Vurez had three mixes posted in 2005, two in 2006, and then three in 2010. So what happened to 2007-2009? As it turns out, it's more probable than not that he was making music the whole time, but not necessarily submitting it post-haste. Fortunately last year we released more of his unique, elaborate arrangements, often infused with sublime ethnic instrumentation, and I'm glad we can continue that trend here in 2011. This is a superb, atmospheric mix that tells a dynamic, dramatic story; Don writes:
"Yet another old unreleased track of mine that I went back and polished up. In stage itself in which the original track resides served as inspiration for this arrangement. I wanted to convey the image of Ryu making the perilous ascent up the temple in Act 5 - battling through a legion of Jaquio's troops to reach the apex before reaching Malth. Some of the instruments are celesta, violins, military drums, guitar, and trumpet."
Jaquio.... Malth... the names do bring back memories. Some of the later stages in Ninja Gaiden had me pulling my still-growing hair out as a wee lad, but it was worth it, especially since the intrigue-filled cinematic cut-scenes - not at all common for action games at the time - kept pushing the story forward and imbuing each serving of platforming challenge with actual meaning. Don's mix enters with isolated, foreboding celeste that creates a tense, "calm-before-the-storm" environment that then develops into a somber, determined cadence. I really admire the artist's continued openness to mixed instrumentation and genres - Don knows his stuff and does whatever HE wants, and his tastes run a pretty wide spectrum, which I definitely dig. Shariq coincidentally used the same calm/storm comparison in his own comments:
"Yes yes yes. Absolutely wonderful. I love that percussion; really gives this a militaristic, wartime kind of feel. And then that bell and guitar section in the middle is just fantastic, like a calm before the approaching storm. Performances are damn good, especially violin."
There might be some valid nitpicks here and there, but this mix establishes a very specific feeling VERY effectively, and succeeds on that level in a memorable way; to paraphrase Simple Jack, you'll be seeing Ryu Hayubasa kicking ass in your head movies, and it may or may not make your eyes rain. Great work from Vurez, who you can bet you'll be hearing more of this year.
on 2012-10-11 14:55:59
The intro and outro with the bells....that was pretty damn cool. And the strings and dramatic feeling in between was pretty sweet as well. The crisp guitar, military drums and violin gave it a "purposeful march" kind of sound and I really enjoyed that. It really makes me want to go play Ninja Gaiden now. Another win for Vurez!
on 2012-03-30 15:52:54
This beautiful piece tells an epic tale of loss and vengeance which has earned it way into a permanent spot in my list.
on 2011-03-08 12:18:10
I love the "music box" effect of opening and closing with only the bells.
Also, I absolutely love the drums, but I'm a sucker for military drums, so what can I say.
on 2011-03-04 13:40:54
Holy hell! This is ridiculously awesome. I loved Ninja Gaiden as a kid and the music is really catchy. I have been working through different games on the site and had kind of low expectations of the game getting remix attention, and what they would be like.
But this is seriously as good as it gets right here. With the amazing violin throughout keeping the original melody going. Then transitions into guitar. It sounds like it would be on a Ninja Gaiden movie soundtrack.
on 2011-01-27 21:03:52
Vurez, thanks for the Ninja Gaiden love, that game had a beautiful soundtrack that is still somewhat underrepresented here.
Your mixes are fantastic, but I'm sure I've already said this before.
on 2011-01-26 23:08:16
I simply love the bells in the opening. When that violin kicks in, I get chills! Very impressive work. I am not familiar with the source material unfortunately, but I usually enjoy Ninja Gaiden mixes. At this point, I've gotta say that this one is my favorite! =)
on 2011-01-24 16:15:43
Reminds me of Hans Zimmer's work in Black Hawk Down
on 2011-01-23 22:09:05
Something feels off about the violin -- I can't place it right now. It definitely isn't enough of an issue to detract from the fact that this track is totally badass.
Anyone that plays a classical instrument, specifically a bowed instrument would notice as well. It's the way the notes change, plus the notes themselves. There are slides and accents but imo it's not really possible to recreate an indistinguishable violin sound on a synth. Or any other bowed instrument really. There are too many bowing techniques, too many sound impurities created by an actual string and horse hair. Pressure and sound differences at the tip and frog of a bow. The changing of the bow direction itself, often makes a noticeable change in the sound. It's not just notes. Also the slide doesn't actually sound like what a slide sounds like on a violin. Vurez definitely gives the synth some personality. The slides help with the ethnic like feel of the remix. And the accents help with the military like nature that the drums are portraying. It's a good mix. For me a synth violin bothers my ears but I still like it as a remix. Creative, interesting, good sound quality. Good stuff really.
Here's some violin if anyone wants to hear what I'm going on about. You'll probably notice how there's a sound difference between when notes are slurred and played separate.
on 2011-01-23 21:31:10
Something about this song resonates well with me, been playing on loop for awhile.
on 2011-01-23 18:42:27
Thanks everyone. I made a little music video for this like I did with Melancholy Dreams. Nothing big, but it's got some nostalgia factor going for it and the gameplay footage has been edited for somewhat of a movie feel. Here's the link:
Also, a plug for my Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vurez/133402213369552
on 2011-01-23 17:19:19
Captures the beat of the game and modifies it into an epic melody. Keep up the great work!
on 2011-01-23 14:53:57
Holy crap. This is something cool. One of my favorite things about OCR is that when I'm really having a crappy day, you guys go and post some gold like this.
Not much to say other than I love this mix, love the sound and atmosphere. This makes me want take my NES back from my friend and play through that hell-on-earth game. Great job.
on 2011-01-23 00:16:44
Nice work Vurez
on 2011-01-22 23:07:20
the drums really give a nice atmosphere, don't know the track but enjoyed it =)
on 2011-01-22 23:01:45
Something feels off about the violin -- I can't place it right now. It definitely isn't enough of an issue to detract from the fact that this track is totally badass. Like the judges, I love the middle section, which gives us a break from the drums, preventing them from becoming monotonous and instead maintaining the intensity during the sections we do hear them.
I love the "music box" effect of opening and closing with only the bells. It's as if we're being asked to remember how awesome we felt as we originally played the game.
Great mix of a great track -- I'm looking forward to your other tracks forthcoming this year!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo, 1988, NES)
Music by Keiji Yamagishi, Ryuichi Nitta
- Brass, Electric Guitar, Strings
- 6,022,239 bytes
- Size: 6,022,239 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7758e047c541cac8b6f9654b078c6b4b
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