Sign in to follow this  
djpretzel

OCR01406 - *YES* Star Fox 2 'Mercenarios de Lobo'

Recommended Posts

Hi! I am DZComposer, and this is my first submission to OCR. Though this is my first OCR submission, it is not my first "remix" by far, I have been active at VGMix for a while. I run Classicalhorn Studios (http://www.classicalhorn.com), which is the front site for my music, both original and arragement. Most of my music can be found there as there are songs there that have not even been posted to VGMix. Feel free to email me at dzcomposer(nospam)classicalhorn.com!

Okay, enough about me, let's talk about the music.

Mercenarios de Lobo is perhaps the first arrangement from the canceled (yes, canceled. Thank god someone leaked it. You can play it if you find the ROM) SNES game Star Fox 2 that I have seen. This game has excelent music and it can all be found in my 58 track SPC dump available at Zophar's Game Music Archive. Composers for SF2 were Kozue Ishikawa and Yumiko Kanki.

For those that aren't familiar with the Star Fox series, the Star Fox team (in game, you play their leader, Fox McCloud), had a rival team called Star Wolf that officially first appeared in Star Fox 64. Well, Star Wolf actually would have made their first official appearance in Star Fox 2 would it have been released. Mercenarios de Lobo is a Remix of the Star Wolf Theme from Star Fox 2.

I originally got the idea when I heard the orchestrated Star Fox 64 Star Wolf Theme in Star Fox Assault. I had included the Star Fox 2 Star Wolf theme in an earlier arrangement and I was aware that despite them being different songs, they had their similarities. So, I wondered what the Star Fox 2 theme would sound like if it was arranged in the style of the Star Fox Assault theme! Naturally, I had to do it. So, I started work on a new arrangement. However, the arrangement quickly lost it's original intent and became pretty much an arrangement of the Star Fox 2 Star Wolf theme in a mild Spanish style. That arrangement is Mercenarios de Lobo, which is a very loose translation into Spanish of "Wolfen Mercenaries". You can still tell the original intent of the arrangement in the beginning which is VERY similar to the Star Fox Assault SW theme!

This arrangement is for Orchestra featuring the Piccolo Trumpet and the C Trumpet. I have tried something in this arrangement that I havent heard in a remix before (If there are others that have this, I would like to hear them!): A Cadenza. A Cadenza is an unaccompianied solo that is free from the constraint of time signature and tempo. The Cadenza in Mercenarios is for the Piccolo Trumpet. You can hear a reference to the Star Fox 64 Star Wolf theme in it if you listen carefully. ;)

I think this is getting close to book length, so I'll just post the URL for the music now.

I hope this makes it!

~DZComposer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.snesmusic.org/spcsets/sfx2.rsn - "Surprise Attack" (sfx2-32.spc)

I linked to the SNESamp SPC pack, but I'd be remiss if I didn't also link to the SPC pack that DZ indeed compiled himself over at http://www.zophar.net/zsnes/spc/sf2zd.rar.

Short and sweet. I thought the horn sequencing was done reasonably well, I liked the sheer amount of variations of the source material pulled off in the arrangement here, and the trumpet cadenza was used effectively. Good Spanish touches were here in the performance, and while I didn't think this was superlative work (as the horn work's syntheticness was exposed a number of times), the results were good here overall. Looking forward to hearing more of your work, as well as improvement in future subs.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason you don't hear cadenzas in synthesized orchestral music is because for the most part unless you have super high quality samples, the instruments are exposed for the fakers they are when left by themselves as is the case here. The trumpet comes across as very synthy in the cadenza. The ppp section at 3:00 features an unusual amount of dynamic contrast. At first it's a nice effect but it lasts for way too long however it does do a good job of setting up the ending. The accelerando at 3:56 is excellent.

