OceansAndrew

OCRA-0032 - Unsung Heroes

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15 songs from games that are rare to show up on OCR, with several debuting for the first time on the site!

Leave your comments in this thread! :D

The original concept was brought forth to me by Shaun "Avaris" Wallace back when we were still working on Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption.

We both agreed that while it is great to work with many well-known and often mixed themes - which are so loved for good reason - there should be no reason not to extend our hands into those games that have been overlooked for so long, but have genuinely beautiful themes as well. I'm proud of the work that these gentlemen and ladies have presented in this album, and hope that others will be able to appreciate the beauty of these tracks as well.

- Andrew Luers (OA)

I was brought onto Unsung Heroes as an assistant director after the success of the Final Fantasy IV project, where I was able to do a lot of organizational work to help for a smooth release. The project idea was really unique; there had been a lot of songs that I'd forgotten about and it was a joy to revisit them and see what exactly I could put together as a tribute to those games that had been passed over for more popular titles. I also have enjoyed working with both Andrew and Stevo; they both have done a great job keeping this project moving and encouraging the mixers to get their work finished. I hope to work with all these mixers again soon!

- Deia Vengen (DragonAvenger)

Andrew and I first worked together on the Final Fantasy IV album. After work on that was complete, he invited me to take part in Unsung Heroes, helping organize and keep track of progress. The premise for this is something I, as well as every other person on this album, identify with: underappreciated gems, lost in the shadows of the spotlight given to the big hitters in the RPG scene. Each song tackled here has some personal meaning to the musician, moreso than just a single song from a game many people know. The choice of games was up to the individuals, and that adds an extra layer of personal investment into each track. These are the games we had that none of our other friends did, though we loved them just the same.

Any song you listen to from Unsung Heroes is a testament that, even though lesser known, these games may indeed be more special. My hope is that this will encourage others to look at other, lesser-known games and find the beauty in them, or even seek out games they have never heard before just to see what they have to offer. Rock on, fellow Heroes!

- Stevo Bortz (Level 99)

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Edited by Liontamer

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I might be biased, but I think this album overall is pretty solid. All the songs are great listens on their own, and together as well. Nice work, ladies and gentlemen.

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Finally finished listening, and I gotta say this album is better than I expected, considering that I wasn't familiar with any original theme except the one from Bahamut Lagoon.

Loved the way the album was done in a more acoustic manner, OCR definitely needs more acoustic songs.

Oh, and I hope I'm not the only one who started singing "Con Te Partiro" while listening to "This Winding Road" xD

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I was listening to this at work, made my day 100x better.

This is definitely biased, but my favorite track is the Lufia one, Silent Traveller. Even if it's misspelled :)

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I'm not familiar with any of the source tunes in the slightest, nor did I look at the artist list 'til after I heard the whole album, so I'd say my listen was as unbiased as you could possibly get.

My favorite track hands-down is Weeping Willow, I really didn't want that one to end... I swear, ilp0's a prodigy. Autumn Painter and The Village of Decay for String Quartet also stood out to me as truly beautiful works of art, loved those very much.

In general, I absolutely enjoyed the album top to bottom, and I'd say it's probably in my top 5 OC ReMix albums at least. Absolutely stellar work, everyone.

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He was referring to the british spelling, "sileunt". Those crazy brits, adding U to everything, like armor, and honor. :)

I resent that...when you don't take the U out of a word like pour :-P

This album surprised me, I didn't really know about it until I saw the trailer. Thoroughly enjoyable listen, good for tea and reminiscing! Secret of Evermore was one of my favourite games as a kid and I was overjoyed to hear this arrangement (gives me ideas to remix SoE myself). I also loved Suikoden's 'Eternal Empire' and this arrangement of it is really fantastic. John's Persona 3 mix is also quirky awesome, don't know the song but really enjoyed that. Those were my personal favourites but the rest of the album is just as good.

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Oh, man, I love that Bahamut Lagoon song, such an underappreciated classic. Great work, Avaris. Still have to listen to the rest of the album, though.

And I reeeeeally have to spend more time in this forum.

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This turned out to be a pretty great album. Thank you very much everyone involved for making this possible. It's hard to pick out favorites so far, the album has been pretty consistent in terms of quality. Vampire Hunter Dan's String Quartet piece was impressive, and the vocal performances were all top-notch. Persona 3 is the only game represented in this album I've actually played, and its arrangement was interesting and not quite what I was expecting after hearing the 13 tracks before it. I hope this leads to more Persona (or any of these games really) arrangements on OCR. Good job, everyone!

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I just received an e-mail about this album and got very excited to see Breath of Fire II on it. Breath of Fire II remains my favorite game and RPG of all time, it's very near and dear to me, so I'm happy to see it given attention.

