ReMix: Metal Gear Solid "Legend of the Snake 2: Snake versus Dragon"

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Metal Gear Solid

I love Reuben's work, and this is probably my favorite piece of his yet; it deserves a lot of attention and should receive it, given that it covers the main themes to three of the best games ever made (there's no such thing as "Kojima fanboyism" - just appreciation for games as a modern art form), and it's dramatically arranged with plenty of money orchestral moments and assertive percussion. There's subtlety here, too, with widely variating instrumentation including fantastic choral work, some ethnic infusions here and there, and electronic percussion bumping shoulders with its symphonic snare, cymbal and timpani brethren. RK writes:

"The original "Legend of the Snake" was done as an experiment to try combine elements of orchestra, digital beats, western new age and oriental new age altogether. One year and many projects later, I got the funny idea to see how much I've improved... plus I managed to include the theme song from mgs3. My inspiration for this one is once again, fighting. A heroic build up, the pre battle-meditation, remembering why he fights, and then the fight, a setback, gathering the strength to stand up again, and then finally the victory. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time and experimented to so much to learn and discover new aspects to arranging before. Hope you guys enjoy XD"

Kee's first LoS mix was certainly nothing to sneeze at, but he definitely has improved since then, and this mix should be widely accessible due not only to improved production but slicker arrangement, particularly in transition, and a faster overall pace and heightened sense of energy and momentum. Jesse puns:

"This is solid (not liquid) stuff. The dynamics are fantastic, the interpretation is liberal (aka creative), but the piece is obviously MGS at its core."

These are classic themes; the main theme from MGS2 in particular, I believe, is one of those pieces of game music that's going to stick with this generation of gamers just as SMB, Zelda, and Chrono Trigger have stuck with us, and deservedly so - there's not too many classic, memorable, non-derivative melodies being penned even for big budget Hollywood action movies these days, and this composition can quite comfortably stand on its own in the company of the very best from better times. RK does it complete justice, as well, coloring outside the lines but respecting the raw power of the source material and letting it breathe. Great mix, very enjoyable, representative of both quantifiable technical and subjective emotional improvements in the ReMixer's work.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
OutSpoken
on 2011-07-05 02:23:40

http://reoganworks.blogspot.com/2011/02/song-of-week-315.html

Reuben Kee is a legend in my book. Absolutely amazing.

OA
on 2009-12-02 16:05:32

Seems like every single Metal Gear theme ever was covered here, and surprisingly, it really works well, with strong transitions and great crescendos. Very emotive playing in addition to great samples makes for a thrilling sonic ride. RIP Reuben.

MediaMisfit
on 2008-09-20 13:48:21

I always loved listening to the Metal Gear Solid sound track and I think that this arrangement is BEAUTIFUL!

Great job!

Hyperion5182
on 2007-11-26 12:43:57

I can only hope that someone will rise up to be as good as this man was. The music he did was epic in so many ways. This is another example of absolute joy for the ears.

Rest in peace Reuben Kee you will be missed.

Sam Ascher-Weiss
on 2007-11-25 02:13:08

AMAZING WORK this song had a huge influence on me and was actually the basis of the structure for the last two movements of ender's game

Flare4War
on 2007-11-25 00:46:57

Yet another masterpiece by Reuben Kee.

Stouffer
on 2006-10-24 19:04:18

Definetly a worth while remix! Its very well done and does justice to the song. Keep up the good work! :D

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2006-10-22 21:58:46

FANTASTIC. Your previous Metal Gear rearrangement did not, imo, have the same kind of energy and climactic progression as [my favorite song of yours] Cosmo Canyon. This, however... this is a most worthy song. Also, you used taiko drums like taiko drums - in the earlier Metal Gear mix they felt more like how snare drums would be used, obviously a good thing!

I especially like the transition at 2'51.

Gamemusofan13
on 2006-10-06 05:00:33

for some time now ive been coming to ocremix, and for some time there hasent been a good remix until now

how he captures metal gear is beautiful the part that sticks out with me is the 2:25 mark when the following music ensues its a classic peice and even my g/f too a liking too it

great work reu keep at it man

kitty
on 2006-09-29 02:35:39

Songs like this are the very reason why I come to OCR. Reuben captures the very essence of the MGS theme. Definitely one of the best remixes I've listened to so far.

finn
on 2006-09-20 11:08:22

Wow. All right, I am seriously impressed. I lack the commendations or technical knowledge to give my opinion any weight, but I can say from a pure enjoyment perspective, this mix has sincerely made my morning. And woken me up, too. Listening to this while running will up my speed half again, I am sure. Thanks for this fantastic work.

JT673
on 2006-09-17 22:53:53

Pictures say a thousand words, but this...there aren't enough words to decribe this beautiful song! I laughed. I cried. I can't get enough of this! Excellent engineering, nice, large palette of emotions, and great ending! 10/10!

Zero_
on 2006-09-17 07:53:12

Wow... this certainly reaks of high quality, and I absolutely love it. However, to be honest, I think I enjoy the first version better, perhaps it's the fact that the melody is more distinguishable in the first one that it is in the second one. However, I must say Reuben, the piano rendition of MGS3's main theme at the start and at the end is absolutely fantastic, great job.

darkpearl
on 2006-09-16 19:10:47

Not trying to be to harsh, but I think you guys give him to much credit. I've spoken to him a few times and I have to say I'm amazed how humble he is, giving that you guys praise him this much.

You guys keep talking how professional this sounds, altough I disagree, he knows my opinion and respects what I say about his remixes, so don't be like: you're just full of bullc**p.

First: Altough the composition is very good, I was a bit disapointed about the sound. It does sound good, but it could be better. It doesn't sound realistic enough to fool me. I know Reu uses a lot of soundfonts, but the whole piece would sound better with decent samples. Of course everyone could disagree with me and say that you can make every sample sound as realistic as you want. Well, then you should teach Reu.

My biggest problem with this piece was the piano. The final segment where he plays those glissandos sounds very very bad (in my opinion). The piano doesn't stand out and sounds very compressed. Also, where he used reverb on all the other instruments, he didn't on the piano, so it doesn't blend in with the whole arrangement.

I followed the progress on this piece and in the first version he didn't have the orchestral hits at the end. Eventough they add some power to the composition, I don't find them very suitable. They just don't seem to fit there. This is of course my opinion and most of you probably will disagree.

I surely don't disagree Reu is very talented, it's just a shame he never attended some sort of classical music training. He could have gotten way better than he is now. His piano compositions for example have no variation at all. If you listened to one, you've almost heard them all.

I'm not trying to bring him down (he knows), I'm just giving him very strict criticism. I think he has more to a lot of criticism than to a lot of praise.

Oh, and if you say this sounds like the rock, it's pretty normal as the composer of MGS2 and 3 (Harry Gregson-Williams) wrote the biggest part of the ost of the rock :P

Also, even if I was pretty hard on Reu, the composition is very very good.

Blake
on 2006-09-16 17:27:48

Holy shit. Reuben Kee, this is beautiful. This makes my spine tingle, LOTS. Let's not just say this SOUNDS like it was professional made, it WAS professional made. Reuben Kee, you sir are professional. Plus many emotional moments, GOOD emotional moments, and as DJP would say, "money" scenes. Man. OCReMix just becomes more and more legitamite for great music with mixes like Dragonsong, Pillar of Salt, and this.