80% of the song is rooted in a 3 + 3 + 2 rhythm which has a very mechanical feel. This is a bad idea when dealing with a synthesized orchestra since you want to do everything in your power to keep things from feeling mechanical. The interplay between the C Trumpet and Piccolo Trumpet sounds good for the most part though they occasionally clash like at 1:09. The interaction between them is particularly strong during the last 45 seconds of the song. The instrumentation is often pretty empty consisting only of the strings playing the 3 + 3 + 2 pattern underneath the trumpets. In a real arrangement for soloists and orchestra there is much more happening on the orchestra end of things.

Mechanical rhythms, limited orchestration and too much open space [the ppp section plus the cadenza] without enough fullness to in the other sections to compensate make this a

NO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't judge on the basis of phat Jigga-samples that cost thousands of billions. I rate the muzak.

Having said that, this song felt much too hollow. The only performers are the trumpet, strings (energetic though they may be), and some snares. That's hardly enough to fully realize the genre you're attempting. Doubly so, since your samples (hyporcracy!) are somewhat dubious in places.

Simply put, it doesn't feel full enough. Or, put another way, the present set of instruments are not that satisfying to listen to, or to suspend disbelief that this is indeed the genre it proports to be.

NO

--needs mo' fulla sound, either through more instruments, or more complicated (Read: fully integrated) arrangement

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very engaging, although not too large a departure from the original in terms of genre and instrument selection. In fact, the supporting string/snare combo is a dead ringer for the source in many spots. This is no source knock-off however. The interplay between the horn and string leads (0:03-1:20, 4:06-4:33) adds a wonderful vibrance to the already spirited source and the well-timed tempo and tone changes that are quite skillfully weaved together, form a dynamically evolving piece. Big pluses. With the difficulty involved in sequencing any solo instrument, let alone brass, I commend the sequencing of the cadenza.

The samples are fine and I’ve got no beef with them or their use. There’s an odd resonance/note at 0:47 which bugs me every time I hear it, but that’s nit-picking. I would have liked more action in the lower registers, other than the percussion and occasional brass note, which I think would help with the wingless’ hollow feel. I love the rich reverb used which brings a lot of mood to some of the lower brass notes. Also, the sprinkles of bells, timpani, cymbals, chimes and other orchestral goodies all act as great highlights to the more dominant elements.

Good stuff DZ.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's fair to condemn a song based on an instrumentation choice that is by nature, a subjective decision. "Hollow" is not a criticism, it's a copout for actual critique. I hear full strings with multiple articulations, horns, low brass and high brass. That's hardly a sparse instrumentation.

I will agree that the sound quality isn't impeccable, but it's hardly bad enough to warrant rejection. The trumpet cadenza has a cringe note or two with the limited sample, but overall it's got a nice texture and is very well arranged and humanized. The percussion is lively and diverse. The snare drum isn't uber-quality, but the manner in which it is used, i.e. DYNAMICALLY, is an impressive and rare thing in submissions i've heard. I don't agree that the 3+3+2 is a hindrance. I can't fault an arrangement for sounding somewhat mechanical while using artificial musicians. There could be a little bit more TLC on the string releases and swells, but overall, it's a very dynamic and lively mix.

This tune reminds me of how Nobuo Uematsu always used synthesis in the Final Fantasy series but it was still emotionally stirring. The chimes around the :47 mark are notably bad, but this is but a blemish that does not warrant rejection. The overall arrangement doesn't feel necessarily "real", but realism is hardly a factor unless the blatant lack of it directly affects the ability to enjoy the arrangement. That is not the case here.

Frankly, the amount of creativity here does a lot to overcome the minor sound issues. The original is transmogrified into a new beast that feels truly epic. There are tempo changes, time signatures changes and dynamic changes that feel in no way contrived, but greatly enhance the humanity of the arrangement. I try not to let personal attachment affect my judging, but this tune really hits me emotionally, and if that isn't a positive aspect for a ReMix, I don't know what is. I'd love to hear more remixes that so adeptly incorporate original passages along with source material, and in such a creative package. I hope to hear more from you soon, DZComposer.

a very merry YES

-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i want to quickly echo dan - there is nothing particularly sparse about this... it would be sparse instrumentation if there was something like one instrument over percussion. not if there's a distinct ensemble of instruments being introduced and playing throughout the piece.

the arrangement, orchestration and instrumentation is fantastic. you change things up as you need to and this ends up being extremely dynamic - there are plenty of latin overtones to this and you can feel its drive forward despite the rhythm being awfully cliche. still effective, still engaging.