With that said, the music is said to be remixed from "Crooked Ladder" which is the Dologany/Dragonier music, but for the life of me I couldn't hear any similarities between the song and the source material. I don't mean any disrespect because it's still a beautiful song regardless, but I just don't hear the resemblance to the source material. Am I missing the point? :whatevaa:

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Somehow, I never looked at the tracklist until today I have been talking up and clamoring for a Legacy of the Wizard mix forever! Actually, I originally created an account specifically to make that request (which was not without results.) :smile:

....and now. A completed track just falls into my lap? :shock: I have no words. Haven't even gotten to download it yet, but was too excited. Can't wait to listen to this, and really, the whole line-up looks amazing.

Edited by Xarnax42

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Usually I end up listening to songs on OCR of games i've played.

Even if its not a game I remember that well, hearing something that I associate with a moment in a game gives the song an extra frission you otherwise don't get. There are great, amazing songs on OCR from games i've never touched, but I often find I end up returning to 'average' songs from games I know, simply for the nostalgia... It means something to me, and this amazing yet unknown composition doesn't have. The end result, songs I end up coming back to again and again tend to be from games i've played...

So, hands on deck first, i've never played a single one of these games.

Yet, for all the songs in this album, i've enjoyed every single one. Got a great emotive feel to it that drew me right in. Only listened on a long train journey but it was a good one, thanks for the experience.

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Oh, man, I love that Bahamut Lagoon song, such an underappreciated classic. Great work, Avaris. Still have to listen to the rest of the album, though.

And I reeeeeally have to spend more time in this forum.

Thanks dude :)

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There are plenty of great ones in here i loved. That you keep including these as flac, im happy that ocremix does. But anyway, each song, is very well crafted, worked at with a passion for the game. Not all were my cup of tea, but its me, not the song that finds them just not my song.

Somber Memory, ah, how you take me back. This is a good choice for an introductory song, first of all. When it shifts and plays on, that it never loses that original part of the melody, is a very nice touch. This holds a kind of serenity, that makes you look, especially with the change-up again and again.

Shimmering, A dozen sounds it just quite catches a tune to, that without even trying, brings you right into the song. It never lets you go, right before you might catch it worrying to repeat, there it goes again off on its own tangent.

Weeping willow, sadly, this one just wasn't for me. A great song, very upbeat, and im not sure how to classify it, but many other folks here nail it well.

This Winding Road. Much like weeping willow, it wasn't clicking right, but it has a hymnal, solemn beauty to it, historically powerfull, of a memory held dear.

Family Legacy, Talk about out of left field, starts up, and you have to hold onto the ride. I really don't need to say much, this one speaks for itself very clearly, and I wouldn't have expected this sound for the game, Well done!

Silent Traveller, The click of tuning, and the echo you carry here. You carry inspiration of where you've been with a quiet grace, very much living to the songs title, a weary one bearing the weight of the world down on him.

Autumn Painter, I only wish I could have heard the original before this. To see where the inspiration for this came from. The lyrics surprise you, but they bring a perfect accompaniment to the music.

The one ring. The tales begin, and tales end, but you waltz right in, order the beer, be merry, and enjoy the looks spinning about you. The good fellow whom made this needs a round on the house. You capture the spirit of the game, and middle earth perfectly for what really matters.

Stockholm, I'm really not sure how to call you. So many things you do, and do well, yet each is apart and together in a means that I can't put a finger on, so my ears just sit back and enjoy.

The Village of Decay for String Quartet, You floored me, after kicking me down. I had to stop, listen again, and just wipe the tears away, and thank it for doing so. Its a work of art. I really don't know where to begin there, but just wow. Its a song you wont see, wont know until its about halfway through just what kind of hold it has on you, and replaying, you listen deeply, and find the beauty of this song in the depths of one knights crusade against the darkness.

Hope falls to water, really aims for a duality, you almost picture the nina/ryu angle in the two voices, it carries well for it. The base driving narrative, fits to the travels that both carry in their trek the world over.

Hero of Celceta, it introduces itself with such an innocent beginning, and you know, when it teases you a short bit, what you have in store for yourself, and you smile, you do, and what it does deliver. A good choice, and one that shifts into each passage very well, with a lift and drop of the part before.

Having never played the shin megami tensei, this one was very unexpected. The staccato and the stuttering here, has a kind of requiem feel to it, of an end that you feel wash over you, from what I hear, this is darn true of the digital devil saga's level of curbstomping.

Hymn of the Eternal Empire... I don't have much to say, but dang, the range that you achieve brings goosebumps. Well done! Glad to see suikoden in this line-up.

The 7th saga, Is a gem of a keeper, it has a quiet rustic feel to it, a bards tale kind of approach, of someone sitting down, after a long session, playing a tune of another time, and the quiet joy of a room to welcome it. Having played it, and getting my hiney kicked to heck and back by it, its nice to see that game get such a welcome remix, especially of the quality it did.

To everyone that worked heart, mind and soul into this, you bring a series that deserve some time in the sun a well earned round of praise for this! Bravo!

