ReMix:Cave Story "The Unbroken" 5:08

By Nutritious

Arranging the music of one song...

"Last Battle"

Primary Game: Cave Story (Studio Pixel , 2004, WIN), music by Pixel

Posted 2012-01-01, evaluated by the judges panel

Happy New Year!! Even though I've been busy spending time w/ family, I couldn't NOT post a mix on the first day of 2012, and this breakthrough arrangement from Nutritious seems like a great way to kick off the year, setting the right tone. I wanted 2011 to be a year of change for the site, but it instead ended up being a year of both increased quantity & quality - which I can't argue with too much, either. While we definitely want to continue posting more mixes and albums and make this new year even better than the last, I'm also at this point rather hellbent on instituting some more fundamental improvements & additions to the site itself. I'll need a lot of help - from the entire community, not just staff - as we start implementing new features, revisiting & revising existing policies, and expanding the idea of what OC ReMix, at its best, can be. It's going to require open-mindedness, new ideas, hard work, and perserverance, and I think all of those concepts are well-illustrated by this vocal Cave Story mix from Justin:

"This submission really is me coming full circle. The first mix I ever submitted to ocr was for this same source tune - which was given up on after 3 rejections. This is a completely different take on the source, going for some sort of orchestral/pendulum combination. Given my first few mixes, people seem to be taken back when I do something that's not straight orchestral. So I tried to throw in a bit of a surprise with the beat/synths & later vocals.

I spent a lot more time processing the vocals than I ever have previously. I used 4 different vocoders on and off throughout the mix, as well as autotuned harmonies for the pre-chorus and bridge. I tried to get as big a sound as possible (a la Pendulum) once everything kicks in - which I think I accomplished a LOT more effectively with this mix than my previous Return All Robots submission. Source-wise, this is admittedly a bit more on the liberal side than my usual. The intro and verses only really connect to the source via chord usage. Source should be pretty apparent, though, when the beat & synths kick in, as well as pre-chorus, bridge, & instrumental chorus."

Finally getting a chance to meet Justin in person for PAX Prime was one of my personal highlights of last year; it was interesting talking to him about how he manages his time between his job, OCR, and his family & children, a balance that is going to become increasingly relevant for many of us. We had fun checking out Seattle's Pike Place Market and chilling while the rest of the crew went back to the con for more swag & networking, and talked a lot about OCR and making music. This mix is pretty darn different for Justin, even from his previous arrangements that incorporated more electronic elements, and while it comes full circle in the sense that it revisits a previously arranged source, it definitely colors outside the lines & creates a whole new circle for him, stylistically. I think saying "orchestral/Pendulum combination, w/ vocals" does describe the mix pretty accurately, but the key thing is that he pulls it off with some very confident, high-impact execution. Unanimous praise from the judges is well-deserved - Deia:

"Gotta say, listening to this felt way faster than 5:10. It's probably because it's awesome. Love all the elements you have in here, and the vocals are incorporated well. I thought the source was clear, and approached appropriately. Great overall use of orchestral and more mainstream synths/instruments."


"Love it, keep improving, dude. Possibly your best yet, IMO."


"to keep it short, I think this should have been direct posted. great arrangement, excellent sounds and production, and kickass vocals to boot. I have no complaints whatsoever."


"Justin was showing me this periodically throughout the development and it was just always getting more awesome every time I heard it. Excellent work man, this will be a bit of a classic I think."

I certainly hope so; great, fresh, creative mix that shows a whole other side to an already-amazing artist - exactly the way I think we should enter the new year.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-10 10:22:32

[busts in screaming] Did I hear someone mention Pendulum?!?!*

I think the Pendulum comparison is quite apt. Pendulum would always get crap for being melodic (referred to as "clownstep" in some dnb circles), and this is my favorite kind of drum bass - melodic. I don't think the production on the percussion is up there with Pendulum, but given that I swear Rob Swire is some kind of percussion muse sent down to Earth in human form, it's not that big of a deal.

