Sign in to follow this  
Gario

OCR03683 - *YES* Banjo-Kazooie, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Super Mario Bros. "The Last Laugh"

7 posts in this topic

ReMixer Name: Tyler Gill

Email: 
Userid: 19188
 
Submission: 
Title: The Last Laugh
Game: Banjo-Kazooie and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (with cameos from Super Mario Bros.)
(Banjo-Kazooie is still the primary game though)
 
Comments:
Banjo-Kazooie and Mario & Luigi were both some of my favorite games growing up, and the music was a large part of that. I remember getting a headphone adapter for my GBA SP just so I could close the lid and listen to Cackletta's theme, and Gruntilda's theme was one of the first video game songs I figured out how to play on the piano. As the two characters are both witches, and both have quite distinctive laughs, I had the brilliant idea of a title for a song that could combine the two together - The Last Laugh. The name just fit so well, I had to write the song to go along with it. (It wasn't until this point that I realized the two songs are in different time signatures...but that just made it more of a fun challenge.)
 
This song tells the story of the final battle between the hero and the villain:
 
0:00-0:05 - The hero enters the chamber with the final boss.
0:05-0:23 - The hero looks around the room, searching for the villain.
0:23-1:09 - The villain steps from the shadows - cue monologue...
1:09-1:22 - The villain knows something the hero doesn't - suspense builds...
1:22-1:34 - The villain springs their trap! A new baddie appears!
1:34-1:46 - The hero springs into action.
1:46-2:21 - The battle rages!
2:21-2:27 - The villain is getting weak...
2:27-2:34 - The villain gets their second wind!
2:34-2:40 - The hero strikes back!
2:40-3:18 - The villain falls...
3:18-3:24 - ...but will be back!
 
The breakdown is similar to the story:
 
0:00-0:05 Intro (original)
0:05-1:09 Gruntilda's Lair
1:09-1:22 Bridge (original)
1:22-1:34 Cackletta's Theme
1:34-2:21 Super Mario Overworld
2:21-2:27 Gruntilda's Lair (4/4 time)
2:27-2:34 Cackletta's Theme
2:34-2:40 Banjo's Theme
2:40-2:50 Bridge (original)
2:50-3:18 Cackletta's Theme (12/8 time)
3:18-3:24 Gruntilda's Lair
 
Source songs:
Gruntilda's Lair (http://ocremix.org/song/1389)
Main Theme (http://ocremix.org/song/1380)
Just a cameo from this song (which is usually used as Banjo's theme) is used. That same snippet is also used in a number of other songs in the game. It probably isn't enough to call this a 'source' song.
Cackletta's Theme (not in OCR DB)
Overworld BGM (http://ocremix.org/song/225)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic concept, wonderful execution.  I love the narrative, which works out perfectly, and the heroic Mario theme in minor key was brilliant (although a little dark to really sell the story).  Great, evocative performance.  My only crit is that this is mastered a little quietly, maxing out at about -1.7dB.  Otherwise, great job!

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has a really cool way to handle the sources, though the arrangement is relatively ho-hum with the plain textures used throughout. The performance is pretty well done, though, so while it's simple it's well performed, so I suppose I don't have TOO much ground to gripe on. Some moments have some pretty excessive pedal bleed over (like at 1:00 and 2:36 - 2:42). In general the pedal is handled well, but watch out for passages with lots of lower octave notes - the harmonics of those lower registers will cause all sorts of clashing if the pedal holds too much at once. A few of the repeated notes for the Mario section (particularly at 1:40) has an issue where the note doesn't strike on the second note. I'm nitpicking here, but it's something to be more careful with in the future. 

The harmonies in the background don't flow very well. Be more meticulous on your voice leading in the future - while it works harmonically, moving from chord to chord sounds pretty stale due to simply using closed root block chords for a good deal of the song. The arpeggios sound better spaced and thus flow better from chord to chord, but at 1:48 arpeggiating plain open fifths makes the harmonies sound hollow and uninteresting, and moving from open fifth to open fifth is textbook terrible voice leading. For most submissions, poor voice leading doesn't bother me too much (not enough to turn a vote of mine, anyway), but it really hurts an arrangement that is otherwise using simple textures for a piano arrangement - there's little in this to take my attention away from the voice leading.

I'm on the fence on this one. The performance issues aren't nearly enough to merit a NO, but the combination of simple arrangement with clunky motion makes this difficult for me to sit through. I'll let others give their voice on this one before I come in with a vote.

 

EDIT (05/24): Bleh, I still don't like the motion from chord to chord, but I'm flexible on these things - while it's technically not just a personal gripe (since, yes, there ARE rules on voice leading one should heed), it's something that's bugging me more than others. It's still a clever arrangement that's well performed, so I can give it my thumbs up. Do keep your voice leading in mind next time around, though - it often makes the difference between a good piece and a great one.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree that there's a lot of this that uses a lot of simpler voice leading and chords, but I still felt the arrangement was fairly emotive. The story told is clearly presented as well. Greg does have some great advice that I think you should take note of for future arrangements, however. I'm good giving this a go-ahead as-is though!

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/18/2017 at 0:48 PM, DragonAvenger said:

I do agree that there's a lot of this that uses a lot of simpler voice leading and chords, but I still felt the arrangement was fairly emotive. The story told is clearly presented as well. Greg does have some great advice that I think you should take note of for future arrangements, however. I'm good giving this a go-ahead as-is though!

YES

This.

I didn't take as much issue as Gario with the harmonies, they aren't too complex for the most part, but they are effective, and the strong point in this track, in my opinion, it's the storytelling and the quite daunting task of taking so many sources and condensing them into a 3 minutes arrangement at have it make sense, and be very enjoyable as well.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll go in the minority; the piano sample was too thin and exposed throughout. When things started out with a delicate sound toward the higher notes on the piano, it wasn't a big deal, but as soon as this hit :23, it was apparent that the piano sample was very thin and unnatural. A richer sound would have made the piece sound more realistic and covered up some of the stiffer-sounding moments. The arrangement and interpretation were fine, but this piano was pretty lacking, and I felt that undermined the dynamics of the piece as well. Pretty surprised this sailed through. I'd like to get more votes on this, i.e. a 5th YES or some reconsideration of the votes here.

NO (resubmit)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice tidy arrangement. Your melding of different sources was quite impressive here, with no real points in time where I found the transitions jarring or overly noticeable. I somewhat agree with Larry regarding the piano in this piece. Being a solo piece, it was certainly noticeable that the piano lacked body and weight in its notes. When notes were struck with more velocity the patch felt better, while softer portions were a bit weaker and underperforming in comparison. If there were other production issues present here as well (eg: strong compression of dynamics, narrow stereo width, sharp EQ), this would have certainly caused my vote to go elsewhere, however I didn't find the piano lacking so much that its lack of weight dragged it under. Pacing and articulations across the arrangement feel well done, and while not overly complex, there was a good level of variety to be heard here - which certainly helped take the attention away from the patch being fairly average.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this