ReMix:Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen "Zenobia's Grave: A Champion Has Risen" 4:26

By Israfel, k-wix

Arranging the music of one song...

"Impregnable Defense"

Primary Game: Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (Enix , 1994, SNES), music by Hayato Matsuo, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata

Posted 2003-01-07, evaluated by the judges panel

Sorry for the one-post nights lately - sometimes this is simply due to sleep deprivation or my slim-but-definitely-existant social life, but more recently it's been due to working on more "behind the scenes" aspects of OCR. I need to clean up the code so I have a good development environment, update to the latest version of phpMyAdmin, etc. and there's some other goals for OCR in 2003 that will require more foundation work. Tonight's ReMix comes courtesy of newcomer DJ-Kwix, who has collaborated with established artist Israfel to give us our first Ogre Battle ReMix. Israfel's works in the past have mixed orchestral and ethnic elements with breakbeats and synthotica, so when I saw someone named 'DJ-Kwix' doing a collab mix, I figured it would be heavier on the side of electronica. But I figured wrong - this is straight orchestral with some apocalyptic choir work that adds a lot. Syncopated cellos, basses, and later low brass form a bassline over which string runs fly up and down and ensemble sections cover melody whilst centered orchestral percussion move things along. This is a long arrangement, sitting at 4'26" and taking its fair time to develop. Gotta love the formidable low brass, which gets into the midrange with a trombone section doing a counter-pattern. There's a bell/vibe that comes in a lil less than halfway through, before one of the main choral pushes. It's specifically worth mentioning that the choir varies phonemes instead of just straight 'oohs' and 'aahs' and it sounds like they're speaking, which is the exact reason that quality choir samples will offer these differing patches. Just nice to see them used, well. There's some very odd key changes around the third minute and shortly after that aren't atonal but, because of their exposed nature and challenging key, do sound a little "special", but things get back to the main vibe soonafter, and the ending is nice and conclusive. Apparently Kwix composed the original in FruityLoops and tossed the file on over to Israfel who took it and imbued it with better samples, etc. than FL natively allowed for. An interesting cooperative relationship - not really co-arranged but potentially arranged by one party and orchestrated/mixed down by the other. Whatever the case, the result is some very solid orchestral work that's greatly enhanced by the quality choir implementation. Another notch in Israfel's mixstick and a good first submission from DJ-Kwix, fans of Ogre Battle and orchestral in general should definitely sign up quick.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-07-02 13:36:32

Inspired! Powerful :D

I'd gladly replace the source with this piece. ^_^

I like the humming (or quiet choir?) you've got at 1:17. It's good contrast with the more prominent choir at 1:58.

on 2010-12-12 01:41:24

One of a handful of mixes that got me to not just listen to mixes of music that I knew and actually explore new and unchartered waters. All these years later and I still haven't played or heard anything from Ogre Battle, but I nevertheless love this mix.

The samples are nowhere near the level of quality I remember, but it would be crazy to expect anything different. Regardless, they still sound decent enough, with the strings and choir faring a little better than the brass. Overall, the sound package is pleasant to listen to.

The one thing that surprised me was how safe the arrangement was; something I'd never picked up on before. It does veer into a routine later in the mix and whereas the bridge is quite excellent, it didn't satisfy my want for this to be a little more expansive.

So it's not as groundshaking and adrenalised as I seem to remember, but much has changed with myself and the mixing scene since then, so I'm okay with the contrast. This is still a very fine orchestral mix and will always have a positive place in my musical memory. It will also be a constant reminder to getting around to playing Ogre Battle one of these years!

on 2009-11-30 13:01:59

Pretty exciting marcato string writing throughout, and the choir, while obviously synthetic, is pretty effective as well. Samples are actually holding up pretty well; this sounds like a nicely produced PS2 title.

