ReMix:Seiken Densetsu 3 "Nightshade Masques" 4:39

By Archangel

Arranging the music of one song...

"Ancient Dolphin"

Primary Game: Seiken Densetsu 3 (Square , 1995, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2018-10-17, evaluated by the judges panel

Archangel (Jaka Čibej) has both light & dark contributions to Songs of Light and Darkness; the preceding piece was well-illuminated, and now we drift into dimly lit, spooky, & unnerving territory with this suspenseful cinematic piece featuring big drums, choral stabs, and rising intensity:

"This is my seventh submission. This track is a part of the Seiken Densetsu 3 project album. I have to say that I wasn't very familiar with the source track when I started remixing it. When I played Seiken Densetsu 3, I chose a storyline that didn't involve the Mirage Palace, so I never heard the music in game, nor did I see what the Mirage Palace actually looked like. Upon hearing the music, I imagined a crystalline place full of mirrors, mists, and illusions, but then I checked some videos of it on YouTube and it turned out to be a far creepier dungeon!

Thus, I decided to make this remix as weird as possible. I tried to make the song sound somewhat dissonant, unstable, almost a little incoherent, in order to encapsulate the feeling of illusions suddenly appearing and disappearing -- hence the frequent sudden interruptions in an otherwise quite "flowing" song. Also, to emphasize the contrast between the illusions (the apparitions of the heroes' loved ones and whatnot) and the true nature of the palace, I used instruments that sound almost as if they contradicted each other -- for example, the piano, the celesta, and the glockenspiel sound extremely sweet and gentle and symbolize the scenes the heroes see in the palace, while the dramatic strings, the erratic woodwinds, and the various symphonic slides, scratches, plucks, etc. contribute to a rough horror-film sound.

First, the song progresses and reaches its climax in the middle part, where I used a lot of choirs (singing "Veritas omnia vincit" -- "Truth conquers all" -- obviously in reference to the illusions in the palace) accompanied by some heavy percussion. The overall sound reminded me of the music played in Moria (from Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings soundtrack).

The song then unwinds slowly (to let the guitar and the duduk shine) and ends with a creepy lullaby ending.

At the risk of sounding like a pompous buffoon, I like the way this arrangement turned out. The source tune gets stale pretty quickly, so I tried to make this song as dynamic as possible. I hope you guys and gals enjoy listening to it."

Like watching a well-scored horror film; contrast, uncertainty, surprise, unease, & some disturbing choral FX make this one perfect for October. Album director Rozovian writes:

"Something mysterious this way comes. When you have the option to make an already scary, mysterious source more dramatic, why wouldn't you take it? With choral stabs, varying time signatures, and bizarre acoustic risers, this take on "Ancient Dolphin" is a beast. It doesn't lose the calmer mood of the source, it just confines it to a shorter portion of the track, and ups the drama and creep factor for the rest of the length. Goosebumps all the way on a wonderful, dynamic, mystery ride."

Meteo Xavier adds:

"Archangel is back again with yet another exploratory, engulfing orchestral treatise that creates a world within tones. This time he conjures up a track that would just as easily fit in with a Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross remake. With choral stabs, an uncommon time signature, lots of delayed pianos and celestes underscored with strings that are thin veils for a black background, animals that cry out from the darkness, the occasional thud of the cinematic percussion, the low piano growl that is the universal call for "serious business." It gets swallowed by the void for only a minute before returning with some staccato chants and mid-range bells to pound nature's epic enmity into your soul. The keys rise and fall like so many dictators before them. This is scary, mysterious, and dramatic all the way up to 11 and we'll bet not even Kikuta could've imagined this when he first wrote the source tune for it so many years ago."

Judges were unanimous, and the review was mostly a formality; Emunator writes:

"This is seriously awesome, fantastic production and arrangement, the dissonance is used extremely tastefully and doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the overall piece. I really like how you utilized the percussion, you nailed an extremely powerful sound that's sparingly used to great effect.

So much cool stuff going on here, I'm constantly impressed by how each of your mixes has such a different mood and feel to it... I don't think I've ever heard the same thing out of you twice and that's the biggest compliment I can give to someone who's remixing in one of the most popular genres out there. The little ethnic instruments and the off-kilter piano adds some real character to the track.

Serious respect for you Jaka :-) This is a track I'm sure to not forget anytime soon!"

Agreed on all counts; it's cool to be able to post two arrangements from the same artist which not only contrast with one another, but also reflect the "Light and Darkness" explicitly alluded to in the album title, like a one-man microcosm of the larger work. SD3:SLD is a fantastic album overall, but Jaka's contributions make it both lighter & darker than it would otherwise have been, inviting listeners into disparate environments that are both compelling & enjoyable in their own way. Excellent work!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-05-03 14:19:15

That piano was movin and schmovin! This remix was delightfully eerie. I enjoyed the swirling pads/sound effects going on in the background. The sound design for this remix was quite exquisite! I especially enjoyed the vocal samples and how they were utilized. Fantastic remix!

on 2018-10-17 10:18:32

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Seiken Densetsu 3 (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Ancient Dolphin"

Tags (12)

Choir,Chromatic Percussion,Hand Drums,Piano,Sound FX,Strings
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Usage > Halloween

File Information

7,717,642 bytes


Veritas omnia vincit


Truth conquers all


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