My only, only issue with this song is the overuse of vocoder on the male vocals. It sounds too robotic to be handled as straight vocals, but not robotic enough to be considered intentional. To have an example of vocoded vocals that reach all the way over into "robotic", Pendulum's The Other Side, or Visions, both of which are obviously using it as an effect rather than a crutch for underconfidence.

*(seriously, they and Knife Party are my favorite. Rob Gareth haven't made a single song I've disliked.)

on 2014-11-28 14:47:46

Dat gorgeous intro. This is probably the best remix of the final boss theme ever. The original is also the best final boss theme ever. But Justin nailed this mix with soaring orchestral elements, killer D'n'B grove and very smart minimalistic vocals. It feels so sorrowful and desperate!

on 2014-08-19 19:52:32

'The Unbroken' remains to be one of my personal favorite ReMixes. The depth and flawless vocals has changed how I play Cave Story forever. Words like amazing, incredible, epic, and awesome do not begin to describe how I feel about this one. All I can say is mind = blown.

on 2014-07-11 21:09:52

I don't even remember hearing this 2 years ago, but this remains awesome. :D

on 2013-04-29 14:52:27

I can only reiterate what I said last year- though hope keeps on fading, and the darkest nights seem to be near, this song reminds you, reminds me, reminds us...we can yet remain unbroken.

on 2013-01-30 15:10:05

Solid. This has completely displaced the original track in my head.

One little irony here is that your ARE alone at this point. It's like a reminder, "Hey, don't forget to go rescue Curly when you're done here. And yes, you'll have to step up your game a lot."

Edited to add: now I can't get this out of my head... and that's fine by me.

Edited to add on Feb 6: STILL in my head. Slightly less welcome by now, but holding up pretty well.

on 2012-12-03 10:29:41

Oh man, that grand opening leading into the Pendulum DnB riff was pretty sweet. I've been in a "final battle" mood for a while, and this is perfect for it. The vocaded vocal idea was the cherry on top, because it just fits so damn well with this style. I just love that "you're not alone" hook. This is going down as one of my favorite Nutritious songs.

Martin Penwald
on 2012-07-14 05:48:33

This song makes my subwoofer happy.

And I agree with what has been said about the vocoded vocals; they really fit this style.

Great job. Make more of this.

The Speed Buster
on 2012-05-17 14:54:41

I love this so much, it's epic and incredible, this one is one of my instant favorites, and well, planning a collection of my favorite OCRemixes, and this one, it's inmediately in the collection, Awesome work ;D

on 2012-01-17 20:04:05

This... is... sooo... AWESOME!!! I mean, wow! Perfect to my ears. The vocoded voice is really cool too. Of all the mixes on this site, this one would be my first pick for sharing ocremix with friends.

on 2012-01-16 00:41:59

Excellent as always man. Always love your stuff. Never played Cave Story...but I know it has some great tunes.

Melbu Frahma
on 2012-01-13 11:04:09

Nice! I had wondered whatever happened to this mix - I loved it so much in the WIP boards, and it's so good to hear the final, polished version at last. Can't find a single flaw at all with what Nutritious created here; major props.

on 2012-01-08 22:21:53


big giant circles
on 2012-01-07 19:24:40

Justin, this is amazing bro!

Transmogrificational Tune
on 2012-01-07 02:06:40

Stand up and take notice all ye would be composers. THIS is how to put lyrics to a beat.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Cave Story (Studio Pixel , 2004, WIN)
Music by Pixel
"Last Battle"

Tags (8)

Electronic,Orchestral,Singing,Synth,Vocals: Male
Effects > Vocoder
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original

File Information

8,672,647 bytes

The darkest night
These hopeless days
Still we are waiting

To touch the source
As all life prays
Hope keeps on fading

As dawn draws near
Ignite in me
Fire consuming

They try to break
The light we bring
But still we are moving on

Killing our time
Spending our lives
Fighting alone

Filling our souls
Willing us fight
You're not alone

Deep in silence
Darkness blinds us
Will you break these
Chains that bind us

You're not alone
You're not alone
You're not alone


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