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I caught this at the sneak-preview listening party on IRC on Sunday. It's really gorgeous -- I mean the only 'complaint' is that the 15 tracks there leave you wanting more.

All the tracks are great. I'm a sucker for good vocal tracks (of which there are several). But two of the instrumental ones that are -really- spectacular are Somber Memory (#2 from SoE, by audio fidelity & Jenny Fae Davis) and Village of Decay for String Quartet (#11 from Ghouls'n'Ghosts, by Vampire Hunter Dan).

Great album {^^}. KF

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I just received an e-mail about this album and got very excited to see Breath of Fire II on it. Breath of Fire II remains my favorite game and RPG of all time, it's very near and dear to me, so I'm happy to see it given attention.

With that said, the music is said to be remixed from "Crooked Ladder" which is the Dologany/Dragonier music, but for the life of me I couldn't hear any similarities between the song and the source material. I don't mean any disrespect because it's still a beautiful song regardless, but I just don't hear the resemblance to the source material. Am I missing the point? :whatevaa:

I won't lie, the remix is a pretty liberal take on the source tune, but I will put my comments on where I personally looked and used the source in here. I will also point out that the lyrics are very strongly inspired by the story of the game. The first thing to note is the chord structure definitely follows the source, which you can really hear in the breakdown.

The first verse (0:22 in arrangement) follows the opening melody line of the source with the first three ascending lines and the drop to the lower note. Obviously at that point it diverges by not doing three ascending notes in the lower area, but the vocal melody hits the "original" three notes again right after, as it does in the source melody, and then diverges again to finish the verse.

The second verse (0:46 in arrangement, "All that I am...") follows a similar pattern, but lower, applying to the source melody doing the same at 0:07 in the youtube video. Similarly, the third verse (1:08 in arrangement, "The path that I took...") pretty much follows the breakdown of verse 1. This is structurally different from the source, which goes to a new section rather than repeat the opening.

The next...section (chorus?) (1:30 in arrangement, "Now I know my path...") is based on 0:13 of the source, with the descending line that repeats.

After that is the bridge (1:52 in arrangement, "Now's the time to stand up to your fears...") that is uses some lines of 0:26 and some lines that are similarly inspired, having the two voices weave in and out from each other similar to how that section works in the source.

After that is the breakdown (2:14 in arrangement), where Stevo used the descending lines source (0:13) in the bells.

The last verse (3:21 in arrangement, "Now I must go...") is following the basic structure I laid out for verse 1.

So, as I said, it's definitely a very liberal take on the source. I was using this song as a learning experience for taking a melody line and really working it outside of the source for vocals. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but hopefully with the insight I provided above you can appreciate it a bit more. :)

Edited by DragonAvenger

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The only game I'm familiar with is Saga Frontier II. Really underrated indeed. Very good job with that, OA.

My personal favorites of my first listen are:

The Village of Decay for String Quartet (Ghouls'n Ghosts): absolutely beautiful violin playing.

Hymn of the Eternal Empire [suikoden]: the vocals are excellent! Organ is really good, too.

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The "Secret of Evermore" track is absolutely out of this world. It is my favorite track to come out of OCReMix in as long as I can remember. You didn't mess with the melody much, the parts are all excellently recorded, the arrangement is faithful, yet original, and the execution is flawless. Super amazing fantastic work.

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The "Secret of Evermore" track is absolutely out of this world.

Highly agree. The production, performance, and musicianship are off the charts. (Can't speak for the arrangement, don't know the original.) Audio Fidelity and Jenny Davis should feel proud to have made a track that would feel right at home on any professionally arranged album. Sounds like the lovechild of Kentaro Haneda's & Hiroyuki Namba's Suikoden arrange albums, to be honest!

Also gotta hand out love for OA's cheery SaGa Frontier 2 track. Despite hearing too much of the melody lately (my media player seems to like the Piano Pieces and SQ Cafe versions), "Shimmering" still managed to hold my interest. I enjoy the electronic-ballad style that OA has down... now with even more delicious crunchy drum patterns!™

Vampire Hunter Dan seems to work well under restraint, as I dare say his string-only arrangement turned out quite beautifully. Hope he tries more pieces that are less than full orchestra! Piano trio plz? *pleading puppy eyes*

And gotta love the energy behind Scaredsim & OA's rockin' Ys arrangement. This kind of electro-sympho-acousto-metal steals my heart.

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I just wanted to say how fantastic and beautiful this album is. It all sounds so natural and organic. The time, care and passion comes across on every track. I'm not even familiar with any of the original soundtracks and I just LOVE this album. As was said before, each track works well on its on but there is a lot of cohesion that make this album flow and carry a listener from start to finish. I need to give this one a few more listens but the opening track Heroes Unsung is fantastic in so many ways. The other track that I've fallen for has to be Hero of Celcta.

Overall, its just a fantastic album. There isn't one track I haven't enjoyed or wanted to skip. I'll be listening to this one for quite a while to come.

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