ReMix:Dragon Warrior IV "The Grief of Aktemto" 3:35

By Ryan8bit

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Dragon Warrior IV (Enix , 1990, NES), music by Koichi Sugiyama

Posted 2004-12-07, evaluated by the judges panel

Ryan8bit writes:

"I don't know if I meet the standards of this site anymore, so I thought I would test this one out to see. It was inspired by my feeling sad about the death of my grandmother and I couldn't really express it in any other way than just by arranging this song."

The judges had mixed feelings on this one. All felt it had high points - the arrangement and overall concept were complimented - but several felt that some performance flubs, the recording quality on the guitar, and the orchestral section's abrupt appearance and disappearance were, combined, enough to hold it back. However, the attitude prevailed that even with these (debatable) issues, the whole outweighed the sum of its parts. Gray articulated the majority opinion here well:

"Still, I really like the arrangement here overall, and I think the performance is passable enough where I don't feel it's necessary to force a resubmission. I also feel that clinically correct performances sometimes take away from the live and spontenous feel. I thought it added a sense of charm to some degree here. I also really like the pacing here."

To me the orchestral section is actually more problematic than any guitar concerns, because it more significantly impacts the tone of the piece. The issue is that, from 1'12" to 1'38", the slow-rock motif is invaded by an orchestra that also happens to be mixed pretty low. Doesn't really click, and is never referenced again to make it more cohesive. However, the rest of the mix, from the very melancholy strumming of the acoustic-dominant portions to the electrified refrain at 2'04" does click in a way that makes natural sense and is expressive enough. Like Gray says, some of the "unbridled" nature of the performance lends charm and impact. I think of this as a mostly successful concept piece that does a great job of arranging the original in a hybrid acoustic/electric rock format but has some issues in terms of execution and the afforementioned orchestral injection. Having an acoustic guitar overpower a symphony orchestra in terms of mixing is usually not an effect that sounds particularly good. But this is one small part of an otherwise excellent effort that some on the panel didn't object as strongly to or at all, so form your own opinions. If you're looking for some emotive, slow rock with acoustic and electric guitars flavors, you'll dig it. Quoth the zyko:

"it's a very emotional and inspired performance and although this needs some refinement i enjoyed it for its raw edge and power..."

Good to see Ryan back on OCR, and wish the best to him given the circumstances in which the mix was produced.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2016-08-09 11:46:44

This song was very human to me. From the playing, to the pace and arrangement, I find myself following along too closely on a day in which I have very little to be actually sad about. One of my favorites!

on 2012-12-15 19:14:37

This is a great remix that brings a lot of intensity. The thoughtful acoustic guitar sound and phrasing gives me goosebumps. Ryan, this is a fine tribute to your grandmother! May her memory be eternal, my friend!

on 2012-08-22 12:20:16

your remix is beautiful, touching even. it's deep.

on 2011-04-09 21:45:38

Love this! One of the first remixes I stumbled upon in OCR, and I wasn't even a DQ fan back then. It's just a really emotional track with excellent guitar playing. Glad Ryan still continues to provide cool DQ remixes over at DoD.

on 2009-11-10 16:55:46

Very emotional stuff. An excellent source as well. Not flawless, but definitely real. I'm glad this made it onto the site.

Nice work Ryan.

your the man now dog
on 2006-10-06 16:12:29

ryan8bit songs are always chock full of feeling. I love the personality...I could truly feel the grief and anger in the guitars.

Slime Master
on 2005-07-10 12:39:49

You've got great taste and I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. Considering that no one else has remixed any song from the Dragon Warrior IV soundtrack then yes the possiblities are indeed limitless. What I'd like to see is someone do a Heavy Metal rendition of the Battle against Esturk and Necrosaro. And of course a remix of Taloon/Torneko's theme would also be nice. :)

on 2005-04-02 17:18:23
You know it's refreshing to see a remix of a classic RPG like Dragon Warrior IV. It sounds alot like the original in that it is dpressing, if anyone here played DWIV then you would see why it is in this macabre-esq tune.

That's my favorite RPG you're referencing. The original soundtrack had some really great moments that were couched in the belly of mediocrity. That being said, the whole thing is really a great stomping ground for remixers, due to the fact that the great moments in the soundtrack could be worked in while the other stuff can be ignored.

on 2005-04-02 14:47:47

The judges I think were a bit too hard, the mix is good, the orchestral part isn't all that sudden in coming or going. Sure there were flubs, but he's only human, and sometimes mistakes add character, I rather like the piece as is mistakes and all.

Music does not have to be mechanicly perfect in order to be good or acceptable.

I like this piece myself.

Even if I didn't like it for some reason, I would still admit it has character.

on 2005-03-28 16:59:50

I'm just a casual music lover and I registered here just because I wanted to tell Ryan8bit how great this song sounds to me. Congratulations to you for creating this! It's a very moving and emotional piece to listen to and puts me right into the mood of it. If you think you should rerecord it to get out the imperfections, that's respectable, but I think the arrangement is perfect. This is definitely one of my favorite songs. Kudos!

ella guro
on 2004-12-11 20:53:43

In general, the criticism of this mix is valid but exaggerated. There are problems with a lousy percussion part, some flubs in the guitar (which again, were exaggerated in the decisions), and possibly the orchestral part that builds tension but doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on the rest of the mix. Still this is very emotional and well-arranged, and the rawness gives it more of a charm that the mix might not have retained if it was more produced.

Yes it's rough, but I think too many of the judges made their decisions based on what it could've been instead of judging the mix in it's current state. The arrangement and the emotion put into the parts make this very passable; and from a non-technical standpoint, I'm enjoying this much more than I have a lot of other, more cleaned up guitar mixes.

Slime Master
on 2004-12-10 16:02:13

You know it's refreshing to see a remix of a classic RPG like Dragon Warrior IV. It sounds alot like the original in that it is dpressing, if anyone here played DWIV then you would see why it is in this macabre-esq tune.

on 2004-12-10 14:27:19

I like MIDI and this song isn't.

MacDaddy Mike
on 2004-12-09 17:51:51

I am really surprised that there's so much controversy over this piece. To be honest, The Grief Of Aktemto is one of my favorite remixes. One of the main reasons I take such a liking to it is the same reason why I love Time's New Scar by gutzalpus--it's a very human piece. The emotion is so thick you could mold it into some kind of play fort. Even the theme being covered seems really raw and powerful, and I really feel that. As for the orchestral section, I feel that it just brings the transition half-way through the song into more recognition, if you can get what I'm trying to say about that.

Ryan, I loved your work since your Crystalis remix, and I'll continue to enjoy your future works, no matter where I end up needing to receive them from. Keep up the great work, and don't let this feedback get you down.

on 2004-12-09 05:32:57

I guess I'm blessed that my ears aren't sensitive by any means. Aside from a somewhat grating guitar, I didn't notice anything wrong with this. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and this truly is bliss.

Great work, Ryan, and my condolences.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Dragon Warrior IV (Enix , 1990, NES)
Music by Koichi Sugiyama

Tags (4)

Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Orchestral

File Information

4,394,581 bytes


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