ReMix: Mega Man 2 "Dark Depths of Wily's Castle"
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What's this? Chiptunes, in your OCR? It's more likely than you think... RushJet1 (Tadd Nuznov) makes his OCR debut with an exciting, electrified chip arrangement of "Dr. Wily Stage 2" from Mega Man 2 that keeps ratcheting up the intensity in one long build:
"This was originally made for my Mega Man 2 Remade project. This version of it has been cleaned up a good amount since the original release. I always thought the first Wily Castle theme from Mega Man 2 got entirely too much coverage on remix sites, and even though the second theme was just the same bar raised a half step over and over, I thought I'd give it a crack anyway. This song is straight FamiTracker/NES/VRC6 with the extra 2 square channels panned about 75% left and right."
We don't prohibit chiptune arrangements, we just want there to be enough decision-making on instrumentation & the production side of things so we don't get straight-up demakes, more or less. OA really nailed things with his decision:
"It's pretty ambitious to consider this specific source for a remix, especially using famitracker, but using the source as a canvas to paint a pretty creative theme and variations structure is the perfect way to go about it. I love how each variation increases the intensity, and the melodic additions or ornamenting the melody heavily while keeping the same 4 notes is really well done.
I like the parts where you use the 4 note progression of the source as a call, and then respond with a resolving melody line. The added backing arpeggios, bassline, and percussion all flow well, and while there is significant (SIGNIFICANT) expansion, the source is audible for basically the entire song. The transition at 2:30 was a small hiccup, IMO, but overall not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. Production overall is strong and clear, and a lot of care has been put into making the soundscape full and rich. Pretty masterful work, it's like you've built your own epic boss fortress on the smoldering ruin's of Wily's castle."
Couldn't have said it better myself - which is why I didn't, and instead just copied & pasted what HE said ;) There's been confusion in the past on submitting chiptune arrangements, but so long as the arrangement is kickass and attention has been paid to the production side of things - via mixing, mastering, panning, FX, and/or the programming of the synths themselves - good things can happen. Tadd is pretty well known in the chiptune scene and it's great to have his talents represented on OCR, with a slick take on one of Mega Man 2's lesser-mixed gems that smartly embraces the suspense & embellishes the energy of the original. Gario gushed specifically about the arrangement techniques used to expand on things:
"Not that I can add much to what has already been said, but it's incredibly impressive just how much Rushjet1 has pulled from such a sparse source. There's a lot of original writing in this, but it's very solidly based on that rising, repetitive motif. Changing chords, antecedent/consequence form, generative development of new themes and motifs that build off of the previous material... if anyone wants a lesson on how to develop a simple source in rich, interesting ways, study this track. It's incredible."
Yup. Great debut, great example of building an arrangement from a shorter source, & nice to see more chiptune represented on the site!
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