Liontamer

OCRA-0069 - Arcadia Legends

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I never owned a Dreamcast, being a Nintendo fanboy at heart. However, I did own a Nintendo GameCube and I was intrigued by the game Skies of Arcadia Legends after it was advertised in my Nintendo Power subscription. It was an enhanced port with more content for the GameCube and, since I was on a huge RPG binge at the time, this looked right up my alley. What I played would changed my young adult life. Amidst all the dark, dreary, depressing, emo RPGs that spawned as a result of the uber-popular Final Fantasy VII, this RPG flew completely under the radar with its expertly used cliche storm and upbeat & happy characters. There was a sense of daring-do, brave exploration, and an overall message of doing what's right when everything else tells you no. It was a breath of fresh air in a sea of RPG copycats.

The gameplay and story weren't the only things that lingered long after I had finished playing the game; the music left an indelible mark on my psyche. To this day, I can't get the fantastic tunes and songs out of my head. So when I looked around to see what OC ReMix albums were out there, I was shocked and disappointed that there wasn't one for Skies of Arcadia. Reading up on the rules and regulations about such albums, I saw no restriction that I couldn't start one myself. So, a little over three years ago, a virtual nobody in the OC ReMix community, I decided to start my own album to bringing this music to Arcadia and video game music fans everywhere!

What floored me was how unknown this game was. Even though it has its rabid fans and devotees, the game was largely unheard of. Almost every remixer I polled either had not heard of the game, had not played it or simply wasn't interested in arranging a track for a game they were not familiar with. It was disheartening for the first year trying to gather a huge array of remixers to arrange for what basically amounted to an "underdog album." This was not the sort of album that people were clamouring for, but it would definitely be appreciated by those who enjoyed the game and its music.

So, I pressed onward, gaining both a co-director and art director in the form of Modus when I pinged him to remix a track. He had long since left the remixing scene, but was delighted to lend his talents in other capacities and has proven beyond useful in all respects. I could not have done this project without him. And only just a year ago, we got our sound director in the form of Rotten Eggplant whom pinged us with samples of his work after stumbling across our album project. After that, we became a trio that pushed onward to see this to completion. Some major shoutouts to several remixers who went above and beyond the call of duty to provide either one or more tracks and assist other remixers in the creation of other tracks: Deedubs and Jorito! But every single remixer did a fantastic job bringing their unique individuality to the album!

Over the three years, I have experienced great highs and quite a few lows with regards to project tempo, progress, outlook, and more. It has been a wild adventure and a crazy trip for my first time directing an OC ReMix album and quite an ambitious one at that! I wouldn't trade that experience for the world and if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably pick a smaller project! Regardless, this was an album I felt the world needed and I dedicate this to all the fans of this beloved, cult classic game. And remember: "Impossible is just a word people use to make themselves feel better when they quit." I'm glad I didn't quit this! Enjoy the music, everyone!

 

- Darkflamewolf

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This album was a very rough, underdog type album. We went uphill pretty much most of the way, considering most remixers had not even heard of the game, let alone played it to have any fond memories of it. When I first started in October, 2015, I was supremely hopeful for the entire project since it seemed I was getting track claims left and right. I even had a few early full track submissions turned in from a few remixers like Deedubs. All things were looking up. Then over the course of the first year, a bunch of remixers dropped out, lost interest and disappeared or went dormant. I managed to get just above 1 disc worth of music by the end of year 1. 

We then got into year 2, or what could be better known as the 'year of despair.' There were months of no progress and very little gains on the track claiming and completion. However, we still managed to push onward and get a second disc done by the end of the year. We had 12 tracks left to go by the start of the third year and some were in varying stages of completion or just not even claimed as a track. It was looking tight indeed to make the 15th anniversary deadline.

Year 3 was definitely a slow start. We received nothing for a few months and managed to snag the last few remaining tracks on the list. It didn't really start coming together until the summer where the majority of the final disc worth of music was completed and turned in. We were then waiting on the last 2-3 tracks all the way until the very end in October where we were running up against the final deadline of album turn-in at the start of November. Thankfully, everyone came through and we were able to sneak the album release just before the 15th year anniversary ended! HUZZAH!

