Posted 2009-06-14, evaluated by the judges panel

Super Deform Snatcher!? But I don't even know her!! (fx)... Following on Mazedude's momentous & memorable Mega Man masterpiece, I'm proud to post our first ReMix from an MSX game, which is also our first arrangement from a Snatcher title AND the debut mix from Spanish composer Jorge Mira, alias Commandcom, who's done some television and film work as well. The MSX was way more popular in Japan and Spanish-speaking countries than it was in the US, and somewhat bizarrely originated with Microsoft - full story over at Wikipedia; in some ways it's a like a (very) distant precursor to the Xbox. There were plenty of great games, and many are unaware that several popular series like Bomberman, Parodius, and even Metal Gear itself all got their start on this platform. In otherwords, respect the MSX - it's a serious bit of video gaming history that many of us missed out on, but we can all enjoy through emulation. Also, let me say a few words about the Snatcher games: Badass. That's actually just one word, you got me, but I had a blast playing the localized Sega CD version way back in the day. It's pure Kojima, through and through, borrowing from Terminator, Blade Runner, and countless other sources of inspiration to create something new and iconic. I am seriously hoping that one day Kojima takes some time away from MGS to return to this series in full next-gen regalia and blow us all away yet again. is probably the best resource for anyone interested in more about this awesome series.

A lot of Konami's best composers worked on the soundtrack to Super Deform Snatcher ("SD Snatcher" for short), which is an alternate take on the original plot, with different gameplay and, as the title suggests, adorably miniaturized characters. Jorge writes:

"The fact is that I've felt the needing of doing a tribute album since I was 20 or so (I'm 35 now, so It's been a while) and, of course, one of my tribute targets would be Video Game Music, as it has influenced me beyond any measurable reason. I learned so much from those games that I felt they deserved recognition...So my greatest influences come from the MSX age, and, of course, Konami Games. I made up a list, maybe 8 years ago, about the key tunes / games. And one of them is, as you may guess, SD Snatcher (Konami, MSX2, 1990) This was one of the (now ultra famous) Hideo Kojima productions: In fact, it is a remake in an RPG style of "Snatcher", a previous game.

The intro for the game consists of 3 episodes: The song chosen corresponds to the second one, the "Title Sequence" one. Since I heard it, it reminded me of Mission:Impossible, James Bond and Charlie's Angels all at the same time (I wouldn't be surprised if those were the exact references Kojima gave composer Masahiro Ikariko to work with) So, there was the Adam Clayton / Larry Mullen Re-Mix of the Lalo Schiffrin's Mission Impossible theme. And that was the idea! Slow it down, 007-ize it, Charlie-ize it, Orchestra-ize it!

The track name is "Difficult Move", and my mix is called "Difficult Move Indeed" for obvious reasons you'll find into it in the "Charlie's Angels" part. I focused in 3 of the 4 parts of the song. re-enforcing the presence of the "Mission: Impossible" part and just giving a hint on the 007 / Charlie ones. I like to make these mixes feel they actually could be IN the game, so not trying to get them that far away from their original universe and making them proud of their origin. Also, I'm trying to "pop-ize" them, so anyone could find an structure to relate to, even if they are not aware of what they are listening to."

Nice background on the creative process from Jorge that does an excellent job giving you an idea what to expect... so I don't have to. More laziness ensues as I quote select judges, starting with Vinnie:

"I like this one. You hit the nail on the head adapting this piece to the style of the spy songs you mentioned, and the new background writing and complementary writing gives this a great balance of new and old."

And then moving on to Shariq:

"I don't think there's anything wrong with the samples. This is a pretty groovy, piece of work. I love that timpani roll; it's like "HEY LISTEN UP, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING BIG HERE." Piano section does a nice job mellowing things out. Double-time section right after gets me dancing. Very cool stuff."

