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OCR04666 - *YES* Graffiti Kingdom "Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo del Diablo)"


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Main ReMixer name: TheManPF (User ID: 35318)
Game: Graffiti Kingdom
Name of arrangement: Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo Del Diablo)
Songs arranged: Final Battle (https://youtu.be/-aonDr-Odog)
Original composer: Yasunori Mitsuda
System: Playstation 2
Year: 2004
This arrangement was done as part of the Yasunori Mitsuda month in Dwelling of Duels back in July 2022, and got 11th place out of 26 tracks.
I never played Graffiti Kingdom (or any Mitsuda game, for that matter), I purposefully looked for what looked like the most obscure source I could pick and found this little game called Graffiti Kingdom that has some pretty cool tracks. "Final Battle" plays in the true final boss, which as far as I know seems to be the son of the main villain, the devil.
For this arrangement, I basically go through the whole source in 3 "loops", with the 3 sections of the original playing in order and repeating two more times, each time adding something new or transforming it in different ways. The image I get in my head from this arrangement after finishing it is the idea of someone's slow descent into hell, which is why it starts creepy and tense, and slowly gets heavier.
This is a solo project, I did all the arrangement, sequencing, mix, guitar playing and a bit of lowkey vocals. Everything that is not guitar or vocals is sequenced VST and/or samples.
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Not that it has Hamauzu's sensibilities in there, but I was getting some Hamauzu-adjacent vibes from this Mitsuda composition. Very cool source tune choice!

The bowed strings aren't majorly dinging this, but had a noticeably stilted sounded. The drums and kicks seemed a bit too loud, but it's just a nitpick. Where do I recognize that subtle sweeping SFX brought in at :31? Mega Man X? In any case, loved the bassline presenting that anchor to the source tune at :31, allowing you to riff and build over the top of it until 1:10. Loads of good sound design things swirling around with this one. I do wish the bassline cut through more at 1:44, because that writing's very good and helps give the piece more movement.

Great dropoff at 2:03, followed by some grungier guitar at 2:21. At that point, I'm feeling like a confident spy's breaking in somewhere and easily dispatching evil people getting in their way. Then they spot a tricky hallway at 2:41 and collect themself before the action gets going again at 2:56. I could entertain myself all day setting VGM arrangements to movie action. :-D

The stiff-sounding strings interfered with the intended tension and energy of 2:56-3:22's section, which had some amazing guitar soloing. Another strong dynamic shift at 3:22, just a textbook example of a 10-second change that serves as a great energy reset and transition to another intense section with different textures.

The leads started feeling too distant and the soundscape messy from 4:06-4:45. Nice closeout idea with the plucked strings from 4:45 and the final ethereal effects. I like the variations on the theme throughout; very creative way to get mileage from this one!


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  • Liontamer changed the title to 2023/08/30 - (1Y) Graffiti Kingdom "Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo del Diablo)"

long-tail reverb to open the track, with some bells playing the A melodic material. the initial beat hit at 0:31, and it took a second to grok what was going on between the drums and the bass since there's a lot going on in the same place EQ-wise. guitar lead through here is heavily effected and has some fun ideas. this section gives way to the B material, with some enveloped guitar work that reminds me of jason truby's solo guitar stuff. this continues to build through 2:04 when we get a sudden shift.

drums bring us back in and get the ball rolling again at 2:06. there's some heavier guitar that isn't mixed into the rest of what's going on well, but i like the idea of it. we get more of that at 2:56 and the electric still is too sharp to fit into the backing parts, but i like what the lead is saying here. i unironically like the rhythm guitar a lot better at 3:30 when you're playing with the filter on it ? 

there's some really heavy fun parts starting at 3:33 onward. drums are way more complex, guitar lead is way more complex, and the driving energy is great. bass is a little light here but at least i can hear it. this goes to an outro using a plectral instrument with some reversed tails and then it's done.

i love the exploration that this track has throughout. this is a quirky original, and you committed to that with your approach. i think there's some nitpicks around how you chose to master it, but the guitar work is great and the overall approach is really interesting. i was a little on the fence early on but you won me over by midway through the track.




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  • prophetik music changed the title to 2023/08/30 - (2Y) Graffiti Kingdom "Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo del Diablo)"
  • 5 weeks later...

An exciting, dynamic arrangement of an obscure track, just what we like to see! You took one of the most boring final boss themes I've ever heard and turned it into something engaging and original.

I will say that the distorted guitar creates a gritty sound that seems like a production artifact at times. I had to listen several times to realize it was just "natural" white noise and not popping.

Otherwise this sounds great.  Strong work.


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  • MindWanderer changed the title to 2023/08/30 - (3Y) Graffiti Kingdom "Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo del Diablo)"
  • Liontamer pinned this topic
  • 3 weeks later...

Listening to the source tune, I love the changing time signature and bouncy vibe.  Definitely does not sound like a boss theme, let alone a final boss theme!

I'm not a fan of the initial bowed-string soundscape, but I love the bells, and the full soundscape when it opens up at 0:31.  The instrumentation is solid yet reserved, great vibe.

Mixing is clean and the soundscape placement of the elements is on point, nice and 3D.  Really excellent mixture of instruments and textures.  The arrangement stays completely fresh as it moves along, with new grooves and bits of ear candy, while always representing the source material well.  This arrangement never loses my interest as it moves along.  Even the very fullest sections are mixed well even while (probably) having too many elements playing.

The guitar work is truly excellent.  Drums are just right.  So much creativity here, all very well executed.  I love this so much.

Quick edit for a final thought:  now THIS sounds like a final boss theme!  ;-D



Edited by Chimpazilla
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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR04666 - *YES* Graffiti Kingdom "Down Where Evil Dwells (El Hijo del Diablo)"
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