ReMix: King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu "End of the Adventure"
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Commandcom, aka Jorge Mira Boronat, is single-handedly making a home for the MSX on OCR: This is his third mix, and it's also the third mix he's done from an MSX game. They've also all been Konami games, which makes sense since the publisher had a strong presence on the platform. While many of us may never play an MSX game, the music still resonates outside the original demographic that did, and I'm really glad Jorge continues to drive that point home. Somebody else needs to step up to the plate and join him, but then again there are also plenty of games on other less common platforms that still need some sweet ReMixin' love. He writes:
"King Kong 2 on the MSX2 platform was an enigmatic game to me, as it was in Japanese when I played it and it was a sort of RPG. You played the son of Kong, trying to rescue your mum (not dad) who has been captured. The fact is that, as I couldn't (can't) read Japanese, (same happened with 'SD Snatcher' and 'Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake' but (some) 'key words' were in English) so I didn't actually advance much in the game. :P BUT I kept trying MAINLY because of THE MUSIC!!
And, those were the days of 'key codes' to save your game, so it was not the ideal scenario (Japanese and kanji codes to save your progress...mmmm) so, the fact is that I was very exposed to the tune of the first stage over and over (as I didn't save that much), which, I think, is a killer one! (and kept me coming back to the game). To me, it resounded like Adventure, Mystery and some Drama (basically, the three 'segments' of the song, in that order.)
Also, it has a chord progression which I am also paying tribute to with this mix! (So it is a double tribute!) The chord progression of the 1st segment (the 'Adventure' one) is one of my all-time-favourite chord progressions. You can find it in Salamander's Stage 5 ('Burn the wind') or in Galactic Attack's Stage 1 (Taito, Saturn, Arcade) When I'm on a deadline (and that happens quite often) that chord progression is, for me, a winner. Be it a documentary or a short movie or anything, it always works!!
My first intention was to make it 'a la Indiana Jones', a simple March, as it leads to. Then, I changed my mind to a 'Western', kinda 'Sunset Raiders' which could also work. The trouble of both is that (at least for me) they were quite 'lineal and obvious' and won't have fun doing them. SO I tried something else and stopped by 'Pirtates of the Caribbean'. THAT was fun!! (And it worked)
...I focused on 2 of the 3 parts of the song: The 'Adventure' (1st) and the 'Drama' (3rd). What did I use?
- Cubase 5
- EastWest Symphonic Orchestra
Nice. Jorge consistently provides really interesting anecdotal background on his experience playing the games he arranges, as well as insight into his creative thought process. It was worth explicitly mentioning the chord progression, for example, because it *is* relatively distinct. Things intro with piano and some solo winds to set the stage, then at 0'17" StormDrum makes itself known with big, rolling percussive gestures, paving the way for epic ensemble strings and beefy brass. zircon writes:
"Wow, I've never heard of this game at all, but the source tune is absolutely great! Also, I'm a huge fan of the soundtracks for the PotC trilogy, so now I really can't wait to hear what you've done.
I have to disagree with Darkesword that the samples are "obviously fake"... we've posted mixes with WAY more unrealistic sample usage. I think the samples are used very well here, especially because I own QLSO and I know how easy it is to make it sound bland and uninteresting. The rhythm section is solid as well, but maybe a little repetitive, with few changes to the rhythmic texture or the tempo/meter. I would have liked to hear some cool triplet fills for example."
To a trained and antagonistically observant ear, any sample library can sound artificial, but I'm gonna echo Andy in saying that this is pretty darn solid, and well-employed. Larry adds:
"Gotta agree with zircon in that this was a great source. Definitely a nice pirate/adventure feel to this one, Jorge. I just caught the remastered version in the inbox and had to shoot a comment here after taking a listen. Great work, keep them coming!"
Ditto that. While King Kong 2 isn't a game most listeners will be too intimate with, I think most of us appreciate a great melody, progression, arrangement, and epic, Pirates of the Carribean-style orchestral production, and that's what Jorge delivers.
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