Posted 2018-10-01, evaluated by the judges panel


Okay, deep breath: In development for more than a decade, we are thrilled to announce the release of our 67th FREE community arrangement album, Seiken Densetsu 3: Songs of Light and Darkness!!

Five discs of bliss from 56 artists, featuring 70 arrangements of Hiroki Kikuta's soundtrack to the highly acclaimed SNES RPG Seiken Densetsu 3, which, despite its release only in Japan, gained a following in the west as well. Download & help us spread the news at http://sd3.ocremix.org; album director Rozovian writes:

"What a journey! It's been a long, long time, but now it's finally released. Songs of Light and Darkness is a tribute to Hiroki Kikuta's soundtrack for Seiken Densetsu 3, the game following Secret of Mana in the same franchise. Though only released in Japan, the Western gamers who came across it, either on cartridge or by other means, found it one of the most beautiful games on the SNES. The music plays a big part in that.

The album project began more than a decade ago. And, hey, we got the whole tracklist done. Your favorite track from the game has been remixed here. It's possible we have multiple remixes of it, even. Through a troubling many issues over the years, and a troubling number of years of slow progress, the slow progress eventually gave us the whole soundtrack wonderfully remixed by OC ReMix regulars and strangers alike.

You get to hear what I've been keeping mostly to myself for years. And what a wonderful set of tracks this is. In some ways, it's a bit of a time capsule. I joined OC ReMix in late 2007, and this project was in the works already then. Some of the tracks sound like those old tracks that drew me to the site and its community in the first place.

It's an eclectic mix of things, with the expected orchestral and metal epics sharing space with instrumentation and styles including waltz, rap, Mellotron, reggae, harpsichord, J-rock, and plenty of world music elements from all over the place incorporated into a large number of the remixes.

I'm very happy to have my name among the artists here, and I'm sure you can find something you like on this behemoth of an album. I hope you not only enjoy the album, but get something out of reading the comments too. Enjoy."

A time capsule indeed, SD3:SLD features brilliant songs from artists you haven't heard from in many years, as well as newer gems, and covers one of the best RPG soundtracks of all time, a masterwork from Kikuta that's every bit as good as Secret of Mana, if lesser-known due to not being localized.

Before I proceed, a shoutout to the talented translators & hackers who made this game playable for English-speaking audiences out of love, passion, and fandom... music may be a universal language, but understanding menus, dialogue, & narrative is especially key for an RPG, and the efforts of fans gave this game the international stage it deserved (and still deserves). Our enduring thanks!

We begin our flood with a dramatic symphonic collaboration between HoboKa & Archangel, featuring epic drums, piano, evocative wind leads, choir, & symphonic components; HoboKa (Alex Shtokalko) writes:

"I really like the source tune and struggled to do it justice solo, hence why I needed to collaborate with Archangel. And I'm ecstatic that he came around to sound upgrade and add in some much needed articulation, humanization, and Stormdrum stuff."

It's good Stormdrum stuff ;) Sounds like a duduk in there on lead, which channels a Middle Eastern vibe at times, and in general the integration of nuanced, eloquent solo parts and epic, soaring ensemble parts works quite well. Archangel (Jaka Čibej) offers up an entire cinematic sequence to go along with the mix:

"This is actually an unexpected collaboration between me and Alex (HoboKa). Alex made a MIDI arrangement of "Where Angel Fear to Tread" for the project, but didn't have any decent sample libraries at the time. Ad (Rozovian), the project director, asked me to render the MIDI with my samples, but I decided to improve Alex's arrangement with a little more humanization, additional instrumentation, and better dynamics. This is the end result.

People seem to enjoy visualizing stories while listening to my submissions, so here you go: I imagined this as the soundtrack to a movie opening sequence akin to the one at the beginning of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Between 0:00 and 2:55, we see a montage of key scenes during which a narrator tells the backstory as told at the beginning of the game (I took the liberty of improving and expanding the text):

"Once, when reality was still trapped in impenetrable darkness, the Goddess of Mana felled eight Eidolons, terrible incarnations of disaster that led all existence down a path of utter destruction, with the legendary Sword of Mana, and sealed each one in a monolith prison. The darkness was lifted to make way for the dawn, and the world as we know it was created. The Goddess turned herself into a mighty tree and sank into a deep slumber that would last for an age.

And so the years passed, with both the jailor and her captives sleeping, ignorant of time, space, and life.

But now, due to the actions of some who plot to free the Eidolons from their stone imprisonment, obtain power surpassing even that of the gods, and make the world their own, conflict breaks out heralding the end of peace.

Mana, the mysterious force of balance and harmony, a gift from the Goddess herself, is rapidly disappearing from the world. Winds are dying, singing their final laments. War bares its fangs, threatening to consume what little innocence yet remains. Malevolent forces stir in the night, and it seems that nothing will be spared from spiraling into inevitable chaos.

Even the Tree of Mana has begun to wither..."

At 2:55, the shot moves closer to the Tree of Mana and shows four faeries, worried and weakened, but determined. The gradual disappearance of mana has already taken its toll on the surrounding life. Knowing they must act before it is too late, the faeries hold hands for one last time before taking a deep breath and flying off into the night (3:22). They soar across the lands of the Mana Sanctuary, but one by one, they're forced to abandon their quest as fatigue overtakes them. As the last of them lands in the forest (3:43), she collapses on the ground, exhausted and sobbing. She looks around in despair and sees a beautiful blossom wither into nothing right before her eyes (4:00). Reminded that everything will die if she doesn't go on, she musters all her remaining strength and takes off again (4:08). The sequence follows her shining silhouette above the clouds until she leaves the Mana Sanctuary through a blinding curtain of light, entering the mortal world (4:48). The screen then fades to black and the movie title appears.

