Newcomers The Respawn Collective (Apollyon, Yargami, and NuPharazon) send us a gargantuan, dark, cinematic/industrial arrangement of Metroid Prime 2 & 3, Metroid, Ocarina of Time, and a bit of the original Zelda. The sound design & variety in this mix are pretty mindblowing, and they also provided one of the most comprehensive submission emails I've seen:
"Arranged by Apollyon and Yargami, with vital arrangement and production feedback from NuPharazon
- Hirokazu Tanaka - "Title" (Metroid)
- Kenji Yamamoto - "Darkness ~ VS. Dark Samus" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- Koji Kondo - "Middle Boss Battle" (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
- Kenji Yamamoto - "VS. Dark Samus" (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
- Koji Kondo - "Title" (The Legend of Zelda)
- 0:07-0:53 - Metroid title theme, subtle "Dark Samus" noise elements
- 0:53-1:09 - Metroid title theme, "Dark Samus" melody
- 1:09-1:24 - "Dark Samus" melody
- 1:24-1:39 - "Dark Samus" melody, OoT miniboss melody A, MP2 "Dark Samus" percussion*
- 1:39-1:55 - Metroid title theme, "Dark Samus" melody, MP3 "Dark Samus" ostinato
- 1:55-2:25 - Legend of Zelda title theme
- 2:25-2:29 - MP2 "Dark Samus" opening
- 2:29-2:37 - OoT miniboss ostinato, "Dark Samus" noise elements
- 2:37-2:56 - OoT miniboss ostinato, probably inaudible MP3 "Dark Samus" ostinato
- 2:56-3:42 - OoT miniboss theme, minor "Dark Samus" noise elements
- 3:42-3:58 - "Dark Samus" melody/noise (also in bassline), Metroid title theme/not "Hazy Maze Cave"
- 3:58-4:05 - "Dark Samus" melody/noise, OoT miniboss melody A/ostinato
- 4:05-4:28 - MP3 "Dark Samus" strings/choir, MP2 "Dark Samus" guitar solo/intermittent alarms
- 4:28-4:44 - "Dark Samus" melody/harmonies, OoT miniboss melody A/ostinato
- 4:44-4:59 - "Dark Samus" melody/ostinato/noise, OoT miniboss melody B
- 4:59-5:07 - Metroid title theme, OoT miniboss ostinato
- 5:07-5:22 - Metroid title ostinato, OoT miniboss melodies A and B, subtle "Dark Samus" melody
- 5:22-5:53 - Metroid title melody/ostinato, indecisive "Dark Samus" melody can't stick with one key
- 5:53-6:24 - Metroid title ostinato, "Dark Samus" melody/ostinato/guitar/noise, OoT melodies/ostinato
- 6:24-6:39 - Metroid title ostinato and drone, "Dark Samus" white noise thing
* The vaguely chromatic high-resonance percussion from Metroid Prime 2's "Dark Samus" theme is in most of the song after this point, so I've omitted mentioning it in subsequent timestamps for reasons of redundancy.
Apollyon: First off, I apologize for the length of this submission email, but it seems logical for the judging panel to be privy to the rationale behind the various musical decisions and less obvious design elements. I tend to overthink things.
Right, starting at the beginning. After Yargami, the youngest member of the Respawn Collective and our most active gamer, discovered that Samus and Link had Dark Samus and Dark Link color schemes in the fourth Smash Bros. game, he informed me that we needed to have a duel between the two (which we still haven't gotten around to). As I started to compile a playlist, he humorously pointed out that their themes could almost fit over the top of each other (and, as we later discovered, are both at 125 BPM), and I took him... slightly too seriously. This has been a collaboration between the two of us, since NuPharazon (the third member of the Collective) had a heavy workload at the time, although she has subsequently provided valuable feedback on how to make the concept more accessible without compromising the various noise elements that form an integral part of the Metroid Prime vibe, as well a consistent demand for the guitar solo at 4:06 to stand out from the otherwise basically atonal section (her favorite part of both this ReMix and the original song).
The title of the ReMix refers to the Jungian concept of opposing an concept or group with such ferocity that one begins to unintentionally adopt its qualities as a sort of emergent "shadow" (not dissimilar to Nietzsche's "he who fights monsters" concept, in some ways). On a superficial level, this could describe both bosses' unusual (for their respective series) tendencies to analyze your attack pattern and use it against you, but it somewhat literally describes the titular Metroid Prime's repurposing of its archnemesis' armor at the end of the first game and Samus's gradual metamorphosis into a Dark Samus clone in the third. Additionally, the better-known Jungian concept of the shadow fits Dark Samus's status as an inexorable Chozo-tech-wielding hunter who specializes in planetary-scale genocide (a description easily leveled at Metroid's protagonist), as well as Dark Link's apparent physical derivation from Link himself (reading between the lines a bit there -- the Zelda series isn't generally known for its in-depth explanations, apart from the timeline they released a few years back).
