ReMix:Thunder Force V "Guardian Unknown" 4:10

By The Coop

Arranging the music of one song...

"(Boss 7) The Justice Ray Part 2"

Primary Game: Thunder Force V (Technosoft , 1997, SAT), music by Hyakutaro Tsukumo, Takeshi Yoshida, Tomomi Otani, Toshiharu Yamanishi

Posted 2023-09-06, evaluated by the judges panel

Right on the heels of WhoAmI?'s OCR-featured return to our front page with a mixpost, a 21-year gap, we've got community stalwart The Coop braving the judges panel to make his own ReMix return after 19 years! The Coop's been a consistant presence here in so many ways besides featured ReMixes, as an exquisite pixel artist and (Jon Talbain-inspired) GIF creator, site mascot bio writer, and organizer of the community's annual OverClocked Christmas holiday albums. As a shmup enthusiast of the highest order also, M.T.'s already repped Darius and Lightening Force (aka Thunder Force IV) way back when -- now The Coop's back with his slowed down yet dynamic solo piano rendition of music from Thunder Force V! After some lengthy false starts, The Coop explains what prompted him to go for broke:

"Greetings folks. Yeah, it's been many, many years since I submitted something, but I figured I'd throw caution to the wind and... here I am. This is a piano-arrangement of the song "The Justice Ray Part 2" from the Tecno Soft game, Thunder Force V on the SEGA Saturn (it's on the PS1 as well, but I grew up with the Saturn version, so...). Besides the drastic change in terms of musical instruments used and tempo, I also did a little shuffling to the original song's structure, moving some sections of it around to fit with the more somber-at-times tone of my arrangement. I still tried to capture the energy of the original tune at times as well, giving the song a chance to swell, fall back, and whatnot.

It this remix was inspired a loooong time ago, when I was trying to do an orchestral remix of the same TFV song. That remix was basically finished, but it fizzled out in the end. A little while later, I tried to do a piano-solo version, but that too fizzled out after it got pretty far along. That piano-solo remix sat dormant for about 13 years, and I eventually found it and decided it was time to get it done. I sat down, reworked what I'd written, and finally finished it. The song title is inspired by the glitchy speech that comes up as the game warns you of the approaching final boss, and the on-screen text that reads, "Area Guard Name: Unknown."

Thanks for taking the time to listen to it, and... well, here's hoping!"

Hope and dreams realized! Listening to Hyakutaro Tsukumo's original song, it sounds right out of 2000s-era New Japan Pro Wrestling to me! (It's highly likely there's an apt anime OST comparison you could make, but my bag's the male soap opera, so you're gonna have to ride with me on that musical reference point. :-P) Judge prophetik music provided non-perfunctory play-by-play of pew-pew-inspired piano highlights:

"bold opening complete with some borrowed chords, an auspicious start.

coop purposefully turns the energy down quickly, and switches to a slower tempo right away after that big opening. i hear a lot of the block fifths in the left hand that i heard in the last arrangement i spent time with of his (for the chrono cross soundtrack you can hear it here at like 0:40), as well as the constant movement of eighth notes jumping between fingers and octaves that he used there (1:09 is an example of this). coop's focus on a consistently represented melody above a ton of interesting middle-octave stuff is a great choice, letting the theme soar above the more complex backing parts.

he again brings the energy back in a false resolution at 1:47, and continues the octave-jumping left hand fifths through the original's chord progression, and then very slowly builds back up with some nice dissonance over repeated left hand block chords. this builds towards a key change that brings it home to a very quiet resolution.

this track does a great job maintaining the intensity of the original without the big percussion or huge dynamics. there's a quiet energy here that's great and consistent, and the track is both well-played and well-arranged. nice work coop."

A bold arrangment indeed! The sound quality of the piano's firmly in the uncanny valley, no doubt, yet the piano tone has a reasonable amount of body and the soundscape sounds nice and roomy for it, really letting the sustains resonate. It's got good energy and dynamics to keep the presentation as vibrant as it can be. The Coop used "somber" as a descriptor, and I see the vision especially in lighter, slower sections such as 1:52 and 2:32, though when I look at this from 30,000 feet, if I had to reverse engineer the inspiration without knowing it, I'd guess at some Gothic vibes and the compositional style of a PlayStation-era Castlevania: Symphony of the Night theme. Bravo to The Coop for not overthinking things and sending this one in. :-D Shmup soundtrack love is one of Japanese gaming's greatest cultural exports, so the next time he's inspired, we hope we The Coop doesn't hesitate to fly on over with the goods!



Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2023-09-07 15:42:31
17 hours ago, The Coop said:

And thanks for the compliments, djp. Scary to think it's been nineteen and a half years since my Darius remix was posted, huh?

Time flies. Good example of tweaking/manipulating a sequenced solo piano mix to sound pretty pleasingly natural, so good job, I think it worked!

The Coop
on 2023-09-06 22:08:16

It's sequenced. I used Sonar Music Creator 2005 (I love its Amiga-like staff view), and the piano virtual instrument I've been using for what feels like forever. I wrote it (like all of my piano stuff these days) on two tracks; one for the left hand, and one for the right (keeps the whole "third hand" thing away most of the time ?). I played with the velocity and the tempo a lot in the program, trying to capture what I was picturing in my head as I listened to what I'd written as I went along; giving it tempo changes in areas where I believed they would feel good/natural. I've also tinkered with the EQing for the piano over the years, to try and make it sound a bit nicer to my ears (it's harsh sounding without the EQing), So yeah, it's not me performing it. It's just me trying my best to make it feel performed.

And thanks for the compliments, djp. Scary to think it's been nineteen and a half years since my Darius remix was posted, huh?

on 2023-09-06 17:11:47

@The Coop This sounds performed to me, as opposed to sequenced - can you shed some light? Either way, it's dynamic and has some very nice variation and ebb/flow!

on 2023-09-06 14:03:50
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Thunder Force V (Technosoft , 1997, SAT)
Music by Hyakutaro Tsukumo,Takeshi Yoshida,Tomomi Otani,Toshiharu Yamanishi
"(Boss 7) The Justice Ray Part 2"

Tags (7)

Piano,Solo Piano
Arrangement > Solo

File Information

7,068,310 bytes


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