Posted 2017-09-11, evaluated by the judges panel

Ninja Gaiden!!

Our last ReMix of the original NES classic was somehow all the way back in 2011, so it's good to see Ryu Hayabusa back on the homepage! Newcomer Vijay van der Weijden gives us an arrangement of several themes in a western/ballad style that reminds me of the Zamfir piece "The Lonely Shepherd," popularized by Kill Bill. Vijay writes:

"I remixed/covered music from Ninja Gaiden for the NES, a Western-styled cover of "A Hero's End" and "Vow of Revenge," guitar performance by Job Wijkamp. I thought I'd try to get it submitted on OC ReMix, since you're kind of the main authorities on game remixes, etc. I called the arrangement "The Cost of Vengeance."

The focus of the arrangement lies on the track "A Hero's End." The outro of the arrangement is "Vow of Revenge." And, at one point, the strings play "Unbreakable Determination" in the background.

Okay, so Ryu is this tough, lone-wolf ninja. Sure, in the game, he gets with Irene in the end, but I always thought that didn't really fit his character... At the beginning of the game, he "vows to revenge" his father and also gets tangled up in the plot with Jaquio and such. At the end of the game, he's saved the day, but he also lost his father in the act. While the people rejoice (I think it's just Irene who's physically present, but let's pretend there's at least 5 more people), Ryu isn't happy at all. He did the world a favor, but at what cost? He mourns his father's death in his own badass way. By silently walking into the sunset. That's how I envision the ending and that gave me a sort of "Western" feel. So, I decided to give the music a Western twist to it, to convey a different feeling on Ryu losing his father.

I want to thank you judges for the substantive feedback. It's very clear and specific!"

Vijay revised this based on panel feedback, and judges agreed his revisions made a positive difference. This is mellow stuff, and overall volume levels are a little low, so you might wanna turn it up a bit. The trumpet sample employed is definitely the low point; I'd love to hear this with an actual trumpet player, or with something like Sample Modeling, etc. That being said, I dig the dusty, lo-fi organ & whistling on the intro - sets the perfect tone and feels like something recorded many decades ago. The way the intro segues into trumpet melody & accompaniment really does remind me of the scene in Kill Bill where Hattori Hanzo is making B's sword, but I've seen that film quite a few times ;) Job's guitar lends authenticity and personalization, and I like how the wind/flute flourishes aid in transitions. MindWanderer writes:

"Some nice, emotive stuff here. I was dubious about the opening minimalism with that low-fi organ, but it ended up working really well. Those simple harmonies in the intro are really evocative."

While the artist addressed some intonation issues on the pan flute, the lack of realism on the trumpet remained prohibitive for some judges. While it doesn't compare favorably in the realism dept. with other parts, it doesn't sound terrible either, and it's a relatively necessary instrumentation choice for the genre/style in question. While not extremely ornate or sophisticated, it's the creativity & vision of Vijay's arrangement that sells this mix, and ultimately compensates for this one particular shortcoming. I think it was an excellent idea to arrange these pieces, together, with this specific aesthetic, and while this probably isn't the ultimate manifestation in terms of execution, the message is nonetheless communicated - enjoyably, at that! Neat debut from Vijay which brings some memorable melodies back into the OCR spotlight for a dusty, western arrangement full of character! Looking forward to hearing more.



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-09-14 03:27:55

This remix does a perfect job of putting you into that classic Western scene, where the grizzled hero saves everyone but has to bear the burden of the consequences alone. Into the sunset he goes…

Uffe von Lauterbach
on 2017-09-12 20:18:42

Cool! A new Ninja Gaiden remix. I love the solemn feeling in this.

on 2017-09-08 10:27:05

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

Sources Arranged (3 Songs)

Primary Game:
Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo , 1988, NES)
Music by Keiji Yamagishi,Ryuichi Nitta
"A Decision - Father's Letter"
"Ryu's Determination"

Tags (11)

Ballad,Rock,Spaghetti Western
Acoustic Guitar,Organ,Trumpet,Whistling,Woodwinds

File Information

6,903,632 bytes


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