pu_freak (Pieter van Os) sends us a dramatic MMX2 opus that starts off as a simple piano ballad but grows in intensity, gaining string accompaniment, oscillating to EP, and then developing into more of a rock affair towards the end:
"The Sigma Fortress Remix Gauntlet (SFRG) in the summer of 2015 was a great opportunity to put my new equipment to the test - since I had bought it six months before. It allowed me to try new genres for some mixes, but it also allowed me to up my production skills for my "traditional" genres. My second entry for the SFRG was one of those more traditional mixes, since my first entry was my (quite short) first shot at an electronic mix and didn't get too many points. So, not wanting to let my team down, it was time to make a long (nearly 7 minutes long) mix in a genre I excel at. And it worked. ;)
The goal of the round was to mix your Maverick theme ("Spark Mandrill" in my case) with the "X-Hunter Stage 1 & 2" theme from Mega Man X2. Since every Mega Man X track is high-energy and upbeat, I wanted to do the exact opposite: a dramatic, sad version of the X-Hunter theme, infused with bits of "Spark Mandrill." This would be the theme that could be played if X was defeated by the X-Hunters in said stage (hence the name).
I imagine the track starting with a close-up of X's defeated body, then zooming a bit out to see the room they fought in, heavily damaged. At around 1:24, the violin sets in, and it zooms further out to see the world in flames since the Mavericks won. I guess I visualize too much. :P I've added a glimmer of hope at 3:20, where the music gets a bit lighter and sweeter, where X gets up and going into a last stand/battle scene at 4:34. Without a happy ending though, since X is truly defeated at the end...
Right, time for a source breakdown:
- 0:00-0:33: Original
- 0:33-1:24: Background melody of "X-Hunter Stage" as lead melody (keeps playing basically the entire time, but since it's the only melody here, I'll count it as source)
- 1:24-1:57: "Spark Mandrill" intro (:14 in "Spark Mandrill") is played by violins on top of "X-Hunter Stage"
- 2:30-3:17: Main melody from "X-Hunter Stage" is played as lead melody
- 3:29-4:26: Adaptation of part "B" of the "Spark Mandrill" theme (:38 in "Spark Mandrill") is played without the "X-Hunter" background melody
- 4:34-5:23: Basically just a straight cover of "X-Hunter Stage"
- 5:41-6:21: "Spark Mandrill" intro (:14 in "Spark Mandrill") now played on piano"
I really enjoyed the narrative arc & development on this arrangement; almost reminded me of an instrumental version of "November Rain" but with MMX melodies. I felt drawn into the story and liked how the intro comes off as more classical, then gradually transforms with a rock/pop accompaniment. EP was a pleasant surprise and helped bring some timbral diversity, and about the only thing I wasn't particularly digging was some of the mixing/mastering - at times, the piano crowds out almost everything else, especially the drums, which hurts the overall clarity. This certainly didn't escape the attention of our judges, but the prevailing sentiment was that it wasn't a dealbreaker & that the best of the arrangement shines through regardless, which I agree with; NutS described it as...
"...a matter of great arrangement vs basic production, and I think in this case the value found in the composition takes it over the bar for me. The pacing was excellent as well as the integration of the different songs..."
"I hear the other judges' crits about the production, but it doesn't bother me much. It's a piano mix with a little bit of synth accompaniment for flavor, and the piano component is excellent. I'm with Larry regarding structure, including the "stop," which I felt flowed perfectly well given the context. The strings aren't great, but I actually liked how subtle the drums were, since they emphasized the piano rather than drawing attention away from it."
I disagree on the drums, but your mileage may vary; either way, the story comes through, and I think Pieter does an excellent job telling it, having a clear progression and delicate into/outro bookends and packing some expressive, emotive piano (and friends!) in between. Good stuff!
on 2018-05-19 00:10:58
I've usually known pu_freak for his piano arrangements, such as the one wayyy back in The Missingno Tracks. This is a calm + moving rendition that showcases the development in his longer pieces; the tempo changes worked pretty well, I thought, and despite how there are occasional spots where the flow seems to stop, I think it just feels more spontaneous/in-the-moment/live that way.
on 2018-05-06 11:38:52
You don't usually hear such emotionally evocative arrangements from the Megaman universe. It's gentle, somber, even forceful at times. And going straight into my playlists. Well done.
on 2018-05-04 00:43:28
Wonderful work with the piano here. Gorgeous and flowing. Man did I enjoy this journey.
And wow, that ending...
on 2018-05-01 12:53:43
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Mega Man X2 (Capcom, 1994, SNES)
Music by Yuki Iwai
- "X-Hunter Stage 1"
- Additional Game:
Mega Man X (Capcom, 1993, SNES)
Music by Makoto Tomozawa, Setsuo Yamamoto, Toshihiko Horiyama, Yuki Iwai, Yuko Takehara
- "Spark Mandrill Stage"
- Ballad, Rock
- Dark, Sad, Solemn
- Electric Piano, Piano, Strings
- Origin > Competition
Time > Tempo: Variable
- 9,680,265 bytes
- Size: 9,680,265 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 576ca04f95e7f827145839fe66676f4b
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