ReMix: Dragon Warrior "Journey of Solitude" 4:18

By Russell Cox

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Arranging the music of one song...

"Unknown World"

Primary Game: Dragon Warrior (Nintendo, 1986, NES), music by Koichi Sugiyama

Posted 2002-09-16, evaluated by djpretzel


Oboe and bassoon? It's a good day for the double-reeds as The Talented Mr. Cox utilizes both in the intro to his sweeping symphonic orchestration of Koichi Sugiyama's most popular work, Dragon Warrior. This is lyrical stuff, reminding me of some of the better portions of the Dark Crystal soundtrack (I don't care if it starred muppets, that movie rocked and had a totally underrated score - check it out if you haven't already). With pizzicato violins and bass used at different times, bells, ensemble strings, harp, the afforementioned winds in the more minimalistic introduction, and bombastic unison low brass (viva la low brass! Euphoniums, trombones, and tubas of the world unite!), Russell again makes no sacrifices in terms of instrumentation or sound quality. I've mentioned before how lucky we are to have him around, as he excels at what he does. At 2'59", if you're not into the work, being carried away by the momentous musical push, you simply might not dig orchestral work, as it's moments like this - well built to and singularly breathtaking - that soundtrack composers shoot for when aspiring to create the feel of a vast, stretching landscape filled with opportunity and danger or the fulfillment of a decade-long quest of some earth-saving significance - you get the picture. Though I can't cite any particular reason as to why - maybe it's the discrete construction or especially narrative, transporting style - I did like this a bit more than some of Russell's other pieces, which were already on my short list of impressive orchestral arrangements. Highly recommended.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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AustNerevar
on 2015-07-21 20:23:18

It's shame that there aren't any more Dragon Quest mixes than this. Dragon Quest V for the DS is my favorite of the series and it gets virtually no love.

Why must DQ fans suffer eternally?

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DimeTower
on 2013-06-23 00:56:52

and it suddenly occured to me that while many old-time games are represented (and well honored) by remixers on this site, I had never seen a Dragon Warrior remix. After a quick search, I got to listen to quite a few - but nothing approached this. What an emotional, original feel that does both justice to one of the most distinctly simple-yet-deep melodies a game has ever had. The best of what you're looking for. Get this mix.

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OA
on 2009-11-27 14:24:26

Pretty nice mood set here, the harp writing especially was what set this over the top for me. Very epic feeling overall, and it fits the source music perfectly. The transition 3/4 the way through was a bit weak, I think a little bit of time to let the phrase simmer before hitting the coda would have been better, but still, as is, some nice work from the esteemed Mr. Cox.

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MessagesFromEarth
on 2008-12-08 11:14:45

Dragon Warrior was my first RPG. I was young when I played it, somewhere between 6 and 8, but I remember that even then what drew me intot he game was the overworld theme. Its haunted by lonliness, and while the theme of the quest is also present, I've always thought that it took a back seat to the theme of the solitary hero. This mix is nicely done by adding the epix feel to the piece, and it is interesting to see the two themes that I pictured in the original reversed. Until about 1:05 the mix stays very true to the original tune, but then takes on the epic quality after that. I'm not saying that a song can't be both epic and lonely, but I think that one comes out more than the other.

Great job with this :-)

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Lucentas
on 2008-12-06 21:43:14

The source has been one of my favorite video game tunes since I first heard it in Dragon Warrior Monsters, and I always wanted to hear an epic symphonic rendition of it.

With this arrangement, my wish has been granted. I don't think you could get better than this if you tried, it captures the essence of the source perfectly and is what it should have sounded like if the NES had somehow had CD-quality sound. Also, like djpretzel, I'm definitely getting the Trevor Jones/Dark Crystal vibe from this one, it is very similar to the work he did for that movie's score, which is just another reason for me to like this ReMix.

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DragonAvenger
on 2008-08-24 20:31:20

The source is my favorite DW theme by far, and this arrangement is absolutely fantastic. I would die to hear a live version of it someday. Simply amazing, love it.

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Faduger
on 2006-11-12 06:01:01

The original is really really plain..........the remix is really really not plain....the obvious is said....enjoy

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hansikursch
on 2005-12-22 23:57:57

Just WOW. Russel Cox, you definitely are one composer/remixer.

Words cannot describe such a beautiful piece of art.

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saris340
on 2005-07-06 17:19:44

it's beautiful to say the least. i get the feeling of being in a concert hall. i love it. definitely worth getting.

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sirion
on 2004-08-05 18:34:51

Oh I love orchestral stuff man.

And I really like this remix, simply perfect to me, I've listened this piece for half a day -_-; .

The quality is superb, all arranged by a very experienced musician, it seems an orchestra performed piece, more Russel more please! ^^

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Wolf Tooth
on 2004-03-11 12:28:07

No doute this is the best remix I've heard in a long time. I expecially amused with the harps and strings on this piece.

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fisherman
on 2003-04-03 10:54:24

Fabulous composing... one of the best songs I've downloaded here. This could have been right off the soundtrack of some Lord of the Rings-style movie. I especially like the effective use of key changes, that's something that's overlooked too often... they make the song seem longer - in a good way. Every time there's a key change here, it separates the sections. It's almost like using paragraphs or chapters when writing... imagine if people wrote without those?

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Nobbynob Littlun
on 2003-03-30 14:13:56

Journey of Solitude - excellent descriptive title. I liked "On That Day..." better, but personally. This would be a better song in most ways. Can't really talk technically, as I don't know what sounds to match with what instruments (well, I can recognize clarinets and bass clarinets in a song, but that don't help).

Dragon Warrior was my first RPG, and I remember playing it when I was three years old. All I can remember is some castle I was walking around, something about a... Rainbow Bridge? Um, I remember the boss, don't remember his name, was kinda wimpy looking but tough anyway... oh, and I remember my older brother (9 at the time) asking me how I beat the game at such a low level. Hrm. Since then I've preferred different styles of RPGs, but it was my first. This song would be really awesome as the field music in Ocarina of Time, as Link also very much walks the world alone.

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Blak_Omen
on 2003-01-22 20:56:22

Beethoven was partially deaf.

(I'm just trying hard not to look so stupid.... :roll: )

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Russell Cox
on 2003-01-22 20:52:29
Okay there are three choices here:

1. I'm incredibly stupid.

2. One of your other mixes has a cello ending with some other instrument.

3. I'm partially deaf.

Since I'm trying to be nice I'll go for 3) :)

I've never ended a song with a cello, tough I have begun several songs with one.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Dragon Warrior (Nintendo, 1986, NES)
Music by Koichi Sugiyama
Songs:
"Unknown World"

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File Information


Name:
Dragon_Warrior_Journey_of_Solitude_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,243,949 bytes
MD5:
1aafaabe82d0104fd7e8c4fce126bb26
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
4:18

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