ReMix: Fallout 3 "The Fallout of Eli"

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Fallout 3

...And we're back!

Otakon 2010 was another awesome year at the first convention we ever officially appeared at, made all the sweeter by getting to meet the man, the legend, Hiroki Kikuta himself! We gave him an OCR shirt and a CD of all the mixes of his compositions currently on the site, and conducted a brief interview. He was air-guitaring the riff from 'Dragon Song' literally ten minutes before Brandon showed up, which was also just really surreal. Thanks to everyone who showed up & again made our panel a blast - each year we prepare for Otakon, and each year it sorta reinvigorates us and helps remind us all why we put in the extra hours to keep improving & contributing to OCR. We had to wait to post this mix until after the con ruckus had subsided, but it's rather epic, and all about the firsts:

  1. First Mazedude collab ever, w/ drummer & producer Brynner Agassi (Maze designed his rather slick website, FYI)
  2. First PS3 mix. Yeah, it's not platform exclusive, but STILL...
  3. First Inon Zur mix... Mr. Zur may in fact have the coolest actual composer name (non-pseudonym) in all of VGM
  4. FIRST FALLOUT REMIX!!

Now, let me say a little about Fallout 3: I absolutely frickin' love it. I'm not much of one for the traditional fantasy settings, but when you combine Bethesda with the retro post-apocalytpic wonderland that is the Fallout universe AND you set it in Washington, D.C., where I work IRL, well... I'm hooked. Many of you who know me well know that I've been busting my ass on OC ReMix lately (and by lately I mean the last several years), but Fallout 3 is a game that I not only made some time for, but have actually beaten once and am now playing through again. Along with Borderlands, it pretty much defines my 2010 gaming diet thus far, and it's pretty damn gourmet in my opinion. Part of the appeal is actually the licensed/existing music - I love the old tracks from Billie Holiday and The Ink Spots, I really do. Those songs stick in your head and just don't let go, with vocal harmonies from an era long before auto-tune that sound FAR BETTER; they firmly establish an in-game atmosphere that I acknowledge would have been more difficult with a purely original soundtrack. However, there *IS* original music, on the title screen and elsewhere in context, and it helps establish a firm identity for the game outside of the diegetic radio tracks, which is quite necessary and also well-executed. Inon Zur has burst onto the VGM scene relatively recently as a major player, scoring several A-list titles, and I'm glad to see his work represented on OCR.

So, for me, this mix is especially fun, because it's from a game I'm actually currently playing, and have been for a good while. Chris writes:

"This mix has been months in the making, and was inspired by the soundtrack to "The Book of Eli." Great movie, in my opinion. And the soundtrack was excellent. And since the style and environment of the movie reminded me so strongly of Fallout 3, I thought it might be fun to fuse the two and make a remix of the game in the style of the movie soundtrack.

Then of course, it got heavier than originally planned, and being Mazedude, I ran with it. But I didn't run alone; this time I brought on friend a fellow musician Brynner Agassi (http://brynneragassi.com), who is a drummer that also does industrial music production. So, here we have my first co-op on OCR! Brynner provided a lot of the sounds, performed the live percussion, and helped me piece everything together. The end result is a very different mix, was certainly a very different process for me, and all in all I dig the results. I did try bringing in the crazy and wacky Mazedude synths, but they really didn't work in this case."

It's funny to see Mazedude finally doing a collab after 48 mixes, but it definitely works, and the result is still identifiably "Mazedudical" while sharing some outside influence at the same time. The soundscape here is darker, a little more serious & less quirky than what you might be used to from Chris, but it captures the atmosphere of the game and paints a striking, bleak portrait of devastation and decay. I'd say Brynner has helped focus the palette of sounds and given things a more "serious" industrial sound. He writes:

"When it came time for the samples to be used in the song, I really tried to match the desired feel for what the remix was going to be, and that was a real industrial/electro showcase of sound and song, since the original version focused in more on an overall orchestral feel. The ideas we had envisioned were pretty clear, and playing around with the effects was fun because I played a lot with different distortions and fuzz effects in order to get the desired sounds. As for the drumming, I had envisioned very hard, straight-forward, and all over dynamic feel for the parts."

I think the single most distinct element that will hit listeners in the face is the distorted piano; it's the type of timbre we're used to hearing in pristine, sanitized environments, and it can be downright unnerving to hear one fuzzed and distorted like this. But hey, this is the Capital Wasteland, chilllldrrennnn, and your piano patch eventually has to crawl out of the vault and learn to survive on its own, stimpacks or not. I think Chris and Brynner have teamed up to provide a unique mix that conjures very recent memories of scavenging the wasteland for super mutants, picking off bloatflies in V.A.T.S., and exploring the amazing world that Bethesda built, with Inon Zur's help. I'm looking forward to New Vegas big time, but until then, at least we've finally got a Fallout mix to enjoy ;)

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2015-12-02 11:54:41

Absolutely love this piece from start to finish. This is probably of Maze's strongest songs, both in terms of writing and emotions. The glassy piano licks and killer drum parts make this a standout cinematic track, which I'm not used to hear from Chris. But such change of pace is always fine, right? Marvelous stuff!

alrubedo
on 2012-10-05 11:03:02

As I was playing Fallout 3, I noticed there was a lack of musical presence except every so often. When I found this track I loaded up the game and played along and it was nice to have an atmospheric piece to play the game to. The piano is one of the strongest parts of the piece and it goes along nicely with the theme of the game. As someone else said, way to bring life to the Wastelands!

