Posted 2023-10-05, evaluated by the judges panel

We end our Dwelling of Duels 20th anniversary flood with a THIRD featured piece by jnWake, following up his great Zelda and Okami tributes with our second Chrono Trigger DoD submission of the day! Whereas Lucas's previous mixpost arranged Uematsu, this one mostly focuses on Mitsuda, along with some nods to Matsueda, meaning that we've got all three CT composers represented between our final pair of tracks! jnWake formed a time-hopping party with Ivan Hakštok, Lucas Guimaraes, and Gamer of the Winds for the ultimate extended progressive rock/fusion Chrono Trigger battle theme!

"Oh, boy... I'm a little hesitant to submit this considering it's a 9-minute medley of 8 sources, but I guess it doesn't hurt to try. I don't like calling it a medley, since I didn't do an arrangement that's structured like "song A -> awkward transition -> song B -> etc." like most medleys do, rather going for a more cohesive track where each source comes and goes, but I guess it's technically a medley still...

Anyway, I made this track for Dwelling of Duels' Silent Protagonists month on July 2023 (a lot of DoD material coming from me this year!). I've always loved the Chrono Trigger soundtrack (quite original of me), but I had never really wanted to cover it since, well, everyone else has. Originally, I just wanted to make a fun remix of the main battle theme, but at some point I started adding more sources and eventually decided to simply add every battle theme from the game and ended up with this monstrosity. Somewhat funnily, while making the list of sources, I noticed neither "Boss Battle" theme has ever been covered in OCR, so, if this makes it, I'll add something new, at least!

In terms of style, this is like a progressive rock piece that focuses mostly on piano and bass. I didn't want to add guitars this time and instead focused on a different soundscape, with a lot of piano, organ, brass, and woodwinds. For better results, I recruited Hakštok to play bass and Lucas to play brass. Lucas then, in turn, contacted Gamer of the Winds for the woodwinds, and that ended up forming a pretty neat team!"

Folks needlessly get scared by our medley rule; as long as your arrangement flows like a unified composition, invoke as many themes as you want; progressive rock always has a home here! (So many stories of Lucas being the performer recruitment glue guy too; when are you gonna put that in your résumé, Lucas???) jn was kind enough to break down the arrangement while angling for a direct post to bypass the judges panel, but the judges usually come up with meaningful insights to inform these writeups, so his DP appeal was MERCILESSLY SQUASHED by me. :-D (This is actually direct-post worthy, but I'm also confident jn will rise to that occassion again, so I'm happy to :-PPPPP his request this time.) In the wake of having past judging decisions for his submissions exceed most pregnancies, we appreciate his extremely detailed play-by-play, which did speed things up for us and confirmed "Battle" and "World Revolution" achoring the arrangement while flavoring this with several other battle cues:

"Since I don't want the judges to suffer too much (although this could be avoided by a direct post *wink wink*), here comes a somewhat detailed breakdown of source usage:

  • 0:00-0:44: All of this section is based on the main "riff" of "Battle Theme 1". I basically harmonized the main bass melody with 7ths and focused on the D-F-D pattern for the very beginning.
  • 0:44-1:08: Section based on the ascending chords from "Battle Theme 1". It's a little bit subtle, but the bass and sax melody are based on "Battle Theme 2".
  • 1:08-1:15: Transition based on the intro of "Boss Battle 2" (the source's main progression starts with Am-Cm and I use that progression here, continuously changing keys).
  • 1:15-1:47: Switch to "Boss Battle 1": intro + its main melody, first on sax and then on synths.
  • 1:47-1:59: This part is from "Boss Battle 2". Fun fact, this section is mostly in 6/4 since it's on triplets because I needed the notes to be faster.
  • 1:59-2:11: Synth solo with the "Boss Battle 1" backing.
  • 2:11-2:24: The part from "Boss Battle 2" again. Transition back to the intro was a bit tricky since I had to move from triplets to standard time.
  • 2:24-2:37: Intro's back! Now with bass runs.
  • 2:37-2:48: New chords over "Battle Theme 1", they tease the next source.
  • 2:48-3:01: "Battle with Magus" main melodies appear! The backing is still based on "Battle Theme 1" which creates a fun dynamic, IMO.
  • 3:01-3:28: Second melody of "Battle with Magus", probably the section I reharmonized the most. Transition to next section is a classic II-V-I.
  • 3:28-4:01: Intro of "World Revolution", played on bass!
  • 4:01-4:33: This is based on the middle section of "Last Battle" (bass and organ particularly). Sax ensemble solo!
  • 4:33-4:42: Flute melody taken from "World Revolution".
  • 4:42-4:54: Also from "World Revolution" but with the bass of "Last Battle". I really like the arpeggio synth I picked for this section.
  • 4:54-5:03: Flute melody's back!
  • 5:03-5:16: Another section from "World Revolution" here.
  • 5:16-5:28: Flute solo over a variation of the previous riff (in a different key, ofc).
  • 5:28-5:38: Yet another part of "World Revolution" which also acts as a transition. I really like how this part turned out.
  • 5:38-5:50: Return of the section from 0:44, now with a synth solo! It was fun to play.
  • 5:50-6:03: The transition based on "Boss Battle 2" returns, but now ends on a descent.
  • 6:03-6:26: Main melody of "Boss Battle 2" on sax.
  • 6:26-6:38: This riff is from "Boss Battle 1" (it's the part just before the loop).
  • 6:38-7:10: We return to "Battle Theme 1", using its "main melody" over a different chord progression than the source's.
  • 7:10-7:40: The song's ending and climax begin with the return of "Last Battle". Just like the original, I repeat the bass riff first on E and then on Eb.
  • 7:40-8:30: The main CT melody! It's technically part of "World Revolution" as well, so I just had to fit it somewhere in the arrangement.
  • 8:30-8:50: A reharmonization of the victory fanfare. I only used the first part of it, the second part was a little tough to reharmonize and the track's already long enough...

