Another Weekend is here, and it’s time fro another Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up. This week we covered originals and remakes. The way it worked was that I talked about the first appearance of a song and put it together with its most recent version. Only the recent versions got the embeds, so I can still showcase the originals on their own in the future. This week we met Gilgamesh on the Big Bridge. Then we had a Deadline to meet in Revelations Persona and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP). We explored an endless battlefield in the World of Mana with Final Fantasy Adventure and Dawn of Mana. We went underwater in Mega Man X2 and X5. And finally, it was a throwback day with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
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Final Fantasy XII – Clash on the Big Bridge Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto
So let’s kick things off with the Final Fantasy V classic, Clash On The Big Bridge. This theme had more of a rock-inspired feel to it and was a stark contrast to how the music was composed in the previous game. The music also had a bit of whimsy to it, fitting for a man who’s catchphrase references the Power Rangers. Final Fantasy XII was being composed not by Uematsu, but Hitoshi Sakimoto and his team at Basiscape. Their composing style was different than Uematsu’s, and we can hear it in their take on his classic. They apply their mutlti-layred orchestral style to the song and made it less rag-tag sounding, and more “this-guy-is-powerful-but-is-a-clutz” theme. I’m aware that FFXIII-2 also has its own version of this song, but I’m saving that one for a future entry. So, of all the swords he’s collected, which would you “borrow” from him?Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP) – Deadline Composed by Toshiki Konishi
Like the comment in the video says, where was this song when P1 was remade on the PSP? Well, I’m probably one of the few that actually liked the new music in P1. But this song, man. This is the one song I wish they didn’t change. Deadline first made its debut in the Ps1 game Revelations: Persona as the boss battle theme. The song begins with some unnerving ambiance. After about a minute, then the real knitty gritty kicks in. Fast percussion, rapid bass, hard riffs, and a really funky organ dominates this theme. So what changed in the Persona 2: Eternal Punishment’s version on the PSP? Well, most noticeably the ambiance is gone. The song starts right at the good part. Obviously the song is re-recorded with more up-to-date intruments and better sound quality. Also, while the organ makes its return as the main melody, a guitar makes its appearance. And not to be outdone by the organ’s frantic notation, the guitar shows off its own solo as well. While we’re on the subject, any deadline’s you have to meet now that September’s almost up?Dawn of Mana – Endless Battlefield Composed by Kenji Ito, Arranged by Junya Nakano
Here’s a theme from out of left field. Endless Battlefield made its appearance in Final Fantasy Adventure/Seiken Densetsu on the original Game Boy. Like its 8-bit compatriots, the composer of the game it took understood the GB’s lack of power opted to make an adventurious, melodic composition. This song had three layers to it: Main Melody, Backing Melody, and bass line. Not bad for the little wonder. Its most recent version appeared in Dawn of Mana on the PS2. It took cues from the FFA remake, Sword of Mana, and made a fully realized composition out of it. Admittedly, something about this composition doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s that percussion that makes brings it too close to sound like a techno song. But still, it’s nice to see a GB song get the full instrumentation treatment.Mega Man X5 – Oceanographic Museum Composed by Naoko Tanaka et al
The Mega Man franchise is one of the few franchises out there that have repeatedly pumped out execellent music, no matter what incarnation of Mega Man is presented. Interestingly, not many of its songs get remixed into later games. This is probably a good thing since the music might run the risk of becoming stale if repeatedly remixed within the series. This also helps heighten the impact and wow factor of a song when is does get remixed, like this song for example. Deep-Sea Base first made its appearance in Mega Man X2 as Bubble Crab’s stage theme. One thing I always liked about this song (like the rest of MMX2’s ost) is the rapid drum beats. You can just picture a drummer just going nuts playing this theme. If there was one, he probably appeared in Mega Man X5 when the song came back in Duff McWhalen’s stage. This time the song had something of a beach feel to it with those sick ass wails of the guitar. It also added some aquatic ambiance to back the song. So, who was a bigger pain in the ass to fight, Bubble Crab or Duff McWhalen?Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Throwback Galaxy Composed by Mahito Yokoda.
Similarly to Mega Man, much of Super Mario’s music doesn’t get remixed. Well, save for anything that appeared before Super Mario 64. Post-64, much of the music never returned as a remix. It could also be in part that the music from World to Sunshine was really one song getting redone multiple times (aka themes and variations). It they ever reappeared, it was the original song, and rarely a remix. So to wrap up the week, let’s listen to the theme that played in Bob-Omb Battlefield/Whomp’s Fortess. The music had a very jazzy feel and sort of took cues from Yoshi’s Island’s bouncy and upbeat music. This song sparked a lot of nostalgia in gamers in recent years, especially considering that the song hasn’t gotten the remix treatment like some others in the series. That is, until they stepped foot into Throwback Galaxy, a remake of Whomp’s Fortress in Super Mario Galaxy 2. This time the music graduated from synthesized music and redone (I think) by the Super Mario Galaxy Orchestra. This time it really does sound like a jazz band is playing the song out. And those trumpets, man! So, what’s the quickest it took you to get Whomp Fortress’ first star?