Babylon Skyscraper

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About Babylon Skyscraper

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    Snacks'N Jaxson (+1)

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    Cincinnati

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    Closet-gamer
  1. Well...whew. Here I am making my rounds of reviews, and this counts for my third. Which means (that's right, kids) more storytime for everyone! I was born in Cincinnati, and raised in Bufu (suffice to say a nearby white suburbia). For anyone who doesn't know what this is like, read your romance novels; all the shit about the political cutthroats and reputation whores is true. I won't say that I didn't have friends, but I will say that I did have enemies. Maybe that's true for all societies, but you have very careful terminology for your friends. If you get too close, you're a homosexual in a homophobic society; if you aren't close enough, you're untrustworthy, fickle, or paranoid. It's a Danse Macabre in the worst sort of way. Sophomore year in High School, I moved back to downtown Cincy, and was enrolled in a public school with a predominantly black population. It was also a performing arts school, so there was a lot of open homosexuality. Being straight, white, and ignorant, this made for quite the culture shock. And I learned very quickly that there are a lot of true stereotypes of my darker-skinned compatriots. But I learned that this wasn't because of the color of their skin or the quality of their person, it was because of the environment they grew up in. I saw kids smoking behind the school. I saw bathroom stall poetry go unpunished. I was in an alien world. Now, 3 years later, I've graduated and I still don't really feel at home here. But something happened when I heard this song. Pretzel (God love you) referenced this remix in another one of his commentaries, which is what drew me to it. I love controversy. I studied it in my senior year. I wanted to know what people had to say. I'm the only white kid on my block. This isn't a problem...my Xbox was stolen by black kids (along with all the games). A man was shot on the corner of my street. The gunman and the victim were black. I've had philosophical discussions with the lovely old woman next door. She's black too. Now, they ain't my niggaz. My friends from drama class, both black and white, some gay and some straight, we watch each other's backs. When one of their apartments burned down, we were there to get him some new threads. Those are my niggaz. What I learned when I heard this song is the true meaning of "nigga". Someone said it earlier. True meanings get skewed with time. We haven't always spoken modern English, and many places even in the US still don't. It's a dialect, an accent, a regional presentation to a common language. Just like the British say "gay-rahj" when they go to park their cars, and the West Coast calls everyone "dude", we've got our "niggaz". Your nigga is your friend...take it anyway else, that's cool, you probably don't have anyone you can call your nigga. Brother, homie, friend, comrade, nigga...they're different kinds of friends. You can't define nigga so much as you can define brother, homie, or dude. But there is a brotherhood I've seen between people in downtown without all that reputation bullshit that I grew up in. Like the main characters of this game, they're oppressed by a higher power and have no one to rely on but each other. Yet in this dark realization, they're laughing their asses off firing up a bowl and watching The Matrix for the third time. That's what a nigga is to people who defined the word. Dictionaries can argue, but Pretzel even said in his disclaimer that it's the intention, not the definition, that counts. You want my opinion? This song rocks. It accomplished exactly its purpose; present a satirical parody of an original idea. I find it deep and inspirational; it inspired me. It captured the idea of the game and put it in a new (modern) light..and I'd just like to quote the main site here, if you will allow me: "OverClocked ReMix is a website dedicated to reviving the video and computer game music of yesterday, and reinterpreting that of today, with new technology & capabilities. This site's mission is to prove that this music is not disposable or merely just background, but is as intricate, innovative, and lasting as any other form." Isn't that what this remix does? So you know, as everyone has to have their favorites, this is indeed my favorite of the verses. While the chorus is catchy, campy, and cute, for some reason this verse captures me; perhaps because the percussion drops out to leave a voice with minimal music: "so you still think u can face me on the battlefield of ages? where i'm ten mages, fire breathin and faceless? i waste half a language feedin my ten rages to break outta ten cages and see what war a fool wages when the end is as clear as your beginning pages i rearrange the stages of my rat race mazes in phases my method is quite tasteless i insist that you bleed outta various different places..." On a final note, I don't like rap. I hate it. It's not that I feel that the artists neglect the definition of art when they make their rap; most of it now is unoriginal and has lost its meaning in exchange for an attempt to sell a record because the industry has become a capitalist cash crop. This song is ameteur and should best remain that way; its writers are not looking for fame or money. There's better ways to earn both. This is music for the fun of making music, and that is why this remix rocks.
