ReMix: Dragon Warrior IV "To Endor"

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Dragon Warrior IV

It's been almost 11 years since our last ReMix of Dragon Warrior IV, and more than 7 years since our last arrangement from the entire franchise... where's the DW/DQ love, eh? Here to break the drought in style is newcomer Nate Tronerud, who offers a distinct & refreshing symphonic arrangement of the "March of the Capricious Princess":

"I attempted to orchestrate the original tune whilst avoiding Sugiyama's own choices from the symphonic suite. I decided to take a narrative approach to the arrangement, and so the track follows loosely the ups and downs of the story during this chapter.

Beginning lightly and distantly in the celesta, and at a slower tempo than the original, Alena escapes the confines of her home and makes her way out into a dangerous world. The music grows dynamically with the whole orchestra as she attempts to prove herself. Finally, the movement finishes with a short and quiet variation on her theme in the upper woodwinds that ends with an airy, open harmony, that signals the end of the chapter and a continuation of the story.

I used a MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM. The specific sample libraries utilized in this arrangement were CineBrass PRO, EastWest/Quantum Leap, and LA Scoring Strings in Logic Pro 9."

Very cool; narrative & also a little unusual in some of its instrumentation and part-writing, reminding me at times of Prokofiev. Chimpazilla writes:

"I'm really liking this adaptation of this source. It sounds magical and moody and Harry Potter-esque in the intro with the celesta, and when that piano begins at 0:28, I love the soft piano tone, it conveys sadness even while the writing is upbeat. The deep bassoon that follows drowns out the piano a little bit, but it is comically ominous. When the soundscape opens up at 1:07 it sounds wonderful."

Liontamer adds:

"Props for actively distinguishing yourself from Sugiyama's Symphonic Suite version. When Nate says, "The music grows dynamically with the whole orchestra as she attempts to prove herself," you absolutely get that imagery from the way things shifted at 1:07 and continued to intensify all the way until 1:30 finally topped off the energy level and stayed there until 2:05. Short arrangement and melodically conservative, but it personalizes the source nicely and says a lot!"

Precisely; it's almost hard to believe this is only 2'25" long, as it has patience, restraint, and plenty of development & contrast. Great debut from Nate - I love that we're FINALLY seeing some more DW, and this particular source & arrangement digs deep and comes up with something short but very evocative and memorable. Definitely wanna hear more, both from Nate and from the series!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 7 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
timaeus222
on 2015-10-21 02:27:32

Despite the absolute length being rather short, I didn't find this too short. I like how it initially evokes a feeling of solitude and preparation, followed at 1:07 by a moment of gaining one's footing, and then figuring out how to proceed. This really makes full use of the orchestra, especially the brass and percussion. Dem tubas!

RadicalDreamers
on 2015-10-21 00:50:31

Anytime a DQ track pops up here at OCR, I get a little excited. This game doesn't get enough love here in the West.

Thanks for the wonderful track, Nate Tronerud!

You're welcome! And I completely agree. Especially considering how important Sugiyama was to other Japanese video game composers and to game soundtracks in general (the actual albums, if not the music).

VII I enjoyed, and V is very good, but IV I think is among the most compelling story-wise, specifically because of the way the drama unfolds via the chapter system, as well as the strength of all the characters. And of course the music! While I think VI is probably the strongest overall DQ soundtrack, IV I think contains some of my favorite tunes from the series.

And not only was Torneko Taloon influential, he got his own spinoff series to boot! A rogue-like kind of thing, if I recall.

AustNerevar
on 2015-10-14 15:18:30

Major props to this artist! I found this mix instantly engaging and interesting despite my lack of knowledge of the source, and the narrative provided just heightened my enjoyment. Really great work here - like mentioned above, the piece plays longer than it actually is, which is usually a knock on a big mix but deserves all kinds of accolades here. Unique - engaging - impressive!!

Dragon Quest music has always been absolutely superb. DQ V and DQ VII probably have the best soundtracks in my opinion. IV would be next. I would LOVE it if somebody could do a remix of some music from Dragon Quest V for DS or Dragon Warrior VII for PSX. Both great games with great soundtracks.

If you like RPGs you should really consider playing IV. It has a great story and is relatively short and easy to go through. The chapter system is really interesting and it provides constant character development for new characters. A lot of people don't like it because everytime you go to the next character's chapter, you're back at level one. But once all the characters come together for the final endgame chapter, you start to feel really powerful. Torneko the Merchant's chapter was probably the most interesting and doubtless was the inspiration for games like Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale and other RPG Shop Sim games.

And the music throughout the game is just excellent.

Anytime a DQ track pops up here at OCR, I get a little excited. This game doesn't get enough love here in the West.

Thanks for the wonderful track, Nate Tronerud!

DimeTower
on 2015-10-08 00:55:44

Major props to this artist! I found this mix instantly engaging and interesting despite my lack of knowledge of the source, and the narrative provided just heightened my enjoyment. Really great work here - like mentioned above, the piece plays longer than it actually is, which is usually a knock on a big mix but deserves all kinds of accolades here. Unique - engaging - impressive!!

AustNerevar
on 2015-10-06 15:38:12

Excellent track! I am so happy to see a Dragon Quest track on here. To you who are unfamiliar with the franchise, I highly suggest you give it a try. Much better than Final Fantasy, in my opinion. However, don't start with the first game. I recommend starting with either DQ IV or DQ V first. You can purchase them for DS from Amazon or the Square Enix store and you can purchase them from the iOS App Store or Google Play. Honestly, for the what they're charging for the mobile apps, I would just try to find a DS copy somewhere as I prefer physical buttons. But if you're more incline to get them for a mobile device due to ease, nearly the entire series is available. Here are the two games I recommend most:

DQ4 iOS - $14.99

DQ4 Android - $14.99

DQ5 iOS - $14.99

DQ5 Android - $14.99

DQ1 is around $.99, DQ 2 is around $3, and DQ3 is $9.99. DQ6 is $14.99.

Also, for you guys who enjoyed DQVIII for PS2 back in the day, that game has been ported to iOS and Android as well, but it's $20 and lacks the voice acting from the PS2 version. You can still find boxed PS2 copies around, so if you have a PS2 or a good PC for emulation then I would definitely recommend that option. Forgive my shilling, but Square Enix sure as hell isn't bothering to market these games to the west and I personally consider it a crime that this fantastically designed franchise has suffered the despair of loneliness for so long.

StateOfCreation
on 2015-10-06 04:27:58

I'm not familar with the source material unfortunately, I've not played any of the dragon quest games (shame on me!), it's a series I've always wanted to get around to playing. But I love this music! It's very well done and suits the style of game so well and also reminds me of the era it was made somehow.

Liontamer
on 2015-10-05 12:37:47

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