ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening "Forest of Hysteria" 6:07

By Platonist

Artist Links
Arranging the music of one song...

"Mysterious Forest"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo, 1993, GB), music by Kazumi Totaka, Koji Kondo, Kozue Ishikawa, Minako Hamano

Posted 2008-03-03, evaluated by the judges panel


A unique, lo-fi, chiptunish, and pretty liberal Link's Awakening ReMix from newcomer Platonist, aka Jonas Loman. He writes:

"the song i remixed is originally called Mysterious Woods but my remix is called "Forest of Hysteria." i made it in Impulse Tracker (or rather- its clone for windows "Schism Tracker") i have mastered it in Wavelab to gain some/alot of quality, using Eq's and Maximizing .. the mix itself though was made in impulse/ further comment should be that the intro/the last part of the track is an arrangement of the midpart of the track which sounds disharmonic. . but really isn't if you look deeper into it .. i arranged it in such a way to gain more flexibility in creativity."

There's definitely a compelling texture here that marries chippish bits with more elaborate processing, and the programming/modulation really tie in to the nuts and bolts of the arrangement itself. Judges were keen on the production but the liberal arrangement, which steers relatively clear of melodic hooks, raised a few eyebrows. Larry spotted what seems like an allusion to the original main theme from the NES towards the end of the arrangement, but it turns out that wasn't the ReMixer's intention, just a coincidentally similar interval. This was definitely a happy accident, as Larry put it in his notes, as it adds a bit more "Zelda" to what otherwise teeters on the very impressionistic side of arrangement. Andy, who recently returned from meeting Nobuo Uematsu at the Distant Worlds concert in Chicago, writes:

"Cool mix. The production is polished and clean, with good mixing/mastering, but at the same time it's got a gritty & lo-fi sound on a lot of the instruments that really works. The texture evolves throughout the course of piece, even though the actual dynamics don't change that much (volume-wise) which gives it a feel of motion - I don't really think it needs to be cut down at all. Arrangement is also great. This mix exemplifies how you can do a lot with not only the melodies of a source, but the chord progression and harmony riffs. The mixer has added original writing that really fits in with the source material and the end result is definitely solid. My only possible complaint might be a lack of more direct melody usage, but I think there is more than enough arrangement derived in some form from the source tunes (be it an arpeggio, chord progression, backing riff, rhythm, etc.) to qualify it as an OC ReMix."

Well said; creative and exploratory first ReMix from Platonist. You can find more of his original stuff, along with the original works of several other OC ReMixers, at reuniverse.org.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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eggsngaming
on 2016-04-01 19:19:53

(copy-pasted from my YouTube comment :P)

Such a great mix. Great beat throughout, with a distorted vibe makes you feel like you're lost in an endless foggy forest. Then from 4:00 when it picks up, you feel desperate to get out of this weird dream you've found yourself in.

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Marmiduke
on 2013-07-19 09:51:50

I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. The intro made me reel back, as it comes on quite strong and I got the feeling that the hard lo-fi production had been over-emphasised a tad. But it turns out that it does melt into the fuller spectrum once things get kicking, and I got really into where the mix was going.

Personally, I think the mix overreaches and could have definitely used a bit of a tighten, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it repetitive (at least not detrimentally). Most of the mix sounds like it has good purpose, and yet I find myself wanting each section to flow a little brisker.

Such an irregular mix in both sound and structure is always going to divide people. I for one think this is a fantastic treatment of the source that recalls the golden age of Gameboy music; the good and the bad.

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Platonist
on 2013-01-19 17:22:24
And for review 200 of this month, I go BACK to Link's Awakening (as if that wasn't obvious enough for the intention, haha) and take a look at some recent-ish pre-Threshold material there. Hello Platonist :)

*bows* Hello.

The chippy melody line, I believe is a clear production highlight - it was cleverly manipulated with what seems like a wobble filter that could've fit lovely on a dubstep wobble, though works equally as well on square waves too.

ping-pong looping the right sample and using it at the right time in the right mix also works, without any wobbly filters :)

Very fun track all around with some neat tense synth writing and chiptune manipulation slightly pre-dating halc's pixelated showers. Captures the spirit of the source quite tensely, and I hope he'll be able to contribute to the site again some point soon :D

thanks for the lengthy review. very much appreciated.

university has been holding me back since 2009. I'm done now.

and very much back in the game. :nicework:

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Rexy
on 2011-12-31 09:23:56

And for review 200 of this month, I go BACK to Link's Awakening (as if that wasn't obvious enough for the intention, haha) and take a look at some recent-ish pre-Threshold material there. Hello Platonist :)

When I first heard the track, I remembered being somewhat dazzled by the means of rendering; starts out lo-fi with synths that bear resemblances to tesla coils, and when the beat comes in with the rhythmic part that bears a resemblance to the Zelda 1 dungeon theme, before mutating into the chord structure for the A section, one can clearly see the arrangement quality being brought into it.

