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Audiophile

06.09.00 - Music - Changing of the Guard

With the recent departure of Mark Jordan, I, Jeff Davis (JD as my friends call me) was asked to manage the now vacated section. As a long stalwart to the section, Mark Jordan has had a strong impact. And I'm sure I speak for all, that we wish him the best in his future ventures. He'll still be managing the Ultima-Eternity competition so be sure to check that out.

With that said, I would like to welcome you all to what I hope will be an interesting journey in this newly named section for RPGamer Music, Audiophile.

For those who don't know me an introduction would be in order, I suppose. As previously stated I'm Jeff Davis. Back in the day, summer of last year, I managed RPGamer's letters section, Q&A with JD then later went on RPGamer Editorials then I resigned my post at RPGamer about four months ago. For those who didn't frequent the letters section I was known for my highly overtoned columns froth with music references and discussions. Since this section is known for some of the most informed contributors and readers within the music scope, it is only proper that I disclose my experience in this venue. I come to you with a decade long record as a videogame aficionado and music collector. My game album collection is varied and broad, from Ys to Final Fantasy to Shen Mue. Music is my raison d'tre. Current favorites include Legend of Dragoon OSV, Koudelka OSV and that old treasured album Secret of Evermore OSV. I also dabble a bit in sound composition and remixing, but as someone generally new to the endeavor, the less the subject is brought up...the better for our sake.

A couple of words on the section:

First is the name change. Audiophile, for those who don't know, has a duality in meaning. First, is a person who has an ardent interest in electronic sound reproduction and secondly one who has a strong affinity to music. The definition serves both the musician and the average reader of this section, at least I hope so. With the new name came the idea of a new look. In order to start with a clean slate, I felt the need to revise the look and to centralize the music section. I hope it is to your liking.

As far as the way the section will be run, pretty much everything that held true, holds true now. There are a couple of new changes. First is the Recorded Remixes is now called MP3 Remixes. I would hope everyone who contributes in this high quality digital format would submit files in MP3 rather than other formats like WAV, etc... Another change is within the Soundtrack Info and Reviews, the sections have been combined and the idea has been expanded to take in Editor and Reader reviews for soundtracks.

Another evident change is this main music page. Like before, Featured Soundtrack/Musician (Musicians/Soundtrack of the week) and Competitions will be as important as ever, with the inclusion of Featured Soundtrack review/s. Noteworthy is the importance of Music Contributors/Musicians who have played an instrumental role throughout the history of this section, hence it is doubly significant that those who are major contributors or whose works excel be featured as an example for exemplary artisanship.

Other additions will follow in the near future, just you wait. But before we progress, one final note to musicians, contributors or reviewers -- please read the general guide to this section in the Audiophile Guidelines page.

Moving on to the actual update. First it really must be pointed out for music lovers to check out the very first and recently surfaced tracks to both Eternal Arcadia and Ys II Eternal. Also of note, with Legend of Mana shipping, Chris Cain's LoM OST review, at the very least is one of the more in depth reviews I've seen on the topic.

On the music front there is a bevy of incredible re-arranged pieces: Kaijin's FF IV Prelude in mp3 is a striking example to how musicians evolved, then there's Yura's award winning Legacy of the Wizard medley, then Braxus' FF VII rearrange is one of the best FF rearranges I've heard, lastly on the mp3 front -- both Shingi and K. Hirai's raise the bar with their heavenly Ys remixes.

On the MIDI side of things: Hobo Jack's Chrono Trigger 11 minute Party mix is definitely worth a listen, Chief Ug's Valkyrie Profile -- Rise is sure to impress with its haunting score, and if you're in a mood for poignant pieces look no further than Fuhrmania's FF VIII rendition of Julia. For those who can't play the MP3 versions -- Kaijin's FF IV prelude and Julianne's Awakening is a must download.

Last but not least is the IT department...well, I'll spare you all with more words, as they all are pretty amazing. Then again the same holds true for all contained within the update.


Short Notice On Ultima-Eternity:
It has recently come to my attention (now that I'll be handling the RPGamer music team for the Ultima Eternity contest), that we are short by about 4 or 5 musicians for UE. If you would like to sign up with the RPGamer music troupe for Ultima-Eternity, at this late juncture please email me as soon as possible with your sample works to either jd@rpgamer.com or music@rpgamer.com. You'll have about a day or two to get me these files and for me to choose the team, it's short notice, but I'm a bit late in the game, so we'll see. For further rules visit Ultima-Eternity's homepage.

Without further ado...

