Video Game Music From the Webz – Medleys

Sorry about Tuesday, internet. I was so busy that I didn’t even remember it was Tuesday. Anyway, today, everyone gets to enjoy another music post, or as I like to call it: posting Youtube clips and calling it a blog post. Today, I thought I’d look at some medleys. It takes a lot of skill to successfully remix a track from a video game. Most attempts end embarrassingly lost in a barrage of pointless techno; although, there’s always a market for that kind of remix. Medley’s take this difficulty up a notch and require, not only the total remastering or re-imagining of multiple songs, but also clean and crisp transitions between them. This second part is perhaps the most difficult obstacle to dodge and many otherwise good medleys falter on the transition.

Earthbound solved the zombie apocalypse problem long before it was popular. All you need is loud music!

1 – Final Fantasy IV Medley – TAM TAMUSIC

Final Fantasy IV has a special place in my heart as the first JRPG game I ever played and also when I really became serious about gaming. TAM, the creator of this fantastic piece, is an absolute genius at weaving the four battle themes together. The quality level is extremely high, and his rendition of the Zeromus Final Battle is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Violin covers of video game songs are par for the course so it really does take something special to turn the eye. Sometimes that requires covering less popular songs and other times, such as with TAM, it requires and absurd level of skill. If you click on the above link and browse TAM’s  other Final Fantasy contributions, you’ll find the absolute best version of Blinded by the Light that you’ll ever see.

2 – Earthboud Medley – vgmorchestra 

Earthbound is a game that is held very fondly in the hearts of many gamers, which is strange considering how rare it is and the fact that it’s never been rereleased. Well, fortunately, it’s coming the Wii U Virtual Console so a whole new batch of freshly minted gamers can enjoy the wackiness of the Blue cult. This Earthbound Medley may start of strangely, but keep listening and you’ll be taken through practically the entire game’s tracks. The transitions aren’t always smooth, but it’s so rare to find Earthbound remixes and even rarer to find them of this quality, that it’s easy to overlook. Vgmorchestra has some really amazing tracks in his repertoire and I strongly encourage you to listen to them especially the rarer Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country tracks, which are all done extremely well and have criminally low views.

3 – Rockman 3 NON-STOP TECHNO REMiX – oniBD

There’s no link because this was posted by TheDoujinChannel and not the original creator. As you may have gleaned from the first paragraph, I’m less than stellar on techno remixes. The reason for this is because most techno remix artists get lost up their own ass and completely lose the melody of the song that they were supposedly remixing. This doesn’t happen here. The creator, stays completely on all of the themes without diverging off onto his own riffs. Mega Man has some great music, and all of the songs are already pretty techno so there isn’t the same jarring switch as with many techno remixes. This remix deals with the third game in the series, which has the fantastic Spark and Snake Man themes. While many prefer the second game’s music particularly the first Dr. Wily stage music, three more than holds its own and, for many, is the last Mega Man game before X to really go all out on its music.

4 – Rise of the Sinistrals (Lufia II Medley) – KoD83

Lufia II is a lot like Earthbound. It has its devoted fans and its been forgotten by the vast number of gamers. Unfortunately, with the underwhelming financial performance of the DS re-imagining, we may not see another Lufia. Hopefully, someone will at least put it on the Virtual Console some day. KoD83, has pieced together a large number of tracks across two parts. I posted the first one because it has Battle 2, one of the finest battle musics to ever be created (Jump to the eight minute mark if you don’t have the time for the whole thing). All of the music is faithful to the source, and manages to have that old Midi feel without Midi sound. There’s no orchestrations, violins, or techno. Instead, we have synthesized music that could easily be mistaken for the originals. The skill comes from making something so good, but making it seem like you’ve heard it before in-game, because, trust me, the actual Lufia II themes don’t sound anywhere near as good as this.

5 – The Epic Final Fantasy VI Medley – Marc Papeghin – French Horn

I’ve shilled for Marc Papeghin before so his inclusion on the list isn’t anything new or special. However, despite the repetition, he most certainly deserves a spot here. His Final Fantasy V, VI, and IX Medleys are absolute works of art. He has promised to cover all Final Fantasy games in the same manner, so this would be one Youtube account that I would consider subscribing to. Played out with a variety of instruments that he wields with equal strength, the Final Fantasy VI Medley is disturbingly good. It’s only real weakness is that, despite it’s length, it leaves me wanting more every time I listen to it. Not enough tracks are covered, and the end of the medley is wasted in the Final Fantasy theme instead of going to something that’s uniquely Final Fantasy VI. I only complain because I’d like to see every song in the soundtrack go through his talented fingers.

6 – Radical Dreamers: A Chrono Cross Medley – Ashikodrum

This medley was created by many talented individuals, but is decidedly more low key than the other entries. All of them have been given credit in the video description, but for ease, I have not replicated the list. It is common to see a single person centre stage playing the violin or guitar while covering a video game track. It is far less common for you to see many different people joining together to create something like this. It’s refreshing to see where all the music comes from. The downside to this medley is that it’s too short and it only covers the most common Chrono Cross tracks. However, what is there is extremely well done. A few of the tracks, notably Lizard Dance, deviate from the source material, but it’s always done effectively instead of for the purpose of inflating the creator’s ego.

I’m the only one in the world, but I really miss prerendered backgrounds.

There we go, internet, another music post. Medleys are fun for many reasons. There is a much stronger nostalgia effect in place when you’re barreling through an entire flotilla of songs, and usually only the most talented even attempt them. The downside is how often do you have time for a thirty minute monster like the Earthbound Medley? These artists are extremely talented and we should all be thankful that they’ve decided to post these. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of views, while others only have mere hundreds. It’s unfortunate that such works goes unwatched, which is one of the reasons I started doing these music posts. If there are any other great medleys you know of, post them in the comments.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer


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