Now I hope you all enjoy the music while the rest of us get a nice nap. :D

 

EDIT: For those interested:

For the reasons why I chose the album track order I did, some might be curious why I didn't frontload the entire album with hard-pulse pounding beats and heavy hitters, etc. I chose the order I did on two key principles - The order of the storyline and the rough placement of 'when' you'd hear the tracks as you played through the game and of course how one song flowed into the other from finish to start. Between these two key factors, I crafted the entire album structure. 

The first disc was a way to ease listeners into the soundtrack and feel like the start of an adventure. The second disc was where the album really travels and gets explorative with its themes and styles, as if traveling to new lands. The third disc is all about the conflict and the crisis to the world and finishing strong in true pirate style. I hope you enjoy this crafted listening experience and agree that the order is pretty damn good. ;)

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Congrats on the release of the album! It seems like a few albums that have been released lately really only could be released because of the determination of the hard working staff - well done on seeing this through Darkflamewolf and Modus!

 

And to Jorito & friends: stop making the rest of us look bad with those 13+ minute epics ;P

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1 hour ago, pu_freak said:

And to Jorito & friends: stop making the rest of us look bad with those 13+ minute epics ;P

My pleasure! :P

In fairness, it was quite an undertaking (7 months from initial WIP to final version) and made my computer cry, so it might be a while before I attempt something so huge again. I just hope it was worth it, and if not, well, at least I had fun while doing it.

 

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It was completely worth it! I loved every single track on this album. I even had to cut some renditions and/or remixers from the final line-up due to a variety of reasons and some tough calls were made, even when some of the submitted tracks were near completion. Thankfully, I kept all WIPs and unused remixes and with the gracious permission from the original creators, was able to include them as part of the bonus disc so listeners could hear the delightful variations of what might have been for several of our tracks! Every remixer, both officially on and or off the official track listing gave fantastic effort in bringing the soundscape of Skies of Arcadia to life!

A question I've been getting asked recently is what my favorite tracks are on the album. Honestly, I could list just about the entire album if I'm being honest. I'm not fully comfortable picking out favorites, especially since every single remixer did an excellent job. However, if you were truly twisting my arm to make a dang decision and choose, I'll limit myself to just three, one from each disc and based on my own personal preferences in music tastes and such - even though I'm in love with the entire album as a whole!

Disc 1 - "Secret Bass" - By Silent Ice

I was extremely patient with Silent Ice and worked with him literally for the entire 3 years this mix was in production. I heard its inception from what would be its core tone to the final product you are listening to today. I enjoyed watching this track evolve through countless iterations and since I was there for its entire development, it holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite tracks.

Disc 2 - "Coding Angel" - By Jason Covenant

Those who know me know that I'm a die-hard fan of Jason Covenant and pretty much anything he does is gold to me. I adore his voice and singing in every track he's done. He's been primarily on the compo scenes more than he is submitting remixes to OCR directly, but I took note of his unique style right away. His track was the last one delivered (not counting the sudden last minute submission rework by Deedubs) and was a nice capstone to a completed album tracklist. He met and exceeded my expectations I had for him when I sought him out for this album.

Disc 3 - "Shining Silver" - By Sam Dillard

Oh man, choosing just one from disc 3 was hard! However, I'm going to go with this one purely on my nostalgia of the location you play in Skies of Arcadia where this song plays. Visiting the Great Silver Shrine for the first time was a memorable and inspiring location where some of the greatest plot twists and reveals were given to the player, so having this song reimagined into a innocent, yet majestic piece was genius.

So yeah, it was insanely hard to limit it to just one per disc, but I couldn't just pick one! So many good songs and so many great remixers, but these are just 3 of my many favorites on the album. What are yours?

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Coding Angel stands out for sure, as it's the only one with a lead vocal. It's a funny one, too.

After having these marinate for about a week, I think Undervalued is the one that gets me the most (reasons somewhat intangible really), and the first 4 songs of Disc 3 back-to-back-to-back-to-back is such quality, quality run. I wrote a little something about every track because this was the first OCR album I was this pumped for in ages, and it was nice to feel like a kid again, waiting for it to drop. :) 

 

Disc 1

The Voyage Begins

Such a great opening theme, and you get right into it! This is one of a couple on this album that could fit seamlessly into the actual game. I can never mix solo piano with other instruments in my own music too well, so nice job on that. From 2:52 onward was really all I needed, deep down, from this entire album. I mean, everything else is also super nice!! ;)

Legend in the Making

As much as I appreciate face melting virtuosity, I EQUALLY appreciate 8th note / 16th note chugging guitars and bass. It just scratches the itch that the mathy or proggy stuff can't, you know? This strikes a nice balance between serious and playful, which suits the character of Vyse well. The extra couple notes after the origial motif plays is a good touch.