Arrangement is cool, and the modulation was placed just perfectly; the track needed something to keep things exciting, and it got it. :-)

Pretty epic stuff, I dig it.

on 2009-07-09 16:23:14

This mix grabbed me by the face, demanding my attention. It tells a story, and does so in a deliberate and articulate manner. Good Show! Worthwhile.

on 2009-07-09 02:47:13

This piece is literally one of the most amazing remixes I have ever heard. I think i've listened to this song too many times and it has lost some of its greatness over time, but I can still come back to it at any point in time and relive the wonderful arrangement that the both of you have put together. I think that there aren't anymore Ogre Battle remixes on this site for a's impossible to live up to the expectations that this remix has set the bar for. :)

on 2006-09-02 17:04:25

It's pretty funny how this remains my favorite kwix song and my favorite Ogre Battle song. Future Ogre Battle games should do something like this. This mix has a grand vision and beautifully pulls it off. Good job, you two.

on 2006-02-10 19:21:32

This is a suberb orchestra remix. As people have said before, it really points to OB's excellent OST.

A must-hear for anyone who enjoys epic-sound mixes.

on 2006-02-04 00:42:12

being that I crave OB series remixes, I felt that it was a must to say how much this remix embodies what I am looking for. I have the arranged album Ogre - Grand Repeat and this song would easily rank among those arrangements. Beautiful job and excellent rendition, a must hear.

on 2005-05-19 12:23:29

This was the mix that first made me really notice OCRemix as a source of great music. This track, although a bit less aggressive than either of the contributors' other works, is still a solid march theme and really instills a strong sense of battle atmosphere.

Nice work, Israfel and k-wix. Thank you for getting me into OCR!

on 2005-01-12 23:23:31
I especially love the choir.

Hear hear! It is SO damn hard to find a good choir track, from anything, anyone, anywhere. Dramatic at least, instead of gospel stuff. Nothing wrong with that, but an epic sounding mix with choir? Ce magnifique.

Corporal Eschebone
on 2003-09-09 16:35:42

This is a nice co-op mix of Ogre Battle [which I've never played, though I wish I had...well, at least I rented Ogre Battle 64 and have Tactics Ogre, but I'm getting sidetracked.]

This has a great dramatic feel to it...the voice samples, those string-instrument-sounding-things-whatever, the very pace of it... I just can't stop listening to it. I don't know what else to say, I'm already mimicing the people before me.


Cherish it and love it forever, I still haven't found a mix that surpasses that rating.

on 2003-08-11 22:16:26

Sorry to butt in on your music-improving discussion, but I'd like to comment on this lovely remix ;)

Anyways, great remix. Unlike many of the ones on this site, I can easily tell what it is remixed from, and it manages to catch the spirit of the game well... all without being to similar to the originals. Great work, I wish more artists would follow your lead. I especially love the choir.

Russell Cox
on 2003-01-12 22:15:57
But Sam Horns on the other hand look like a great buy.

Definitely! And I'm speaking from experience. SAM sounds infinitely better than Dan Dean Brass Ensembles and the tone is better than Vienna Symphonic Library.

on 2003-01-12 21:21:28

That would be rather nice. Multisampled vowels and consonants for voice parts and then maybe for solo voices too. Although that would probably be way out of my price range and have annoyingly large samples spread out over a several CDs. Sorta like these new strings sample sets that are starting to come out. Good lord they're expensive. I'll just have to stick with what I've got I suppose.

But Sam Horns on the other hand look like a great buy.

Russell Cox
on 2003-01-12 21:01:51
I actually wouldn't recommend getting it though unless you just have money burning a hole in your pocket or if you're making money from your music. I mean, the samples are nice but they're a bit troublesome to work with.

That about sums up Nick Phoenix. VotA has a pretty good sound, but it's packaged in an 'amaeturish' way. Just Men and Women? I'm sorry, but no matter how good the samples are that's like Garritan or Sonic Implants releasing a string library that just has one large Legato, Pizzicato, Sordino, or Marcato string sample -- it just doesn't work. A *good* choir library should have your Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass, not a mass heap of "Men" and "Women." The unbearable hiss in the lower registers of the two heaps is just unacceptable also, as well as recording divsi parts with VotA is impossible.

We're finally starting to see some *good* libraries coming out (SAM Horns, SAM Trombones, Sonic Implants Strings, VSL, Garritan solo strings *hopefully soon*) and I think it's about time a developer looks into making a *good* choir library. I mean come on -- there are *enough* piano libraries out there, focus on other instruments companies!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (Enix , 1994, SNES)
Music by Hayato Matsuo,Hitoshi Sakimoto,Masaharu Iwata
"Impregnable Defense"

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