ReMix:The Legend of Zelda "Gold Cartridge" 2:46

By Quinn Fox

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Above Ground", "Title"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo , 1986, NES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2002-11-28, evaluated by the judges panel

Ahh, that Zelda overworld theme. One of the great original melodies of RPG gaming and gaming at large, really - not complex, not radically innovative, just solid as a rock and PERFECT for the game. That seems to be Kondo's forte - relatively simple thematic scores that nevertheless are genius in that the few motifs are all absolutely perfect for the material and they're reused and rearranged expertly as well. Quinn Fox wanders out of the Phantasy Star camp for a bit (heathen!) to give us his take on this classic bit of Nintendo tunage with his latest ReMix, Gold Cartridge. Judges credited Quinn for doing something new (in this case, that translates to "not techno") with the theme. Of course, they might be forgetting that K. Pras did some really wild things with the same theme a while back in his Fear and Sufferance mix, but this is different from that as well. Here we have a strange assortment of instruments - the too-seldom-used fretless bass, tabla, bell/glockenspiel, ensemble strings, choir, and some upbeat rock drums that come in at 0'35", arranged interestingly. The break section in the middle is lengthy and adds some definite variety and builds, and check out the little winds break at 2'20" - great idea to throw something like this in there, as solo instruments help balance so many ensemble sounds. The one weakness, which I actually felt our judges were a little light on, is the mixing - Prot mentioned the lack of stereo which is pretty basic, and I'd go a step further and say that the universal application of reverb usually isn't a good idea - to me it sounds like the drums, bass, basically the whole enchilada is processed through the same amount of verb, which (unless it's VERY minimal) is usually not a good idea. So, mixing issues set aside, everything *else* is in place, where it should be, and this is a unique ReMix of a well-known theme that goes in new directions. Check it out.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2016-01-04 23:34:28

A classic remix. :D It has a unique sound to it that I haven't heard in the many many other overworld pieces that are out there now.

Does feel a bit too much like a cover at the start before spreading out mid-way. Love the extended synth (pulls? reverb?) such as at 1:44.

on 2009-10-16 11:33:26

Wow, very very different sound from Quinn than what we've heard thus far from him! Orchestral with some breakbeat/DnB thrown in. Cool combination. The orch samples are synthetic and not the greatest in the world, but they certainly aren't terrible. The focus here is clearly the arrangement. The integration of both source tunes works really well! The intro synth is a little grating to my ears. The bells, while synthetic, do help set the tone of the piece. Not my favorite piece of work from Quinn Fox, but it's great to hear him branching out into musically uncharted waters!

on 2009-07-04 15:45:20

Another song I've had on my hard drive for a very long time. This is a pretty fun rendition of the classic zelda theme. It doesn't take a lot of risks in melodic interpretation, but what he does well is to switch up the instruments and feel quite a bit along the way. It's a very interesting and cool combination between breakbeat, orchestra, and some synth work. That's totally my style, which is probably why I like this. Production isn't bad, but it could use some work. Orchestra felt a little dull, tone-wise and doesn't quite gel with the drums. It's pretty short as well, mainly due to the straightforward arrangement of the theme. Plenty of room for a few more risks and additional interpretation to increase the overall content. Still, I really like this tune. Go download it.

One thing that was distracting was the harmonic feedback from the bells at the beginning; it was somewhat distracting, and made them sound electronic rather than natural.

Interestingly, this is one of the parts of the song that always sticks with me. I agree they don't sound natural, but it gives the song a unique intro that I always remember. I guess I always assumed it was supposed to be a more synthetic intro than the rest of the song, so it didn't bother me.

on 2009-03-25 01:55:24

This is a little too faithful for my liking. The Zelda overworld theme is carved pretty deep in my brain, so I was after a bit more interpretation of the melody. What is here is fine, god knows the theme is brilliant and deserves mixes with loyalty, I just like to feel I'm in newer territory. A lot of the melodies from the Zelda games are actually vastly reinterpreted versions of this same melody, which goes to show how far you can stretch a good tune.

The ending was awesome and really inspired. I would have liked the mix to continue in that direction, but alas, the ending was the end. Guess that's why the call it an ending. Well mixed, sounds good, but I've listened to far too many versions of this tune for a faithful redux to stay with me longer than its running time.

on 2009-01-27 09:58:10

I thought the Majora's Mask sounding drums were a nice touch. I really think the song picks up at 1:20. I certainly enjoyed this mix throughly and thought it was structured very well. Very epic piece. Great Work!

on 2009-01-26 19:49:46
One thing that was distracting was the harmonic feedback from the bells at the beginning; it was somewhat distracting, and made them sound electronic rather than natural.

Yeah,the bells sound weird....:?

Still, the second half is better than the first half.

Ultimately it's too unconventional for my tastes, but still nice work for going out on a limb and trying something original.

on 2006-12-28 10:16:28

The reverb is a little heavy on the drums, but they are interesting and well programmed. The beats are all very interesting and add to the source instead of just feeling tacked on. It's a pretty faithful interpretation of the theme with a few nice variations near the end, and some good samples.

One thing that was distracting was the harmonic feedback from the bells at the beginning; it was somewhat distracting, and made them sound electronic rather than natural. The length is just about perfect, as it ends before overstaying. A nice take on a classic theme.

on 2005-03-04 15:43:33

When I first listened to this piece, I was like "Oh no, another heavy beat accopmanying a classic title. Boring." I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the bongo-esque drumming, and bells covering the main theme in a very tubular fashion.

It's short, and I like that. It's happening, and I like that. It isn't the most inspired or instrumentally talented piece, but it does what it does well, and I like that.


on 2005-02-19 12:06:31

Now, this piece is something I like. Different enough to be unique, loyal enough for me to keep listening. This whole piece just screams Zelda. Nothing much I can say but excellent. 9/10

on 2005-01-07 20:19:56

Only 7 reviews? Sheesh...I think I'll chime in.

Great song here, it really is one of the most original takes on the overworld theme EVER, and its epic sound fits with the Zelda theme well.

Stereo sound would have been nice--would have spiced things up a *little* more--but its still entirely enjoyable without it.

This song deserves more recognition. Lovely stuff.


on 2003-07-05 07:53:42

Very cool... very cool indeed.

I don't have much of a problem with the lack of panning and the reverb. I think it makes this mix sound like it was recorded in the first cavernous overworld of Zelda, myself. ^_^ Very cool, in my opinion.

The samples and soundfonts, I like very much, especially the strings. You can tell they're electronic, but I like that. The fretless bass is fantastic, and the drum samples are some of the best I've heard, as I like breakbeat drum loops and samples. I'm yet to figure out what the deal is with the fading bells in the intro. O_o

All in all, cool mix, just the right length, and very enjoyable all 'round. Props to Quinn for this one.

on 2003-01-07 20:21:56

Ahhh...I love this. There's so much character to the mix- unique and thoroughly exciting. The piece is constantly adding new material and ideas throughout its short length and it is an absolute joy to listen to.

Yet another piece to add to my ever-growing "things I wish I'd written" list...*sigh* :wink:

on 2002-12-05 05:38:14

Oh my giddy aunt, this song rocks!!!! It starts off so brilliantly and nicely, and then comes some great heavier orchestral stuff in the middle. So many different sounds too, it truely rocks, sounds like a big production piece!

Heh, i actually own this game (one of the first i ever owned), i've had it for atleast 10 years and i still don't know how to pick up that damned cool looking white sword near the waterfall!!! lol. Well, it's a great mix, and i for one can't wait to hear more, keep it up!

on 2002-12-03 17:04:46

This mix was interesting in terms of composition, but some of that composition kind of left me where the song was taking me. You'd have climactic parts coming, going, coming, and going. It was interesting to listen to, but not one that I feel has a great amount of structure compositionally, and really with samples/soundfonts that were kind of plain... perhaps that could be attributed to the way the reverb made them sound, I do not know.

on 2002-12-01 12:41:33

Very well done. I must say that I didn't mind the reverb. The drums were mega catchy, and the fretless bass (god bless the fretless bass) sounded real enough to be very convincing. My only problem with the song is that it's the Overworld Theme. The original is just too well know, and you can't listen to this remix without comparing it to the original. At least that's what I ran into. It's not a fault of Quinn in the least. This comes recommended to anyone who can listen with an unbiased ear. If you can't look past the original material, you might want to look elsewhere. All in all, a good remix.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo , 1986, NES)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Above Ground"

Tags (5)

Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

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