Blue Skies, Pirate Surprise

This one changes and/or escalates fast and often in just three minutes, and I try to do similar stuff in my own music. I dig it! There's some great interplay between the synths and guitars, each falling back and jumping forward again to be the lead. Delicious bubbly bass towards the end. One of the shortest tracks on the album but it covers a lot of ground, and very re-listenable because of that.

Rogue Sanctuary

Getting a little Carl W. Stalling vibe from the percussion, but then it swells to something wider. Great adventurous, open sky (or open sea) vibe from this. Mischievous and also sweeping, capturing the spirit of the game (climbing that huge ladder into the air...), and I can't help but compare it to the original with how close it sounds. I prefer this new version, I gotta say :)

Secret Bass

Gritty but smooth, and I'm always into bass puns. Largemouth bass, second bassman, etc. Reading the artist notes, I never would have thought that this ReMix went through so many different iterations, because it just seems like this was meant to always be exactly like this. I guess that's the beauty of a “finished” piece of music. It is what it is, and it'll be like that forever! I like the vocal and seagulls here, especially.

Into the Deep Dark

Oh man, I would listen to the OCR version of this one over a decade ago all the time (can't remember off hand who did it, but check it out), and always had it as, like, the secondary version of Dungeon of the Cave when I got tired of listening to the OG version. THIS version is quite different, and just has so much richness to it, movement to movement, and is very evocative. If ever a SoA film were to be made, I can easily see the section Delphinus flying under Valua to fight the yellow Gigas with this ReMix playing. Getting a lot of drama out of the source, for sure.

Arcadian Assault

Love this battle theme, and keeping the same tempo as the original and just adding a beat and some flair would have been passable, but I'm really into the slowed down, de-tuned vibe here! Love your instrument choice all-around, I must say. The second half is more than a little 80s, and is one of my favorite 90 seconds of music I've heard in several months, really. There's an album called “Something” from a band called Chairlift that has a really similar sound.

Victory! Glory! Profit?

Takes the melody you hear more times than any in the entire game and adds a LOT of extra little riffs to it. Those shiny kick drums and that lead...out of everything off this entire album, this ReMix sounds the most “SEGA” to me - like something from an options menu from one of those Sonic collection GCN discs - so bonus points for that, even if it wasn't intentional! Really well-arranged for such a tiny source tune, tasteful wubs useage, and perfectly upbeat (“I wish they were all that easy!").

A Sailor's Respite

I like how this one kind of sways back and forth, like a boat in the ocean. Or a drunken sailor. A drunken sailor who thinks very highly of himself, with that harpsichord! This is another one with a lot of melodic richness to it (as mentioned in the artist notes), and does justice to the spirit of the source material.

The Silver Crystal

Really like those pads at 0:55 that are only around for a tiny bit. Nice little fake-out, and there are several little moments like that. Great one-off fills, and a few sections that kind of lilt more than groove. Keeps things less predictable and more interesting. I like that I expected a note-y piano solo to start in the second minute, but it never does. I mean, that would have been good too, but nice restraint. Lets the source melody stand out the most.

Better Days

I love him as a character, and have played through this game half a dozen times, but I can't even recall what Drachma's theme is off the top of my head....and listening to this, I couldn't pick it out! I guess that's on me, haha. But I like the clopping at 1:30, and LOVE the toy pianos. Can literally never go wrong with toy pianos. Nice horn interplay in the second half, too. “Better Days” would fit this one well, even if it was a totally original tune. Sepia tone for sure.

On Wings of Feathers

As much as I adore the SoA main theme AND the Little Jack theme, I NEVER noticed that they're melodically linked until listening to this ReMix. Since like, 2003. Until 2018. Wow. Anyhow, great sax, does it's job perfectly. This reminds me of how the newer Mario Kart games have re-vamped some of the classic MK tunes. Left the original bassline intact at the end, which I'm a fan of.