Crulex
on 2012-09-10 14:48:22

The atmosphere mixed with the piano really makes this tense in the beginning, which was awesome. A bit unsettling even. Pretty good considering the game it's ReMixed from. It's like a mechanical beauty, especially with those emotional drums. Way to bring the wasteland to life.

cryox2l
on 2010-12-11 10:24:08

This theme reminds me of Terminator. I loved it traversing the Wastes!

Sole Signal
on 2010-09-06 15:30:04

This is great! Never played the game, but I love the atmosphere of this.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-08-19 14:43:38

On the one hand, this is not what you'd usually hear from Mazedude (of course, since it's a collab), but on the other hand, it still has more than enough Mazedude-ish elements in it to make it obvious that this his work. The choice of sounds, the feeling of hopelessness, the desolate landscapes it conjures, the creepiness. This. Is. Awesome.

The piano stands out in particular. Used very nicely, especially around 2:30 and 4:30.

Jaredin
on 2010-08-10 07:07:58

Now this is something special indeed! I am so glad Fallout 3 finally got some love, and, some love it got indeed! The whole mood, and feel of the music really gets me thinking back to the wastelands...and makes me all the more excited for new Vegas!

Master_Yoshi
on 2010-08-09 11:12:11

Ah, the book of eli. Where the soundtrack was really the only great thing about it (other than some damn fine acting.)

What to say here, other than I am totally and unabashedly digging it? I've kind of wanted to see what the Maze Dude could come up with going a bit darker - I always found that when he had those more burtonesque stretches in his tracks where things got all dark and twisted were some of the greatest. Not to say he sounded like danny elfman, just that he could have stood in for him in some movies :D

Oh right, seem to have lost my train of thought. Oh wait, there it is.

The track is pretty cool. Not as chippy as the average maze, not that it would inherently work for this. Not really familiar with the fallout 3 OST, have friends that play it religiously but I never have had the time. So that said, no idea how well it takes the source.

As far as being a standalone track then, this is pretty cool. I love the mood set up here, the production, while not stellar, has an awesome feel to it that I can't quite quantify. Those leads are fantastic, I love the emotion in it all.

Yup, nothing constructive here except some gushing. Carry on, carry on.

cremdogz
on 2010-08-08 13:28:03

This is one of my favourite songs to come out of this website. It really draws you into the song, and the piano is so haunting. This is an amazing remix, and should I possess any talent in music, I'd critique you; alas, I do not, but this is amazing.

OA
on 2010-08-06 14:10:53

I love how many chords are sortof smeared around to create an interesting feel. There's a split second of unease as things get sonically shifted around, but the sense of relief when they resolve is really cool. The sound palate is solid and very effective, and the arrangement flow is very fitting to what i'd imagine the game world to be like.

Soaring but desolate. Fantastic collaboration. :-)

big giant circles
on 2010-08-05 21:07:33

Who is this Mazedude guy, and why have I never heard of him? :

I really enjoyed Book of Eli, and I'm actually currently playing through Fallout 3 for my first time right now. I really enjoyed this piece, and wow, it brought a lot to the table. Very creative stuff, and pretty unique. Very refreshing in a world of desolate bleakness (the Fallout 3 landscape, I mean).

abg
on 2010-08-05 20:50:59

This does justice to both the game and the movie. Fallout 3 had a very memorable theme but I always figured it would be unlikely to get remixed... thanks for proving that wrong :) Very atmospheric piece, love it!

SubNormal J3
on 2010-08-05 19:23:36

To start off, I was pretty excited to see Fallout 3 being represented at OCR. I never played the game myself, but I've heard great things and seen others play it. Having what seemed to me a compelling storyline, I imagine that the soundtrack has a similar effect.

0:00 - First of all, the ambiance at the beginning is captivating. Each time I listen to it, I can hear more of the expansive layers.

0:20 - That effect here and at 0:40 does a very good job at introducing the less organic elements of the sound scape which are cleverly contrasted by the piano.

0:46 - Once the drums are introduced, it really seals the deal for this ReMix.

1:14 - I like the progressive nature of this excerpt. The piano runs throughout are well placed as well. The melodic and harmonic structures are interesting enough, but the addition of the complex sound design really makes this mix stand out. However, at some points (i.e. 2:03), I wish the distortion had more filtering of of the higher harmonics. For example, I like the distortion at 3:10.

2:52-3:43 - This part does seem a little out of place. It seems that between here and 3:41 could have been removed, but it is still well conceived on its own.

4:16 - By this point it stunning how much is going on and working for the good of the sound. It is full of layers and layers of sound.

4:56 - The clean piano is an excellent ending to the ReMix by giving just the right amount of contrast and resolution. The production was excellent, the bass foundation throughout the mix is not overbearing, but it is still present. Congrats you guys. I really enjoyed this!

Smarty
on 2010-08-05 12:30:44

Speaking of PS3, haven't The Dual Dragons submitted that God of War 3 mix yet? This needs to be here.

I'm talking about this btw:

zykO
on 2010-08-04 14:56:42

chris, this is great