ReMix: Final Fantasy Legend II "Heroes"

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Final Fantasy Legend II

Ziwtra writes:

"FFL2 is one of the gems of the gameboy and had one of the best soundtracks on the system. In terms of personal videogame music nostalgia, this game was one of the earliest I played as a kid. The recent remake of FFL2 for the DS made me curious as to how the soundtrack had fared. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that most of the tracks were updated without much creativity whatsoever. There was only one thing to do of course -- start remixing the soundtrack myself : )

It should be no surprise to OCR listeners by now that the artists on OCR are constantly influencing, challenging and learning from each other. In particular, I'd like to give a shoutout to two classic tracks that influenced this mix: the peerless big beat of tefnek & zircon's 'Waste Water Wipeout' and the lo-fi infectious groove in 'Fragments of Gold' by beej. This mix takes the original and gives it the lo-fi symphony treatment with some attitude."

It took me a couple listens to really get into the lo-fi/sampled construction Youngjin employs here, but it was time well spent. There's a unique texture to this mix that sets it apart, both in general and also relative to the artist's other mixes. The vinyl snap-crackle-pop queues up, string stabs enter, and the main melodic fanfare comes in, but it promptly gets... scratched? There's a lot of hip-hop influence here, with plenty of vinyl effects applied to instrumentation you don't normally hear them applied to, lending a distinct flavor. Deia writes:

"Lots of good things going on here. The arrangement is very recognizable as the source, but definitely with your own take to it. The drums and bass add that attitude you mentioned, and the rest stays in that more expansive (but lo-fi)orchestral setting. Not a set of sounds I would have expected to work as well as it does, so I was pleasantly surprised at that. Things get just a tad repetitive feeling towards the end, but it's not that big of an issue."

Cain adds:

"Classyful. Vionyliny. Trumpetulent. These are all made up words I would use to describe this mix. I wouldn't even know where to start making some of these transitions and effects. They are here aplenty but done well enough that they aren't getting old. The sounds mesh surprisingly well and the both suit the theme. The vinyl crackle was a little irksome but it's not an omnipresent issue and it's stylistically fitting so it doesn't bother me enough to make an issue of it.

I will however say that you have selected the most boring name in the history of OCR. It's like you've taken sophisticated pinup and named her Bob."

True on the title; sometimes less is just... less. But the mix itself betrays its nondescript titling with panache & interesting technique; I especially liked the more electronic bass synth breakdown @ 2'17", and it really is odd hearing scratch fx applied so generously to string passages. This salient characteristic is likely to make the mix a bit less approachable to some audiences that Ziwtra's other tracks, but it's risky, it's different, and I think it works.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Master Vash
on 2014-07-31 08:02:42

I truly have to give a shout out to Ziwtra for this one. FFL2 is criminally underappreciated for its music. Personally, I think it has one of the absolute best soundtracks for handhelds in general. The remake, Goddess of Destiny, with its reinvisionings of the original OST, only reaffirm my beliefs. "Heroes" surges it from background music to fanfare-sparkled foreground, pounding into you the journey from sparkly-eyed youngsters to world-saving heroes, if you will.

This song puts in you the bravery of a hundred adventurers, the majesty of a hundred bards, and the wonder of a hundred listeners. This song is exactly what OC Remix is about.

I love it.

Master Vash
on 2012-03-24 09:09:11

This track. This track right here.

To say it's simply great would be a gross understatement that frankly should be illegal. This track is absolutely stellar. It's a fantastic mix that pulses and rips through your ears like it's punishing your brain for not knowing mixes this good could exist. The buildup and fanfare sends chills through your whole body. Or at least it should, it certainly does mine.

I'm sure I've listened to this song no fewer than four hundred times since discovering it months ago. It's just that good, taking the already-amazing source tune and supercharging it with funky rhythm and lo-fi scratch arrangements.

This track right here. It's a masterwork.

Mirby
on 2011-12-24 16:17:55

I had just finished playing the DS remake of SaGa 2: Hihou no Densetsu (which was masquerading itself as FFL2) when this song came out. As such, the source was ingrained in my brain from hearing it so much.

This song is a wondrous take on it; very faithful while also very unique. Fantabulous job with this one, Ziwtra!

Bahamut
on 2011-12-16 18:16:09

I'm kinda surprised this isn't a Burn mix, since it seems most people who want to tackle FF Legend II loves to do that one. The design of this song is interesting as Dave pointed out, as it doesn't go wholly for the high quality samples typically employed by Ziwtra, but instead goes for a low-fi sound and melds it with a nice cello is it? Somehow this combination works to good effect as an electronic orchestral track that has a rising sound to it.

It's always nice to hear more Ziwtra, he has that quirky style that somehow works whenever he's not doing orchestral.

