ReMix:Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse "Prelude to Darkness" 4:29

By Russell Cox

Arranging the music of one song...

"Prelude (Title Demo BGM)"

Primary Game: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (Konami , 1990, NES), music by Jun Funahashi, Yoshinori Sasaki, Yukie Morimoto

Posted 2003-07-29, evaluated by djpretzel

Though every bit as good as the first two outings of Konami's classic vampire-slaying franchise's soundtracks, the score to CV3 doesn't seem to get as much attention, for whatever reason. Maestro Cox is doing his bit to change that, though, with his latest orchestral-manoeuvre-in-the-dark. The ReMixer writes: "First of all, thanks to OCRE for the name, as "Demons of the Night" just didn't fit the mood I was going for. Something I wanted to mention, is that after the organ solo with choral background, the next segment with the violins and harps playing the broken arpeggios sounds to me like something out of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I didn't notice this until after I had wrote the song, so whether you liken it to the fact is your own choice ^_^." - I think I prefer this to the FF film soundtrack, actually ^^ (for a much better Eliot Goldenthal score, see Julie Taymor's awesome, amazing Titus, robbed of several Oscar nominations). A bit more choral and arpeggiated than some of Russell's other arrangements, you've gotta love the rich, deep opening french horn fanfare. Recording and encoding is a bit less pristine than some of Mr. Cox's other pieces, which I'm told he's been working on troubleshooting. There are some interesting major-key portions of this that are downright optimistic to be in the middle of a Castlevania piece, and the tone and momentum are a bit schizophrenic at times (Club Kukeiha were kinda like that... in a good way), but Russell makes it work with his usual symphonic pomp and panache. A little more eccentric and motif-driven, but still quite enjoyable, this dynamic CV3 arrangement thus comes recommended.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-02-22 10:54:41
On 6/25/2009 at 11:07 AM, OA said:

Damn, I didn't know they made samples this nice in 2003. :

Man, tell me about it. Russell Cox is such a legend. My highlights were the delicate harp brought in at :37 3:23 -- which sounded incredible -- as well as the original brass flourishes at 2:03 and orchestral swell at 3:02 (which was garbled by the low encoding). Everything holds up pretty well today, and this one's a perfect example of a melodically conservative arrangement that's creatively expanded and given a substantial, personalized interpretation into a new genre. Amazing stuff!

on 2009-06-25 11:07:24

Damn, I didn't know they made samples this nice in 2003. :

Really good stuff, with nice balance and very natural phrasing. The transitions are a bit uneven- some work very well, but others seem forced and abrupt. Besides that though, everything else is quality work. Good textures, good phrasing, nice personalization.

on 2009-03-19 03:32:41

Obviously, this is professional sounding and awesome to boot, but there were a few small things that stood out for me. My major concern was that it sounded like it was designed from the ground up to accompany some sort of video. It has a very scored sound, which isn't exactly a rushed sound, but it means it doesn't move between sections at its own time in keeping up with the visual material. Now this probably wasn't a scored mix, but I did get that impression that this would suit an opening introduction to a Soul Calibur game or something, with constantly shifting nature of the mix.

Even in saying that, the intro and certain parts sound very authentic and film-quality. Russel definately has a cinematic flair, and it is really apparent here. The woodwind is used so well, it really shows the emotional range of the instrument off. And of course, the organ. I'm a big fan of the organ/choir section; that made the mix for me.

Despite the busyness of the arrangement, the mix is something to be proud of.

on 2008-12-06 21:32:03

The brass in itself is my favorite part of this piece, that and the part right after the brass in the beginning where it starts to get tones of the opening theme of FFVII. Overall, it seems like the piece is building up to something that never really manifests, and I'd have loved to have seen some sort of climax to it.

But the brass is still awesome.

on 2007-09-02 20:55:19

Amazing, best CV3 remix around; as much as I like PowerGoat's collection, most of the game's songs weren't meant for guitar, let alone the long freestyles he goes on; the orchestra style here is perfect.

There are downbeat, upbeat, etc. parts that flow neatly between each it.

Both the plain NES and VRC6 versions were great and this takes both of them to a different level.

on 2005-12-01 18:43:31

I wondered what the Prelude song for Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse would sound like if it was remixed, and I think this is a good rendition of it, so the part I mostly like about this song is when it comes into the organ part, I mean what Castlevania would be without an organ in the music, it would be almost wrong if it didnt, so you did it justice, good job!

on 2005-10-08 17:47:56

First off, I love just about any metal/rockin' remix of Castlevania music (rock on goat and Minibosses!), but after hearing this, it reminded me that Castlevania music should work great in orchestral also. In fact, I would love to hear some more orchestral versions of CV music, that would be lovely.

Great work RC, I hope you do more like this for CV.

Edit: Abadoss makes a good point, parts of this really reminds me of the Fortress levles from Super Mario World, not to say that is a bad thing, but almost a deviation from the source material. Ahh, what do I know? All I know is that more orchestral remixes for CV (and other should be made).

Atomic Dog
on 2005-10-01 06:41:59

Pretty bitchin'

The last 40sec especially are captivating. The Castlevania theme that we all know and love, done really well. I don't know if it's my speakers or what, but I DID notice a little grainyness to it, but not enough to distract from the piece at all.

It shifts gears really fast, which is nice.

It's one of those pieces you can close your eyes to and kind of follow in your head. The flute especially at the very end... your mind just dances with it.

Well done.

on 2005-06-25 05:53:35


I got much more than I was expecting for this piece. Empyreal! after I heard this I got a total feeling of awe. I've also notice the Final Fantasy-like style at the middle part and I say it's simply great! I used to imagine how the castlevania's songs would sound if they were performed by a real orchestra because those songs have an imminent orchestral air, in spite of the weird synthesized NES sound . Now My dream become true thanks to Russel Cox. How the hell I didn't find this web site before? :D

Wallace Guyford
on 2004-08-13 02:39:36

Nice work, just wish it sounded clearer

on 2003-11-12 02:54:00

Nice Arrangement, could use some work tho. Still very nice. Much credits to the genius.

on 2003-11-12 00:30:32

Oh...I like, I like. As a big fan of Orchestrated music, and of French Horn, I like this song quite alot. But as an even bigger fan of Castlevania and the Prologue to CVIII, this song RULES!

I'm glad you used the prologue song from Castlevania. I'm a VERY big fan of Castlevania music and that has always been one of my favorite songs in the series. Now I have an orchestra-type arrangement of it, with a very good middle piece to it.

Oh yeah, and I'm getting the rest of your stuff to sample it.

on 2003-08-07 16:28:12

All I have to say is, 9 out of 10, and this piece captures the feel of Castlevania perfectly. Bravo.

on 2003-07-30 23:26:30

I was actually thinking of trying my hand at an orchestral-esque remix of this very song, but since Russell did it, I don't know that I should attempt it. It is very good, although some of the transitions between instruments are a bit iffy, although mostly due to the original switching that way. And the discordance around 2:03 is nasty. But otherwise pretty slick.

on 2003-07-30 21:31:06

Russell, once again you have demonstrated an outstanding mastery of your craft. This type of orchestral is truly my favorite type of arrangement. It's really awesome.

It didn't sound like FF: Spirits Within so much as Super Mario World's castle or fortress music (especially around the softer arpeggios).

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece. It is a wonderful arrangement. Kudos!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (Konami , 1990, NES)
Music by Jun Funahashi,Yoshinori Sasaki,Yukie Morimoto
"Prelude (Title Demo BGM)"

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