Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

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MechaGrapefruit
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Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby MechaGrapefruit » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:20 am

Well, here it is.
This OST was a blast to write. While I did get stumped on a few tracks (struggles with the central melody of The Dancing Dark, my computer bricking immediately after completing Rising Gravity, and almost every aspect of Floodwater), the experience was pretty fantastic start to finish. I think it's some of my best work, if a bit over dramatic (though it's pretty inspired by Ristar, Mega Man 3, and Mega Man X, so that's kind of the point). My favorite tracks on here are probably the Title riff, Flash of the Flint, Sapphire Squall, Thunder Helix, and Deus Machinae, though I'm also really pleased at how most everything else turned out (the boss themes in particular).
Between the last post and this final version, I edited several tracks (Electrofantasia is longer, a few songs were transposed upward, and some basslines were modified), and filled in the rest of the OST. I also added on a 2 Player Act, which would likely be more Roguelike/Beat-Em-Up than the main platforming game. I'd include module notes like I did with CrestCurse, but unfortunately, my Windows emulator really does not seem able to handle that. Thank you to everyone who provided helpful feedback.
Unfortunately, I am also out of fun facts about Nicolae. (It's also in the beta, but at this point, how much isn't?)
Clash with the Thunder King.ftm
*carefully checks to make sure not posting eight months of work on the same day as RushJet this time*
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About robotic citrus -
Bleep bloop, bleep bleep bloop.

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Teuthida
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby Teuthida » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:17 am

yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

I can't believe it's finally finished! I thought you were gone forever! Everything is great! I'd give some better feedback, but sadly, I'm a little busy now. Also, I don't know if you've already done this one, but

Clash with the Thunder King.nsf
Nicholae banned Scrabble, saying it was "subversive and evil"
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MagicSpider
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby MagicSpider » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:34 am

MechaGrapeFruit is back ~
I love your OST, it's just awesome.

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MechaGrapefruit
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby MechaGrapefruit » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:34 pm

It's good to be back - three jobs get to be a pretty busy time.
Thanks for making an .nsf file for it, Teuthida (I also didn't know that particularly fun fact about my favorite Romanian dictator). For some reason, my Windows emulator has issues doing that with Famitracker. Anybody have any comments on the OST?
This is a haiku
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Bleep bloop, bleep bleep bloop.

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MagicSpider
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby MagicSpider » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:24 pm

I don't. Sorry.

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LokiStriker
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby LokiStriker » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:15 am

I honestly cannot get enough of this soundtrack
In all honesty, I wish this, one day, ends up being a videogame that people enjoy so this songs can be kept inside their hearts

You have me singing at many of them, mostly the ones I remember the most, like Flash of the Flint, Dancing Dark, THE AMAZING FLOODWATER, Electrofantasia!, that hauting intro and the whole of the main track (Clash with the Thunder King).

The only thing I will say is that the original version of "Bells Toll Electric" it was better, tho I remember you explained why you decided to change it (I think... not sure now D: ) Aside from that, this is one hell of a good dam soundtrack, Im looking forward to see more of your work.
You always knew my weak spot, and you knew my breaking point...
Oh... how you loved to kill me...


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Teuthida
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby Teuthida » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:26 pm

There's only one problem I have-The vibrato on Deus ex Machina is very heavy, a little too much in my opinion. It sounded fine in the original, but the NES's logarithmic tuning makes it much stronger when transposed upwards.
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Shywolf
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby Shywolf » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:46 pm

Nice. Now to find a good time to listen through this.

Btw...

MechaGrapefruit wrote:... I'd include module notes like I did with CrestCurse, but unfortunately, my Windows emulator really does not seem able to handle that. ...

You could just post them in this thread! I enjoyed reading the ones for CrestCurse.

Seanba
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby Seanba » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:31 am

I lurk from time to time but I registered just now to say this is incredible work. Is this for a game you're working on? If so, I want to play it :)

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MechaGrapefruit
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Re: Clash with the Thunder King (VRC6), Complete

Postby MechaGrapefruit » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:42 pm

You could just post them in this thread! I enjoyed reading the ones for CrestCurse.


Can do! I won't provide much introduction here, because I've already probably written too much.

1. MechaGrapefruit Logo
Same as it was in CrestCurse, wanted to make something Capcom-esque.

2. Title
Wanted something appropriately rad. Rather than having a demo/story screen lead into the title card and theme, I wanted to take a note from the first Mega Man X game (and Mega Man 3) and keep the opening minimal. This theme ends up being a leitmotif evoked in the ending frame of Storm Valley, the Victory themes, and Deus Machinae.

