Arranging the music of one song...

"Metal Squad (Stage 8)"

Primary Game: Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar (Sega , 1992, GEN), music by Naosuke Arai,Takeshi Yoshida,Toshiharu Yamanishi

Posted 2002-11-13, evaluated by the judges panel

Our first submission from the Thunder Force series comes in the form of an 80's-ish ReMix from newcomer The Coop. Judges were mostly positive about this straightforward, retro, perhaps slightly Pet Shop Boys-esque arrangement which does have a good nostalgic feel to it and has the build-and-layer approach of much shoot 'em up (or as the kids say these days, "shmup") tunage. The overall quality of the samples, unilateral application of room reverb, and general "risk-taking" are all legitimate issues that the Judges were quite correct in criticizing, so don't expect sonic perfection. The Coop has definitely progressed from earlier works, however, and with a little spit-and-polish on the samples / mixing end, should continue to do so. A good first mix of a previously unmixed series - my fav. bits feature some nice pitch-bend work on the lead, which adds a lot and raises it the needed notch up. Fun.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2021-05-16 10:21:33

This is pretty neat! I really love the retro-ish instrumentation, and the melody is super catchy. The updated version definitely improves upon some aspects of this track, but I don't mind listening to the original as well - it's an engaging listen, the remix is just full of energy and drive. Sweet.

on 2011-12-11 11:54:44

This is a great track. The sound design a little bit bland but the arrangement is good stuff. There are good step ups in energy raising and letting the listener back down. More variation in the drums would probably add a lot. Having said that though, this was posted a long time ago and its great to see where an artist has come from and where they're at now.

on 2009-12-01 03:10:25

The Coop has an updated version of this on his website. It's cleaner and the instrumentation is far more distinct. Go.

I liked this a good deal on first listen, but hearing the source made me appreciate it even more. While there are aspects that are ignored - particularly a few licks that, as Gecko alluded, would make it a prime candidate for metal - the majority is kept and is stronger for the interpretation. The driving feel is retained: the drums are given a much-needed revamping, the bass line is enhanced, and the raw determination is made even more prevalent. And that background/atmospheric synth is absolutely clutch. To the detractors: the sound fonts are not simply 80s, they are updated throwbacks in the spirit of the game and of the system.

Yes, there is roughness here. Rawness in imperfection, perhaps. But you can't keep a good remix down, and this one's got mettle. If 2:50 doesn't make you clench your fist, then there is no fight in you.

This is my favorite of The Coop's remixes and, in my opinion, this still resides amongst the best that this site has to offer.

And... just because it's Coop: nice remix!

on 2009-10-27 22:21:16

Very 80's feeling, in a sort of nostalgic way. I was raring to go fight some baddies after this one, or something. I'm going to copy OA in saying that overall this feels very "narrow" in terms of sound. Not sure if that's the right wording, but it felt constricted a bit. Overall it's not a make or break deal, so it's ignored fairly easily.

Nice to hear the Coop's beginnings on the site.

on 2007-01-02 11:12:44

A pretty driving song, it seems a lot of the EQ is somewhat narrow, but overall it's an enjoyable listen. I like the lead synth and the saws at the beginning, but the drums seem a little too lo-fi for my personal taste.

The transitions were really nice and the fills were unique and interesting. Overall I think this could benefit greatly from better samples, but the rest is pretty solid.

on 2006-12-17 17:52:36

I liked this mix. Contrary to most of the other reviewers, I absolutely love the 80's sound to this piece; I can't really comment on the quality of the arrangement with respect to the source material though, as I've never heard the source tune before. It's definitely not for serious listening, but it's a solid addition to my online gaming playlist.

