Back in 2003, Dwelling of Duels (DoD) was created by a man nicknamed Crimson at the Minibosses message bords. Originally this contest was only meant for a select few members of that board in order to see which one of them were the most talented to end the bickering once and for all, but as the results came in, the general interest rose and it seemed it has struck a chord with the members of the community. It was soon developed into a more structured competition, where each month had different themes and guidelines, and a simple rule was applied: 1 live instrument required to enter.
Among these early themes were Ninja Gaiden. The game is for many one of the greatest NES series to be produced, and game music fans also hold it in high regard. This theme appeared in April of 2004 however, when DoD was still just a pooping infant, and surprisingly, only 1 entry was produced, Ryan8bit’s “Sinister Augury” featuring Pingosimon, which was by itself a worthy entry, but fans were obviously disappointed and wanted the theme to get a second chance. Well 5 years later, it got just that, as Ninja Gaiden Month part deux was unleashed upon us. And you’ll never guess who won this time.
Read the results after the jump!
#1 Ryan8Bit: Ninja Gaiden 3 – “Welcome to Hell”
#2 Akutula, Sascratch: Ninja Gaiden 1, 2 – “Duet of Ninjas”
#3 BONKERS: Ninja Gaiden 1, 2 – “Ouch Death Hurts”
#4 jaxx: Ninja Gaiden 2 – “I Am A Ninja”
#5 M-H: Ninja Gaiden 3 - “What’s a Bio-Noid?”
#6 – The Ninja GayedMEN (Nario, Powellman, Omnideth): Ninja Gaiden 1 – “I’ll Mask YOUR Devil!”
#7 – LuketheXjesse: Ninja Gaiden 2 – “Scaling the Mountain”
#8 – Concrete Mutant (jvincion): Ninja Gaiden 3 – “Ominous Death”
#9 – Rasgar: Ninja Gaiden 3 – “The Falcon’s Plight”
Who would have thunk it? Ryan8bit came in and became the returning champion, making sure we all know who’s the real ninja. A surprising amount of Ninja Gaiden 3 entries, seeing how beloved the 2 first games are. Ninja Gaiden 3 has a great soundtrack however despite being a weaker game, so it’s a welcome change of pace, and I’m glad to see some untapped material in such a theme that quickly could fall into the trap of redundant song choices. Most the entries were excellent as well, finally giving Ninja Gaiden a worthy DoD treatment, it only took 5 years to get there too.
My personal favorite this month is “Duet of Ninjas” by Akutula and Sascratch. The song is quite different from most DoD entries, with a chill flamenco style acoustic arrangement on “Ambush ~Pursuit of a Nightmare~” from Ninja Gaiden 1 and smoothly transitioning into a darker and emotional approach for “The Parasprinter” from Ninja Gaiden 2. I had my money on this song to win, but it came in at 2nd place. Jaxx, another long timer in the VG arrangement scene came back for this month with his Ninja Gaiden 2 medley “I Am A Ninja”. I always liked Jaxx guitar tone and style, he does these subtle liberties and makes songs just an extra ounce catchy. The beginning is a bit slow and empty, but it really picks itself up and “The Parasprinter” and “Ashtar’s Theme” are glorious in this track. I hope to see more from Jaxx soon, it’s a guy I really enjoy listening to, and he has a certain raw quality that I miss in the midst of the often over produced tracks of DoD.
Ryan8Bit did have a deserved victory with his track “Welcome to Hell”, which is very much a trademark Ryan8bit metal track. Like with Jaxx, Ryan has a certain raw energy and sound that really gets you drawn into his songs, and makes them stick and out and memorable. His song choice is excellent as well, and with the guy being busy with a second newborn child and family, it just makes it more admirable that he took the time to enter, and getting a well deserved win. Honorable mentions also go to M-H and LuketheXjesse, as I quite liked their entries as well. Great month overall.
Next month is a Free Month, which means any game goes, so get nuts and do whatever you desire. Being December, it’s a bit different as the voting and listening party will take place live at MAGFest, where you can come in and join the fun with the musicians and critics themselves. Over the last few years, we been fortunate enough to have Ryan8Bit and Billy dance, Prince of Darkness soiling his pants when his track was played and DS chatrooms dedicated to drawing penises, coined Dicktochat. Yes at MAGFest, all your dreams come true, so join the fun.
Visit Dwelling of Duels at their website to find more info about how to enter.Tags: Arrangements, Contests, Dwelling of Duels, Ninja Gaiden, Remixes, Results, Tecmo