ReMix: Final Fantasy X "Katumus"

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Final Fantasy X

Mr. Eino Keskitalo hits us up with our first Final Fantasy (and Square-Enix) ReMix of the year, offering a chippy retro/demoscene take on the Lulu & Hope themes from FFX & FFXIII:

"This track is originally from the second round of the Final Fantasy Crystal Clash competition. As always, it was made in Renoise. The title means "remorse" or "regret" in Finnish and refers to the lack of sleep during the competition. FFCC was my first tournament-style competition and it was quite a ride. It was very cool, if exhausting, to make it all the way to the finals.

I used the music I made for this project -- http://github.com/evktalo/kiigame -- as the sound template for the track, and went on to use this track as the basis of "Kaikuluotain," my Game Boy Batman piece (which eventually came out on Legacy). I think all these sound quite different in the end. I've been trying to learn re-using previous tracks for new pieces, actually, and now that I think of it, the bass drum and one of the snares are the same as in "Clockwork Groove." Mission accomplished.

Many thanks to RiverSound, timaeus222, and Chimpazilla for extremely useful feedback during and after the competition. The structure, harmony, and mixing were greatly improved thanks to these people! Thanks to Pleiade for encouraging feedback and the opportunity to listen to the track on a couple of different sound systems. Thanks to XPRTNovice for the mod review, and Brandon Strader for running the compo & general enthusiasm & comments! The piece is based on "Lulu's Theme," with the melody of "Hope's Theme" pretty heavily appropriated to fit. "Lulu's Theme" usage is pretty straightforward."

Neat "recycle & reuse" approach to templating/components; efficiencies of this nature can of course result in a certain sameness, but working within limitations can be just as fun and challenging for VGM arrangements as it is for the VGM that inspires them :) Bitcrushing and a mixed bag of chips define the aesthetic, here - it's cool, because you can kinda-sorta tell these are textures that wouldn't ALL be coming out of the same exact chips, so it's more of an ensemble effect. Since I voted on this one, I'm going to quote myself:

"Weird, lo-fi, chipfunk, syncopated groove...such a strange vibe, almost feels like video game music from a completely different game at times. Getting a little more minimal with subtractive breakdowns, and (especially) working more with dynamic, shifting panning & DSP could help with this. It's not a deal-breaker, it's just something you can consider to improve each piece. Dig the overall vibe, dig the combination of themes."

This is all true. Palpable adds:

"Fourthing the criticism that the track relies on the same components for too long, but it wasn't a major problem. It was a fun, spiffy little track to listen to and I really enjoyed the sound design. Obviously we've posted many chippy subs, but this had a different vibe in a way that I can't totally put my finger on, though I'll try. I liked how sparse and straight-ahead it was. Interesting work with the leads to keep them interesting while not taking too much attention from the groove. As mentioned, the combination of sources was well-chosen too."

Well said; good stuff from Eino that successfully blends 10 & 13 together with an interesting chip/throwback aesthetic!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
DimeTower
on 2016-01-09 04:15:37

Man, this is so unique! I feel like I'm wandering through a fun house mirror version of both themes at night, and I mean that as a compliment. Really original and fun - this is definitely worth a full listen! Great effort here.

nitrozsz
on 2016-01-07 14:50:53

I feel like when I listen to this, I'm listening to how NES games did "spooky" BGMs, outside of the Castlevania series. Which is to say, this sounds like it's trying to have a lot of fun being spooky. The melody gets stuck in your head really easily, and I also enjoyed the melody trade off after the 2:52 mark. Great work.

timaeus222
on 2016-01-07 04:23:03

Oh yeah! I think this reminded me of this theme. I find the melody to be rather strange sometimes, and though it works, I think it's kind of half-resolving at those times---resolving melodically but not always harmonically. I do really like the choppy processing (like the metallic snare at around 1:04, for instance). The mixing is also very clean for what's going on (and there's a lot going on!). My favorite part is after 2:52 all the way to the end when we have this constant tradeoff of interacting leads (the harmonies also work best there IMO). It does seem to carry on for quite a while after 2:52, but I'd be proud of what's there. :)

evktalo
on 2016-01-07 01:57:11

Very good feedback, thank you! If there was one thing I would change it'd definitely be to not play that backing arp quite so constantly. I'd like to think that the repeats at the ending the suddenness of it make for a proper closure, but I suppose it just sounds more successful to myself than it actually is.

Trivia: this is actually my first posted arrangement that has a source from a game that I've substantially played (FFX). Weird huh.

Liontamer
on 2016-01-06 09:51:59

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