ReMix:Undertale "Moving Out" 5:11

By T.O. Bassett

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Fallen Down", "Heartache"

Primary Game: Undertale (tobyfox , 2015, WIN), music by Toby Fox

Posted 2024-03-31, evaluated by the judges panel

After a couple goes through "Heartache", in many cases that means "Moving Out". In our case, we're absolutely heartbroken you would skip *any* OC ReMixes when they're all imaginative, worthwhile, and available as a group! :-O But don't move out... we'd love for you to stay and enjoy more music, including our latest featured ReMix. ;-) Newcomer T.O. Bassett brings the orchestra to Undertale as part of a grand album concept, and Bassett was kind enough to provide extensive notes, including inspirations and a structual breakdown of their arrangement:

"Prove to me you are strong enough to survive.

An Evening with the Underground Symphonic Orchestra is a 2.5-hour symphony/orchestral score based on the work of Toby Fox from the soundtrack of Undertale, reimagined as an orchestral work from Undertale's mix of 16-bit-ish and MIDI sounds and arranged into an imaginary film score. Undertale is one of my favourite games of all time and has one of the most intelligently-written soundtracks that I know, so this is the least that I can do to pay tribute to a game that means so much to me.

"Moving Out" is an orchestral arrangement of "Heartache".

  • This is part of a full orchestral/progressive rock reimagining of the Undertale soundtrack that I wrote over the course of five years. It was going to be released by Materia Collective as part of the game's five-year anniversary, but the plans fell through due to COVID-19, so I ended up releasing it separately later.
  • For "Heartache", I wanted to take full advantage of the orchestra medium that I was focusing on to write something that sounds very powerful without introducing any extraneous instruments; the album is divided into suites encompassing the main areas of the game, and I wrote the suite focused on the Ruins to be focused on pure orchestra with some influences from anime and classic RPG games, to reflect how the game is still lulling the player into believing that they're playing a conventional RPG at this stage of the story, before varying the formula much more wildly later in the album, in the parts where the game really starts to make clear what it really is.
  • Specific influences include Joe Hisaishi, Nobuo Uematsu, Marty O'Donnell, Shinji Miyazaki, Nightwish, and Tarja Turunen's album, The Shadow Self.
  • The structure mostly follows the original composition, but I had specific artistic intent with each section. It opens with a tense buildup leading directly in from my arrangement of "Home", hinting at the main ostinato with the harp and string sections before revealing it in full with the bassoon. I shortened this part a bit for the version that I'm sending to you, as most of it only really makes sense if you're listening to it directly after "Home".
  • I kept the "fakeout" partial introduction of the main melody and subsequent second buildup from the original soundtrack, because I felt like it was a great reflection of both the human and Toriel being reluctant to fight before actually doing so.
  • I had a lot of fun with the drums and percussion during the bridge at 1:37 (as well as the rest of the arrangement), and you can hear me playing around a lot with different types of legato articulations at the same point, because I was so happy to have a string library with those capabilities.
  • The piano solo from 2:20 to 3:07 is actually the main melody and accompanying piano parts played in reverse (without actually reversing the audio), with some embellishments to give it a bit more structure and melodical sense. I did this to represent a pivotal point of the story and gameplay integration, if you excuse the spoiler: I've witnessed many players who hadn't yet figured out that they don't have to kill anything by the time that they fight Toriel end up killing her and feeling guilty about it, then reloading their save to try again without killing her. The game even acknowledges you doing this. So the reversed piano melody represents the player "going backwards" by reloading their save to fix their mistake.
  • This is followed by a reprisal of the initial buildup, with more driving percussion to emphasis the feeling of determination to "do it right, this time". After this is the main melody only through the strings, mostly because I just loved how the strings sounded and wanted to give them a chance to show off on their own. Then follows the final chorus to end the fight, bringing the full orchestra back in.
  • This is, finally, followed by a short excerpt of "Fallen Down", as plays in the scene directly after the pacifist end of the fight where Toriel hugs the human before leaving. I wanted to represent this scene to end out the entire suite, because it feels like an important moment of character development for Toriel, to me."

It's abundantly clear how thoughful T.O. was in approaching this track. Though there's conflict, second-guessing and regret, I'll admit that once the percussion kicked in at :42, I thought I was being taken to the 1970s, so the tinge of disco sensibilities was interesting. I also wanted to show love to the cool dropoff at 1:38 which varied the textures and added some tension with the bowed strings in the back, but let's throw it to judge prophetik music for his thorough play-by-play, because proph was positively vibing all the way:

"patient intro, with the ostinado eventually introduced in the harp and bassoon. there's some drums that come in at 0:42, and the articulations in the orchestral elements are really well-handled here. 1:37's bridge is also patient and exploratory - you can hear the remixer playing with the different articulations of the string library like they mentioned. there's a big swell and intense section at 2:31, which again settles back down and lets the piano do the reverse melody thing which is a nice easter egg.

there's another build at 3:07 into the melodic material without drums, and this is again detailed in approach. 4:08 feels like the big climax of the piece, i wouldn't have minded hearing more countermelodic work here outside of the picc since we've heard the melody at this point quite a few times. there's a big hit at 4:44, and then it's a very short (almost not worth mentioning) outro featuring the chordal elements from Fallen Down.

this is great. there's a lot of patience to the exploration of the melodic content, it's got a nice drive forward at all times, and it sounds excellent. nice work."

Speaking of Easter eggs, a Happy Easter to all, especially the chocolate, hard-boiled egg, bunny, and pastel lovers out there! OK, forget the blue- and purple-wrapped mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, let's get back on track... Besides exploring the "Heartache" melody, I dug the cool rhythmic changes to this the most; playful wasn't necessarily the goal as there's discernable tension throughout, but there's a jauntiness here, I don't think that's unfair to say, because to me it's there and I like what I hear. But we'd love to hear Undertale players' perspectives on what feelings they get from this. :-) No matter what imagery or vibes you have out there, T.O. Bassett's unquestionably delivered with an energetic and well-developed Undertale tribute that deserves to be performed by live orchestra someday!



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on 2024-03-31 20:00:45
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Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Undertale (tobyfox , 2015, WIN)
Music by Toby Fox
"Fallen Down"

Tags (8)

Time > 4/4 Time Signature

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