Since the NES Metroid and Jean-Michel Jarre's Rendez-Vous came out around the same time and both started with big, spacey drone notes, I had a strong childhood association between the two (an impression I evidently shared with the modern series' composers, considering how much influence Jarre seems to have had on Yamamoto's Metroid Prime work), so I wanted the opening Metroid title part of the ReMix to have that same space-music vibe, albeit updated for modern tech. Thus, the drones at the beginning are loosely inspired by the opening notes of Rendez-Vous, one of the more shimmery synth choirs has similarities to an instrument from Équinoxe, and one of the pads is somewhat reminiscient of the phased Eminent 310 Unique from Oxygène, although it's mixed with enough other soundscaping that it's probably not noticeable unless you're specifically listening for it.
As for the actual workflow, I put down a sort of space music/industrial noise music foundation, then Yargami crafted a number of unique melodic textures to cut through all the ambient soundscaping I'd inevitably be doing... and also snuck in a bouncy synth bass that veered the song abruptly into DnB territory, which has ultimately made the end product less excessively ponderous and a lot more fun than my initial conception of it. Based on those elements, I did the overall arrangement, noise elements, and general production, during which time the song divided into separate movements and became a great deal longer than we intended. The minor-key NES Metroid part starting about five minutes into the song, in particular, I included as a joke because we had already mutilated the NES Zelda title theme earlier, but Yargami insisted that we leave it in. I suppose that's appropriate payback for my roping him into a huge ReMix he only facetiously proposed in the first place.
On a final note, I'm not sure if there's a specific process for deciding where to list ReMixes with sources from multiple games, but if artist intent is a factor, we recommend putting this one under Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, since most of its general vibe and a significant percentage of its musical content hails from that game. Thanks for your time, and we hope you enjoyed the music."
I don't even; I laughed, I cried, and I learned a little about life. Joking aside, it's not every day a mix title teaches me a new psychological term, or a group of kindred spirits channel Jung & Jarre together w/ Yamamoto, Kondo, & Tanaka. If this mix were nothing more than six minutes of flatulence, I would STILL be pretty damn impressed with this submission email, though obviously it would take on a newly comedic dimension. Far from it, though, as the triad deliver 6+ minutes of conceptual, Nintendo-lore cinematic sonic journey, with some especially-compelling ambient textures & suspense upfront, ceding to something a bit more cyberpunk as things develop. High-fives to all involved, both for making a gripping, completely unique arrangement that tells a story through its juxtaposition of themes, and then for explaining the work so eloquently & thoroughly; judges were unanimous, with prophetik music enthusing:
"there is some really expressive ambiance in the beginning of this track. i was so digging the vibe and energy that you built, and then suddenly you've got 1:55 which is so well handled. what an incredible transition. all of these transitions are so well done. i'm normally super leery of medleys with a ton of tracks because they usually don't lend themselves to real exploration, but you found ways to subvert my expectations of each theme's usage. i particularly liked the consistent usage of 'corrupted' versions of the themes to keep my ears active in a track featuring many varied styles. bravo. this is an easy vote for me."
Nothing wrong with easy votes; to clarify, the artists could have written the bare minimum in their comments and this would still have passed the panel & I'd still be thrilled to post it, but I really did enjoy reading about the track's backstory & having all the detail that was provided; kudos. Distinct, memorable, and rather awesome debut from Respawn Collective - would love to hear more!
on 2019-09-29 08:07:05
Let me begin by saying the three of us are delighted to see this made it onto the site and have collectively laughed our collective arses off at the idea of writing a deeply analytical submission email for six minutes of flatulence. I believe NuPharazon in particular suggested we could still submit such a ReMix under the title "You Asked for It", although I'm not sure I'm willing to put in the amount of effort it would take to craft a lengthy piece of music from tuned flatulence.
Souperion: We're quite pleased you like the ReMix, and pleasantly surprised by the positive reception it has received in general. You're pretty much the target audience here, as we put it together primarily with Metroid (especially Prime) fans in mind, although I also believe Twilight Princess in particular indicates that the tastes of Zelda fans are more diverse than many people (and Nintendo in particular) estimate.
PhoneticHero: I'm relieved that you (and presumably others) can pick up on the noise elements in the final export; we did a lot of production contortionism to try to keep them perceptible but subtle. The final export was over a year ago and my memory's a bit hazy, but I believe I ultimately put more time into sound design and post-production than composition/arrangement elements, because that's just appropriate to Yamamoto's work in particular. I'd be thrilled to see a Prime-themed patch for Serum, or indeed any plugin I can affordably get my hands on; as much work went into this, I'm not entirely satisfied with certain of the elements we created (particularly and especially those damned alarms), and there are parts in which I would rather have had something more authentic and directly derivative.
