ReMix: God of War 'Minotaur Nightmares'
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God of War is an amazing game. No, I haven't beaten it, and I'm not really that far, but even from the first level alone - even from the first PART of the first level - anyone who's been playing games awhile can recognize that a lot of elements came together very successfully to facilitate the sort of experience it creates. It combines the fluid motions and mechanics of the more recent Prince of Persia games with an epic sense of scale, a completely cohesive and brilliant aesthetic sense, some of the best camera work I've ever seen in any game, period, and a beautiful score. If you watch the making-of documentary on the disc, you really get a sense of the hell the team went through and the perfectionism and excellence that was encouraged and achieved across the board. Anyways, this isn't a game review, but I wanted to throw my two cents in. As a side note, I've met Gerard Marino, one of the composers, and he's a great guy. As is Christopher Getman, perhaps better known as Mazedude. Not just for giving us yet another great ReMix, but for turning our attention specifically to American game composers, with his American Album project. Because many of the titles we cherished from the 8- and 16-bit eras were primarily Japanese, often the same nostalgic appreciation and fanboy fanaticism never gets directed towards the deserving composers closer to home (for most of us), and Chris has really done a fantastic job of helping to mitigate that. Be sure to check out the interview with Chris, Mustin, Tommy Tallarico and others, too - awesome!
On to the mix; our first GoW piece is a definite keeper. Then again, that applies to pretty much everything Mazedude does, so let's delve a bit deeper. What we've got here is basically an industrial... waltz. Not often do you see these two beasts mated in captivity, but if there's a zoologist that can breed such a chimera, it's the dude of maze. Chris writes:
"Originally an epic piece of grandeur - complete with orchestra and choir - now a killer industrial waltz of synthy splendor, complete with many custom samples created by Mazedude.
That, and a few Lord of the Rings samples, as well as some of the coolest lead sounds I could find in the world of tracking.
So, true story. My girlfriend, Goddess Julia, was hanging out late into the night, and fell asleep. I was still wide awake, and determined that I wanted to remix this song. I applied the headphones and got to work. A few hours later I have an awesome start, a few minutes mixed, and I've really been enjoying myself, when my girl starts making some very uncomfortable noises, like she's in pain. I stop what I'm doing and console her. "You were having a nightmare," I say, as I calm her down and ease her back into a nice sleep.
The next day I'm all like "hey, let me show you what I wrote last night!" I start to play it, and she snaps back and yells "that's the song that was playing in my nightmare last night!!!" ... apparently I had it cranked pretty loud inside the headphones.
Sounds to me like I have a winner on my hands here. :)"
Said Goddess Julia has since become Mrs. Getman, so I suppose the moral of the story is that writing industrial waltzes in the wee hours of the morning can lead to wedlock. Congratulations to Chris - a husband is you! As an additional bit of anecdotal wonder, Mr. Marino himself really enjoyed this piece, and said so himself when he met Mazedude in L.A.... I tell ya, all these west coast peeps, networking all the time and going to shindigs with bigwigs... just ain't fair! This mix has a demonic, industrial, tracked feel that reminds me a little of Ari's Neighburgers opus. This is a really great example of how even lush, modern, film-class game scores can be ReMixed into entirely different creations; things are obviously and intentionally less pristine, and the overall genre has been modified substantially. Nevertheless, as with all Mazedude compositions, the heart and soul of the original are still present and beating/doing whatever it is that souls do. This isn't what I'd expect from our first God of War ReMix, but I like that fact, and I like the mix too. Chris is a busy guy and just trying to keep up with whatever he's working on is a daunting task, but it's great that he keeps releasing amazing, free game music arrangements, and doubly great that he's taken on the personal mission of focusing on the wealth of talented American game composers. Kratos would be pleased.
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