  - Jeff Davis


Archives
Music Update Archives

Audiophile Features
Featured Soundtrack:
Eternal Arcadia
Eternal Arcadia OST
Sega's magnum opus RPG for the Dreamcast, (next to Shen Mue) Eternal Arcadia promised to have it all, including the much touted 40+ orchestra piece (eclipsing even the long lauded Panzer Dragoon Saga). Fortunately for Audiophiles, Eternal Arcadia's soundtrack looks, or rather sounds like it will deliver. Here are the initially released songs.
(MP3):
Main Theme
Battle 1
Voyage
Sources: RPGfan, Dreamcast Total

Ys II Eternal
Ys II Eternal OST
With Ys II Eternal slated to ship for Japanese Windows next month, and all the hype surrounding the game (in closed circles) -- it's only fitting to divulge the first song released. Falcom fans can breathe a sigh of relief as it seems Falcom's music team is back in full force. Check out the RPGamer exclusive of the music from the Ys 2 Eternal Trailer.
(MP3):
To Make the End of Battle - Ys II Eternal remix

Featured Musicians:
The first Audiophile update features 2 artists who have not only contributed the most in this update, but also provided works that have raised the bar in terms of remixes.

Shingi - Using a Roland Sound Canvas SC-88VL to help create his MIDIs, his two submissions arguably improve on Falcom's already incredible OSV. First his "Final Battle" - Metal remix exudes rich drums with a balance of heavy metal guitars. His second song, "Valestine" - Orchestral remix, is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Remixing the original rock score into orchestral form is no easy task, but Shingi's heart thumping orchestral version is an aural experience to behold.

K. Hirai - Unfortunately not much is known about K. Hirai. His first song is "Ice Ridge of Noltia" - Dance remix, a transformation of the soothing OSV, into one of the best dance remixes from a Falcom composition.
His other contribution is the, "Valestine" - TG extended remix. While closely resembling the OSV version, the added instrumentation to the remix makes it a noteworthy download.

 

Featured Review

Legend of Mana OST Review
by Chris Cain
With Legend of Mana shipping for the Playstation in North America, RPGamer reader Chris Cain takes a closer look at the well renowned album. Find out if Shimomura's first venture since Parasite Eve proves to be as noteworthy, in this comprehensive review.

Competitions
Ultima-Eternity the contest that essentially requires an entrant to remix any RPG song (in any format) and send it in by June 9th. Prizes include Project Majestic Mix's silver copies of their upcoming cd as well as GKWorld.com cash credit. For more information check out the UE website.

Oh and if you want to enter for RPGamer by within a day, read the short notice.
Audio-philes

MP3 Remixes
Final Fantasy IV:
"Prelude - I Will See You Again" by Kaijin

Final Fantasy VI:
"Awakening" - Terra Mix by Julianne Bloomfield

Final Fantasy VII:
"Boss Battle Theme" - rearrange by Braxus

Legacy of the Wizard:
The Legacy of the Wizard Medley by Yura

Ys I and II:
"Final Battle" - Metal remix by Shingi
"Ice Ridge of Noltia" - Dance remix by K. Hirai

Ys III:
"Valestine" - TG extended remix by K. Hirai
"Valestine" - Orchestral remix by Shingi

Midi
Chrono Trigger:
"Chrono Trigger Party Remix" by Hobo Jack

Final Fantasy IV:
"Prelude - I Will See You Again" by Kaijin

Final Fantasy VI
"Awakening" - Terra Mix by Julianne Bloomfield

Final Fantasy VIII:
"Julia" - Piano Solo by Fuhrmania

Final Fantasy Adventure:
"Lester's Ballad" by Fuhrmania

Terranigma:
"Beruga's Lab" by Chief Ug

Valkyrie Profile:
"Opening" Official by Tri-Ace
"Behave Irrationally" by Chief Ug
"Rise Above The World" by Chief Ug

Digital Music
Dragon Quest VI:
"Real World Theme" by DarkCecil

Final Fantasy VII:
Battle Mix by Freak Child

Romancing Saga 2:
Battle by Hector Chang

Secret of Mana:
Title Screen Theme by DarkCecil
Give Love Its Rightful Time by Fred Schillinger

Xenogears:
Far Away Promise by TSSF

Misc.
Eternal Arcadia:
Main Theme (MP3)
Battle 1 (MP3)
Voyage (MP3)

Ys II Eternal:
To Make the End of Battle - Ys II Eteral remix (MP3)

Legend of Mana:
Original Soundtrack Review by Chris Cain

 

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