 

Disc 2

Blasting the Sand Demon

This fuggin' rips. The blast beats tread the line between realism and programmed so well; I'm really impressed by them. And even more impressed by the mixing of all these guitar layers. Crunchy and busy but no mud at all. If I was mixing this I'd be so frustrated with my snare sound and would give up totally, but you made it all work. And the riffage, duh. I actually laughed when 3:20 started because it's exactly what I wanted to happen at that moment in my life.

From the Perilous Skies to Your Heart

This reminds of all those OC ReMixes I had burned to CD from like 2003-2005. I don't know if you were going for the “new millennium” club mix sound, but this ReMix has such a nostalgic vibe to it. Having the main melody soar over everything is a great touch. Driving and heroic, this one. The climb starting at 4:30, and then going all the way to the end...sublime.

Valse pour un Prince Rebelle

Man, Enrique's theme is one I would have never agreed to, not gonna lie. He's such a wet blanket character, and his theme is one of my least favorite pieces of music from the game. You made it so much more colorful with a waltz. And the stings you used are actually pretty close to the ones used in the OST (a bit more modern, of course), which makes me feel like this could almost be an SoA lost track!

Valhorteka

“Horetka Stomp” is a classic for me, too. The rainstick/tambourine thing at the start is great. What I really appreciate in this is how the flute(s) are mixed lower than the guitars and drums. I am by no means a pro mixer but I think that adds an extra touch of realism. That change-up around 2:50 is wonderful. Flute stabs now. Everything is percussive. Michael Flatley is here. Then the melody returns. A really fantastic little breakdown.

Inner Reflections

Always impressed when a simple source tune is fleshed out so thoroughly. The hollow waves and vocoder stuff butted up against that very tangible and warm acoustic guitar make a beautiful juxtaposition. One of the loveliest moments on the album, I'd say. A lot of extra touches here but also very digestible, which I always appreciate in electronic music.

Rusted Hopes

Very faithful Anglo-Saxon update of the original, and a little more hopeful, yes. Like it could symbolize a new beginning rather than the end of the line. Several melodic lines are quite wonderful, all interweaving and then falling away. I'm thinking of each new instrument as a character visiting a person who's lost hope, to convince them to stand back up. Especially into all the metallic instruments here. Nice and jangly/plucky.

The Darkness is Already Here

There's an incredible moment in the source when the main loop stops and these synth keys come in with a really beautiful little riff, and I was so pleased that it appears here, softly, under those shrieks of...whatever that is, hah. I was startled, and then like “there it is!” ...I'm sure some of this is because I'm not too familiar with much of the utilized instruments, but I can't pick out what's real and what's sampled here, which is a good thing. Something interesting: After listening to this album, I looked through some Remixer Profiles, and saw that ZykO also did “Of Transformants and Brevity”. Dude, I think I must've downloaded that one right as it was posted like a decade and a half ago, and to this day it's one of my absolute favorites. Really cinematic, tense, and brooding, and I can trace elements of it all the way up to this Dark Rift mix. Pretty sweet. You definitely have your own sound that's been evolving.

Il buono, il brutto, il pirata dell'aria.

As a Morricone acolyte (he is arguably the most versatile living classical composer), this is all I could ask for in a ReMix. Presenting the source material in an original and creative way while still keeping it easily recognizable, with authentic sounds and performances to boot. This shows a lot of love to both the original and the genre it's reinterpreted in. Formidabile!

Shrouded Void

I love the choice of lead. Cuts through the void, you could say! Nice and resonant. Love the little square waves that come in after 2 minutes. Really digging that you just let it groove and swell for a while, before the solo, which itself is great. Sometimes I hear synth solos that fly too far off the handle with the pitch bending and length, but this was short and very sweet.

Undervalued

This is one of my faves from the game, and boy, this is MIGHT be my favorite on this album. Jeez. I listened three times in a row on my first run-through. Like you said in the notes, you really brought the percussion out, and combined with your choice of instruments and overall flavor of sound design, this is so refreshing. It's actually not too far off what I would have *tried* to do with the Valua theme (I wouldn't have done it this well). The vocals (a couple near-off voices sometimes have so much more emotion than an entire far-off choir), the glass breaking, the bass (I used to play this on bass all the time, haha)...this one is going into my OCR HoF. Love love love.

