ReMix:Flashback: The Quest for Identity "Memory Leak Suite" 5:17

By Beckett007

Arranging the music of 4 songs...

"A Reunion", "Delphine Logo", "Flashback Theme", "Title Sequence"

Primary Game: Flashback: The Quest for Identity (U.S. Gold , 1993, GEN), music by Fabrice Visserot, Jean Baudlot

Posted 2007-10-28, evaluated by the judges panel

Today we have something a little different for you. It's different, of course, in the sense that we don't get a boatload of Flashback ReMixes, but in this case it's coming from a new ReMixer who works in the industry. Rich Douglas, alias Beckett007, writes:

"Ever since I first played Flashback, it blew me away... and honestly is the reason I'm working in the game industry today. I'm an audio director for a THQ company and seeing as how we're about to wrap our current game up, Stuntman Ignition, I had a bit of spare time to put together this piece of music. It's not really a remix in the sense of the word... more like a reworking of themes composed by Baudlot and Visserot with my own spin on orchestration. I basically approached this side project like i would scoring a next gen version of Flashback, a remake ... I thought it best to utilize their themes, but at the same time not only make them my own, but take that vibe and run with it to create my own motifs but also to stay in the same place soundwise / moodwise as the original. The main motif I added and carry throughout the suite is a lonely Duduk that serves as conrads theme, that and the 3 note synth lead line utilized in the game version of "Captured" that carries itself throughout as well. The end cue is definately a departure from the original...not as happy sounding.. I hint at conrads theme once again, only to bring in some distant strings as he learns he'll be floating through space for a hell of a long time and must go into hypersleep not knowing what the future holds...

...I used a ton of different Virtual Instruments to create this piece... everything from Stormdrum, to Stylus RMX, Atmosphere, FM8, EWQL Gold, String Essentials, RA... tons of stuff, I also used quite a bit of compression tools (like Izotope) and wizoo convolution verb which I can't recommend enough, good stuff for the price. Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out and hope that you guys feel the same way. Enjoy!"

So, for one, it's awesome to see established industry artists taking the time to pay homage to others in their field, and also communicate so much information as to their creative process and studio. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the soft synths Rich mentioned can testify that he's got a fantastic arsenal at his disposal, and he uses it well. As the Spiderman movies have taught us, with great power comes great responsibility, and this extends into the studio world as well, in my opinion. The duduk in particular is very expressive; FYI, I used a duduk in OCR01500, and other mixes have employed it as well, if it sounds familiar. There's VERY aggressive ensemble brass here that screams epic and lends the Flashback score a presentation that truly makes it seem cinematic, enveloping, and immediate. You can tell the ReMixer is a fan of the original game and its score; as the piece segues from section to section, there's a linear, narrative flow that makes musical sense but also is like reliving the game, in a condensed (but beautiful) way. There's a bit of an issue with transitions, or rather, lack thereof, and at certain times it feels more like a series of cues than a fully integrated suite, but I don't think it suffers from too bad a case of "medleyitis," primarily because the cues aren't all overpowering melodies that would have been difficult to juxtapose - more often they're subtle pieces of BGM that work well together and don't clash. Malcos says:

"Of all the transitions, the one at 3.09 is the most jarring. However as DS said it is more of a gear change, a deliberate setting of a new tempo - not easy to do well, but here it works (just). Top quality production here. The re-arrangement in this is on the line of slightly altered source with totally original elements, which were integrated well."

Pretty much. Rich has sent in more material since this initial sub, and I think it's safe to say you'll be hearing it soon. We've got so much great stuff in store for the next two or three months - mixes, projects, and significant site enhancements - that I get overwhelmed just thinking about the time involved in getting through it. One way or another, we'll make it! Mixes like these, all the moreso when they're from industry composers who are taking the time to acknowledge and participate in the fan arrangement community, easily make the work involved worthwhile. Enjoy Rich's piece, check out his work on Stuntman Ignition, and look for more from him in the future!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-11-10 17:32:39

somewhen, this is the soundtrack to an awesome futuristic conspiracy 1st person RPG. Deus Ex 4?

on 2009-12-14 22:05:11

Oh wow. Now this is smooth.

I really like this because it changes things up a lot without disturbing a delicate balance of energy and tension; it does a whole dang lot within finite boundaries. For that I find it very impressive. It reminds me a lot of music from spy flicks like Mission Impossible and The Italian Job. This comes pretty highly recommended.

Martin Penwald
on 2007-11-16 15:58:33

Many, many wonderful ideas in this one; the section from 2:34 on is my favourite one. However, I, too, must say that the lack of transitions is somewhat bothersome. It's still better to have zero-form transitions that bad ones, though.

Also, the soundtrack/Hans Zimmer vibe is definitely there, and I can dig that. Good work, and I hope to hear more from you, probably with transitions next time ;)

DJ Magotrox Brazil
on 2007-11-04 00:15:00

"Flashback" movie... it really would be nice! It's "too bad" that making a movie costs "lots" of money...