And finally, Aversa:

"I definitely get that classic "espionage" feeling here. I love the original writing and the arrangement is very creative. If you told me this was on the soundtrack of a new James Bond game I'd believe you. On the production end, the strings and brass aren't perfectly realistic (could use more reverb, in my opinion, to help them sit in better) but otherwise things sound pretty slick and well-balanced to me. Awesome stuff!"

Jorge and the judges said it all better than I could anyway - it was clear that the artist was inspired to create this piece and that he loves the music, the game, and the films that combined to spark this composition. It's taken us almost ten years to get an MSX mix on the site, ditto for Snatcher, and I think the biggest compliment I can pay this track is that, in both instances, it does not disappoint.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-04-10 19:10:01
on 2010-03-05 09:00:45
Hearing this remix made me cry.. the song I still love today, completely butchered and raped by going 180 degrees on the style! I'm sorry for my comments, your composition in itself is good but I can't get over the style change knowing the original song.

There is valid criticism, and then there is this. Try to have a little more class than saying that a remix "butchered and raped" the source tune.

on 2009-12-17 19:22:27

Now, we're getting to something!

When you said that the atmosphere of the track wasn't that of the game, that was exactly my point!

If this game and Kojima ever re-unite in a glorious remake, it is into the fashion/atmosphere of my ReMix wich I'd like it to happen!!

So that is what my last post (and the whole ReMix) was all about! :D

Nevermind, in no way I felt offended! ;-)



on 2009-12-17 18:17:18

Whether you believe it or not, I'm looking forward to hear your Salamander soundtrack. My response in no way was meant to offend you, don't get me wrong please. I agree the tune is recognizable (in the same universe as you call it). For me personally, the atmosphere set by your remix doesn't seem to fit the atmosphere of the game though. It's by no means bad... let's just say... radically different ;)

I love remixes a lot and a number of years back I used to remix songs from MSX games myself, rebuilding them using samples of real music instruments. Unfortunately I have not much work left and they were basically just one-on-one copies of the songs, made to loop endlessly. It was all done in FastTracker2. I now have Renose (registered) but I just don't have the time and interest any more to actually make any music, sadly enough.

One thing can be said about a lof of game music of the 80s and that is that the songs were technically advanced, both Konami and Falcom made some excellent productions.

I was hoping to find a lot more MSX game remixes here. Your initiative to offer this site its first MSX remix is appreciated nonetheless even if I can't find myself in this tune :)

Regardless, godspeed on creating more compositions :idea:

on 2009-12-17 16:01:10

Well, that was quite polite for sure!

Obviously, we're not in the same page here.

My real deal here was, as you'll hear on my upcoming Salamander one (to be posted...) to update the theme in a verisimilitude frame, given that the game was re-made today.

And having played it also, you'll agree with me that I kept it in its universe, only with a twist.

If I was to remix the whole soundtrack (wich, indeed would be an awesome work and chances are that I'll get my hands dirty with 'Modern Crusade' after I finish my current 'King Kong 2 (MSX2)' one) this theme (Difficult Move) would be the 'upbeat one' in a 'Mission Impossible 3' fashion, both visually and mechanically form a 'new gameplay for the 21st century' that avoids ripping off 'Blade Runner', 'Terminator' and 'The Invasion of the Body Snatchers'.

This approach would, maybe, give a chance to really make this game happen Mainstream, as it would avoid so much plagiarism given those movies influences (And we know this game IS, indeed, a huge ripe-off from the latter).

Finally, I'm glad it had some reaction from you, even if that one was stupefaction!



on 2009-12-17 13:29:45

Well, how could I politely tell you. Maybe by starting off with the hypothetical situation where I wouldn't know of the song or the game in the first place.

Music-technically, I couldn't hear any flaws, it jives just fine for the style you chose and it really has this espionage feel about it. You did a good job there..

But the fact of the matter is that I know the song; both the original chiptune as I've played the game to death on the MSX back in the days, and the later released Konami orchestral composition.

