ReMix: Shadow Warrior "Wang. You Want?"
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8,375,047 bytes, 4:45, 233kbps
Our first ReMix of the original DOS incarnation of Shadow Warrior is a badass electronic arrangement infused with traditional Asian instrumentation, courtesy newcomer rebrained (Risto Kokkonen), who writes:
"To me, Shadow Warrior was the best thing to happen after Duke Nukem 3D, and ever since GoG re-released it with add-ons, I've been tripping balls down the proverbial memory lane. I'm not usually one to go nuts over things, but this game does that to me, there's just not enough praise I can sing to it. Production of this remix started almost three years ago when I made the first version "for teh lulz." I was imagining the possibility of the game getting a proper sequel, or perhaps a remake, and started doodling with my own ideas on how to tweak the main character, the story, etc. And now that they're actually developing a new Shadow Warrior title, I needed to step up a bit and update and refine this track to match up the standards.
The original game was heavily based on Asian stereotypes and the music promptly followed suit. I have a certain affinity towards Asian music and instruments, so this proved to be perfect opportunity to test what kind of sound it would make when traditional sounds gets flogged and mauled by modern production. I've tried it on a few other occasions and - tongue in cheek - tagged all that as "Shanghai step". I guess this falls into that category as well."
Risto really blows it out of the water on the regional instrument count, fully embracing the game's own giant bear-hug of all things Asian. The aforementioned remake has of course been released since this was submitted, and seems to be have been met with generally positive reviews. I remember playing the old DOS classic myself and having a ball, although it certainly never sounded like this - the artist has done an excellent job modernizing things while still keeping a VERY strong emphasis on the traditional bits; it's actually a good companion mix/sibling to Brandon's MM9 mix we just posted. Larry writes:
"Man, those '90s games? "Lo Wang?" I almost admire the shamelessness. :-D The original game's available on Steam for free, by the way, so what's not to love. Anyway, when I first heard rebrained's piece, the only thing I took issue with were the beats at 1:55 not having enough impact, but when I ran that by Risto, he agreed and made a quick adjustment to thicken the sound up a bit.
The synths, electro-wobbles and all that wub-style goodness paired surprisingly well with the more organic Eastern winds and strings. Having not heard Shadow Warrior's music until this submission, I enjoyed getting to hear another side of Lee Jackson's work, since I'm a fan of his from Duke Nukem. The original song is really great stuff by Jackson, so congrats to rebrained for dialing up the energy and adding his distinct spin while keeping the structure intact. I'm looking forward to hearing more from rebrained, and it's always great to have more PC games represented on OCR!"
We've heard many a well-crafted combo of electronic and regional/world instruments, with Asia representing a vast majority of those blends, but one thing that sets rebrained's mix apart is the emphasis on Erhu for much of the melody - while the overall piece is energetic, dynamic, and very smoothly mastered, this component adds on top of all that a memorable & expressive lead. A great debut & a great homage to the classic DOS title, this is "Wang. You Want?" that YOU WANT. Awesome stuff, definitely wanna hear more from Risto!