Thursday, February 2, 2012

Five VG Music Covers That Have a Life of Their Own

The Internets are flush with recordings of people stumbling through Castlevania's Bloody Tears on a keyboard in their basement, or playing the Super Mario Bros. theme on a nose-flute. But if you wade through the umpteen videos of shredding Mega Man, or the Zelda overture drummed out on Mongolian sheep bladders just for the sake of it, you can find some music which really resonates.

There are plenty of lists of the best covers of game music, but I wanted to compile my favourite examples of when a track is given new life through the replay, as it were.

5. Windwaker Unplugged (FreddeGredde)




FreddeGredde's cover of the Windwaker theme has certainly made its (deserving) rounds on lists like this. That said, it's three and a half-million views worth of awesome. The accordion and the vocal layering really add some warmth to an already great piece of music.


4. Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals/Estpolis - Final Battle

(Original)

Lufia 2 (SNES) was a terrific, classic-style RPG. They remade it for the DS in 2009, and the OST cranked the music up to 11. This one is kind of a cheat, since it's a proper Nintendo remake, but it can't be helped. This is an epic track, in the proper, definitive sense of the word. The drums, trumpet, and strings give it an intensity which (obviously) just couldn't be achieved on the SNES. I dare you to listen to this and not want to save the world, Lufia fan or not.


3. Chrono Cross - Dream of the Shore Near Another World (SongeLeReveur & Marcpapeghin)

(Original)


Chrono Cross (PS) had a gorgeous soundtrack which would be difficult to improve on. These guys start with Dream of the Shore, and really take it somewhere else with the new and distinctive instruments (although I have some issues with the tempo of the uke at the beginning). I think the end product sounds more at home in a Wild ARMs game, which is certainly a compliment. It takes a dreamy overworld theme and turns in into a new, almost standalone composition.


2. Final Fantasy Main Theme Remix (Hyadain)

This was the reason why I wanted to make this list in the first place. Kenichi Maeyamada aka Hyadain, is a Japanese composer whose YouTube remixes of game music are quite unique in that he sings most of them (his rendition of Cyan's Theme and Ultros Boogie are also interesting). His remixes are skillful and fun homages to classic game music. What we have here is essentially the Final Fantasy national anthem, and I love that such a thing exists.


1. Chrono Trigger - Peaceful Days (lonlonjp)

(Original)

I just couldn't put the Hyadain track at number one, because of how much I love this. Of all lonlonjp's excellent Chrono Trigger guitar arrangements (Frog's Theme in particular), I think that this one stands out because of how perfectly suited the original track is for the solo guitar. He absolutely nails the simple beauty of the song. Fans of Chrono Trigger will be immediately lost in two minutes of nostalgic bliss, and anyone else can instantly understand why Yasunori Mitsuda named his original track “Peaceful Days.”

3 comments:

Ryan said...

Such an excellent and refreshing list. I enjoyed all of your entries, especially "Peaceful Days". That rendition is so calming.

I've had shitty week and that cooled me right down, haha. No lying.

Great stuff, man.

Sam said...

Glad to be of service!

Shane said...

Fantastic list, man. I loved all the choices, but my favourite has got to be the final fantasy remix. So epic.