Sign in to follow this  
Ginnsu

OCR00832 - Dragon Warrior III "Flight of Destiny"

Recommended Posts

Dragon Warrior III 'Flight of Destiny'

Another soft and melodic yet playful bit of music from our resident electronic orchestra conductor, Russell Cox. It's always fantastically dramatic with this guy, isn't it? A beautiful mix of strings, brass, and wind instruments, topped of with a piano like a cherry on a cream pie. But of course you must have a taste for classical to get anything out of this. Try it just to see. Stunningly beautiful piece of work, Russell Cox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here goes. Hopefully you'll respond in turn if you can find the time.

It seems Russell's done some mixing of actual 'real' recordings of some of the instruments in this arrangement with the previous (excellent) electronic emulations we're use to. At the very least, he's layered some room ambience and sounds of a rustling-but-attentive audience to the mix, which lends an imminent, 'live performance' feel that's something new and different.

Interesting -- I didn't use any recordings in this song. I actually never have and use samples only as it's hard for me to find a recording, or even a snipet, that I like and that would work well. Though, I would like to know where in the song that my manipulation of the samples lead you to believe that.

The ambient noise was a good touch, but I usually don't use it. I've only used it in 2 of about the 40-something (original and arranged) songs I've done.

Discrepancies in recording levels for the acoustic portions are sometimes noticeable, like at 3'25" when the harp comes back in softly after a swell. Whether or not this annoys you will depend on your perspective - from my point of view, it's an interesting effect to try but I wouldn't want to hear it regularly applied to all of Russell's pieces as I've previously enjoyed the pristine nature of the sound quality.

Simple -- my sound card was misbehaving and the recording levels were out of whack. There were 3 different levels of volume throughtout the song. The beginning was around 75% of max volume that the Audiophile could output. It was changed to 50% near 2:25 simply because of the sheer volume of the 'finale' section and the fact that I wanted to have the section before quiet as to set the 'calm before the storm.' Around 3:37 the voume levels jump to 100% for the remainder of the song.

As far as the drop in overall volume right after the tutti orchestra plays, I can see where that would bother you. However, I chose to recap the ast two measures of the 'finale' section in minor mode and wanted draw a parallel to the world of DW III -- when you finish the first world, it's not the end of the adventure. The quiet followup depicts that the hero's job isn't over yet and the recap of the overworld theme from DW (DWIII second run) portrays the team's 'lonliness' -- they are alone in a strange, new world without the support of the Hero's king, just as Erdrick's descendant in DW is alone and without the aid of a companion, hence the sombre tone of harp/harp/oboe trio.

. . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox . . . Mr. Cox

..... I suddenly feel very old . . . . .

Sugiyama's work is more reserved and less flamboyant than Uematsu or Mitsuda, I feel, but has subtleties that arrangements like these can capitalize on and really highlight.

Not to mention extremely complex -- the only other game composer I've seen with this much ability with the orchestra is Yuzo Koshiro and even then it's still not on the level with Koichi. Even Uematsu and Mitsuda refer to Sugiyama as the "big daddy" of game music simply because of his talent composing and his unsurpassed understanding of the whys and hows of the orchestra. *Needless to say he ranks right up there on my list of favorite game compoers*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn. I wanted to be the first to review this. Oh well. Stellar work. In my opinion, Russell's best of what I've heard. I don't know why I'm reviewing this. He's heard it all before and nothing I say is going to improve the song, because, quite honestly, except for a few nitpicky sections, I really don't believe this NEEDS any improving. Anyway, check it out for an experience.

Now all we gotta do is get MISTER COX to do some FAST stuff...

DC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what to say... That is certaintly one of the best remixes i've ever heard on this site, and i've been here since the good olde days. I've got a few minor complaints, like it gets a bit muddy in the early 3:00's, but other than that minor complaint, a beautful arrangement of a already great piece.

Incredable job :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually get flamed for stating my opinions since Im almost always in the minority, but I do it anyway. Also please keep in mind this is not a bash against Russell Cox (as some people like to conclude). I much respect the guy and think hes a cool person. so anyway,

I really dont see the big deal with this song. I am a long time lover of the game and I've heard the Dragon Quest Orchistral arrangements hundreds of times - I absolutely love them.

