If you were around arcades in the era, you couldn't help but notice the classic shooter Darius, as it was one of the first games to use multiple monitors for a pretty mammoth horizontally-scrolling playing field. The Coop gives us our first ReMix from the seminal 80's classic, which spurned several sequels bearing the "gaiden" suffix. This has a pretty 80's synth feel with maybe an early 90's kick/bass going on, and some orchestra hits also reminiscent of a couple Pet Shop Boys covers ("Always on My Mind", anyone?) - the arrangement is fairly fluid and begins with a tense, minimalist synth pad duet, growing into more elaborate, synth-laden action. However, the sound quality is a little on the murky side and the sampleset could use an upgrade. We've, uhh... mentioned this about The Coop before, that his arrangements are largely solid, but that the sounds, programming, and effects could use a bit more polish. Judge Vigilante writes:
"Allright, coop, you keep getting better...this isnt as mono as your previous mixes, but i still think you could be doing more panwork. The arrangement is good. but i think it's time for a sample upgrade"
...and I don't think he was being too harsh. We'll look to the ReMixer's next submission to maintain the high arrangement quality but definitely improve on mixing, samples, effects, etc. In the meantime, enjoy the arrangement - it does create a nostalgic atmosphere and harken back to the era, and covers a classic, important shooter that seems to have a pretty cool soundtrack that I'd imagine not many are familiar with.
on 2017-08-12 20:28:08
This fits the game perfectly. Getting an early Ys feel mixed with Ninja Gaiden. Really enjoy this piece.
on 2011-12-27 17:39:54
I downloaded this not too long ago, and was happy to see some love for the Darius series, whose music is frankly far too good to have been so ignored on OCR. I might try to tackle Captain Neo (among other tracks) one day, when I get good enough at this remixing stuff (fat chance).
Seeing how much The Coop loves shootemups (and convinced me to buy Darius II for my Saturn), it made sense, when I discovered this Darius mix, that it was made by him. It's a good mix, in my opinion, and has some nice 80s electronica/rock vibe to it.
It's got some nice variation to it too, with a good degree of interpretation. I don't have any real problem with volume, but then again I listen with headphones.
on 2011-12-27 17:17:36
Yaay, The Coop. Between this and his Thunder Force works, I can easily see shooters working remarkably well for his style.
Considering that he used MIDI/keyboard soundbanks - and still does now given his recent Concrete Man work - this is actually a well programmed and dynamic track for the most part; it does suffer a bit from a low volume that's often associated with these soundbanks but it's made up for with some interesting controller manipulation (most often with panning and pitch shifting) and thickening textures that work well for their time.
Arrangement-wise, it manages to show its ties to the source but also takes directions of interest with many of the little florishes thrown in. That flute solo at 2:15 was seen to be a good highlight, with some very well controlled pitch shifting work and subtle attention paid towards it. And the writing surrounding it manages to fit very well with The Coop's playful direction.
It's a shame now that he doesn't submit much music anywhere these days, though his presence has still been held tight with his colorful "Jon Talbain and the Smiley" animated gif signatures which have been a real pleasure to gawk at over the years. Hopefully one of these days he may make a resurgance as a musician, but for what it is, it's fine for its time
(EDIT: And yes Bahamut, parts of the tailend of the source DOES kind of resemble "Ryu's Determination" from Ninja Gaiden, so if you felt a similarity to its writing somewhere, you now know how )
on 2009-12-23 14:27:35
Make or sig animations, remixer of Darius. This could have used some more beefing-out of the mix, eq and volume levels. That doesn't make it any less fun of a listen, though. It's good, not great, but you incorporate a lot of fun stuff to make it deserving of a listen. Most of my beef would be with the production and mix now, because it's very middle-focused. Supping up the high and low a little, and better placement of some instruments in the mix would have made this really shine. As it stands though, it's a nice tribute to Darius' Legacy.
on 2009-11-08 06:43:56
Maybe it's just me, but is the volume too low on this song?
I'm not sure why, but this song is making me think of Ninja Gaiden (the NES one). That isn't a bad thing! I did have a problem with the ending - such a quick drawdown really rubbed off as out of place to me, just the opposite of DA's thoughts there.
on 2009-07-16 00:56:47
There's some really disappointing instrumental support in this, especially through my speakers where the sound came through as blunt and unsatisfying as if it were an amatuer WIP. Maybe I just have fail speakers. Through my headphones, things improved but the samples are still lacking beyond their age. The drums and pads have the biggest issues for me. They do nothing to help the arrangement shine and seem too synonymous with 16 bit gaming. Not sure what the stylistic approach to the instrumentation was, but for me it crossed the line from nostalgic to just suffering from limitations.
This is simply an arrangement piece, and that it does very well. I can definately enjoy it a lot on that level. I just can't help but see this as a failed opportunity to reach for the loftier heights that the arrangement deserves, and not just settle for an E for Effort.
