ReMix: Metroid Prime "Hot Machine, Cold Surface" 3:34

By Ben Prunty

Arranging the music of one song...

"Ice Valley (Phendrana Deep Lake Area)"

Primary Game: Metroid Prime (Nintendo, 2002, GCN), music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Koichi Kyuma

Posted 2014-10-06, evaluated by djpretzel

OCR02998 - gettin' real close to 3K!! Our penultimate contribution to the era of OCR02XXX comes from indie game composer Ben Prunty, who composed the soundtrack to the critically-acclaimed FTL (!!!) - of this very percussive, cinematic/ambient arrangement from Metroid Prime, he writes:

"OC ReMix has always been such a huge influence on all the music I've made. Everything I've made up to and including the FTL soundtrack was written with the OC ReMix standard of quality in mind. It's long been a dream of mine to actually have a track approved for the site, and ten years ago I even submitted some terrible stuff that was rightly rejected. So now, this track was originally made for Brave Wave's World 1-2 album, and it turned out well enough that I think it's up to your standards. I've never been a huge fan of Prime's soundtrack, but this was still pretty fun to make. Enjoy!"

Really appreciate the kind words; it's always awesome to hear that the community has had a positive influence on modern game composers, and FTL got a lot of deserved attention & praise, with many singling out the music as a big part of the experience. I've been spending a lot of time on work & with my family lately and it's often hard to find time for OCR, so reading comments like this - and seeing the awesome support we've been getting through Patreon - is truly motivating & inspirational. So I'd just like to give a personal thanks to Ben for not only submitting this mix but also for including the message above, which means a lot.

If you're familiar with the FTL soundtrack, you might notice some traces/aspects of it in Ben's approach to this MP ReMix, specifically a percolating embrace of percussion, chromatic and otherwise, with some stripped-down chip textures. Not steampunk per se, but the blend of hand percussion with rudimentary synth waveforms has a certain organic-meets-retro-synthetic feel that's not far off, and which has "that indie feel" - a good thing, at least in my book, when executed this well! Larry writes:

"Welcome aboard, Ben, we're glad you finally made it! And honored that the bar OC ReMix set has helped you rise to the occasion as a professional musician. We definitely stand by our standards, and I always say the bar's meant to lift you up, not beat you down, so your endorsement means a lot. :-) Folks, be sure to check out Ben's music catalog AND the eclectic goodness of Mohammed Taher's Brave Wave Productions (who were a big part of the success of our Balance and Ruin Kickstarter)!

BTW, for any aspiring professional VGM composers, Ben has a great blog detailing his most important advice on making it, and Disasterpeace blogged about how he's gotten his gigs. The common themes are "preparedness + luck = opportunity." Putting yourself out there and not hiding your aspirations is an important part of creating that luck, so be sure to read the career advice of the composers of FTL and FEZ.

Onto Ben's ReMix, from what I recognized of "Phendrana Deep Lake Area," this just barely squeaked by on dominant source tune usage, but I had it just over 50%. Another sweet bit of ear candy was how the intro/outro chords sounded vaguely like Super Metroid's "Brinstar - Plant Overgrowth Area," so that was a nice coincidence.

For me, the beautifully-written chromatic and hand percussion gave the source a more mystical feel. The ramp-up at 2:32 was such a sweet transition to the piano chords from 2:48-2:55 and a liberal take on the note runs from the original during 2:55-3:10. If you listen carefully, this mix has a wonderfully subtle approach to using all sorts of parts of the source. There are so many understated connections to Phendrana here; it was a treat for me gradually identifying and appreciating the details tucked within this excellent piece. :-)"

Nice analysis; this is an arrangement that warrants re-listening to catch the details, but is also enjoyable the first time around. There's a graceful, meditative simplicity to the chrom. percussion intro, but contrast that with the energetic drum solo at 1'47" to see the distance Ben travels and how he builds the piece. Check out Ben's other work & blog at, and enjoy the mix - it may have been a decade in the making, but we're proud to have his music on OCR!



Latest 9 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-10 10:39:07

The instant I sat down to listen this song, I immediately knew it was from the guy who made the FTL: Faster Than Light soundtrack. Those drums with those bells: a dead giveaway.

I really, really, really, REALLY dig the drums in this song. I also really dig the interesting route taken for the Phendrana Drifts theme. It would be so easy to go with something smooth and quiet like the actual song, but instead, this particular version is very energetic, more along the lines of the second theme for the area than the first one.

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-10-07 17:09:49

The FTL soundtrack is awesome! Also FTL is awesome!

With that out of the way, I'd like to add this ReMix to the list of awesome things. Those drums made it for me.

on 2014-10-07 11:16:46

I can definitely hear the FTL influence in this ReMix. Awesome stuff. I do agree that some sounds were a bit sharp, like some of those bells, and it does seem to trail off at the end, but other than that, an excellent piece of music and a wonderful take on Ice Valley.

on 2014-10-07 09:45:35

I love the FTL soundtrack. I can definitely hear some of that here. Nice.

on 2014-10-07 04:57:43

How cool to learn about OCR's importance to Ben his previous submissions to the site. I love FTL its soundtrack, and the similarities are definitely there. This is a cool arrangement, and I enjoy the emphasis on percussion. The track does fade out before it concludes, though, that is definitely how I feel. I also agree that the low-mid range sounds a bit muddy. Loved the atmosphere though, and the way the piece develops. Looking forward to more OCR submissions from mr. Prunty!

on 2014-10-07 03:58:02

Gorgeous piece. The beginning just draws me into the enchantment of it, then the layers start to build and it's wonderful. The nice, industrial drums don't take away from the magic of the piece, either. They seem like they should be jarring, but they really aren't. They still maintain warmth, as the entire song does, in spite of it seeming also as crisp as ice.

Aptly named.

My only complaint is that I wanted it to go on longer, for more of a journey. Great work.

on 2014-10-06 18:07:25

Yeah, there's a resonance on the low mids in the bells, and it gets hard to hear the other elements in the mix. Still some nice atmospherics and interesting contrast when the Indian percussion came in. A crazy amount of compression on the acoustic kit later on though. Yikes. May come off as overcompressed to some people, but it feels intentional.

on 2014-10-06 15:29:49

LOVE this mix right here man. you have done some VERY good things with this one. But i feel the chimes are maybe a tad loud over the main music not that its bad and you also maybe end the song alittle too quickly with a few seconds of quiet at the end as well.. Its ALL good definately faved for life

on 2014-10-06 13:29:31

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Metroid Prime (Nintendo, 2002, GCN)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Koichi Kyuma
"Ice Valley (Phendrana Deep Lake Area)"

Tags (5)

Chiptune, Chromatic Percussion, Electronic, Piano, Synth

File Information

5,991,310 bytes


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