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Master System Castle of Illusion - Cake level theme (electronic, chill -> drum and bass? a bit weird) - update 2022-11-23

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This one started way back in 2012, during People's Remix Competition round 210. https://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/PRC210

I decided that hey, this is actually finished, with just a bit of polish. I was thinking of extending it, but it sounded rounded out enough to me now. It's a bit short, but if you like it, you can simply listen to it again!

Edited by evktalo
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@evktalo Only familiar with the Genesis version of this game & its music, so this was... interesting! The source is nice enough, but I do love the less fanfare/celebratory and slightly darker direction you've taken it in, without changing the major key vibe. Lovely sound design with lots of different textures; bass slides in particular stood out. I have some very specific feedback that you can take or leave, of course:

  1. While there are elements that are cross-panned or spread out, all of the melodic leads seem center to center-left. Having at least one melodic lead (flute, one of the synths, etc.) panned center-right might make the "melodic lead space" a bit wider/dispersed, in a good way? Could also open things up to leads occasionally overlapping/harmonizing while remaining distinct. Just a thought.
  2. The backing synth line that fades in at 1'06" sticks around all the way to 1'35" or thereabouts, with the same straight sixteenth-note pattern; wondering about dropping it out for 1-2 bars and differentiating those measures as a break and/or modulating filter cutoff or something else to give it more movement/evolution over time?
  3. The switch to double-time might benefit from a longer dropout & gradual rebuild or something else to differentiate the two sections, since the same basic sounds are being employed. I think using the same sounds is fine - it sounds good at both speeds - but something more elegant & deliberate to facilitate/bridge the jump to double, maybe?

Good stuff, as always!

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Thanks David! I'll take a listen and see if I'll incorporate some of those extremely well-articulated and pin-point thoughts. 😺 1. and 2. especially sound like something I would want to do, thanks! 3. would adjust the song structure which I might judge too much work at this point but I'll certainly give it a pair of mouse-ears and see if they agree with the idea.

More importantly, you should certainly check out Castle of Illusion on the Master System; I'm almost shocked that you haven't! 😉 Castle of Illusion on 16-bit vs 8-bit is very interesting. The 8-bit version is not trying to do what 16-bit version is doing but only half as good; it's a solid whimsical 8-bit platformer in its own right and in its own, perhaps more deliberate style. The soundtrack also has specific tunes in each version, although the cake level theme is in both. Mega Drive/Genesis version actually has a variation of the theme that I long considered using to extend this arrangement, but I think I'll just wrap it up now rather than sit on it for longer!

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  • evktalo changed the title to Master System Castle of Illusion - Cake level theme (electronic, chill -> drum and bass? a bit weird) - update 2022-11-23

There we go, finally edited this a bit ..


I _think_ I addressed the lead panning a bit, at least one of the flutes seems to lean to the right.

I mixed the arpeggio a lot lower.

Didn't change the structure, but added a little bit of warbly pad towards the end to fill out the soundscape a little bit.

Probably will write a submission letter soon!

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