ReMix: Final Fantasy IV "Crazy Old Betty" 2:07

By Sergiu Muresan

Arranging the music of one song...

"Into the Darkness"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy IV (Square, 1991, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2010-12-07, evaluated by the judges panel


What!? A Final Fantasy IV ReMix that's NOT from Echoes?? Yes, and a humdinger at that, from newcomer & Transylvanian/Romanian composer Sergiu Muresan, who writes:

"The track is inspired by the image of an old woman in an asylum...Betty, alone in her room at night, turns on her old radio and images of her glory days pass through her troubled mind. I used Cubase 3, Gigastudio with assorted gig files, Atmosphere and Wavelab 5."

Very psychological - I definitely dig it. Before I continue, some general notices:

  • We've switched IRC networks - come chat w/ us!
  • December is Reviews Month - give the gift of feedback to the many talented artists who've contributed free VGM arrangements over the years! The more reviews the better, even if you're just saying "Hey, I dig this, thanks for making it!"
  • AFAIK, Larry still watches grown, sweaty, half-clothed men wrestle one another on television.

Now, I do need to make the gratuitous comment that it would be awesome to have Sergiu do a Castlevania ReMix of any kind, not only because I think he'd nail the dark atmosphere based on this mix, but also because he actually lives *in* Castlevania! Okay not really, but the next closest thing. This FF4 debut is nice & dark, and the described tinny radio entry serves as a maudlin, crackly introduction to playful, dark, choral orchestral arrangement that has elements of jazz & swing, isn't afraid to bust out the solo winds, modulate from minor to major, or rock some castanets. And how about that ending... so minimalist, so unorthodox. At two minutes, I wanted more, but what's here leaves a lasting impression. Most recently, PR's Touhou mix comes to mind as bearing some similarity, but this is less Elfman and almost more Sinatra at times, and definitely distinct. Vinnie writes:

"I would've liked this to sound a little bigger and deviate from the structure more, maybe adding an original section, but this is great stuff. The little carnival additions that come and go in an instant, the neat chord changes (I love what you did at 0:45) - arrangement and production both rock. Your concept works too. This is quite short and probably close to the lower time limit of an effective arrangement, but you did a lot in the short span."

You can say next to nothing in a seven-minute boilerplate trance mix, and you can say quite a bit in a two minute arrangement like this, that oozes with character, creeps with style, and has an absolute confidence of execution and attitude. As Flight of the Conchords say, two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven, and whether this is heaven, hell, or purgatory, Sergiu's crafted a slick, stylish mix that uses the source perfectly. Excellent, can't wait to hear more!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Lady Shinigami
on 2013-02-06 05:54:27

Read the description about dear old Betty as the track started. Thought, "Oh, how cute, with the radio thing!"

Then came the transition. Literally got the chills. It was awesome.

I've always found the very beginning of the source material to be suitably mysterious and potentially frightening, but felt it was a bit too fast to be properly discomfiting. This piece didn't slow it down but still fixed that issue, and made it absolutely creepy.

I'm not a huge jazz fan, either; it has to be pretty light for me to not notice/not care/actually like it. But what was here really worked, and the swing bits were a good inclusion. I guess what I'm saying is that nothing overwhelmed anything else except where it was needed to give the sense of someone who's a little disconnected and whose memory isn't as reliable as one would hope.

Very well done.

~LS

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Mythezza
on 2012-12-11 21:35:38

Great remix! I don't know if it necessarily fits my memory of that cave, but what a great mix. I cannot get enough of it. Totally unique. The orchestration sounds really great too, imo. Also I like that it is sort of sassy.

I love this so much that I can't even use my words.

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meccaneer
on 2012-05-16 14:29:37

Amazing, man. I really like it. A good take on a classic tune. Has a sort of a Danny Elfman feel about it. I would have loved for it to be longer, of course!

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Crulex
on 2012-05-03 10:28:08

It does sound playfully dark, like something out of a Tim Burton movie. It fits the idea of an asylum inmate slowly losing it. The idea with the radio intro and outro was really cool. A bit short, but very enjoyable.

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Martin Penwald
on 2010-12-28 16:03:21
It's very dark and creepy, but it has a beauty and elegance about it

This.

Furthermore, I agree with what has been said about the radio framing; nice idea.

Good stuff, hope to hear more from you.

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42
on 2010-12-13 22:04:51
Its sounds like it was Danny Elfman who made it.

This ^

Oh wow, I love the radio framing design.

That plus the subtly, broken, "you just know something is wrong here" tone makes for a really delicious mix. Also, the swing elements are distinctive and feel welcome. Truly, this is a cool take on Into the Darkness.

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Sergiu Muresan
on 2010-12-11 08:01:17

Thank you, fellows...I am glad you enjoyed it...:wink:

Sergiu

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Chernabogue
on 2010-12-11 07:27:53

Its sounds like it was Danny Elfman who made it. And it is very very good! Great job!

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datin
on 2010-12-10 17:53:05

I get excited anytime there is a new FFIV remix but I go crazy every time it's good, and THIS is definitely AMAZING.

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FenixDown
on 2010-12-08 22:53:00

Very nice orchestration. A little on the short side, but I'd rather have a very good short arrangement over one that's drawn out too long and tapers off as a result. I'd also like to hear more from you.

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DragonAvenger
on 2010-12-08 16:57:46

I wish this one had been longer, but I certainly love what's been done to it as is. The imagery this produces is just fantastic, nice work with that. Can't wait to hear more from you!

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luhny
on 2010-12-08 16:38:14

I would really like to write a detailed review... but I am at a loss of words. The only thing I can think of is: Awesome!

Thanks for sharing this one.

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Schneau
on 2010-12-08 07:21:47

This is my kind of orchestrated remix! Way to go!

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ZealPath
on 2010-12-07 22:54:54

As soon as I read the concept idea for this mix I had a feeling it was going to be something I'd enjoy, and it certainly was! Only "problem" here, to echo everyone else, is just how short it is, this definitely one that I've already found myself listening to a couple times in a row just to really get that atmosphere.

Speaking of the atmosphere, that's totally what makes this mix, and I really dig it, if it's creepy, it's not in a scary way, just in kind of a weird way. I've been playing a lot of Machinarium lately and I couldn't help but be reminded of the speechless way the characters interact in that game while listening to this. Of course, the original concept is a lot of fun to imagine too, I sort of get the sense of a character telling a story with flashbacks to all of the crazy things that must have happened in their life.

The radio switch on/off is a very nice touch as well, amazing how good even a 2 minute mix can be when it manages to nail an atmosphere like this.

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Old Man Pac
on 2010-12-07 22:49:02

Brilliant and addicting.

Just the right length to portray a fleeting memory.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy IV (Square, 1991, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Into the Darkness"

Tags (10)


Genre:
Jazz, Swing
Mood:
Dark
Instrumentation:
Brass, Choir, Orchestral, Strings, Woodwinds
Additional:
Time > Duration: Short
Usage > Halloween

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_4_Crazy_Old_Betty_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
3,129,452 bytes
MD5:
86b16ce3271e732adc60fe3896288ad5
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
2:07

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