ReMix: Super Mario Land 'Why So Serious?'
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So, craziness: SGC rocked last weekend, and we were lucky enough to be there. Larry and I were also lucky enough to end up as the finalists in the HD Remix tourney, but my lime green Ken sadly fell to the overwhelming masculine security of his pink T-hawk. We got this on video, but I'm currently looking for someone skilled enough to edit it so it looks like I won. Handily. There was a Nolan Bushnell keynote, a presentation and debate with Jack Thompson himself, and plenty of other awesomeness. If this con doesn't repeat next year and keep growing, there be no justice. We also need to send a major shout out to GPX Gaming - these guys run the gaming operations at tons of awesome events and do a first-class job. Manny hooked us up with speakers in the dealer's room so people could actually HEAR our shizz, and Javier and Glen made sure everything went smoothly with our live remix request set and HDR prize giveaway. It was glorious; we're definitely psyched about hanging with them again at Game Unicon in August.
We've been extra-super-busy with the convention circuit this summer, which has really exploded. Two additional announcements on that front:
- Larry, Vinnie and myself will be running our very first West Coast panel at this year's PAX in September!
- Also, for anyone still on the fence about whether to go to Otakon (C'mon! Get serious!), we can simply assure you that we have special plans for this panel in particular that may or may not rhyme with "Trinal Bantasy Gore"... cryptic, eh?
Now on to the mix: halc showed up last year with a great Tetris Attack mix, and it's good to see him back in action in 2009, this time collabing with neighbor chthonic, whose last mix was (sadly) "way back" in 2007. Crazy, eh? Andrew writes:
"Let me start by saying that Super Mario Land is really hard. We've been producing this on Ben's computer, and there's no internet at his place, so everytime we needed to hear the source tune for Stage 2-1, I had to pick up the Gameboy and beat the first three stages, which was like... extremely difficult (for me, anyway) at first. Now I can play through the first three stages flawlessly without losing any lives. Enjoy and god bless the chip."
I'm really not a hardcore gamer, but I actually thought SML was pretty easy back in the day... I remember beating it and looping back to the beginning to accrue more extra lives - those bonus games were certainly helpful. I think the hardest thing about that game was playing on the Game Boy's un-backlit screen in low light, when the entire game basically looked like one big indeterminate greenish blob. Still, rather cool that the process for this mix involved playing the actual game each time they needed a source reference, and it seems like halc's platforming skills benefitted from the process. Ben writes:
"What to say. First off, I should probably mention that this is a collaborative effort... halcyon and I live in the same area, and we recently started using my brand new desktop pc. I thought of this theme on a whim, and we ran with it for a few months until it became this strange little super mario opus. This psuedo-chip tronica of sorts is becoming one of my personal favorite soundscapes... but really, the title says it all. Relax, people."
Of course, in the recent collective consciousness, the title question is being asked by a homicidal maniac dressed up in clown makeup, which might compromise the sentiment, but it's valid nonetheless. I'm sort of in a rush this morning, so it's time for the power of judgequote - Palpable writes:
"A few of the original sections also use the chord progression so I'm comfortable with the liberalness. Great use of texture in this, you constantly go from one soundscape to another (soundscape). Even though the 1-1 melody is used a bunch of times, the track still evolves through the use of different drums and synths."
"I'm going to keep this short and sweet. SML was the first game I ever owned (besides Tetris which came with my Gameboy, so I don't count it). I'm quite familiar with the melody. I played this game for freaking hours and hours and hours. I think it's a fun deviation from what a lot of people around here seem to try to put into a remix lately. I didn't hear any production gripes that caused me to bite my cheek. I think it's a great arrangement and to me, the source connection remained plenty solid even during the parts where it seemed like entirely original music."
Mattias also wrote up a pretty detailed source breakdown in the judges' decision that you should read. Bottom line: great, interpretive collab from two guys who are each awesome in their own right and whose strengths are both put to great use; seriously good unseriousness.
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