  2. I'm going to share a lovely story with you all. It's how I got to play FF6. My friend came back from Japan with FF6 and a Super Famicom...yes, the real thing. But I can't read Japanese, and so I stole his SNES and English FF3. First thing...can you imagine how hard the opera scene would be in Japanese? Yeowch. Not that Celes' synth voice is that pretty anyways...but Kefka's laughter made me giggle. Mind you, I'd played VII through X, and I'll leave my opinions on each aside. But of all of them, the only one that's really ruined with a spoiler is VII. And yes, it was ruined for me before I played the game (though I still cried when Jessie died. Jessie > Aerith. Kthxbi). No one told me what would happen in VI. No, I didn't know about the secret plot, and how one vial can kill a castle's population in 30 seconds. But...wow. Talk about epic. It's like "what would happen in FFVII if Meteor hit." The reality check was necessary and moving. That brings me to this piece. Hi. Your world is gone. You don't know if anyone's alive. As far as you know, you're the last person on earth, and you have no way of confirming this suspicion. It happened to the guys in Robotech, too. World devestation isn't a pretty thing. It affects everyone dramatically, and you have to be a brave author to throw it in your story. In 99% of those cases, you can't go back to the way things were before. I'd imagine the mood would be something like the one inspired by this song. The people before me talk about the beauty in minimalism. Let's talk about that. When you hear Indiana Jones themes, they try to replicate explosions and armies and loud cacophanous voices with all the chaos of an action movie. Marching bands focus on joining cliques of instruments into a symphony, much like the school environment that the band students come from. By taking the minimalist approach, this song seems to have every desire to illustrate what the title deems "Death on the Snowfield". And illustrate it does, very well. You can have your opinions on the song...it's slow, it's boring, it doesn't have a lot of "oomph!" But when it comes down to it, is that really the point? Take a look at Terra when you first see her after the gigamondo collapse. She is more alone than anyone else in the world. Isolation is the best word. There's no civilization where she is, just death and desolation. What is more desolated than a tundra or a desert? Knowing where you first see Terra, the tundra is probably more appropriate for her, but this song could probably be called "Death on the Wasteland" or something vaguely similar, and it would still work. I favor the minimalist approach. I think, knowing where Terra is, what she's feeling in response to the world, her heritage, and her duty, that this song couldn't have hit a better mark. Yes, I'll admit that it doesn't always work with all of the times that Terra appears, but it works for a lot of them, because she's generally an angsty character (everyone in FFVI is; that's why they have to band together to fight Kefka! Save the world from supreme happiness by filling the world with angst!). This song works like a thought process; survey the scene. Review your feelings. A good memory? A hope? ...but there's still that thing dragging you down. Listen again, see what I mean? I'm all for this song. It works for me, and gets my thumbs up.
  3. I must sadly admit that I registered and got an account on ocremix.org just to reply to this thread. Yes, it's that cool. Now, I'm not about to blow sunshine up anyone's ass without justifying my claim. Unfortunately, as I listen to these songs on my silly Quicktime, I can't get a minute or second count, so I'll keep my unfortunately vague references as to the strings and the synth and the chords (etc, etc...) few and far between. As seen by the previous posts in the thread, Star did something right. I think we can all agree there. Someone mentioned, as I was browsing through the thread, that this song stands on its own not as a remix, but its own tune. Frankly, I would agree. I've not yet played Megaman II, as my friend just got the Anniversary collection for the Xbox and I have not yet partaken of that sweet ambrosia in a disc. I have never heard the original tune. So, now that I've torn apart my own biased arguments and all foundation for them to stand on, let's get to the fickle sunshine blowing, right? Right. I was skeptical about this mix when I first began looking through OCR's stuff, mainly because the title. I thought that "Tickle My Wily" was immature, and that somehow this would reflect on the song. It should be noted that this was before I had listened to any of Star's songs. That said, I have never again judged a song by its title. Have any of you ever played through Megaman X? Man, is that guy angsty or what? Seriously, the final speech at the end when Sigma's base is gone was emotional! Anyways, when I listened to this remix the first time, I couldn't help but imagine what the Wily stage was like. But with every Megaman game, there is that feeling of angst when you get through the 8 original bosses. You know the game isn't going to last much longer. You know that you're going to uncover the secret plot. You know you're going to fight Wily/Sigma/whoever, and that it's going to be epic and utterly awesome, because that's what you've come to expect from Megaman. And if you've played X a hundred times like I have, you get to expect that; you've got your mad powerups, your 8 weapons, your 4 sub-tanks, and you're ready to go. You are premeditating the murder of Sigma. It's that angst that comes with the realization of your actions, the mixture between sorrow and desperation, the feeling of "I don't want to fight, but I must!" felt by the character (because he's the hero, it's his job, and no one else can do it) and echoed by the player (because you bought the damn game and Capcom spent all this time making 8-bit robots for the sole purpose of giving you things to kill) that this song flawlessly embodies for me. There are Megaman songs out there written by the boys at Capcom that begin soft before entering into their main chorus. Sigma Stage 1 in MMX is like that. Would it be improbable then to see this song -this one right here, "Tickle My Wily"- appear in one of those final, angst-ridden stages? Personally, I think not. Maybe I'm stepping beyond my boundaries here, but I think this song fits in perfectly with the Megaman genre for where it sits in the game's storyline. If there was a way to loop the track before its piano ritard for the finale, I don't see why it couldn't be in a level of its own. However, as it stands, this piece is a work of art that rivals anything that any of Capcom's composers could have rolled out with. Congradulations, Star, and a million thanks for providing all of us with this song.