ReMix:Dragon Warrior III "Flight of Destiny" 4:13

By Russell Cox

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Flying in the Sky", "The Unknown World"

Primary Game: Dragon Warrior III (Enix , 1988, NES), music by Koichi Sugiyama

Posted 2002-11-06, evaluated by djpretzel

Our first venturing within the Dragon Warrior universe outside of the initial first installment comes courtesy of The Talented Mr. Cox, offering up another instrumental / orchestral arrangement of bliss, this time with a bit of a twist. 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. If you've become accustomed to the pristine, digital quality of his previous works, this ReMix does have a bit of hiss associated with the room ambience, but the effect is important to the more exposed portions of the track and works well. The initial ensemble brass here isn't quite as schnazzy as the bombastic french horns in his most recent Guardian Legend mix. The piano solo that follows is very nice though, and the stereo imaging is very dramatic, with clear, conscious decisions on the ReMixer's part as to where to place each specific element. The push at 2'54" is definitely a highlight, and the brass is more open here as well. The piece concludes solemnly on the recognizable motif from the original Dragon Warrior soundtrack, with room ambience fading out after the oboe's last note. 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. Hopefully Mr. Cox will read this and talk more about his decisions in making this track, which portions are recorded, etc. in a review / response. In the meantime, though I've spent most of the time focusing on this particular aspect, rest assured the ReMix is up to Russell's high spec and no exception to his continuing legacy of arrangements in this genre. 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. Recommended.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-04-29 12:25:24

Tugs at the heart-strings, it does. Feels like it could be an overture from some old black-and-white classic.

on 2012-08-11 19:12:20

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 :)

on 2009-03-19 20:16:05

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.

on 2009-03-19 17:27:45

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.

on 2009-01-20 18:05:54

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.

on 2005-08-22 05:01:44

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.

Slime Master
on 2005-02-20 01:27:27

All I can say about this Remix is it does the original veriosn justice. It is just the epitome of perfection.

'Nuff Said

Air Man
on 2004-07-27 03:08:12

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!

Royal Sovereign
on 2004-07-15 12:59:52

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!!!

on 2003-04-04 01:57:36

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.

Mitsuda's Apprentice
on 2002-11-21 14:34:53

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.

Russell Cox
on 2002-11-16 17:37:58

*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.

Mitsuda's Apprentice
on 2002-11-16 14:05:49

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.

Russell Cox
on 2002-11-16 05:31:10

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.

Mitsuda's Apprentice
on 2002-11-15 23:19:23

This is pretty much exactly the same as the orchestrated version, just with a lower quality. I don't know what else there is to say about this, but I give credit for doing a DW3 piece. There are so many games that need more remixes.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Dragon Warrior III (Enix , 1988, NES)
Music by Koichi Sugiyama
"Flying in the Sky"
"The Unknown World"

Tags (10)

Time > 4/4 Time Signature

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