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?
The Inti Creates sound team will be attending this year’s MAGFest event to perform two concerts. One will be dedicated to Azure Strike Gunvolttitled Lumen Super Live 2016, and the other being a special Inti Creates 20th Anniversary concert featuring music from games worked on throughout their history including Mega Man Zero. Performers include Ippo Yamada, Godspeed, Yamajet, Luna Umegaki, Megu Sakuragawa (Lumen), and other special guests who will take to the stage during MAGFest 2016.
“The members of the Inti Creates sound team are legendary in the videogame music community, so it’s our pleasure to be able to welcome them as guests at MAGFest. With MAGFest’s main focus being fan and community creations, it’s always a privilege to show the original creators in-person just how much we appreciate their work.” – Nicholas Marinelli, MAGFest Chief Operating Officer
MAGFest 2016 will be held at the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center, Maryland from February 18th – 21st, and already has other performers and guests lined up such as The One Ups, Ninja Sex Party and a tons more. Tickets are still on sale individually for $70 or $60 for group discount.
The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD will be released on March 6, 2016 and images of the Pre-order Sound Selection CD Soundtrack have been released. Based on the imagery it looks like the album will be presented in a cardboard sleeve rather than a digi-pak or jewel case. The previous 7 track release of the “Official Soundtrack” was presented in a similar sleeve back in 2006 which you can see the details of on VGMDB here.
I noticed the new artwork today after Nintendo explained how Amiibo’s would work in the new game, and that the new Wolf Link Amiibo will unlock a new dungeon. You can watch the Nintendo announcement video below.
Are you planning on pre-ordering the game to get this soundtrack CD?
I was a huge anime fan in my teen years and very much still am. Some of my favorite gaming memories are having the opportunity to play video games related to an anime series.
In this edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I am looking back at some of the Anime related video games that had memorable video game scores. The games I’m looking back at include a fighting game, and two action games where you could play as a tank, or transformable fighter jet. Come on in to hear some of the best music from some of my favorite anime related game titles I’ve enjoyed.
During my searches for arrangements for this series, I occasionally find myself looking for some unusual things. Recently I decided to see if anyone had done a mariachi cover of some game music. Not only did I find a cover, I found a group that has done a number of mariachi arrangements of game tunes. They are known as Mariachi Entertainment System.
Of the handful of game tunes that the group has covered, today’s Arrangement of the Week is featuring their cover of “Dark World” from The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.
After the band members take shots of toquilla, a running gag in their videos, the piece opens with trumpets, guitar, vihuela, flute, and guitarron for the familiar intro of the overworld theme. Each performer for the arrangement then gets introduced as they play their parts. The flute, trumpet, and violin players take turns with the melodic material for the duration of the piece, while the guitar, vihuela, and guitarron provide the rhythmic accompaniment.
The arrangement itself is relatively straight forward, without any dramatic structural or melodic changes made for the performance. The source material works quite well with the instrument ensemble and each member of the group delivers a solid performance. The flute, which doesn’t traditionally perform with mariachi ensembles, adds some extra tone color to the arrangement that works well for this particular piece. Overall, an excellent cover of the classic Zelda overworld theme from a talented group of musicians.
Have you heard any interesting ensembles covering game music this week? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out more of Mariachi Entertainment System’s game music covers on their YouTube channel and you can also support them on Patreon.
La La Land Records who have in the past release several video game soundtracks on CD, and a large volume of Star Trek music is putting out even more for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year. This month saw the release of their second volume of music from Star Trek: The Next Generation, later this year they expect to release a 4CD set featuring the music from Star Trek: Voyager, and second volumes for both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.
What’s more exciting for music fans is that La La Land Records is taking requests for a 50th Anniversary album spanning the entire 50 years of Star Trek! They are looking for fan request of their favorite musical moments form the series that have not been released before. Startreksoundtracks.com has the definitive list of what Star Trek music has already been released in the past, so if you want to see if the music from your favorite episode is available it is a great place to start. There has also been several Star Trek video game soundtracks that have never been released on CD including Star Trek: Online by composed by Kevin Manthei
We have a “50th Anniversary” Star Trek collection that we’re going to do a little differently…because we’re TAKING REQUESTS! This 50th Anniversary album (# of discs TBD) will have music from across the 50 years of the Star Trek franchise—including previously unreleased cues from TNG, DS9, VOY (beyond the upcoming album) and ENT. This is not to say there may not be future volumes for DS9, ENT and the other shows, but for now, we are concentrating on this 50th Anniversary collection to present as much previously unreleased music as we can. So…if you have favorite scores and/or cues… be as specific as you want from the episodes—give me Netflix timecode from the episodes and I will make sure to try to include the correct piece!”
Lukas Kendall on working on the set with La La Land Records
The place to get your requests in in the Film Score Monthly Message Board. It is free to register, and when submitting requests wait about 30 seconds for it to post because the message board does lag slightly.
I put in a few requests myself including the music of Q’s Mariachi Band from Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode “Deju Q”.
Are you a Star Trek fan, and is there any Star Trek music that you would like to see on La La Land Records upcoming 50th Anniversary Album?
If you happen to be in the Tokyo area this coming weekend and have 2,500 yen free, you might want to check out Tokyo Game Music Show 2016. Boasted as the premier game music fair for lovers of game music, the event celebrates its fourth year with an incredibly impressive list of game music composers both new and old that will be showcased as either performers or at their own booths designed to interact with game music fans. Among those exhibitors in attendance will be Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), Masafumi Takada (No More Heroes), Yuu Miyake (Katamari Damacy) and a lot, lot more! (Full List under the cut.)
Brave Wave, the independent game music label, has been making more and more headlines over the last year and not just from the VGM scene. From their work in restoring Street Fighter II’s arcade soundtrack to giving veteran composers new outlets for their music, Brave Wave seems to be accelerating in quality, quantity and breadth.
But who and what is Brave Wave? Their website gives only the most basic, PR Approved overview but the full story is now coming to light. Several articles over the last year have highlighted the label, largely surrounding their work on Street Fighter II. FACT Magazine posted an extensive interview with the team and went on to name them one of the 10 labels to watch in 2016. Most recently, Jeremy Parish from USgamer posted an excellent, massive article based on his time talking with Brave Wave founder, Mohammed Taher. It’s the most revealing look at the organization I’ve seen but if that’s too much reading for you then definitely check out Wavelength.
Wavelength is Brave Wave’s own bi-weekly podcast series that just launched on January 14th. The inaugural episode features Mohammed retelling much of the label’s unplanned development alongside Associate Director and Mixing Engineer, Marco Guardia. The episode is wrangled by Brett Elston from VGMpire and after the history lesson the conversation turns to the making of the Street Fighter II album, the influx of game music on vinyl and hints at what’s coming next for both the podcast and Brave Wave.