I hope the "medley" aspect of the track doesn't mean it's quickly rejected, but I already have a posted medley, so, it should be fine? Anyway, hope you enjoy the track!"

This was executed so well, it was quickly accepted in only five days on the panel, so we're happy to FINALLY give our friend jnWake a quick win. Judge prophetik music frequently wins my award for notable quotables from our panelists, succinctly summing up how smoothly jn pieced the source tunes together and how the unselfish sharing of the performances was the epitome of progressive:

"the thing that got me throughout the arrangement is how indeed the track does feel very cohesive despite the constant changes between themes. the ensemble feels great throughout, and i never feel like there's a transition where it was awkwardly shoved in there. it feels like a prog track with the constantly shifting textures and how you constantly are passing off the lead around a small cast of characters, a critical element in making it feel all like the same track."

jn certainly can be proud of this piece, which placed sixth for its competition; as DoD's grown in size and stature, it's been welcoming to arrangements that aren't focused on guitar, and the live performance angle of DoD results in ambitious efforts like "A Battle Across Time" that would have been few and far between in the compo's formative days. If you haven't already done so, spare time for all 11 ReMixes posted to mark DoD's 20th, and don't miss out on joining the DoD Discord or watching the anniversary festivities on the DoD Twitch!

Dwelling of Duels is a lot like OCR: it's a diverse community with diverse music, it has an evaluation system that's motivated people to bring their A-game (while also upsetting some folks), it's fiercely dedicated to VGM with free music releases, it's now over 20 years running, a consistent presense with thousands of submissions, and it's been both a hangout and proving ground for loads of successful contributors making their marks in video game and mainstream music. I'd previously said OCR and DoD were like cousins, but when we look in the mirror... is that our twin brother from another mother?? Or our twin sister from another mister???? We intend on being here in this scene for a little while longer too, so I've got fingers crossed that Dwelling of Duels stays active and competitive for the health of the VGM fan arrangement community! Happy 20th Birthday to Dwelling of Duels!



Latest 11 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-25 18:35:59

The arrangement and composition throughout is very smart and clever. What a charming remix!

on 2023-11-03 22:46:36
12 hours ago, Ivan Hakštok said:

A small correction, I played bass, not brass. :D

There’s a mistake in the writeup post, what I said in the submission was:

For better results I recruited Hakstok to play bass and Lucas to play brass. Lucas then, in turn, contacted Gamer of the Winds for the woodwinds and that ended up forming a pretty neat team!”

Somehow it got copypasted wrong in the writeup!

Ivan Hakštok
on 2023-11-03 10:18:10
17 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

jnWake and Hakstok? Heck yeah. Long progressive tracks are rare nowadays, always love to see them. I didn't know @Ivan Hakštok played brass in the first place. Cool to hear "prog rock" that doesn't adorn electric guitar very much. This was quite the piece, and shows how much @jnWake has grown in the past 8 years!

A small correction, I played bass, not brass. :D

on 2023-11-02 16:18:19

jnWake and Hakstok? Heck yeah. Long progressive tracks are rare nowadays, always love to see them. I didn't know @Ivan Hakštok played brass in the first place. Cool to hear "prog rock" that doesn't adorn electric guitar very much. This was quite the piece, and shows how much @jnWake has grown in the past 8 years!

on 2023-10-08 16:30:00

After two decades it's glorious to hear the amazing productions the talent this website supports produces. Jamming. "already knew" I'd love it before hit start :P 10/10, would Nu again.


on 2023-10-06 10:01:20

i love the jam session kind of vibe this has. It must have been really fun to do.

on 2023-10-06 04:10:29

Loving the latino rep ?

on 2023-10-05 18:16:14
43 minutes ago, djpretzel said:

There are parts to this that feel more like jazz fusion, then parts that definitely hit like progressive rock - interesting blend, and Ron Burgundy would love the flute!!

I started the arrangement with a jazz fusion style on my mind, but prog rock started winning as I added more sections.

I’ll take a look at the piano tone the judges mentioned. I’m using NI’s “The Giant” which has a variety of possible sounds, but I’m intentionally tweaking it for an aggressive and bright sound. I probably overdid it haha.

on 2023-10-05 17:56:58

lol this is still nuts. I mostly had just a weekend to punch in all my parts thanks to the deadline + MAGWest, but I had a *blast* on this track. @jnWake really delivered on his most ambitious arrangement to date. Maybe one day this team will return again. Who knows.

on 2023-10-05 17:38:01

There are parts to this that feel more like jazz fusion, then parts that definitely hit like progressive rock - interesting blend, and Ron Burgundy would love the flute!!

on 2023-10-05 11:46:09
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (8 Songs)

Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu,Noriko Matsueda,Yasunori Mitsuda
"Battle 2"
"Boss Battle 1"
"Boss Battle 2"
"Fanfare 1"
"Magus Confronted"
"The Final Battle"
"World Revolution"

Tags (17)

Fusion,Progressive Rock
Arrangement > Medley
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Competition > Dwelling of Duels
Production > Live Instruments
Time > Duration: Long

File Information

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