Coding Angel

Turning Gilder's Theme into a pop song about struggling with learning how to program (or perhaps crushing on someone in your PC lab :3 ) is such a fun twist (and I absolutely feel the writer's pain). It's such a simple source tune, and that you thought of a way to squeeze such a creative idea out of it makes me smile. Just the fact that there are actual singing/lyrics makes it one of the most catchy (and singable) songs on the album.

To the Horizon

In my head, the Delphinus theme would be a really tough one on its own, so having it weave in and out of other themes as part of a larger medley (and also keeping with the meta-narrative of the game's overworld) was a smart choice, and this track really has guts. I would never be able to glue all these themes together and have it hold a listener's interest for 13 miutes. The brass on the Armada theme is HEAVY. I love it. Town of Ice right before it is also super pretty. Those are probably my two favorite sections. Or movements? I always enjoyed the Little Jack theme more than the Delphinus's in the game, but if I had this tune playing instead, things would be different.

 

Disc 3

The MFD

Really good percussion in the arrangement and panning departments... this track has so many great dynamic subtleties; the ongoing level/velocity adjustments in the instrumentation make the whole song breathe. Tracks like this make me strain to try and figure out what's live and what isn't, and I actually had to read the artist notes to be sure! Such great texture and timbre in those keys. Literally everything here is tasty and tasteful. The original song was also remade for Sega All-Star Racing or whatever that game was called, but this version of course offers so much more.

Brain Sound Tilt

YUP. These are some Alva Noto-esque high frequencies skittering around in here, hitting my ears in all the right spots. I don't know if they're synths or samples or what, but they're so physiologically satisfying. This is like an evil club dirge. Love the dissonant riff at 3:16. Glitchy but very followable. Perfect for that SoA remake or sequel that won't ever happen. And flows nicely into...

...Black Moon

Whooooo boy, all this bass...it's like Gigas energy leaking out. Or something. REALLY made the most out of this source, holy cow. 2:09 – 2:32 is the boss's sauce. Belongs on a Kanye record. This whole thing is a jam and half. The power-down at the very end is the kind of ear candy that helped me justify buying nice speakers.

Nervousness in Just Bravery Disguised

It's a quote from the game, right? This is yet ANOTHER piece from the game that I wouldn't have any earthly idea how to reinterpret, and you killed it. 3:10 to the end is an album standout moment for me. The kick throughout the song and and filthy bass tone around 1:45 reminds me a lot of a band called Big Black, the “Atomizer” record in particular. This is and the previous two tracks really fit together seamlessly, and really hold you and don't let go. Nice job on the ordering!

Life in a Vyse

Like the plate on everything here. Contrasts well with the other rock/metal tracks thus far that have the more compressed, clean-your-chrome thing going on. This one is a little more 70s with that sick ELP “Tarkus” organ + bass riffage. Closing with the “we're winning this” version playing in soaring guitar hero fashion, and then the last two death blows on those low notes. <3

Shining Silver

For sure a stand-out on the original OST, and a stand-out on AL as well. Out of all the orchestral jams on this album, this one sounds the most expansive {and also perhaps the most expensive...is that the Vienna Symphonic ;) }, like I'm in space. Taken up to the Silver Shrine itself. Every instrument section here is drenched in just the right amount of reverb and panned very, very well, and the female choir, when it appears, is a beautiful touch.

God's Ambition

Mallets and woodwinds add some great color. This one is similar to “Into the Deep Dark” at first, more cinematic and then BREAKS LOSE with the Wobbly Reese x John Williams combo that I don't think I've ever heard before. Doing the analog meets electronic thing works so well with the aesthetic of the Armada. The battle against Galcian is my favorite in the game, and I think this is my favorite of all of the great stuff Deedubs did on their own for this album.

In Solitude, I Scream

The original always made me think of “A Warm Place”, by NIN. This ReMix does what I can never do, which is make a more ambient source and reinvigorate it without simply adding a 4-on-the-floor beat. The resonant bass harmonics at 2:40 are so gross, in the best way. Swirling arpeggios are very dungeon-like, for sure.

Unknown Menace

I love how sinister the source riff is, and I love whatever instrument/synth that is you used to play it here (4:35 especially, with the hissing/breathing sounds also there). So spooky. Also like how stabby this. Get a bit of mid-90s "Next Step Electronica" keys going on here. Tempo-stretched Fina dipping low into a buzzing, baroque breakdown to end the first half was a super cool moment.