3. Menu
I wanted to make something catchy that also wouldn't get too distracting, since it's just background for the menu.

4. Storm Valley
The opening stage, and the only stage in Act One. I wanted to contrast an epic, sweeping sound with something a little lower key, which I think works in the latter half of the song pretty well, since it's the very first stage. Plotwise, the protagonist realizes that their home is under attack, and is rushing through the valley to find out what's going on. You're being attacked by robots, but to the idyllic residents of this land, what in the darn heck is a robot?

5. Trapped!
The theme for boss encounters, which happen at the end of each act. Drew from Storm Valley in the opening, and it seems unintentionally inspired by some of the boss music in Sonic 3. The first encounter here is against the Thunder King itself, though the Thunder King holds back. It's just trying to see how much of a threat this planet holds. You defeat its held-back attempt, and it flies into the distance, having decided that you are not yet a threat. After each boss battle, the Thunder King returns to check your progress.

6. Flash of the Flint
Act Two starts with this tune - you're at the edge of your homeland, and the villages surrounding have been ravaged, currently on fire. I originally wrote this using Mega Man X instruments, back when I had a computer that could better utilize SNES samples. I wanted to get across a combination of a feeling of heat distortion, destruction, and yet a playful sense of adventure, and I think it worked here perhaps better than any other track.

7. The Watchful Dark
Beyond the ruined village lies a dark forest with lights in the distance. I tried to get across a sense of something looming, watching.

8. The Dancing Dark
You reach the lights flashing in the distant center of the forest - the robot threat has established a base here. A base that looks a lot like a dance party. My motivation here was "How do I take a jazzy tune and turn it into dance music?" That was tougher than I thought, and I rewrote the central melody and bassline a few times before (I think) I got it right.

9. Skipstep Ebb
Act Three begins after taking a teleporter located in the previous level to the robots' next target to conquer - a quiet beach and ocean. This one drew a lot on 2-1 from Ristar for me, though that's not as reflected in the quiet project, as well as Wave Man's stage in Mega Man 5.

10. Floodwater
Oh, Floodwater. You venture out further past the beach into the shoal. I wrote the first eight frames, and then had exactly zero idea regarding how to progress for several months. I was original going to take 3-2 in a totally different direction, but based on responses to the early, very unfinished version, I decided to figure out a way to make it work.

11. Sapphire Squall
Almost the exact opposite of my experience with Floodwater, this was one of my favorite pieces to write. You venture out into the middle of the ocean, where the robots are trying to finish construction on their new base. The jazziness and sense of adventure were dialed up to eleven, and it sounds like I was maybe pretty unconsciously inspired by Armored Armadillo from Mega Man X.

12. Sandkettle
The start of Act Four. After the Act Three boss, you're treated to a cutscene of staring into the sky and watching the robot's main base, a space station, shoot down hundreds of pods, ships and robots into the distance, and so the mission changes from "Destroy the enemy's bases" to "get to space, and stop the main base from continuing to make more bases". You cross the ocean to a desert on the other side, and this stage takes place in the desert and a pyramid on top of a bunch of geothermal heat and geysers. This is a more puzzle-oriented stage wherein you need to arrange the geysers and flow of water to the top of the pyramid, so that you can use the water pressure to blast out and into the distance. Conceptually, I think that's a lot of fun, and the tune, while slower, probably helps accommodate for that change in pace.

13. Flicker in the Ether
You're flying through the sky, having been blasted out of the Sandkettle. Insofar as each Act has something of a theme (Act One being the introduction, Act Two being light and dark, Act Three being water, water, and so much goddamn water), Act Four is more about mystery, and so I went through a few drafts of this theme to evoke more of a sense of that while keeping it sounding adventurous. Anyone who's listened to the really shitty OST I put up about a year ago for the sake of showing how bad I used to be at this in the Stellar Storm thread might recognize this as a much better version of Desolatia.

14. Edge of the Earth
You've reached the edge of the world, essentially a huge waterfall cliff, with a space elevator extending from here to the robot space station. More mystery sound here, with a bit more of a sense of danger and wistfullness. I wanted to get across the feeling of looking back into the distance trying to see anything recognizable and failing to do so, emphasizing how far you've come, and how far you still have to go. Also, the boss is a giant robot sea serpent. That seems worth mentioning.

15. Electrofantasia
Act Four starts with infiltrating the bottom of the space elevator, which is guarded primarily with holograms and robots. This was another fun one for me, especially when I decided to expand it and play with a little theme and variation. The opening riff and metallic percussion and bass combo are there to signal that things are more serious now, and a little more foreign to our protagonist.