The chippy melody line, I believe is a clear production highlight - it was cleverly manipulated with what seems like a wobble filter that could've fit lovely on a dubstep wobble, though works equally as well on square waves too. That to me is some insanely covered writing covered with that synth; may have wanted it a little higher up in the mix though, but as it is it's wonderfully crafted and fits with the mix's atmosphere.

The piano coming in basing the next section entirely on section B was a good touch; a little mechanical, but for the mix's genre it was practically needed to add more tension towards the track, and for what it was it works. I felt it was significantly clearer to me at 4:36 when it was transposed up an octave to go with the faster moving beats, and to see it blend in with the chippy synth later shows a great deal of attention placed towards texturing and really helped fill in the much needed high frequencies within this build. It's a shame that the mix to me ends rather suddenly not long after this build, though given the length of the track I can understand the intent.

I know the judges had this qualm of the mix being too "liberal", but taken from experience in playing the game I had sensed a clear amount of recognisable source from when the chord progression came through at 1:15 all the way through to the end. It's such a strange source to work with, true, but I felt with the material he had he ended up getting the arrangement component nail on the head. So I guess my feelings in regards to source identification may have been different from the 2008 judge roster, but for me as long as it's there for a fair chunk of the mix, it qualifies.

Very fun track all around with some neat tense synth writing and chiptune manipulation slightly pre-dating halc's pixelated showers. Captures the spirit of the source quite tensely, and I hope he'll be able to contribute to the site again some point soon :D

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Guardian_Force
on 2011-03-20 14:00:20

I'm not sure I have all these terms right (I'm just starting to dip my toes into the wonderful world of audio), but here's my opinion.

I don't recall every bit of the original Mysterious Woods tune, but I do vividly remember the scene from the game where you first met the Owl upon trying to head north into the woods.

The original song immediately gave a vibe of entering a dangerous area. In this remix, around 0:32, a repeating theme(?) starts up which to me, clearly reminds me of the Zelda 1 Underworld (Dungeon) theme. That caused my mind to immediately signal "DANGER".

The whole remix seems to have a very low-quality feel to a lot of it, and that's not usually my thing, but here it works. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the sound from the "Mako Reactor" FF7 song. Industrial, perhaps it's called? (someone also mentioned a DnB feel, and I agree with that assessment too)

I don't like every remix to feel like it needs to be able to fit perfectly into an existing category. This might not be an every day listen for me, but I can totally appreciate it for it's unique twist on a memorable tune.

Kudos to the Remixer :)

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Platonist
on 2009-12-10 18:06:41
Dear Platonist,

How are you? I am fine. Camp is fun here in the forest, there is lots to do, and many textures to hear. I like the synths. The percussion is cool. The best part is the breakdown with the piano! LOL!

It is cool how it builds back up again too. The song is 6 minutes long but feels shorter. It is very good.

Please write back!

Your pal,

OA

ROFL

ok

Dear Nintendo Champion,

I'm good, are you good or are good you or you are good too?

I am glad you enjoy the forest, i suppose the wind sound alot like your head, does it not, my dear pal. so . uhm LOL?

Your University Examinator,

Academica De La R(L)oc(k)a

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OA
on 2009-12-10 17:56:58

Dear Platonist,

How are you? I am fine. Camp is fun here in the forest, there is lots to do, and many textures to hear. I like the synths. The percussion is cool. The best part is the breakdown with the piano! LOL!

It is cool how it builds back up again too. The song is 6 minutes long but feels shorter. It is very good.

Please write back!

Your pal,

OA

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halc
on 2009-10-24 01:14:31

this track kicks so much ass

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Platonist
on 2009-04-22 06:57:28
I can't not like this. Hysteria just LEAKS out of this mix's pores. Each well-defined section boasts a level of tension to be reckoned with, never feeling out of place. And the way the synths are processed, you'd think they lost their minds or something (which can only be a good thing).

Electrically charged synths enter the woodwork as if to signal approaching danger, and the 4-note arpeggio entering at 0:29 seems to say, "I'm the boss and don't you forget it!" as evidenced by its beefiness and the way its DnB underlings support it. 2:35+ extrapolates both the arrangement and the mood automatically and in a fitting way. The piano chords playing the second half of the source at 3:20 direct the mix into a whole new direction, more focused and foreboding than before, soon joined by the mainstay synths and percussion.