Silver Nightmare

I guess to do a song like this, the guitar needs to be super on-point, while the orchestral element has to be less rigid to the tempo, keeping things sounding nice a human. Nice work with that, because it totally works. All the soft sections here are GORGEOUS, whoa. 2:57 onward is my favorite bit of guitar playing on the album. Nice tone, hitting all the right notes, and the perfect amounts of them.

The End of a Dream

There are more orchestral pieces on this album than any other style (I think....), and they have so many different motifs and changes, and so much motion in them...to have this final one be on the shorter side, and focusing mainly on the source, and the slow, dramatic sinking on the continent...it's really a perfect final movement. Does exactly what it needs to do within the context of an album that's following the course of the game. Wonderful.

Hearth and Home

The coda. Can't even tell if that cello's “real” or not. So much meticulous string-craft (that's not a word) in here, and at this slow tempo with all those sustained notes, that kind of thing can be risky. But it's sounds so good. And yo, It's the staff roll! You could've just done a solo piano jawn! But instead you things three steps further. The ¾ section with the guitar is my favorite part. But the whole thing is super pretty.

---------------

So, yes, as someone who used to be obsessed with Skies of Arcadia Legends and is still obsessed with it's music (or the Dreamcast version's....the GCN version had sampled-down soundtrack, and you can really tell if you do a YouTube comparison), this Arcadia Legends album now sits next to Worlds Apart as one of my two favorites from OCR. Reading the artist notes, I was surprised to discover that so many people that worked on these remixes had never played the game! But their stuff sounded fantastic anyhow. It goes to show you how music from games doesn't have to have a nostalgic connection to mean something to people. Or any music, really. It also goes to show you how tenacious Darkflamewolf was in getting this thing done, just straight-up recruiting people. The plan was in motion for 3 years, and that's along time to direct anything. I'm impressed! I wish I had bothered to look at the OCR forums before 2018 or I would have volunteered. BUT, “Dungeon of Ice” was never claimed! It's one of the OST's best, and I'm halfway done my own version already, inspired by listening to all these great tunes. Anyhow, beautiful work, everyone. Happy New Year, and congrats!

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@Mr. Hu Thank you, that was a such a treat for the staff to read :) I feel encouraged to come out of my shell and share my personal favorites by disc.

 

Disc 1

Blue Skies, Pirate Surprise by OceansAndrew

This was the track that @Rotten Eggplant auditioned with, by mastering OA's track, and he killed it. The positive vibes of SoA are all captured here. Fun-loving rogues just, you know, risking their lives robbing empire ships, possibly causing harm to innocents :D See, but that's the cynic in me that took hold over the years, as mentioned by @Darkflamewolf in his introduction to the album. SoA never fails to bring me back to youthful ways of thinking, a cartoonish and fear-free view of the world.

 

Disc 2

Undervalued by Kylok

You can hear the valve of the saxes moving in this one. It's one of the most physical, real tracks I've ever heard. Early on when I heard the WIP of this, I magnetized to it. I became defensive of its development and in fact, since the judges were giving us preliminary feedback, this track instigated the one and only time, through 36 tracks, I said 'no, I don't agree with this proposed change. I think the distorted background beat should remain fairly loud.' We did lower it a bit, but not by much. It gave the track its balls and grit, while the somber sax lead pierces your soul. It's a reserved expression of the every-day grief we feel as part of the human condition, which we don't always like to bring out in front of people. This song just.. connects. @Mr. Hu I was delighted to hear that it resonated with another fan.

To the Horizon, I'm so sorry you had to be matched up against this in a disc-by-disc comparison. You are equally amazing.

 

Disc 3

Shining Silver by Sam Dillard

This source has special meaning to any SoA fan. This is the king of the cinematic pieces in Arcadia Legends. Not because it's better than the others, but because it sounds authoritative.. it rules over the listener and demands attention, taking us on a cinematic journey fit for the big screens. This is how we remember SoA, as a cinematic, continent-spanning experience, wrapped in danger, despair, good vibes and relentless curiosity.

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I guess it’s my turn hahaha. Well, for those that know me, they know how hard it is to please me musically. It’s not an issue of “my style of music” or anything, but rather how a track resonates with me.

That being said, it’s really hard to pick favorites, especially from each disc, as each resonates with me at different aspects and different reasons. It’s like having a favorite child.