LamanKnight: I'll admit I didn't expect djpretzel to include the entire (excessively comprehensive) submission email, but as we included it mostly to provide context for fellow intellectuals (who comprise the majority of the OCR community, from what I've observed), it's certainly gratifying to know that people are getting something out of it. Also, I love linguistics in general, half of Nu's planned ReMixes began life as clever wordplay, and Yargami eats, sleeps, and respirates puns. You're in good (or possibly deranged) company. ;)
gravitygauntlet: We actually don't use preexisting MIDIs; while I'm sure there is plenty of talent in MIDI sequencing, I'd rather trust my own ear and interpretation over that of someone whose music background I can't know. That being said, you're spot-on about the guitar solo being as close to the original as humanly possible - I basically plopped the Echoes sound file into a track, cut out some of the frequencies I didn't think contributed much to the solo itself, sequenced a guitar part over it with Ministry of Rock 2, and then mangled it a bunch in post-production. As Yamamoto writes a fair amount of industrial noise music, we collectively decided to treat the atonal elements from the original as carefully-selected compositional elements, particularly the guitar solo he reused (albeit almost inaudibly) in Corruption, and thus we were much more cautious about altering them than we were with the much more easily recognizable melodic elements. I do share your (and several of the judges') misgivings about that part of the song, though; it actually took the three of us quite a few iterations to reach a consensus on how it should be implemented, with Yargami suspecting I had put too much focus on the gated pads, mangled string section, and atonal choral work (the latter of which is regrettably quite inaudible in the final product as anything more than, well, excessive sound compression) and NuPharazon being concerned that our early exports excessively buried the guitar solo (her favorite element) amidst the rest of the very flooded soundscape. That being said, we're glad you can appreciate the rather nonsensical production methodology we ended up with, which was also a subject into which we put a lot of thought; industrial music is all about raw, visceral, in-your-face crunchiness, space music is about saturating the soundscape as much as humanly possible, and thus combining the two basically means accelerating two mutually exclusive philosophies at each other and hoping something interesting happens when they collide. I suspect that works better for CERN than it does for us.
on 2019-09-06 22:00:06
The only real glaring bit of this to me is that the guitar segment at 4:16 doesn't sound like it was interpreted too much (I know for sure that the Dark Samus remix in BadAss III - Twisted Rebirth - uses the Dark Samus MIDI off VGMusic because the guitar solo is lifted verbatim, and it sounds like this track uses the same one) but it's at least easier to get lost in it with the backmasked kicks and piano and everything going on in addition to it. Everything sounds fantastic otherwise, and the production was clearly given a lot of attention as far as achieving a Metroid Prime-esque "low fidelity" feel to some of the instrumentation while still clearly feeling intentional and without sacrificing sound quality.
on 2019-08-25 03:17:16
So, now I'm glad I clicked the link from the YouTube video and read all of this. Wow. I feel like I've just experienced a thrilling story. No joke, it gives me that same satisfied feeling of playing a video game with an emotionally touching narrative. And as someone who is infamous in certain circles for leaving long, sometimes overwrought comments on things, I have to say, I approve of the depth to the explanation of this remix.
Oh yeah. Here's what I started saying when I watched this on YouTube:
"There came a point where I knew I recognized the tunes, but couldn't remember why. And then I recognized, 'Wait, that's Zelda music!' But that's an excellent way to incorporate Zelda into Metroid. It fits so nicely, and sounds great with that instrumentation. You know, I should just finish making this comment on the OC ReMix website. I'll do that in a bit."
Now, for the rest of it:
The connection between Dark Link and Dark Samus is ingenious; both the characters themselves and their respective music are so thematically similar, this just makes sense. For a remix about two antagonists whose names literally contain the word "Dark," this remix sure is brilliant.
(Darn it; I was doing so well at avoiding puns. Ah, well.)
on 2019-08-21 20:05:08
I love this track, especially the Metroid
Prime noise sfx in the opening - you guys nailed the vibe.
Re-inspired to work on my MP patch bank for Serum. Excellent stuff.
on 2019-08-21 19:33:12
This deserves an extensive applause. Not merely because I have a deep-seated Metroid bias, but because the scope of this achievement: to cohesively weave together an evocative and rich piece from so many sources, to pay homage to two great game serious, to blend the many instrumental elements, all to produce a stunning work that is long enough for a listener to sink their teeth in. I congratulate The Respawn Collective, and hope to see more products like this in the OCR library. Thank you for this song!
on 2019-08-20 11:30:12
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (5 Songs, 5 Games)
- Primary Game:
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Nintendo, 2004, GCN)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I)
- "Darkness ~ VS. Dark Samus"
- Additional Game:
Metroid (Nintendo, 1986, NES)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka
- Additional Game:
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Nintendo, 2007, WII)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Masaru Tajima, Minako Hamano
- "VS. Dark Samus"
- Additional Game:
The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo, 1986, NES)
Music by Koji Kondo
- Additional Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo, 1998, N64)
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Middle Boss Battle"
- Ambient, Cinematic, Industrial
- Dark, Spooky, Suspenseful
- Choir, Electronic, Orchestral, Synth
- Effects > Glitching
- 11,473,729 bytes
- Size: 11,473,729 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: f2e65646ac68767a2b99a985a3aa8783
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