Amayirot Akago
on 2007-10-31 16:21:18

What with me being a longtime Flashback fan, this mix was instant win for me. Wonders what a Flashback movie would be like :-)

on 2007-10-30 23:12:44

Hey everyone,

First and foremost, thank you all for your comments and opinions.. they are appreciated! I was definitely going for a film / game soundtrack feel.. so if that isn't your thing chances are you won't really enjoy what I've done here. That said, I was also going for a Hans Zimmer / media ventures vibe. Thanks to my liberal use of compression and over the top brass samples... most of you picked up on it :-). Magotrox... always nice to know another Delphine fan... you should keep an ear out for my next remix... something tells me you'll dig it. Thanks again everyone, I look forward to seeing what you all think of my next two tracks!


DJ Magotrox Brazil
on 2007-10-30 22:57:06

Very good remix. It sounds just like it should be in a modern "remake" version of the game, like the upgrade of changing an 8 bits card for a 32 bits (or more), soundscape or roland sound card in old PC games. Good times were those whem I played Delphine Software Games("flashback", "another world" or "out of this world", and "heart of the alien").

The Legendary Zoltan
on 2007-10-29 20:45:50

Let me be the first to say that, while being able appreciate this as a professional piece of music, I think this song really boring. Hahaha. I noticed that the guy said that he used a TON of stuff for this mix, which I can hear when I listen to it. However, I've slowly come to prefer mixes that say something like, "I'm gonna use this and this to make a [genre name] remix." I'm sure everybody's gonna be like, "WHATEVER!" But the first thing that comes to mind, (Although, I'll say this one is way more interesting) is The Last Samurai Soundtrack. Since that movie was considered a fairly big deal, when I watched this movie, I payed some extra attention to the music and realized that this music would be SO boring to listen to on its own. That's kind of the feel I get from this remix. I guess I could have easily summed all that up by simply saying that I don't dig the whole "soundtrack feel." Then again, I'm sure this was the guy's goal, so kudos to that.

Dr. Rod
on 2007-10-29 18:41:28

I do wish there were more fluid transitions, but I think its somewhat compensated for by the overall dynamic, mood shifting feel of the piece. Annd I agree with polar in that it has that action bgm feel, but I think that makes it especially unique....I havent heard too many video game remixes that sound like they could be ambient video game music. The remixer's skills in video game music clearly shine through this track, and it makes his work stand out as individual...greatly looking forward to hearing what he produces next.

on 2007-10-29 15:24:29

Nice, I've been waiting for this to get posted since hearing it on the WIP boards. I think he's done a great job capturing the feel of the game and fusing the electronic/orchestral elements very well. Yeah, the (lack of) transitions are a bit disappointing, but each section is very well done in its own right. Nice string/choral patches and brass (man some of this brass REALLY cuts through everything). Very moving stuff.

on 2007-10-29 12:56:09

Some very cool ideas on display here. :-)

I agree with Darkesword in that some of the reverb on the brass and orchestral elements was a little too present, but otherwise the samples were very well used and expertly mixed.

The weaker transitions bothered me though, as I felt that with everything else being on such a high level, the abrupt shifts to different sections broke a lot of built up momentum. The first transition was decent enough, as it went to a softer theme, but the others were pretty jarring.

Transitions aside, this is great stuff, I love the rich sounds you have going on, and the themes are pretty well expanded upon as well.

Nice work. :-D

on 2007-10-29 07:00:42

As stated, great production values, though it's very "soundtrackish back-ground action music". I think it would work great in conjunction with a game (think Metal Gear) or a movie (think Hans Zimmer). Even though it's well crafted, it's not a song that i'd sit down and listen to on it's own.

on 2007-10-28 22:43:09

This makes for the perfect soundtrack bed. I really dig all the sounds used in this piece. Good stuff all around. It really put my head in a different place.

Chris Tonks
on 2007-10-28 20:42:01

Oh my good god... A remix of Flashback? Can it be true? It's always been my favourite game, and I've loved the music.

Hearing the main theme tune kick in at 1:30 brought back the memories. Rousing stuff. And then Captured at 3:10... Makes me wanna grab my emulator and play it again just for that cinematic.

Outstanding work! :D But then, it would be even for just the choice of subject matter.

on 2007-10-28 19:58:03

Glad DJP mentioned the duduk in the writeup, cuz after hearing its skillfully executed hauntingly tribal vibe, I'm placing it on my created-for-the-purposes-of-this-review "woodwinds to watch" list.

The entire last segment (4:20-end) nice. Like Shaun said, chills. Nice work Rich.

Sources Arranged (4 Songs)

Primary Game:
Flashback: The Quest for Identity (U.S. Gold , 1993, GEN)
Music by Fabrice Visserot,Jean Baudlot
"A Reunion"
"Delphine Logo"
"Flashback Theme"
"Title Sequence"

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