebuild her memories.
Introduced by Creative Director, Martin Sahlin, as a “story of love, longing and mending broken bonds” it’s no surprise that the music sounds perfectly, painfully on par. He goes on to describe it as a score to “break your heart and put it back together again” which is way more evocative a description than I could write from the clips I’ve heard so far.
To create the music the Swedish team at Coldwood turned to local musicians familiar with the locations and style that the visuals are based on. Henrik Oja and Frida Johansson collaborated to create a soundtrack that builds on traditional Swedish instruments and folk music to capture the personal story of a single family. It’s also a dynamic score that builds and swings to match the gameplay as Yarny explores the world, puzzling out predicaments by unraveling his own yarn.
You can listen to some of the music and hear more about the soundtrack in the video below.
You might remember hearing about 8Bit Music Power last November. The collaborative chiptune album has the distinction of being released exclusively for the Famicom console. Though not an official Nintendo product, Japanese accessory manufacturer, Columbus Circle, has matched the real deal with a gorgeous full color box and reproduction cartridge.
The 12-track album contains original songs by several Japanese game and chiptune composers under the direction of producer and illustrator, Riki. Contributors include Omodaka (Ape Escape), Masahiro Kajihara (Triggerheart Excelica), Takeaki Kunimoto (Star Soldier), Yuriko Keino (Dig Dug), Saitone, Hiroaki Sano (Triangle Heart), Nobuyuki Shioda (Summer Carnival ’92), Professor Sakamoto, Tappy (Tokimeki Memorial), Hally (Mighty Gunvolt) and Keishi Yonao (Asuka 120%). The cart’s pixelart graphics were created with the help of Hiroshi Ono, artist on some of gaming’s classic arcade titles like Pac Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and Mappy.
We’ve known the details for a while but the big news of the day is that 8Bit Music Power… is out. The first thousand cartridges produced are on sale now through Amazon Japan and Play-Asia will have them ready to ship worldwide on January 31st. Click inside to check out the full tracklist, a preview of the album and more.
Koichi Sugiyama may not be a familiar name to a lot of gamers in the West, but he is a very well known figure in Japan. He is the man behind the music of the Dragon Quest series (originally released as Dragon Warrior in the West), which despite having only achieved an overall modest success in the United States, is very popular in Japan. Koichi Sugiyama’s style for the music that he writes for the Dragon Quest games is very unique, and it has been a significant influence on other video game music composers as well. I’ll be going through some of his work on the primary games of the Dragon Quest series and taking a look at what makes his music uniquely his, and how his style has changed over the course of the series.
Jon Everist, who has composed the music for Shadowrun: Hong Kong and my choice for the composer of the year in 2015 has just released six tracks from his score to the upcoming Indie Game Necropolis. Necropolis is a gorgeous looking game of brutal combat and survival, set in a magical deathtrap that shifts and reconstructs itself around you. It’s tag line is: “Will you find the exit, or die trying?” I have listened to all six tracks and have to say that I can’t wait to hear the rest of the score, it’s dark, intriguing, and at times mesmerizing. My personal favorite track so far is the groovy “Official PAXEast Trailer Music”.
You can watch the trailer to the game which is made by HarebrainedSchemes below which reminds me a bit of Dark Souls meets The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker.
Battletoads is one of those games that lives in infamy for a few things, such as its ridiculous speed bike challenge and it’s simplistically catchy pause music. That last one you can chalk up to composer David Wise, who worked his magic on the 1991 beat ’em up. Recently, the video series “Rare Revealed” goes through recalling the history of game developer Rare, and includes talking with Wise about his time working on composing for games, including Battletoads.
It also includes him treating the viewer to an impromptu piano performance of the Battletoads Theme at 3:32.
Definitely a fun video to watch if your a fan of Battletoads, Wise or just learning about Rare’s history through gaming. You can check out the rest of the Rare Revealed/Replay videos on their Youtube channel.
For this week’s installment of Arrangement of the Week, we’re returning to another cover of a track from Ys III: Wanderers from Ys. The game’s soundtrack exists in a few variations thanks to its availability on a number of platforms with different sound chips. Much of the music lends itself well to rock interpretations, as is the case for this cover of “Steeling the Will to Fight.”
The artist for this arrangement is Ansgaros who created a high energy metal interpretation of the track called “Fire Still Burns in My Frozen Heart.”
For the opening sections of this cover, Ansgaros actually sticks relatively close to the marching pace and tone that is set in the original track. But after about a minute, he starts kicking things into high gear. There’s plenty of inhumanely fast drums, some energetic guitar parts, and a decent amount of synth strings that balance well against the rest of the instruments.
One of the things that makes this arrangement work well is that there are occasional breaks between the more intense guitar and drum sections. These contrasting segments transition back and forth rather well, so the cover never sounds disjointed or jarring. These calmer sections also give the listener some breathing room in between the more high-energy guitar sections. Overall, an excellent metal arrangement of music from Ys III: Wanderers from Ys.
Have you heard any good metal covers of game music? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out and download Ansgaros’s “Fire Still Burns in My Frozen Heart” on OC Remix.
It’s been a while since I first posted about Wailing Heights, a macabre musical adventure game from Outsider Games. Since their reveal announcement back in September the team has moved into the Top 30 on Steam Greenlight. To celebrate the game’s ongoing coverage and positive reaction they’ve released a new trailer featuring the 60’s stylings of The Deadbeats.
The Deadbeats are the world renowned band that Frances Finklestein to manage back when he had a body. In the land of Wailing Heights he finds himself doing the “body-hop” to jump from hipster vampire to Motown zombie, all in the search for a way to reunite with his body.
Whether you grew up with a computer in the ’80s, pirated a copy of Photoshop in the 2000s or ran a benchmark on a video card last year, you’ve come into contact with a cracktro in one form or another. Also called a Crack Intro or Loader, these screens were first appended to pirated software in the late 70s and early 80s by the groups that cracked them. They served as digital graffiti, a way for the cracking “crew” to stake their claim, brag about their accomplishments and shout out to friends and rivals.
As such they rapidly evolved into ever more elaborate feats of visual programming until some coders detached their efforts from the shadier side of things. By 1986 the movement became known as the Demoscene and would later inspire benchmarking software to find dazzling ways to tax computer hardware. The legacy of the cracktro would also be carried on beyond the 90s in the form of keygens; tiny programs that generate serial keys for pirated software.
Wrapped up in that thirty year history is the music that accompanied the illicit cracktros, trainers and keygens, some of which outmatched the games they were attached to. While crews have left their calling cards on virtually every platform, this playlist(which can’t be embedded here)by YouTuber Zeusdaz features solely the Amiga. So prolific was the cracking scene back then that even this incomplete collection clocks in at an astounding eight and a half hours. It serves as a great intro to cracktros, offers a time capsule-like glimpse into the scene and it was even captured directly from a real Amiga. No emulation from Zeusdaz! It’s also a convenient playlist to pop on for quick audio/visual party ambiance.
Tracking down the coding composers behind these tunes is an even more daunting challenge and one I’d like to dig into… someday. For now I’ll point curious parties to Wikipedia, Cracktros.org, SceneMusic and Kestra Bitworld to see how deep the cracktro hole goes. I can’t remember any by name but there are definitely some cracktros and keygens I would repeatedly load up just to listen to. What about you? Any memorable crack or trainer tunes? Do you know another good source for even more cracktro themes? Let us know below.
Disclaimer: Original Sound Version does not endorse software piracy for the sake of listening to cracktros, no matter how cool their music might be.
“Lets Kick Shell!” is an officially licensed album by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. The band is comprised of Long Island natives (Chris Wall, David Kaplan, Brandon Dove & Dan Gluszak) who came together to pay tribute to their favorite songs from the NYC sewers which otherwise were never commercially released. You can preview the 5 track album below.
I have listened to the album and it’s a perfect tribute to the 1987 cartoon series. The opening theme cover captures the essence of the original with the performers even replicating the the four ninja turtle’s dialogue clips. It’s a wonderful release and I think a welcome one for Ninja Turtle fans who have never seen an official release of any of the cartoon series or video game music in the past, it has Turtle Power. You can purchase a digital copy of the album on bandcamp now for $4.99. If you want to grab the LP release it is available for $10.87 at the Enjoy The Ride Records Web Store. And it looks like they are selling fast, at the time of writing this post both the Splinter and Shredder LPs were already sold out.
Are you a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games and animated series?
I only just came across this trailer for Project Setsuna which was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2015 and it was uploaded to YouTube by user Asleep In The Fantasy. This user has also added clips of the first two tracks from the soundtrack from the game. After E3 2015 I wrote about Project Setsuna and how there was some discussion online that it was the spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger. I also listed it as my most anticipated upcoming video game soundtrack.
Project Setsuna – “Track 1”
Project Setsuna – “Track 2”
It was recently annouced on January 22, 2016 by Famitsu that the music for the game was composed by Tomoki Miyoshi who is know for their work on Soul Calibur V. From what I hear in the trailer, and the two above tracks is a lot of beautiful piano which reaffirms my excitement for this release! The game will be released on PS Vita and Playstation 4 in Japan on February 18, 2016. A North American release has not been announced yet.
Does the trailer or music for Project Setsuna give you any Chrono Trigger or other JRPG vibes?