ReMix:The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past "Dark World Prelude & March" 5:15

By Jaroban

Arranging the music of 4 songs...

"Dark Mountain Forest", "Dark World", "Overworld", "The Goddess Appears"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo , 1991, SNES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2006-12-06, evaluated by the judges panel

We seem to be experiencing something of a trend; good things supposedly come in threes, and this is the third mix in a row from a ReMixer returning after more than three years of inactivity, on the OCR scene at least. This evening's prodigal son is Jaroban (Jared Banta), whose Radical Dreamers mix graced our pages back in '03. Honestly, if this triune triumvirate of trinitarian triforce does one thing, it's to remind me how long we've been doing this, and how consistently: the simple fact that OCR's been around long enough for people to return after three years is pretty damn cool. We're like the mafia: just when you think you're out... we pull you back in. Or something. Jared's piece is ambitious and well-arranged. Due to the relative ambition, which I'd qualify as heavy utilization of mixed orchestral brass across a wide dynamic range, some multiple Achilles' heels are exposed in the timbral palette. However, it's just damn hard to utilize sforzando low brass without such side effects, and other talented mixers have similarly risked their employment. Ultimately, it becomes a philosophical question: does one arrange to the quality of the samples, or does one arrange to a hypothetical personal session with the Warsaw Philharmonic, where every last nuance would be feasible? I see the merit of both ideologies, and as with most things, the optimal approach probably lies in a contextual application of either, depending on the circumstances.

In this case, the circumstances are a prelude and march (helpfully titled as such) from the indefatigable Zelda 3 score, which clocks in at over six minutes. BGC took issue with the samples, while Jill insisted that nothing was "cringe-worthy". As a former euphonium player and front line witness to a really rather respectable High School low brass section, perhaps my standards are a bit higher, and I can sympathize with Jimmy's comments more. Still, I've yet to hear the orchestral ReMix whose mixed low brass blew my skirt off. Not that I wear a skirt. At night, in the dark. Listening to video game mixes. Alone. Point being, I can chalk up iffy low brass to the gods more readily than other instruments.

Interestingly, a good number of the judges were not only fine with the samples, but suggested the panel had too much of a "sample whore" emphasis, i.e. that sound quality was playing too large a factor. I think it's dangerous to make generalizations like that; it really is a yin and yang thing, and one can go too far in the other direction and exhibit bias towards mixes that are all arrangement and have lackluster production just as easily. With exceptions, a computer can't provide the arrangement for a mix, while good samples can make anyone sound at least a little better, but both sides of the equation require skill to fully realize, and that shouldn't be cheapened in either direction. Or at least, that's my take. At any rate, this isn't a textbook example of that dichotomy playing itself out, really, since only the brass stuff was eyebrow-raising for me, and overall production was competent if not lush. I preferred the prelude portion of the mix not only because it played to the strengths of the tools available, but also because the arrangement I felt was a little more elaborate and emotive. It's great to see Jared return after so long, and this is a mix that well utilizes refined arranging skills and runs a gamut of dynamics and tones.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-08-28 09:47:22

I'm not a big critic of bad samples because I think it deviates too much from the point of remixing, but in this case I find it justified to make an exception.

With the way this mix is arranged, it is crucial that the samples are there to support it. And sadly, they arent. To go at the source material with full bombasity was unwarranted, in my opinion. If the mixer didn't have the sample library at his disposal, it would have benefited the piece to scale down the creative vision and work with what he had.

To be honest, I actually really enjoy the sparseness and the dissonance from the prelude. It has a lot of really nice, understated moments and it's not marred by the synthetic orchestra so much as the main portion.

My main problem with this mix is that the ambition and the execution do not match up, to the point where things sound wrong. The arrangement is clearly there, but it has nothing but the dullest of sounds to prove itself.

I don't get much of a kick out of listening to this one.

on 2010-02-27 18:50:31

The first half was the best in the world and it was only the second half that allowed me to like it, but really I do like it. I don't have a problem with the samples and the march itself is epic on it's own. It has a movie soundtrack feeling to it and that's a plus for me. Not the best, but it does the job.

on 2009-12-18 12:02:59

Some weaker articulations and some weak samples, but a very interesting and cool arrangement. I think some more humanize tweaking of some of the runs would have helped. Some of the piccolo runs were ridiculously robotic. :-(

Some cool ideas but a little weak overall.

on 2009-10-12 21:10:37

Thank you Kaleb G.! I was wondering if it was just me that was having problems with it.

on 2009-05-13 08:08:05

I had trouble getting this into iTunes as well; it is the only problem file in the entire OCR 1001~1700 torrent. I used foobar2000 to rebuild the MP3 stream (this program has nice MP3 correction tools). All the tags were left exactly as-is*. Now it works just fine in iTunes. I've hosted the fixed file here:

*I used the site download version rather than the torrent version.

on 2009-01-06 21:12:10

Interesting, has a intriguing movie or cinematic feeling to it. Try to lock down some parts to make it feel like a whole.

DJ Shadows
on 2008-07-18 21:28:58

I imported this song to ACID then imported it to iTunes and it worked fine, i'm sure the free program mixxx found on could do the same but I haven't actually tried it and I can't guarantee that it will work. Anyway- This song has a lot of potential, but it doesn't really sound like dark mountain until it gets near the end. I like it, but it seems that there could be more.

on 2007-10-10 14:53:48

I wanna DL this song, but none of the tracks work for me.

on 2007-08-14 22:00:08

whyyy is this song not downloadable? lol

all 4 links don't work. and the link on page 3 doesnt work either

Martin Penwald
on 2006-12-25 14:41:07

The beginning, i.e. everything up to 2:38 does not catch my attention. It works as some kind of background music / movie score, but it doesn't enthral me.

This changes once the song really "starts" at 2:38. It's still very movie score-ish (as many posters before me have pointed out), but it's more interesting than before.

All in all, I say "nice work".

on 2006-12-19 12:05:32

First of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this mix, despite the sample quality. The arrangement was great. As was previously stated, the cymbal was a little overpowering, every time there was a 12-16 measure swell... But oh well. I give it a 9/10. I applaud you.

on 2006-12-13 07:08:37

It'd be a great song but that symbol is just so loud and overpowering it hurts the ears.. If you can make a new version without that loud symbol that stays on for so long I'd love it. :)

on 2006-12-12 13:39:58

The beginning sounds like Back to the Future.

As for the samples...the songs sound good with the SNES samples, so any step up still sounds good. Nice work picking the greatest video game soundtrack to remix.

on 2006-12-11 23:14:20

The file on OCRemix seems to be missing a header or something. Winamp would play the file, but not report any information like song length.

And I'd prefer to hear a re-encode of the master audio than that 128Kbps-ish MP3 run through an encoder again at 112Kbps.

on 2006-12-10 02:00:02

I enjoyed this quite a bit. Uhhh...that's all I can say really.

WinAmp iTunes. (also xmms) Ha!

Okay, but it still doesn't change the fact that all the other songs play in itunes and this one doesn't. Also I'm not likely to switch to.... wait a minute. Did you say WinAmp is better than Itunes? What's the color of the sky in your world, sweetheart?

Ummm....I use itunes for the sole reason for keeping my ipod I thank Black Mage for the fix. Seriously man...there is no comparison between winamp and itunes. If you like itunes better you got tomatoes in your head.

Sources Arranged (4 Songs)

Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo , 1991, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Dark Mountain Forest"
"Dark World"
"The Goddess Appears"

Tags (2)


File Information

5,559,286 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes