ReMix:Super Mario Bros. "The King Awaits" 4:06

By Forrest Fire

Arranging the music of one song...

"Castle BGM"

Primary Game: Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo , 1985, NES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2014-06-28, evaluated by djpretzel

Forrest Fire follows up his memorable & hypnotic dubstep SMW jam from May of last year with another Mario EMD mix, this time returning to the original SMB & firing up some unrelenting, manic drum & bass:

"Out of all of the great classics that Nintendo packed into the amazing cartridge of Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, Super Mario Bros. was certainly my least favorite. The game was intensely difficult and the castle stages were the most stressful. The music almost pushes you forward with a sense of urgency, if not only so you could be free from its uncomfortably paced melody that just keeps frantically looping. Each castle was packed with obstacles and easy ways to die, almost all of them including a fiery death.

As a child, the worst thing that could occur in SMB was getting to the end of a fiercely booby trapped castle, and finally encountering Bowser, only to be destroyed in your attempt to run under his ugly turtle body. You were so close, and now you're so far...

I'm 21 now, and in deciding upon the one aggressive drum and bass remix for the latest J1 Studios Super Mario remix album, I chose the castle theme from SMB. I did everything I could to bring out the fear, intensity, and constant sense of danger that was forged into each castle from start to finish. At the end of each violent, lava-filled hallway, the king awaits."

I always thought The Lost Levels (aka the "real" SMB2) was considerably more difficult than anything on All-Stars, but I dig how Forrest really internalized the game setting, taking those pixels & chiptunes to heart and creating a very palpable sense of dread. The original source tune here certainly was some adrenaline-pumping stuff, back in the day, and it's cool to hear its very essence persisted & reformatted as dnb, with some other EDM styles working themselves in here and there too. Larry writes:

"Along with chatting up gaming musicians and e-celebs, Forrest was kind enough to interview me about OCR for J1 Studios at MAGFest, so check that out to learn more on how OCR works and how to stick with it if you're an aspiring ReMixer. That said, keep an eye out for Forrest Fire, because he's already got some fairly polished work out for someone so young in the game.

The moment the mallet percussion first entered at :20, I considered this greatness. It was one of those "Why didn't anyone THINK of this yet? Now it seems so obvious!" Forrest struck an interesting balance between the percussion sounding irreverant and the rest of the instrumentation sounding panicked and ominous, so there's a unique synergy there for sure.

One thing I enjoyed after the midway point was the subtle Mario SFX conveying the journey through the castle, including Bowser's gigantic fireballs traveling across the screen starting at 2:49. Capping off the piece with good feelings, you win at 3:53, and Bowser takes a hot lava bath. Somehow, I think Bowser will be back. I'm also hoping Forrest will be back with more unique mixes like this and "Forrest of Illusion" heading our way!"

Well said & strongly agreed, especially the comment about the mallet/chrom. percussion line; it's definitely an idea that clicks & sits right the second you hear it, making this one of those arrangements that feels in some way inevitable & surprising that it didn't happen sooner, but ALSO well-executed and worth the wait. Forrest has a way of tackling tougher sources and putting together substantive, iconic, & memorable EDM arrangements, and I'm glad he's given the Mario franchise his attention and submitted the results to OCR!



Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-07-06 13:03:10
The mallets, while initially cute, eventually overloaded my brain and added to the frenetic terror that underlies the whole arrangement. I believe this is the music that would begin playing should baby spiders ever swarm out of my eyes.

I gotta agree on that, even the whole baby spiders thing. I think the mallets take center stage way too much, overpowering every other instrument easily. I'm not sure if I like them; I'd rather had seen them replaced with something a bit easier on the ears. There's a small pause at 2:43 where they return again that does suit me though. All in all, a nice, frantic remix. I'm sure, though, that if my girlfriend would've been around, she'd throw the speakers out of the window :roll:

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-06-30 20:49:42

The mallets, while initially cute, eventually overloaded my brain and added to the frenetic terror that underlies the whole arrangement. I believe this is the music that would begin playing should baby spiders ever swarm out of my eyes.

That said, I dig it.

- Stephen

on 2014-06-29 12:15:03

Very well put together -- and frightening! :c

Makes me think of Giygas.

on 2014-06-29 09:31:47

Okay, yeah, those mallet hits are genius, man. The whole ReMix doesn't come off as overly frantic, but that tense, dark vibe is there in spades, which is perfect for the original castle theme. The SFX were a nice addition, too. The ending really capitalized on the idea of making a picture of finishing Bowser off by getting that axe and dropping the bridge. Really digging this one.

on 2014-06-28 21:24:00

Groovy... this is a great job! It is both familiar and different at the same time. As a remix, I think you hit nail on the head with my summary! Those mallets at :20... Brilliant man!

on 2014-06-28 13:15:16

This is quite interesting. Not super heavy with the drums, so to me it feels kind of laid back, but the mallets and mega-distorted bass heighten the tension so it's not so low-key. Great take that makes use of what's available and makes it work!

on 2014-06-28 12:40:01

Excellent track! Great combination of timbres, I love that mallet, awesome concept and really adds to the evil. Very exciting. I'm a huge fan of including game sfx in ReMixes, this track is a winner!

on 2014-06-28 12:20:40

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo , 1985, NES)
Music by Koji Kondo
"Castle BGM"

Tags (7)

Drum and bass
Time > Tempo: Fast
Usage > Halloween

File Information

6,000,218 bytes


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