So, there you go, a soundtrack-ish take on an already soundtrack-ish track. Enjoy!"

Judges evaluated, and Sir_NutS had this to say:

"Wow, I really liked this. Really sweet arrangement, tons of detail, and boy those huge dissonant glissandos are the bomb."

Album director Rozovian again writes:

"It begins. HoboKa spent a lot of time working on this, and eventually turned to Archangel to make it epic. There are so many moments that could be highlights of the track, like the varied percussion, the choice of woodwinds appearing around 1:20, the buildup and choruses at and after 3:20... so much to like. And the track builds like a proper epic. Epic it is.

Many remixers, especially when they're starting out, rely on MIDI transcriptions or conversions of the source music, in this case a MIDI made by Destiny. There's something to be said about all three of these people, and how they've affected the project. HoboKa was one of my first friends on OC ReMix, without whom I probably wouldn't have felt so at home in the community. At the time, he, like me, was a total newb, and I have a few very old versions of this remix to prove it. Destiny's two SD3 remixes on OC ReMix showed me that I wasn't the only one who knew about the game, and got me inspired to join the SD3 project when I found out about it. Archangel joined the project later, and brought an epic flavor to the many tracks he remixed. His contributions bookend what we might call the album proper, and this epic is the start of it.

To me, there's something very appropriate about these three people having a hand in the same remix."

This album is big enough & old enough to have its own lore, its own memories trapped inside the process of its eventual completion, some remembered vividly and others lost to time. I love that it captures different artists at different points in their involvement with OC ReMix, and the passion of all those involved comes through in their music. This piece paints a lush, engaging picture that sets an appropriate stage for the journeys still to come; Ad was wise to involve Jaka, who did a superb job not only rendering but actively interpreting HoboKa's strong initial work. Great stuff! MUCH more to come, but in the meantime a huge congratulations to Rozovian, Usa, Meteo, Keiiii, and the dozens of artists who contributed over the years to an album we are FINALLY releasing now, in October of 2018; the dream becomes reality!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
DimeTower
on 2018-10-04 01:43:22

Wow. Since I was not one of the fortunate ones to experience Seiken Densetsu 3 as I should have (my love of the series is based on the very first entry), I can't hope to bring to this the kind of knowledge and love worthy of the dedication that everyone put into it, but I just know that this song is gorgeous, and the handling superb. I loved the story about it! Man, just wonderful.

On a larger note, CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who contributed to this dream of an album, and double for those who never let it die. Be proud - your sacrifice was not in vain.

Klnka Imra Miryon Tin Qua

Miracles occur sometimes!

avatar
Mazedude
on 2018-10-03 19:30:31

Lovely and haunting. Fantastic job with the woodwinds; I like me a good pitch bend and an exotic flair, and you managed to capture both. :)

Percussion and piano merge well to craft a bed under the melodies, and I especially like the understated yet deliberate low piano notes. I guess my only complaint would be that in terms of chord progression and song structure, it doesn't vary as much as I'd like, but hey, that has to do with the source material, so no worries there. All in all, great job.

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HoboKa
on 2018-10-01 18:28:33

(*edits-de sei!) Well this is a serendipitous surprise. Feels epic to be first in the line-up of SD3 track releases. Didn't realize how much more passionate that Archangel was than me when he collab'd with me (and I worked my %@*ing ass off too, so it's not a hard knock on anyone!). His write-up describing the remix is beautiful and epic. Rozovian's words also touched my heart-strings a bit *teary eyed* - fellow newbs learning to navigate the Wild-West of remixin' and to do battle with the oft unyielding J-panel, doing our damned best to find a way to get our own sound accepted - erstwhile enduring the slings and arrows from nay-sayers etc - but damnit, did we work hard to form a sub-community to rival that of the Elite hahaha! Was a blast working on the project. And holy $@^ Songs of Light Darkness was a long time in coming: I thought I would never live the day to see it's release. Big thanks to all who participated. So um...2nd opinion on this baby, J panel?? :D :D :D

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Rozovian
on 2018-10-01 15:34:45

Each time I've listened to this, I've had goosebumps and/or tears. Today is no exception. Gentlemen, well done.

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Liontamer
on 2018-10-01 00:21:12

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Seiken Densetsu 3 (Square, 1995, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
Songs:
"Where Angel Fear to Tread"

Tags (15)


Genre:
Cinematic, Symphonic
Mood:
Epic
Instrumentation:
Brass, Choir, Hand Drums, Orchestral, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds
Additional:
Origin > Collaboration
Regional > Middle Eastern
Time > 3/4 Time Signature
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
Time > Time Signature: Variable

File Information


Name:
Seiken_Densetsu_3_Surpassing_the_Gods_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
8,444,030 bytes
MD5:
22c2b795b683c55a79d4340639de6b15
Bitrate:
214Kbps
Duration:
5:12
album cover
Published 2018-10-01
By OverClocked ReMix
Arrangement

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