Posted 2009-04-16, evaluated by the judges panel

OA and Scaredsim, together at last! But what's this... is Simon stealing all the credit for their collaboration? Let's see - Andrew writes:

"This was a DoD collab; I did the arrangement, drum programming, synth, and the second guitar solo, Simon did the rhythm guitars, the guitar leads and break near the beginning, and the piano intro. This is a "Simon mix" version, where he did the production; I had done the production from the actual competition."

Simon writes (third-person, Karl Malone-style):

"Simon did everything, OA only does the submitting work since I am too busy for such trivial things. :o)"

djpretzel don't know about that, but he does know this some good Gradius III tunage. Also, it's been a loooong time since we rocked some Gradius in these parts; this is our first mix of III, which is downright silly, and in general there needs to be more SHMUP love. Andrew & Simon are certainly doing their part; while the arrangement here is fairly conservative, judges agreed there was enough deviation, and there's DEFINITELY plenty of energy. Gradius tunage tends to be anthematic, uplifting, and rather ornate; I think that last characteristic is what turns some potential ReMixers off, as many of these tracks are absolute beasts to arrange. Trading between and blending synth and guitar leads really helps, especially in the call and answer sections, as OA's cutting synth patch swirls around and soars over Simon's rhythm guit, then roles are reversed. Love it; while there wasn't alot of deviation from the original material, these guys definitely captured the essence of what makes the original, and most of the series' OSTs, rock, and they amplified it. Vinnie nailed the initial analysis and summarized most judges' sentiments that followed:

"Very cool set of instruments. I liked the organ and piano giving subtle touches, the synth lead, and of course, Simon's guitars. It all worked together. I did think it was a pretty cover-ish arrangement like Larry but felt it had enough to differentiate it from the original. Piano flourishes in the intro, lots of fun messing with the synth after the first iteration. 0:26-1:30 is dangerously close to being verbatim, with the bass also mimicking the original, but the new backing instruments and drums give these sections some flair. However, if it had all been like this, it would have been a NO, easily."

Basically, Andrew & Simon could have made our lives a bit easier by changing a few more elements up more, but it still squeaks in, and then rocks out. I personally wish they would have done a bit more, simply because they both possess the talent and creativity, I don't think it would have been difficult, and I think anything the two of them came up with and agreed on would probably be awesome, but if they wanna play it close to the source, that's their call. Either way, they've created an awesome piece of music that's ballsy and beefy and takes on some technical, challenging source material. Mixes created for DoD and compos in general often have their own agenda & approach, but I think many of them - this track included - are totally appropriate for OCR as well.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-02-11 14:25:28

Yes, what a light, airy song for "Declaration of War" :D Fantastic sense of action and flight. There's a definite sense of panic there too, but mostly victory and triumph.

A wonderful listen! :)

on 2011-12-19 16:43:15

The piano intro was a good intro to a great rock ReMix. Everything sounded awesome and clear, and while the arrangement got pretty close in certain areas, it still manages to pull off a cool anthem-like sound. Oh, man, that soloing near the ending was freaking amazing. And I enjoyed how it came to an almost heroic finish with it slowing down slightly. Very strong finish and a sweet collab ReMix.

on 2009-12-22 02:16:46

This one's really good for car rides... it's uplifting and borderline cheesy but I enjoyed all aspects of the mix. It didn't feel repetitive, the soloing was at an appropriate level of craziness for the nature of the song, and all the sounds were cohesive. You've got absolutely no qualms from me, I've grown to like this one a lot! If there is any style that OA can pull off with unquestionable levels of skill, it's pop-rock like this :-D

I love it!

on 2009-12-20 02:53:49

THANK YOU!! It's about damn time someone made a Gradius III remix! I've been posting on the request boards hoping someone would finally make one. _

But aside from that, this is an awesome track, and really brings back age-old memories of blasting apart gigantic space plants. Great job!

on 2009-12-04 00:09:42

Seems a little weird that you'd called such a bright and happy song 'Declaration of War', but that's just me, this track still kicks ass.

Great work Scare and OA! :nicework:

on 2009-12-02 13:04:04

Well this is pretty dang awesome... lots of energy, very clean sounding 80's influenced stuff, altho I think the rather simple lead synth gives this a game arrangement flavor.

My problem with this mix tho is the leveling personally... that lead synth is too loud and the lead guitars are too quiet, it undermines the harmonization. also, the hithats get a little too loud at points. Still this is a great mix, worth the download if you like melodic rock with synths, which I do ^-^. Rock on guys :D

Dj Mokram
on 2009-11-15 10:53:17

Always a pleasure to hear some Gradius arrangement.

While this actually sounds more like a peace treaty than a declaration of war, this is a solid re-interpretation.

The song is a dangerous yet addictive cocktail of distinctive adrenaline pumping guitar/rythmic parts, coupled to a nostalgic and driving synth sound, and some enticing melodic piano breaks.

The alchemy works very well in this case, reaching some key moments from 1:08 to 1:30 and from 2:44 to 3:05, where you can really picture the 'shmup' craziness:

flying your little ship through dozens of enemies, with projectiles coming from all directions, wating desperately for a power-up while trying to avoid crashing on obstacles...

I thought the part from 3:07 to 3:30 seemed a bit rushed and/or lacking compared to the rest of the song, which again is pretty solid.

But that's only a minor subjective bias, which doesn't reflect on my apreciation of the whole remix.

Definitely great fun, and a great listen.

on 2009-06-04 03:43:26

Oh how I wish this song could be on Rock Band!!!

Martin Penwald
on 2009-05-05 16:32:23

Absolutely wonderful. The synth really gives this mix that nice 90s feeling, and the guitar adds an extra layer of delicious cheese to it.

The "chorus" (e.g. 1:08 onwards) is amazing. So much energy and fun.

Good work, guys.

on 2009-05-04 10:35:32

Thanks for the very nice reviews everyone! Simon and I are collaborating on another song, and this time we'll make it easier on the judges. 8-)

on 2009-04-29 10:29:53

That piano intro got me all in the mood for something mellow, and then BAM!!!! I still don't know exactly what hit me, but it's good :)

on 2009-04-26 14:13:07

I absolutely love this mix. I have been listening to it for the past week and am a huge fan of the Gradius soundtrack in general. The piano solo in the opening and guitar solo at the end are killer touches.

Great work!

on 2009-04-22 17:03:53

Heh, I'm listening to NGI#114, don't know what's different, but the guitar tone doesn't bother me at all now. I'm still not loving it, but it's definitely not that "absence" thing I was talking about earlier. Those "little things" are more clear as well.. I probably listened on some bad headphone setup over at the university last time. Verdict recalled, sounding great. Sounded really uplifting in the show, too! A cool moment.


on 2009-04-21 12:52:38

Pwn'd my panties.

Been waiting for a Gradius 3 remix. Definitely full of win here.

on 2009-04-18 17:50:24

gnarly mix, loving the synth. Reminds me of Star Ocean 3's soundtrack. Great work!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Gradius III (Konami , 1990, SNES)
Music by Harumi Ueko,Kazuhiko Uehara,Kazuki Muraoka,Yukie Morimoto
"Cosmo Plant (8st. BGM... Space Vegetation)"

Tags (4)

Electric Guitar,Synth
Origin > Collaboration

File Information

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