But this one just seems to simple. I mean, it goes through the original melody with super-amazing-highquality samples. A few variations here and there. A few changes in the chord structure. Some repeating. Usual conformation to rules of orchestra (Ugh, I hate rules). There really isnt anything in this song that I find unique, admirable, or impressing except maybe the sound quality.

Some stuff I didnt like outright like the pentatonic major use of harps at 0:35 and the piano at 1:22. Stuff like that I thought didnt fit this kind of song at all.

I know I dont know much theory, but I dont think that matters. Orchestra is still my favorite Genre and I hear quite a bit.

On a side not, I hear a lot of clipping in Russell songs, you might want to check into that, russ.

-Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, Dragon Warrior III. It figures that you'd choose the flying bird song, that one was probably the most easy to put into orchestra besides maybe the monolith music.

What I don't get about this song is the break at about 1:10, and then it shifts into a different piece. Obviously it was intentional, but it almost sounded like "the orchestra" was starting a new song or something.

The improvised part around 2:00 is way awesome, especially when the piano comes in. And then we get back to the initial melody, which leads up to the grand part at 3:00, the highlight of the song. But after that there's some weird transitions (the piano and amplitude of noise, the pause, and then all of a sudden there's harps from Alefgard). Which I might've preferred to go on longer, because it didn't seem finished or even a way to add on to what you had.

But all in all, I think it's a good piece and I'm glad to hear some DWIII coverage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I absolutely love this rearrangement and I do not believe the so-called "lack of complexity" of the arrangement itself as stated by some is any deterrant from enjoying this piece. I have never played Dragon Warrior III, but I listen to this arrangement all the time because it is thoroughly enjoyable. The quality of the instruments really helps it sound great, and no, this isn't soaring brass and full orchestral all the way through, and why should it be? If you put it into a particular context, it works even better, such as if this track were to be used in a film score. It's perfect.

The auditorium noise fits very well in my opinion, and it is a great idea to add that extra stroke of realism to a piece. When the hiss levels seem to increase at about 3:28, I think it actually adds more realism to the "recording idea." Since it is a quiet part, it would seem that if this were actually recorded with an orchestra, the recording engineers may increase the volume at that point. And the dramatic release with the brass after the crecendo at 2:55 is totally amazing.

Thanks Russell, excellent work. I'm impressed as always! This one, for me, is a keeper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ehehehe...now that vgmix is down, you just thought it wise to put it here so those that didn't get a chance to download it there can have it here? ;)

or not. maybe you just wanted it on ocr just because...

after listening to it more since I first reviewed this on vgmix, i have a few more things to say...

the part at 1:53 seems strangely familiar...or it's just the style you chose.

but I've finally pinpointed it after all this time, and it really reminds me of the overworld theme in dragon warrior monsters 2. (the extra magic key worlds, not the main ones) It always seems to remind me of that.

I don't know why...but anyways...

Yeah, I'll suggest this again, DO MORE DRAGON WARRIOR III SONGS.

Like, a battle theme would be cool *coughbaramoscough*. There's not enough dw3 songs out there. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your comment about the kudos for making a DW3 arrangement. However, I fail to see how it is an exact copy of the orchestral album's version. Please point out exactly why you think this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except for the last 30 seconds or so, when it goes back to the old DW world map theme, the remix isn't much different from Suigiyama's orchestrated arrangement. There are some minor changes, the melody is an octave lower in the beginning, and the piano replaces another instrument later on, that's pretty much it, as far as I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Sugiyama's* orchestral arrangement goes as followed:

Flute/Oboe for respective parts of the melody. It is followed by a tutti orchestra with horn supplying a counter-melody for 4 measures. An interlude follows with celli section/Violin I section (possibly Violin II also, but the sound is too thin to be both)/English Horn/Clarinet playing that part. It then repitulates back to the beginning with the Flute/Oboe and tutti orchestra following.

