ReMix: Valkyrie Profile "Yggdrasil Speaks to Me"
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4,823,980 bytes, 3:57, 160kbps
Can someone buy Yggdrasil a vowel? Or three? It's downright unnatural to begin even a proper noun with "Yggd," even if it *is* Old Norse. Since Yggdrasil keeps popping into video games left and right, I decided to take some time this Sunday to learn more about it on Wiki. Apparently it means "Odin's Horse"... but it actually refers to the world tree... but there's some other guys who say it actually translates to "tree of terror" OR "yew pillar." Glad I cleared that up for you, eh? No doubt the Mana Tree and Great Deku Tree are distant, far more pronounceable children. Personally, I think it'd make a great marketing name for a soothing but gentle laxative - Yggdrasil©: The Brand you can Trust! - etc. But I digress, thoroughly... newcomer Meteo Xavier gives us a stark & at times stunning arrangement from Valkyrie Profile (with a little Star Ocean thrown in for good measure), the result of a resubmission:
"I am resubmitting my remix of Valkyrie Profile's EPIC POEM TO SACRED DEATH and REQUIEM FOR A PREDICAMENT which also contains a leitmotif from THEME OF RENA. I have literally pushed my computer to its limits (in terms of memory and processing) to fix this as per the judge's suggestions and I think I got most of it down. The only part I'm not absolutely confident in is the string section using THEME OF RENA. I used every string instrument I had and that's the best I could come up with.
Again, the central idea for this remix was to envision a mission of Valkyrie Profile where Lenneth and her Einherjar needing to find Yggdrasil in a forest surrounded by evil. She and her warriors get chased by the many evil spirits as she makes her way through the forest, getting hopelessly lost and starting to panic when, lo and behold, she stumbles onto Yggdrasil (marked by the change to REQUIEM FOR A PREDICAMENT). Therefore, again, this song is supposed to be a dark forest theme and I listened to a lot of Yasunori Mitsuda and tried to keep a lot of Motoi Sakuraba's signature song stuff (loud strings, loud crashes, overemphasis on dark sound and reverb and such) intact. I left the song trailing off from there to signify the end of a chapter.
Thank you again for re-judging my re-submitted re-mix."
ALRIGHT. On behalf of the panel, you're re-welcome. Things intro with dark, rolling acoustic guitar, as foresty-type FX enter, very effectively creating the feel the ReMixer described above. Tempo-delayed piano follows, trading with choir, as timpani rolls introduce a fuller orchestral presence. FX continue throughout, which keeps up the atmosphere instead of making it an intro-only affair - good call, there - and french horn and synth bells figure prominently towards the end. Reminds me of GrayLightning a bit at times, actually. There's an odd patch a little later that judges did cite as being problematic, but not overly so - Vinnie writes:
"Had no problem with the arrangement last time and nothing has changed in that respect this time. My biggest problem with the last sub was fixed here, so that's a good start. The piano is now the centerpoint of the piece and gives the listener an anchor. Maybe could stand to be a little more prominent at points, but I'm pretty happy with it now. Mixing is stronger, and string timings sound better too. My only concern is the 2:23-2:49 section that Larry mentioned. Some of the timing seems a little off there, and along with some unusual note choices, it's a weak link in the song. Since it's such a small section I'm willing to still say YES to this one; there's enough good in this song that it passes our bar, as far as I'm concerned. Nice work, Meteo."
While I'm not 100% on everything in that section having been intentional, the odd choices do actually contribute to a feeling of unease that permeates most of the arrangement, so in that sense it at least works thematically. Overall I really like the blend of solo instruments, orchestral elements, and creepy, otherwordly fx that Meteo's come up with. Based on what he was trying to accomplish as laid out in his submission email, I think he succeeded; creative arrangement, full & atmospheric production, and a strong & well-executed concept make this a solid debut.
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