Crulex
on 2011-12-05 09:49:51

The hip-hop low-fi scratching was catchy and I liked how it moved out of that and back into a more classy arrangement before building back into the more low-fi scratching. A very ear-catching ReMix, to say the least. I enjoyed it quite a bit and if low-fi was my thing, I'd absolutely love it. Very interesting.

Rexy
on 2011-12-05 06:46:59

I remember being somewhat torn over the track. Credit where credit is due - the scratching/vinyl emulation work is pretty cool, and the instrument manipulation throughout is pretty neat. So in terms of the lo-fi vision you've managed to pull through.

However, I'm not really a fan of the over-claustrophobic accompaniment writing, or the high-mid-deprived string equalisation. I can understand the artistic vision here, but to me it just sounds unconvincing and somewhat thin to pull off. Similarly, the brass to me doesn't have that convincing tone to it; the sustain on it is good so parts of the humanisation is in place, but there's got to be some more done to it than that, particularly with any attack/decay work.

I may have to say I was a little disappointed with the track in regards to this writing process, but it's still a good thing that you managed to cover something as undercovered as Saga 2. I'm still with the faith that you'll keep on experimenting with these production techniques and seeing what more could be done, so I'll be still watching out for you. :)

Martin Penwald
on 2011-08-11 12:02:21
in contrast, this remix feels very "remixed"--in the DJ sense, which i actually dig.

This.

When I read djp's write-up, I was somewhat sceptical whether the different elements (i.e. strings and scratching etc) could actually work together, but holy shit, you did pull it off. Kudos.

luhny
on 2011-06-16 02:42:41

Cannot go wrong with Saga2 as source material. Very well executed, I really dig the sound.

More love for Saga2! :)

daJungKI
on 2011-06-13 03:36:10
I'm not familiar with this soundtrack or game at all, but you make me want to check it out.

you should absolutely check out the soundtrack if you're down with the 8-bit grooveness. nobuo uematsu is known for his work on the final fantasy franchise; coincidentally, he did this one as well (with kenji ito of saga fame). hopefully more remixers will harvest the goldmine that is the FFL2 soundtrack.

LuigiFan
on 2011-06-13 01:14:47

This is really awesome. Ziwtra's stuff usually is - I especially loved all of his offerings on Humans + Gears (especially Of Sea and Fire). I'm not familiar with this soundtrack or game at all, but you make me want to check it out. The style of this ReMix is also so awesomely unique it sticks out instantly in my brain and makes me want to keep listening. Keep up the great work!

halc
on 2011-06-12 23:14:16

holy shit, what an awesome mix. I love those retro string patches, and the bouncy bassline entering later. great to see you're still at it, Ziwtra; keep up the nice work! :nicework:

Brandon Strader
on 2011-06-12 22:51:05

Save the ReMixer, Save the World.

Learned a couple things from this: That FFL2 was released on the DS, and that ziwtra's still pimpin' the lo-fi samples. I think it works, and I really did enjoy the song. Judging something based on the sample quality isn't always the best practice, and it's something I've been trying to move away from a bit. To use a tired and worn-out expression, I found the arrangement to be pretty epic although the scratching early on did seem a bit excessive to me... Good show and nice work :nicework:

theArtist-youdontknow
on 2011-06-12 21:36:30

Thanks for coming back Ziwtra!! its been a while since youve posted and ive really missed your stuff!

Awesome stuff here, as usual. very unique which is to be expected from you! Totally love it!

daJungKI
on 2011-06-12 18:51:14

dude, thank you so much for remixing FFL2. not only does it have one of the best gameboy era soundtracks, but the game itself still stands up pretty well--i pop it in once a year or so. back in the day (and by that i mean nearly a decade ago) when i was really into videogame MIDIs, i was exceedingly sorrowed by the criminally lacking FFL2 section on VGMusic.com. and so as an ambitious young lad, i vowed to get every single song off that sweet soundtrack onto the site. suffice it to say i never did achieve my goal, as i became old and lazy (and my MIDI skills were laughably nonexistent), but that soundtrack still has a special place in my heart. i'm glad talented remixers such as Ziwtra are shining this gem in the spotlight where it belongs.

the original track has a very epic, adventurous feel. in contrast, this remix feels very "remixed"--in the DJ sense, which i actually dig. it gives a different dynamic to the song without taking away its power--it's just mellowed out a lot. i like the orchestral elements combined with the funky bass and hip-hop drums. good stuff.

oh, and for the sake of full disclosure, i am most definitely not "DK" on VGMusic.com, and under no condition should anyone download any of his/her tracks. seriously, that sad individual did not know what he/she was doing. A for effort, though!

djpretzel
on 2011-06-12 17:54:14

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