Hearing this remix made me cry.. the song I still love today, completely butchered and raped by going 180 degrees on the style! I'm sorry for my comments, your composition in itself is good but I can't get over the style change knowing the original song.

on 2009-12-14 16:30:28

The name of the game just keeps reminding me of another SD game... ;)

Spy music at its finest. Groovy bass, orchestra used perfectly for the genre, great synths and effects, great rhythms, and the wah guitar in there... :D The bass feels a bit weak on its own in the intro, but that's not a big deal considering how quickly it goes from weak to groovy.

on 2009-12-02 22:20:38

The overall feeling on this one is fantastic. It has that perfect 'sneaking' feeling, yet has it's own unique spin to avoid being too chiche. The timpani was a nice touch, and I liked the breakdown section in the middle.

Check this one out, it's good for sneaking around.

on 2009-07-01 07:43:33

Just to clarify the Brass thing: What is there on the "main motif" on top (or aside) the String section is a distorted synth, just to make it "punchier".(The sound itself is more exposed at 00:39, and more so in 2:16)

So the only brass there is comes in about 2:40, in the end section.

Maybe some are wanting to hear the brass in the main motif, wich, indeed, would be quite appropiate if I had done so, but the fact is that I wanted it to sound more "blended" betwen synth/orchestra. (In fact, the orchestra "bits", as I call them, are not the main thing here. At least from my point of view)



on 2009-07-01 06:33:19
The synth coming in at 1:45 is really nice

Great!! THAT was one of my personal tributes to Konami Itself!! That kind of synth line is a classic Konami one, specially when it does the portamento thing. Much used in OSTs like Rocket Knight Adventures (Megadrive) by Konami composers.

This, and other little detalis, tie the arrangement to the Video Games Universe and don't let it go THAT far away.

Glad you noticed it!



Martin Penwald
on 2009-06-30 16:05:05

Definitely nailed the spy-movie feeling.

The synth coming in at 1:45 is really nice, and I agree to what was said about the wah guitar, though I wish it would have been a little louder.

on 2009-06-22 02:36:18

This is some excellent stuff here. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this - you really nailed the espionage feel of it. I can't really find much to critique about it, it's such an excellent piece. I'd be really interested in any tribute album you released!

on 2009-06-17 19:13:47

Woah. I've listened to this song nearly 200 times in a 24-our period. THIS IS GREAT! I'm so glad Snatcher is finally gettin' some love! Wonderful mix, dude, to such a wonderful game!

on 2009-06-17 11:45:13
I wish there were some massive sections where the track really opened up, especially at the end; I think a huge ending would have been more exciting than the way it sort of faded out.

Well, well... so you noticed it, :D

Indeed: There's one whole layer "missing" here. The Big Band Brass. From the 2nd chorus (in wich the main motif basically repeats twice, just like the second repetition of the first occurence) the extra BRASS should come in to make it one step further, and so to place the seed for the double-extra brass and fills-in over the "ending section" a la Bond Big Band, so the roller coaster is fully up until the very end.

I even started it, but work (and life in general) made me stay in this Defcon 3 instead of getting my hands reaaaally dirty. (Really dirty, as you can see, although balanced, there's quite a lot of stuff going on, so fitting this extra stuff would require more extra work than the proportional benefit)

So, yes, you're right. But then, again, it is quite groovy and just works like it is. :D

Best regards,


on 2009-06-17 10:50:22

Great textures, and I really like the smaller details, like the layered synths, the wah guitar bits, and that kettle drum roll. I wish there were some massive sections where the track really opened up, especially at the end; I think a huge ending would have been more exciting than the way it sort of faded out. Despite this, it worked out really well, and remained intelligent and sophisticated throughout. I'd have never heard this soundtrack if it wasn't for your remix, so thank you. :-)

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
SD Snatcher (Konami , 1990, MSX)
Music by Harumi Ueko,Kazuhiko Uehara,Masahiro Ikariko,Michiru Yamane,Motoaki Furukawa,Mr. Inoue,Mutsuhiko Izumi,Tomoya Tomita,Tsuyoshi Sekito,Yuji Takenouchi,Yuko Kurahashi
"Difficult Move"

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