RETURN OF ZORRO

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i didnt think the instrumentation in and of itself was particularly thin, but i definately think the rhythm section was repetitive. the 3+3+2 gets really old really fast. The dynamic contrast is certainly nice, but i dont think it's enough. the loud sections really bore me. this is a tough call but i'm going to go with my gut.

NO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really great. I agree with Dan; this isn't really hollow at all. The arrangement is very dynamic and stirring, and DZ shows off his proficiency with the samples used very well.

The dynamics in this song are excellent; lots of highs and lows that not only correspond to volume, but intensity level as well. Very nice.

As for the cadenza, not bad; I wish it was done by a real trumpet player though.

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i played trumpet for 7 years, so while i know the trumpet sounds nothing like a real trumpet performance, it doesn't sound out of place with the rest of the orchestra.

like, if the trumpet sequencing sounded like it does but the rest of the orchestra was convincing, then i'd have a problem with it.

but everything here sounds equally fake so we can suspend the disbelief.

this is not a great arrangement but it's decent: it's got adequate development and dynamics.

hard to expect too much more in the sound department without inviting everyone to pirate expensive samples.

i give this a lukewarm

yes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was being discussed earlier in the oc chat, and where I got a lot of the information on this issue. This game was never released. It was cancelled by Nintendo. More info at: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/s/st/star_fox_2.htm

I think DJP needs to weigh in on our policies on this.

Issues:

:arrow: The game was never released, it was cancelled. So is this a game or a demo?

:arrow: How do we tie this in with other policies such as no music from game demos (Sweet Games) or freeware/shareware games with mixes (born from the TO inquiry from last year). Where is the line drawn on what is allowable for OCR?

:arrow: This game is only obtainable via rom/piracy. Do we want to allow this?

Vgmix has made a policy not to allow mixes from this game.

because it was never released; it's only playable through piracy. we have to tip-toe around such matters, and make sure we're not encouraging it in any way.
More info: http://www.vgmix.com/topic_view.php?topic_id=8162

Our current policy is a bit vague:

ReMiixes of games that are shareware, freeware, or personal projects will be accepted, but may be rejected at our discretion based on the nature of the release. We highly recommend ReMixing titles released commercially to avoid any issues as to a game's candidacy for arrangement.

BTW spelling error of "ReMiixes" in case that needs to be changed. ;)

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still on vacation, but I think the mix is fine. We already have a unreleased/cancelled game (Sonic Crackers) that has a mix posted. It's still an homage to original game music. More later, if needed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I had a chat with djp about it. There's exceptions made for well known games, like Starfox, Sonic, etc; as long as it's not from some crud no one's heard of.

I think he's gonna post here later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Policy issue's been resolved a while ago. Would like to see this and the older YESed material get priority over the more recently passed mixes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Policy issue's been resolved a while ago. Would like to see this and the older YESed material get priority over the more recently passed mixes.

I'll bring this up with dave tonight and Israfel's mix as well, both of which have been gathering more mold than liontamer's fro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Policy issue's been resolved a while ago. Would like to see this and the older YESed material get priority over the more recently passed mixes.

I'll bring this up with dave tonight and Israfel's mix as well, both of which have been gathering more mold than liontamer's fro.

"I break-a yo face!" [/Lady and the Tramp]

LadyCover.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Policy issue's been resolved a while ago. Would like to see this and the older YESed material get priority over the more recently passed mixes.

I'll bring this up with dave tonight and Israfel's mix as well, both of which have been gathering more mold than liontamer's fro.

"I break-a yo face!" [/Lady and the Tramp]

LadyCover.jpg

Your retorts are as old and as late as the mold on your fro. YE

*YE - New panel inside joke*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this