Mine goes as follows:

Alto flute and solo Cello play the first iteration of the melody. I then repeat the melody combination with Flute/Oboe/Clarinet (in harmonic intervals) for the first half, with a tutti brass section playing the second half. A Euphonium plays the first part of the interlude, followed by piano. The next part of the interlude is played twice, with Piccolo/Flute/Oboe playing first, and Clarinet/Bassoon/Euphonium playing the second time. The last part of the interlude is played twice also, with solo Piccolo playing the first time, followed by a Piano reiteration. The melody is then played with Flute/Oboe for the first part, Bassoon/Euphonium for the second half. Then a tutti orchestra plays the 'finale' with a bass drum hit to signify the ending ( I took out trumpet staccato statements and supported sixteenth notes in the flutes and piccolo, but THIS part is the only thing even close to Koichi's arrangement -- the inversions of the chords are not the same ). The percussive parts are played a measure earlier than Sugiyama's, as I do not like his placement in his own rendition -- it feels akward to me. The tempo was also slowed down dramatically as the orchestral album feels too 'rushed' to me. The chords are changed from his normal open spacing to closed spacing -- I wanted as much dissonance as possible without having to purposely create my own. Hence, this is why some passages may sound 'sour.'

Sorry if I sound like an ass, but I refuse to let anything believe I simply copied an orchestral album -- that is an insult to my abilites as a composer *and* arranger. If I *were* just copying, then that would not only be a waste of my time but the listener's as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't care to pick apart either piece and get technical like that. Of course, if you write everything out like that they'll look different, what I actually hear in the pieces is what matters, and they don't seem entirely different. I'd still have to consider it an arrangement of an arrangement, with some minor changes, excluding the last 30 seconds, as I said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the world of orchestral music is generally a very technical one, and I think that's a big reason why it's not as massively popular anymore among the layman, pop and rock music isn't as technical. The differences in the two arrangements will be apparent to those who care to examine them...but you can't criticize the composer for working on a higher level than what you listen to.

Sorry if that was a little nebulous, it's a difficult thing to examine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ramia's Theme was one of the more breathtaking songs out of the NES vanguard, but this remix is so sublime and perfect one could almost call it an improvement on the original. From the soaring strings to the weeping harp, this song is beautiful in every single facet of its existence. Bravo!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My God, it's absolutely gorgeous. When I downloaded the spc archive of the DQ3 Reprise, I thought the SNES version of this song was fantastic...but this...I can't stop singing its praises. I don't want it to end!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've listened to this song at least 10 times in a row now and I just can't stop. It has a soft and dreamlike, yet majestatic, feel to it, and it gives it a depth typical songs with more grandiose chord progressions and melodies can not really achieve. That's not to say I don't love that kind of music as well, but this song has something special to it.

I simply love this piece of music.

Some parts of this song make me think of Max Steiner's music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far so good.

Nice, relaxing, classical, and sweepingly orchestral, reminds me of a woodlands/forest theme. I really loves how it opens up at 2:53 :-) and then gently closes.

o.k., the pause at 1:07 doesn't really help; it breaks up the flow of a nicely moving piece. But other than that, this is great stuff to listen too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful work, but the clipping detracts a bit.

Dynamics and the subtle ambient noise makes this a great piece. The samples are well used, and though the solo cello and some of the earlier brass was a little bit ragged in comparison, the flute solos and then the huge build at the end were awesome.

There's a lot of subtleties to this one, and the additional parts and flow of the track are great. This is nice work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda sounds way too similar to the DW3 orchestral arrangement IMO... He probably got his inspiration from those, because man they are beautiful.

This is beautiful too though so w/e, though it would be easy to make it so with reference material like this.

Also yeah, yikes on the clipping. This is way dated so I hope I don't sound too harsh. I kind of always forgot about reviewing this song since I've heard it so much, but it just popped up on the front page so what the heck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I'm tremendously biased towards the SNES version (even with those high, almost painful, notes it hits+scratches out), this is a superb orchestrated take.

And I know the discussion below on Cox's versus Sugiyama's versions is long over - but... they are different. Sugiyama's follows the original much more closely and moves much more quickly, whereas Cox takes more liberties, varying the piece more. (While they both start and end at the same general spots, Cox's version is also a minute longer!)

There's more going on in this remix. I especially like the choice of woodwind instruments, as it gives the piece a more airy quality (flying!) and, to me at least, sounds more like the original in that respect.

Lovely :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this