ReMix:Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards "The Last Dead Angel" 3:29

By Erik McClure

Arranging the music of one song...

"0² (Zero Two)"

Primary Game: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo , 2000, N64), music by Hirokazu Ando, Jun Ishikawa

Posted 2023-06-26, evaluated by the judges panel

What's your biggest screw-up at work? Wanna know mine? Because when I make mistakes, I make big ones. Erik McClure's spacey, dark, breakbeat-driven, heavy-hitting EDM arrangement of an arrangement of 's theme sat in purgatory for more than a decade because I couldn't uncover who made the original arrangement. :'-(

I'm sorry to Erik for ethering his track in the unending void of nothingness that is "What the f*** do we do with this?" as I know he was justifiably mad about this never going up, he likely assumed this was rejected after the fact, and I'm sure he's long since moved past enjoying this dozen-year-old piece; the disrespect he felt in how this was handled, without any urgency or communication, is 100% exclusively my fault. Since my screw-up, he's put out several cool computer programming projects, and he's also kept up his musical progression, dropping the original album Dreams of Distant Stars right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an effort he described as "a 6 year journey of musical development, as I attempted to move towards a hybrid orchestral sound and weave traditional instrumentation through digital synths". Be sure you listen to more of what Erik's shaped & executed on since making this Kirby/0² track in his more formative days, when he had the following thoughts:

"I've heard several remixes of this famous boss battle song, "Zero Two" by Jun Ishikawa from Kirby 64, floating around on YouTube, but one remix in particular caught my ear. It was called "Revenge of Zero Two", and it completely diverged from the original song, creating its own unique interpretation. Inspired by this, I tried to combine elements of both the remixes and the original song, along with several melodies of my own, into an eargasm of intertwined ideas. [...] I am very proud of what I have created, and I'd like to extend special thanks to "Revenge of Zero Two" for giving me the inspiration I needed to make this track come to life."

Typically, when an artist bases their work off of another fan arrangement (in the case of this, the tempo, some of the dynamics & structure, some core beat-writing), it of course needs to stand apart enough from that initial rendition (which this version does), and we'd also like to obtain an OK from that other arranger and formally co-credit them, especially in this case where significant enough aspects of the initial arrangement were retained. But unless someone IDs who really made quote-unquote "fairuzonss' The Revenge of Zero Two", we just can't 100% close the loop on it, and the initial arrangement is still mainly known from its dishonest artist credit and title. (If the initial arrangement's true artist is uncovered one day, we'll reach out to that person and credit them accordingly.)

Thanks to judge Chimpazilla asking me what the hell happened here to hold this up, I'm listening through again, surprised still that no fan or community ever had the piece of the puzzle on who actually made the "fairuzonss" arrangement this was based off of, and, believe me, I definitely tried. My best guess is that it's a doujin scene piece that was lifted, but maybe a true Kirby music diehard has information that I couldn't find. In carefully weighing the strengths and weaknesses, judge Emunator liked what he heard back when he was a fresh-faced panelist:

"I remember when this one was first rejected, I sincerely hoped for a chance to hear it since O²'s theme is in DESPERATE need of some mixing love, and fortunately this delivers! It's a production powerhouse with some absolutely beastly drum writing, and a very cool arrangement overall. I haven't heard the original submission so I'm taking this on an as-is basis, but reading over some of the older comments, this version seems to have almost the opposite problem with the strings. Now, they feel way too mechanical and sound way more like a synth lead than any sort of organic instrument. I can see why you'd choose to go with them instead of a bona-fide synth sound, since the string tone does fit with the epic soundscape. But, I'm not going to lie, it's definitely the weakest aspect of the track, as well. The piano feels fairly humanized and works for the track, but again the tone and sequencing is a bit unrealistic (and mixed a little quietly at times, too.)

I've thought a lot about this, and in the end I feel like it comes down to a matter of personal preference - the unrealistic sequencing on the strings (and, to a lesser extent, the piano) still bothers me, but at least this seems to fix any timing issues that might have been present earlier. They don't sound bad in the mix overall, they just don't sound like well-sequenced strings, either. If the rest of the mix weren't rock-solid, I think I'd be inclined to go with a NO (resub), but because the soundscape, arrangement, and production is so amazing, I think the good parts of the song outweigh the weaker aspects. I'm gonna cite the decision on Ziwtra's 'Seasons' mix as a precedent, which also had a fantastic arrangement that featured even weaker-sequenced samples than this mix, but still made it past the panel okay. It's something to definitely watch out for and hopefully improve in your future submissions, but fortunately for everyone involved in the submission process, OCR's guidelines don't stipulate perfection from every mix ;-)

Great work, I think people will enjoy this!"

We certainly don't require perfection at OCR, and people HAVE been enjoying this track for years & years on Newgrounds and in the osu! player community. Age notwithstanding, Erik's arrangement of an arrangement passed the bar at the time, and after unintentionally punishing him over a technicality that wasn't his choosing, there's no reason to make the perfect (uncovering & crediting the other arranger) the enemy of the good (posting this track). Though I'm 12 YEARS LATE posting Erik's Kirby's 64/0² arrangement, I can also announce that the heat death of the universe has arrived 1.7×10106 years early. So it's a long overdue but sincere welcome to another long-term home for this exciting and energetic vision of one of Kirby's most dreaded bosses!



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on 2023-06-26 14:12:21
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo , 2000, N64)
Music by Hirokazu Ando,Jun Ishikawa
"0² (Zero Two)"

Tags (10)

Origin > Resubmission
Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

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