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Mario 64 Final Boss (Film/Orchestration) WIP

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This was an orchestration project of mine that wasn't going to see the light of day until I went back recently and realized that it had potential.

So I touched it up, added some extra parts, and ignored the ending. (It still needs one)

Long winded intro aside, this is my vision of the final fight with Bowser in Mario 64 as if it were the backing to an epic/action movie.

Tell me what you think!

(also, something keeps messing up with my samplers; there is a strange hiss that shows up in recordings. it only shows up twice - I'm aware of it and am trying to work it out. so ignore those)




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Ah, nice to see this genre get some attention. And an interesting source, for sure.

The Good:

~:22 - Nice little string work.

Is this in 5/4? I like the asymmetric feel.

Great dynamics in the brass. I love the forte-piano-crescendos.

Great arrangement. I find no faults in the arrangement at all.

2:26 I LOVE the switch to 3/4 (6/8?) and the accelerando is brilliant.

The Bad:

Either start the basses off a little quieter, or when the harpsichord/guitar/whatever comes in, make it louder. Though if it is a harpsichord, remember that they have like zero dynamics abilities.

~:28 Maybe bring the bass drum out a little here, it would add more impact to that beat.

~1:22 - This may be due to the attack on the samples, but it sounds like the low brass are playing shorter than the the strings. Make sure that you have consistent articulation here, and consider using brass sounds with a more prominent sustain here.

~2:17 - Too much attack on the strings

Maybe a little too much cymbal in the 3/4 section near the end.


Wow. This is awesome. Zero arrangement flaws. Stunningly brilliant. OCR needs more works like this.

While there is no definite ending, it isn't a cliffhanger either. One you get an ending: SUBMIT IT! YOU MUST SUBMIT IT! If you get a "NO", it's torches and pitchforks time. This is definitely worthy.

Only negatives I can find are just nitpicks in the performance. Also, there are some nitpicky balance areas, but they aren't bad and only one was worth a specific mention. Maybe just fix that one. Perfection can actually make something sound less realistic.

Only thing I really wish to see changed is more tenor-pitched drums, like toms, in the beats there. There is plenty of bass drum and snare, but this needs some toms bad.

Regardless, the solid arrangement and just pure awesome-ness makes up for the few flaws that exist. Bravo! Excellent work!

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hey sorry, no update yet...

but in the meantime thanks for all the kind words!


-the beginning isn't in 5/4, but it uses some strange 16th rests to get that asymmetric feel

-I'm happy that you thought the 3/4 section worked, I was worried that for a very abrupt transition it would be TOO abrupt, ya know?


-the samples are a combination of EWQL gold, one shots acquired from the web, live playing (I play the 'bone), and the old project sam brass libraries

so yeah, there's lots of layering going on. :D

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Disclaimer - I'm not familiar with the source. That said -

I think I can hear that buzz/hiss that you mentioned, especially right off the bat at :28 and in the background during that passage - if not, then my guess would be that something is peaking too much and crunching up the rest of the sound, and needs some more attention to EQ/mixing if that's the case.

I love hearing the little references to the original NES 'castle' theme tucked away into the part at 1:24 (if that isn't in the music for the 64 you're a genius for adding it.) I almost want it to be more pronounced, but I'm afraid it would ruin the effect.

The percussion is all great, and the handling of the cymbal/hat is spot-on. The brassy grunts and sweeping strings and all are pretty expertly orchestrated to communicate that epic setting. Yeah, this is a totally solid piece, and I'd be surprised if you weren't able to successfully submit it after a little more EQ/mix polish to fix a few of those areas where things are getting cropped out.

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Love it! The Bowser themes were always among my favorites from Mario 64.

It's quite epic. I love the pizzicato strings around the two minute mark, followed by a very prominent and well placed flute. I think the harpsichord works well but I'd really like to hear an organ version if you follow Audix's suggestion.

Looking forward to the update.

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I love it!

As for the hiss-- I've run into that when using EWQL samples before too. This happens when you stream direct from disk and your hard drive can't keep up with your sampler, or if you are trying to read the same sample from disk with two different instances of your sampler open at the same time. The only way I've been able to get around it is to render and export clusters of tracks as wave files, then add all of the wave files together in a new project and export those as your final product. It totally destroys work flow, but if you just need to get rid of the hissing for the final version, that should do it (I hope).

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Your epic bass drums are playing the Terminator beat. ;)

Not that it's a bad thing... Really love how you changed up the rhythm of the main theme to make it more expansive and symphonic. I just got some EWQL samples myself, so this is the sort of thing I need to inspire me.

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I wish I was more knowledgable in this genre to give more specific critique, but I just wanted to pop in and say this is really awesome. I was checking the SM64 soundtrack recently and hoped someone would take on this song in this genre, and you nailed it. Good stuff.


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  • 1 month later...

So here's an arrangement that I never thought I would finish...the kontaktplayer kept this mix from being done for-EVER. (That hiss would not go away, no matter how little I exported. Turns out that it was the host's multithreading... kontakt is very picky it seems)

Anyway, it's here and done! Mixing corrections, added organ and additional orchestration of strings and brass - I think I can finally put this to rest. I'll send it to the judges in a day or so unless there is some terrible problem that I've overlooked.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. That was really powerful. Is it just me or does the beginning sound a bit like the theme for a nightmare on elm street? Is the whole song made out of samples? If so, where would I get them? I definitely wanna follow the progress of this remix to see how the judges comment on it. Good job.

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Damn, i almost forgot about this one! lol

This version is definitely it. Everything sounds good as far as production and mixing. The arrangement chugs along very nicely. I can't really say much more about it other than that i'm glad you got around to finishing it up!!

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You've probably already sent this to the judges, but I'm going to weigh in anyway.

First, this sounds amazing. The intense sections, with the beat from the Terminator theme (1:22-1:44, 3:08-3:50, 4:36-end), are crazy powerful -- seriously, some of the most epic music I've heard coming out of my speakers -- and I've got all sorts of orchestral recordings. Great job there.

That said, I think the biggest problem with this piece is that it relies too much on those intense sections. You use them too often, and without much variation. You've put in a few high strings at the end, but that's about it for varying it up (at least, that I could see). I feel like you could play around with this a lot more.

Also, the section towards the end with the organ (3:51-4:36) feels like a drop in intensity purely so you can later bring it back up to full blast -- it's not interesting in and of itself. The part from 4:14-4:36 is particularly aimless. Then, when you come back to full intensity, it feels like "oh, this again" rather than "fuck yeah, this again!" -- partly because of the preceding aimlessness, partly because the intense parts have been overused. When you've got something powerful, use it less rather than more.

Anyway, I'm being harsh because there are parts of this that are awesome, and I'd hate to see this be the final version. The judges will take forever to even look at this for the first time, so you've probably got time to fix this up. Good luck!

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