Disc 1

Naturally one would think I’d pick the track I had a hand in (On Wings of Feathers), but there is one track that stands out stronger. That would have to be @pu_freak‘s track, The Voyage Begins. The composition in this track continues to send chills up my back every time I listen to it. 

Disc 2

I’m going to go with @Jason Covenant‘s track Coding Angel. The lyrics and the composition here is amazing, and turned a song I didn’t care for much in the original ost into a song I thoroughly enjoy listening to. 

Disc 3

This might actually shock some of you, but my favorite on this disc is actually @Glejs‘s track Unknown Menace. This style of trance was my whole childhood, and combined with the game that was my whole childhood resulted in contender for one of my most favorite songs, not just with the album, but period. 

Artist

Even though none of his songs ended up on the above list, I felt the need to make a special category for my favorite artist just because pretty much all his tracks on this album are such a joy to listen to. That would be Mr. @Deedubs. Amazing artist, great person to work with, I know some day he’ll make it big. 

Anyway, as I said before, it wasn’t easy picking favorites, and for everyone else, know that I admire the work you guys put into your tracks. To @Darkflamewolf and @Modus, thank you guys so much for letting me be a part of this!

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2 hours ago, Modus said:

You can hear the valve of the saxes moving in this one. It's one of the most physical, real tracks I've ever heard. Early on when I heard the WIP of this, I magnetized to it. I became defensive of its development and in fact, since the judges were giving us preliminary feedback, this track instigated the one and only time, through 36 tracks, I said 'no, I don't agree with this proposed change. I think the distorted background beat should remain fairly loud.' We did lower it a bit, but not by much. It gave the track its balls and grit, while the somber sax lead pierces your soul. It's a reserved expression of the every-day grief we feel as part of the human condition, which we don't always like to bring out in front of people. This song just.. connects. @Mr. Hu I was delighted to hear that it resonated with another fan.

 

Right! The valves. Together with the voices it becomes a very intimate track. Personal. A big, collective sigh.

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Hi everybody, and Happy New Year!

I realize I'm a little late to the listening party here, but I've been wanting to chime in myself.  When @Darkflamewolf brought me on to the project in late 2015, I was super excited at the idea of an OCR album of Skies of Arcadia music.  I've been anxious to hear how different people interpreted the music from Skies of Arcadia.  I've been able to finally listen to Arcadia Legends a couple times through and everything just sounds great.  I wanted to give some shout-outs to a few tracks that have really resonated with me:

- "Victory! Glory! Profit?" by @GlacialSpoon - This one is pure fun.  Get's me pumped!

- "Inner Reflections" by @YoshiBlade -  I remember hearing this one on @Rexy's podcast.  I can't get enough of the vibe.  I'm a sucker for chill atmospheres and that filtered piano in the beginning is so nice.  The transitions and subtle tempo changes work so well.
 
- "Il Buono, il brutto, il pirata dell'aria" by @Jorito, et al. -  I love this one, if even only from a pure execution standpoint.  Jorito did an awesome job transferring the two sources into something that feels like "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".  Also, big props to Jorito for taking on that 13-minute monstrosity "To the Horizon".
 
- "The End of a Dream" by Scott Buckley - The way this piece builds and develops is sublime.  The tension buildup and payoff around 2:42 gives me goosebumps every time.  I don't know if there are any other fans of Eureka Seven, but the track winds down with a 4-3 suspension definitely brings me back to the OST of that anime.
 
- +1 from me for "Shining Silver" by Sam Dillard - I was excited when I saw Sam Dillard's name pop up in the project thread.  The guy makes a lot of incredible music.  "Shining Silver" feels a bit like a film score cue of our heroes experiencing the Silver Shrine for the first time, seeing in person this massive, grandiose, literally out-of-this-world structure.  Another great entry by Sam!
 
 

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@Deedubs All your contributions are personal favorites of mine. Furthermore, for some reason.. Silver Crystal resonates with me in a special way. The chill Ice Dungeon-esque vibes evoke images of Fina. You basically brought an excluded OST track back into the mix through a different source. I love that.

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@Mr. Hu  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on every track.  It's really cool to see someone take the time to do that.  I'm also glad you liked "Better Days"!  Like you, I didn't remember what Drachma's theme sounded like either.  It may take a bit of a critical ear, but I'm sure if you go back and listen to the original you'll be able to match the melodies up with "Better Days."   It was a lot of fun trying to tell a part of the character's story from a very different angle. 