Promising on the writing front; pretty uninspiring elsewhere.
on 2009-01-16 01:51:33
I'd like to take this time to say that mixes that employ several seconds of near-silence to start are not very friendly with me, since I have the instinct to check my headphone volume/mute switch.
I am not familiar with the original. Can't comment on (re)arrangement, but it didn't bore me once I sat down and listened. The instrumentation did sound kind of generic/dull to me though, there wasn't very much beef to hook me in with that. Still pretty good stuff.
on 2008-12-10 23:31:55
Overall, I like this. Listening closely, my reactions are a mixed bag. Examples:
0:07-0:13 - Huh. Sounds like a combination of Super Metroid and Out of this World.
0:32 - Odd little bit, but it doesn't stay too long, so no biggie.
0:45 - Yeah, we rockin'! BAM!
0:53 - Whoa, disappointing drop in intensity...
1:26 - Ew. The lead synth sounds cheesy when exposed like that.
1:47 - Now that's totally 80s right there. Awesome.
2:06 - Oo, sounds like an epic tale of reminiscence or something.
3:38 - It's the 80s all over again. Rejoice!
4:11 - Fitting ending, but could be more pronounced if the synths weren't so muddied together.
Basically, certain synth choices draw different levels of "WTF?" from me, but they aren't dealbreakers if I casually listen to this mix. Others (drums and bass particularly) are strategically placed as underlying mood intensifiers when transitioning to the next section. As said before, The Coop's arrangement prowess exceeds the production side of his mixes. I'm no expert on mixing/mastering/EQing and whatnot, but I think that for its time, this mix isn't that bad.
on 2008-08-26 22:45:27
The sound quality doesn't bother me that much, but perhaps I was preparing for the worst reading the other reviews. It's certainly not great, but it's not that bad that it really detriments my enjoyment of the mix.
Nice composition, and I enjoyed listening to it. Soem parts felt a little slow, with only the melody over the bass, but the parts that had more going on were nice.
on 2006-12-18 11:33:28
Though the synths on this aren't especially strong, the arrangement is fantastic and more than carries the mix.
Things seem to be a bit centered in the middle, which is too bad, because there is a lot going on, and some of it occasionally gets lost.
The song starts out good, with the melody taking up most of the spotlight, with the bass, drums, and pads keeping things moving, but staying out of the way. About halfway, things pick up for a bit before smoothly transitioning to a calm breakdown and buildup, and that's when the song kicks into high gear.
The sixteenth note runs are excellent, though by this point, the drums start getting a little stale, and could use a change in rhythm.
Overall this is a good mix despite a few flaws, and would be completely at home in a PS2 soundtrack.
on 2004-02-01 08:18:06
YAY YAY YAY... waited for someone to remix this tune.. thank you. this gives me chills. memories.
i was going to remix it too.. it would make for a great freestyle remix.
good job with your remix btw. i love the synths. Im not feeling the drum samples much though. shrug
on 2004-01-27 07:36:05
cool, it's nice to hear more remixes of jetshoot-em ups. Although i never played the original Darius, i did get to play SuperDarius (2?) when it came out and i own the PCengine version of it. This track is fun to listen to, it starts off kinda quiet but when everything starts goin and falling into place, it's a great combination of sounds
ps: can anyone try remixing other classic shooters like TwinCobra or Slapfight? man, those bring back memories!
on 2004-01-24 23:45:43
I like this piece. The weak sampleset isn't as big a factor as it was in his orchestral remix, and I think it gives it a nostalgic feel. It sounds for the most part like an upgraded SNES song, which is what it is. And because it's a quirky little piece that touches my heart with it's over-the-top musical stylings in wondrously low-quality synth style.
on 2004-01-23 02:42:37
Nice mix! (says this listener)
FYI, the title of the original tune is "Captain Neo."
on 2004-01-23 00:31:21
Dammit Coop, you've got another one. I should so submit a remix.... but... meh.
Ok, onto the track.
Pretty ok techno piece. Arrangement is pretty good but the quality of the sound is not great. Aw well, you can't always win. It doesn't help that I've never owned a SEGA system to play the game to become versed and be somewhat nostalgic to oberlook the quality of the sound.
The drums need to be tightened up. Pretty good basic rhythm you have, just that it need s to be tightened up a bit with a bit of tweaking. The synths - sequencing is pretty good. The management of the synths are very poor as they are not very clean, flowing or... what's that word. Forget it, it just does not meet that potential of energy that could have been set. The first few synths are not bad, actually pretty good but it gets a little production sloppy.
I guess you are not too interested with the sound quality as opposed to the arrangement but the synths are not too bad. But they certainly could have been a lot better.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Darius (Taito, 1986, ARC)
Music by Eikichi Takahashi, Hisayoshi Ogura, Masahiko Takaki, Naoto Yagishita, Tsukasa Nakamura, Yasuhiko Tanaka
- "Captain Neo"
- 5,248,520 bytes
- Size: 5,248,520 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 063c9bf8dae71c3f018a33bb3e769712
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