And then 4:30 strikes. While the eponymous hysteria dominates, the background synth playing around with the melody is a subtle but interesting touch. Then at 6:00... silence? A bird chirping, maybe? (I like how that lingering synth gives that impression.) Everything seems tranquil, unperturbed. Maybe I'M crazy for imagining the hysteria, ha ha. :-P

8O:lol:

that's the nicest review i've gotten so far. you realized exactly (in every detail) what i was trying to capture in this one... and the noisy feel didn't even start to distract you even once, thank you and thanx for listening ^^

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Polo
on 2009-04-17 07:22:29

I can't not like this. Hysteria just LEAKS out of this mix's pores. Each well-defined section boasts a level of tension to be reckoned with, never feeling out of place. And the way the synths are processed, you'd think they lost their minds or something (which can only be a good thing).

Electrically charged synths enter the woodwork as if to signal approaching danger, and the 4-note arpeggio entering at 0:29 seems to say, "I'm the boss and don't you forget it!" as evidenced by its beefiness and the way its DnB underlings support it. 2:35+ extrapolates both the arrangement and the mood automatically and in a fitting way. The piano chords playing the second half of the source at 3:20 direct the mix into a whole new direction, more focused and foreboding than before, soon joined by the mainstay synths and percussion.

And then 4:30 strikes. While the eponymous hysteria dominates, the background synth playing around with the melody is a subtle but interesting touch. Then at 6:00... silence? A bird chirping, maybe? (I like how that lingering synth gives that impression.) Everything seems tranquil, unperturbed. Maybe I'M crazy for imagining the hysteria, ha ha. :-P

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Platonist
on 2008-04-05 16:06:25
Give me your .it files :V

actually .. i might give you one or two :)

so ya, if anyone wants anything just pm your email or something and i'll send you a couple of itz

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Vesh
on 2008-03-20 00:49:58
Give me your .it files :V

Ditto.

I love tracked music and Link's Awakening (will likely forever by my favorite LoZ) but never been too into super-crunchy lo-fi, although there are a few extremely intentionally scratchy mods that I still listen to several times a week. All that in consideration, I'm glad I listened to this mix but I doubt it'll fall into my regular playlist soon. While it's a faithful interpretation and a good example of lo-fi, it's missing some kind of hook to make it stand out from either other mods I have on various HDDs or other Link's Awakening mixes.

-- BUT --

...it does show a proper, honest soul for oldschool games and oldschool tracked music. That spirit is highly appreciated and just because this track may not become a regular listen, that doesn't mean I wont be eagerly awaiting Platonist's next mixes (yes, that's plural, damnit!).

I'd love to hear what you can do with heaps and gobs of more up-to-date software later. Stick with the tracker for a few more mixes. =]

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Jaybell
on 2008-03-15 21:56:04

I love this kind of experimental type music. If you could call it that?

This has a very distinct sound and I love that. I can see why other's wouldn't love that, though, it's very rough and gritty and kind of repetitive. But it's also unique, and something I don't hear often, so it has that.

All in all, I like it. I can't really say for sure why, but I do.

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Liontamer
on 2008-03-15 15:17:59
from djpretzel's writeup:

"Larry spotted what seems like an allusion to the original main theme from the NES towards the end of the arrangement, but it turns out that wasn't the ReMixer's intention, just a coincidentally similar interval."

uhm, NO it WAS intentional, but since it only covers the first of the X chords in the NES theme, it doesn't qualify as a Zelda 1 remix .. if i had done more with the bassline it could've been.. but now i only borrowed the interval, it doesn't mean that i remixed the theme :smile:

Yeah, no worries, that was his mistake in interpreting my panel vote. :-)

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Platonist
on 2008-03-15 14:27:22

from djpretzel's writeup:

"Larry spotted what seems like an allusion to the original main theme from the NES towards the end of the arrangement, but it turns out that wasn't the ReMixer's intention, just a coincidentally similar interval."

uhm, NO it WAS intentional, but since it only covers the first of the X chords in the NES theme, it doesn't qualify as a Zelda 1 remix .. if i had done more with the bassline it could've been.. but now i only borrowed the interval, it doesn't mean that i remixed the theme :smile:

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo, 1993, GB)
Music by Kazumi Totaka, Koji Kondo, Kozue Ishikawa, Minako Hamano
Songs:
"Mysterious Forest"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Chiptune, Electronic, Synth
Additional:
Time > Duration: Long

File Information


Name:
Legend_of_Zelda_Link's_Awakening_Forest_of_Hysteria_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,351,017 bytes
MD5:
07b0c3b9e5e8b9a863b304025b419ed5
Bitrate:
136Kbps
Duration:
6:07

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