16. Rising Gravity
You make it into the space elevator to find that it functions by reversing gravity - you have to fall to the top, aka rising literally thanks to gravity. This was the one that almost killed the project - just after finishing it (and a very early version of Skipsteb Ebb), my computer went kaput, and I had to revert to a much older version of the OST, as well as figure out how to use Famitracker with a Mac. It was... frustrating, and I think I put that sense of fighting the impossible into the track. This was a bit inspired by the second Wily stage theme in Mega Man 10.

17.Thunder Helix
You finally make it into the space station, and the final stretch of the game. I think the tonal shift from the last two stages helps signal that - this isn't the most intense track in the OST, but to me, it's the most epic, and probably my single favorite.

18. MIRACLE MACHINE
The Act Four boss is the part of the space station that you've seen in cutscenes shooting the robot bases onto the planet, and you fight it from the inside. The opening trumpet rift is there to get across a sense of danger, and I think they succeed.

19. Victory?
You defeat the machine, and right before you're about to land the final strike on its core - the power goes off, you see the outline of the Thunder King grab it. You've still got one more battle to win.

20. Bells Toll Electric
The final stretch of the mostly depowered space station. I wanted this to feel ominous, and completely different than the feeling of the rest of the music, which is why I replaced the previous version, though I'd use the previous version as a theme in some cutscenes.

21. Clash with the Thunder King
You make it to the Thunder King's chamber. The lights are initially off, but flash on at the end of the opening, when the Thunder King laughs, and the clash begins. I had originally not intended to make this OST, but was simply practicing making boss themes, which I love doing. I made an early version of this and enjoyed the way that it uses a sense of optimism to drive forth a dramatic theme, as opposed to every other final boss theme I've ever written (like in Crestfall and CrestCurse), which were all doom and gloom. Having written that, I then tried to write an OST that could set up that encounter.

22. Deus Machinae
The final battle - the Thunder King upon defeat pulls out the core from the Miracle Machine snatched at the end of that boss battle and merges with it. I wanted the final theme to return to the leitmotif for the protagonist and title, and to be interspersed with twisted versions of the Thunder King's boss theme. I transposed the entire thing into a higher key (the same used for the title) after finishing it, and noticed that the high levels of vibrato almost made some of the instrumentation sound like high-pitched, mechanical screaming, so I kept it to help further that twisted feeling.

23. An Innocent World
The credits sequence. You escape the space station as it explodes, after knocking the broken Thunder King into space. I wanted this theme to be a bit more peaceful, but to also highlight the hardships the protagonist has been through, as your escape pod flies over all of the locales on the planet you've been through.

24. Mosey On
Two Player mode has a shop, since it's more of a beat 'em up/roguelike than a conventional platformer. And this is the theme for that shop. Not much to say here.

25. Meteor Mania!
This is actually the second stage of Two Player mode - the first uses the Storm Valley theme. The plot of this totally separate mode is that two of the Thunder King's robots have revolted, and are trying to send his forces back in time to get rid of them. Stage One starts on a planet like that of the main story, whereas this second stage has the robots in space trying to reach the space station. I wanted a nice panicked, chaotic feel, and I think the quieter interlude helps highlight how all over the place the rest of this theme really is.

26. Heavenly Inferno
You reach the space station, and are navigating the reactor room. I wanted a quieter, more brooding approach to a fire stage than provided in Flash of the Flint, which is why it combines the styles of that song with the lower-key Thunder Helix. It almost comes across like Sonic 3's Lava Reef Zone Act One.

27. Moon Gear
I wanted something epic sounding to conclude the Two Player mode, so this draws a bit from Storm Valley, Flicker in the Ether, Rising Gravity, and all of the other bits that extensively use Duty 1/3 chords and Duty 2/7 echoes. This is probably the longest track, because it's a slog of a level through the space station. You get to the end of the level, and fight the Miracle Machine, but instead of attacking it, you lay traps that, when all set, will send the space station back in time. Which it does... right to the time of our main plot.


And that's the OST, and probably about 2000 words. I'll probably never get around to making the game myself - I work too many jobs, have too weak (Apple) a computer, and above all else, I'm just not a talented coder. If anyone else ever wanted to make the game though, I'd be happy to help. It's not the best soundtrack ever written, but I think it's got heart, because it wasn't written to accompany a game - it was written for a game to accompany IT. Thanks to everyone who encouraged, provided criticism, and gave it a listen, and you'll see me around, making nitpicky comments on other modules and asserting that Castlevania 64 is a good game.
This is a haiku
About robotic citrus -
Bleep bloop, bleep bleep bloop.


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