on 2003-07-05 12:30:52

Maybe it's just the younger crowd having a problem with this one. I didn't find it too eighties, and I think the coop did a great job. I'm a guitar fanatic tho, and would have loved to hear what the tune sounded like with real guitar. The Genesis didn't have the sound capability to support it, but with the original they tried to make it sound like guitar. This tune came off the "Bio-Tech" stage. The tunnels you go through look kinda like they're breathing, and you meet like three "mini bosses" At the end of the stage you fight the big bug in a bubble who has the giant tentacles that you have to kill before can hurt him. ...Message to Coop... if you've never played TF3...find the music to "Orn Core" stage. THat one could be worth mixing. Or the G-Octopus boss music.. Thanx

on 2003-06-23 08:21:33

seems too much like the Genesis track to me

on 2002-12-01 02:08:18

*Runs to switch on some Flock of Seagulls* Boy this reminds me of when I was a wee lad. I absolutely adore this song. The pseudo-80's new wave sound works great with this tune. I'm very impressed. My venture into the 80's sound ended with mixed results on a remix of the Bale castle theme from Legend of Dragoon. Though repetitive, the song stayed fresh just out of the sheer fact that it's totally different from what we're used to hearing. You can listen to this and imagine that hard shooter stage that you couldn't pass. Brought back memories of 1943 and Legendary Wings for me. I just can't get over the sound. Perhaps New Order meets Depeche Mode, with a pinch of A Flock of Seagulls. Throw in action-packed aircraft annihilation, and you've got a good remix. Comes highly recommended to anyone with an open mind or a love for the new wave sound.

The Coop
on 2002-11-16 23:39:39

Well, I sent this to Streets of Rage bum a while ago, but I figured I'd put it up here too... just in case someone else got a little confused. Just a touch of TF IV history :wink:

Thunder Force IV was released in Japan by Technosoft in 1992. By that time, their American branch was dead and gone (it was that branch of theirs that brought out Thunder Force II, Thunder Force III and Herzog Zwei to The States). So, Sega bought the rights to it and brought the game to The States as Lightening Force. Why they didn't go with "Lightning" I don't know (sounds cooler), but they called it "Lightening". I prefer the Japanese name myself anyways :wink:

And thanks for the feedback thus far guys :D .

Streets of Rage bum
on 2002-11-13 16:37:06

Finally! it's about time someone did a mix of the greatest shooter series on the ol' Genesis. The game had awesome music even with the limited soundchip of the Genesis.

I can barely remember the MiamiVice tune (too busy watching KnightRiders and A-Teams hehehe). But if you're comparing to old themes, the instruments remind of Airwolf (show about old black superchopper). Overall, i liked the theme, it's goes through many phases so it doesn't get stale (which was nice since there was only 3 different instruments used i think....) Very upbeat, and not too repetitive.

Ok, here's the downside, I played/own ThunderForce4 and i don't remember this tune at all, someone's gonna have to refresh my memory. AND, it was called Lightning Force not TF4 (must've been Japan release).

on 2002-11-13 13:14:58

The 80's Miami Vice/Axel Foley stuff seems to be bothering people. I loved it. While it would work better if it was actually in a game I was playing, I do love the sound of this. I like what you've done, Coop. I'm a fan of the 80's and the soundtracks to 80's cop films, and this brought all of that back.

on 2002-11-13 07:56:49

I like this one. Much better than a heavy-metal arrangement, which would have been typical for this Thunder Force 4 song.

on 2002-11-13 05:52:07

Maybe it's that this isn't exactly my genre of music...except that I'm mostly open to a lot of genres and look past that when I review a song. I couldn't really find a lot about this piece that I liked. I can tell it was put together well enough; that The Coop put good time into making it. Its quality isn't poor, but it sounds a little too hit-80's-Miami-Vice for me. It also seemed like there were too many (for lack of a better word) sharper sounds in there, and not enough to balance it out. Again that might just be my taste of music. But keep remixing, The Coop. I'll look forward to hearing more.

on 2002-11-13 04:41:27

Lightening Force 'Bio Tech'

Stick this in a game where I'm really involved and just having lots of fun (and basically not pay attention to the music,) and it'd be great. As for listening music for when I'm on the computer doing what not and whatever, or just playing tunes on the stereo? Nah. The only thing that does impress me about this piece is the drums, but other then that it sounds like it has no atmosphere to me. Sounds like it was produced and recorded back in the 80's (I never liked generic 80's music that didn't experiment beyond the raw samples of keyboard synths.) It sounds like a well put together piece of music, but it's just not 'out there' enough for me. Nor is it my genre. Sorry for this reviews depressing tone, just can't find much that I like. Maybe somebody else will like it, eh? The Coop?

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar (Sega , 1992, GEN)
Music by Naosuke Arai,Takeshi Yoshida,Toshiharu Yamanishi
"Metal Squad (Stage 8)"

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