Posted 2021-12-06, evaluated by Liontamer
Ben Prunty's FTL score has seen some (well-deserevd) love on OCR, and now Other Ben 744 (Ben Brownlee) returns to the game's soundtrack for another go, with a chippy pop/synthwave take on the title theme:
"I was originally working on this alongside the "Giant Alien Spiders" Lost Ship mix which I submitted earlier this year. After having caught some Vinny Vinesauce (hi, Vinny) streams of FTL, I had been inspired to play along. I was trying to finish a runthrough of the game on hard mode (spoiler: I still haven't. FTL is hard.) I hyperfocus on things like this sometimes — I was *really* playing it a lot after work or on days off this past spring. Still a really solid game and one of my favorites. I decided I was going to try to remix something from its soundtrack, so this project got started. "Giant Alien Spiders" ended up being finished first; it began as a separate project where I was just trying out ways to improve production quality, and that one wasn't even intended to be an FTL remix!
I got hit by writers' block sometime in April, so I set this project aside. I came back to it in late June and started fiddling around with different stylistic choices in an attempt to finish it. Instead of just settling on one of those styles and running with it, I stitched together the different stylistic variations I'd come up with, which gave me an excuse to use some sounds that I haven't dabbled with very much. I made some changes to make them a *bit* more cohesive, because originally the transitions were pretty jarring, cleaned everything up, and the end result is this mix.
The original idea for this was that one of the Engi (the race of robots in the game) was DJing or performing this song for some reason, but was malfunctioning and couldn't stick with just one style. Eventually it'd crash, and have to be restarted. Poor robot dude. :(
This final version starts out as pretty typical 80s-tinged electronica, then switches to a mishmash of SID chip, FM, and Casio VL-1 sounds. It then degenerates further to simple pulse waves (not *quite* a chiptune) with an "8-bit" NES drum kit, and then drops into the break, where the mix "crashes" and has to "reboot." I recorded an old failing 120GB hard drive I had lying around for effect for the opening and for the "reboot." The opening chord is supposed to sound like a computer boot chime, similar to a 90s Macintosh (I grew up with old Macs and FTL reminds me of several old shareware games I played on a Quadra 605 back when I was a kid).
I tried not to embellish *too* much — the melody of this theme is generally comprised of three descending chords and some noodling around, and I didn't want to obfuscate that too much. Simplicity is a theme in FTL's design and I wanted to leave that intact as possible.
Once again, thanks for listening! Very much appreciate all you do!"
You're quite welcome! By some bizarre coincidence I was *just* talking about the Casio VL-1 on our Discord a couple days ago, since I shared one with my two older sisters growing up in the eighties. Its tiny percussive signature is readily identifiable here, as fans of Trio's "Da Da Da" will find. Ben strikes a great blend of synthwave/retrowave and chip elements, opening strong with large, outer space chords, and proceeding from there with a catchy, upbeat jam that's pretty damn easy to like. Liontamer evaluated:
"Really awesome hearing this with a genuine 80s throwback sound, yet one that touches on a lot of different invocations of the 80s, whether its the purposefully distant-sounding production, the happy, upbeat synths, or various chiptune instrumentation (with 2:15-2:35 being a quick but major highlight). I hope Ben P. enjoys this tribute, and Ben B. potentially has a nice cottage industry available of tackling the FTL soundtrack given how unique his takes have been thus far. Hell, they should collab as The Ben Bens. :-)
I know from briefly talking to Ben B. and seeing him reach out for feedback on our Discord server that he knows he's still got a lot to learn, but 744's already proving himself to be a name to watch and a guaranteed download. As a Mac Quadra 630 kid myself, I'm in one of the target demos for this piece and thought it was excellent!"
I never had a mac at home growing up, but I DO remember using the high school's mac lab & T1 Internet connection to secretly download fansubbed episodes of Evangelion onto Zip drives, back in the day. Good times. I really appreciate the variety of synth flavors Ben's packed in & synergized on this track, with staple C64 & Casio timbres coexisting with a variety of other analog & digital textures - it's a diverse oscillator party, and those are the best kind. Excellent, engaging, & energetic stuff from 744 - very glad he returned to FTL's galaxy!
on 2021-12-06 23:20:23
on 2021-12-06 22:49:31
Ah, this is brilliant! Love the aesthetic, and the way the track slowly opens up. It makes sense that it was put together in bits, as you can tell the difference as the track progresses, but by the time it gets to the final chorus, it's triumphant. Getting a slight Simple Minds vibe from it, but really it's the genre that's spot on, and right up my street.
on 2021-12-03 12:58:51
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games
Music by Ben Prunty
- "Space Cruise (Title)"
- Effects > Glitching
Effects > Lo-Fi
- 6,799,327 bytes
- Size: 6,799,327 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: b8fffc2be3b3ad20237cc6d88d15545f
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