I've listened to whole album through 3 times now, and I just love every bit of it.  There isn't a track on it that isn't great.  I'm thrilled beyond belief that I got to make my first foray into remixing in such great company.  That said a few of my standout favorites were:

"Secret Bass" - In addition to having such a wonderfully punny name, it was a completely unexpected take on what I honestly had thought was a pretty forgettable original theme.  It's slick in production and pulls no punches.  Incredibly creative, unique and fun remix

"Il buono, il brutto, il pirata dell'aria" -  I had been looking forward to hearing this since the project thread first showed "genre: spaghetti western".  My brother and I were doing our first listen to the album while traveling over the holidays.  We had been watching this track getting closer and closer on the playlist and then the first notes rang out.. We looked at each other and he said exactly what I was thinking "wow...they just kind of dove into that headfirst didn't they..."      There's something to be said for setting out to craft a very specific "feel" for a piece and JUST NAILING IT.   The arrangement is nothing short of fantastic and the production quality is superb.  Way to take a great piece of source material in a completely new direction and own it 100%.

"The Darkness Is Already Here" -  I would in many ways have expected a dark rift remix to have a threatening/intimidating kind of vibe, but what we get here is much more eerie.  When I listen to this I feel like I'm floating through a graveyard of ships.  Everything is calm around you, too much so....and every so often you silently and unceremoniously drift past another wreck that reminds you of a formless, unseen danger.  Zyko's choice of instruments adds a lot of texture to the sound that I think really drives this remix.  awesome.

"Coding Angel" - absolutely hilarious, catchy as can be, and interestingly enough, virtually unrecognizable (at least to my ears) fromt he source tune.  I would love to know how Jason Covenant decided Gilder's theme needed to be done this way.   Whatever the reason, the end result is a finely polished, smile inducing, unforgettable standout track, that i'll be involuntarily siniging for days.

"God's Ambition" - Deedubs was great to work with on "Better Days".   I'm really glad to see him getting some well deserved accolades.  All of his tracks are great.  This one in particular took me right back to an epic battle in the skies, and reminded me just how great this game was.  With this and many of his other tracks, Deedubs found a way to bring back everything you felt when you heard the music for the first time in game, and dial it up to 11.  

I could pick so many more great entries on the album, but these 5 have probably been the ones I have repeated the most over the past few days.

Great job everyone!  This project was a blast.  I can't wait to do more.            

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@TSori, I will give you a nice, warm fuzzy. Out of all the tracks on the album, my two boys absolutely love and adore your 'Better Days' track. So much so that when it comes on, they instantly recognize it and forbid us to change the song or even stop the car and get out if we go anywhere until the song finishes. lol :D 

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I'm not sure where else to ping for these folks, but for those wanting physicals who took part in this album and I'm pinging you here, please check your DMs on these forums. Important information is there for you. @Garpocalypse @shredd @Chadlee @bluelighter @Juke @GlacialSpoon @OceansAndrew @YoshiBlade @Deedubs @fxsnowy @Ophanin @Rotten Eggplant @Silent Ice

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Okay, all American/USA based contributors have had their copies sent out to them yesterday. Already sent out your tracking numbers as well to your emails/DMs. I am currently filling out customs forms for the international shipments (and waiting for my next paycheck to hit this Friday) before I gather together the copies to send out to my foreign contributors!

Was funny at the Post Office, I literally cleaned them out of all boxes/packages that'd fit two copies of the album. They were like, did you need that many? ME: Yes, yes I do and I'll be needing just as many when I come back to do this again! :D

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Are the torrent links working for anyone else? Alternatively, is there another place to download/buy the flac version of this file, such as Bandcamp? Sorry, new to this forum. Thanks!

Edit: download worked fine for me today, so it was probably on my end

Edited by Levi04

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Oof... $250 later and all the international shipments are done! Everyone who has been owed a copy has been shipped out! And...I'm still left over close to 200 copies... x_X For those expecting, I'll be emailing you shortly regarding tracking number so you can track packages to your home. And with that, my role in directing Arcadia Legends has come to a final end! Thank you one and all for contributing and following this album and I hope everyone continues to enjoy the music!

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