Posts Tagged ‘Kirby’

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Kirby’s Super Star – “The prayer to starry sky” (Rue)

August 8, 2010

Rue’s arrange of “The Great Blue Sky and the Stars Above” from Kirby’s Super Star in the arrange album Peach Mold is much slower-paced than the original, as well as a more peaceful quality. Rue plays the main theme on exalting bells and a dreamy synth line. The upward notes present a prayer of hope and peace and dreams of sailing through starry skies. Towards the end of the song, the Kirby main theme, “Green Greens” is played on bells, in an wonderful arrange. The original version of this song (written by Jun Ishikawa and Dan Miyakawa) has a much faster pace, but still retains the hopeful, floaty feeling of a job well done.

Peach Mold – “The prayer to starry sky” (Rue)

Actually, I always loved the ending to Milky Way Wishes in Kirby’s Super Star. This ending actually served as kind of an ending to the entire game (as this was the last major game you unlock), and as a result, the designers put a lot of creativity into it. The best part about it is each department – and sometimes individual designers – got their own Kirby animation! That’s just awesome. I love the title as well – and the transition from blue skies of morning to the stars above (I don’t know if you remember seeing the night sky as a kid, but it is difficult to do so now that I live in the city – you can barely see the sky, let alone the Milky Way. It’s a damn shame the ability to truly see the stars is disappearing). Still, I have to wonder what’s up with the graphics for Kirby’s house…

Anyway, Peach Mold is a Japanese doujin arrange album (independently produced). As with all doujins, it originally sold for less than 1000y (500y in this case) but now goes for upwards of 4000y resale. Crazy. The group that made the album, R∀∧∃N, also produced MaRiNa, an arrange album for the Seiken Densetsu/Mana series.

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Kirby’s Superstar – “King Dedede” (Jun Ishikawa)

July 21, 2010

The fight with King Dedede in Kirby’s Dream Land and Spring Breeze (from Kirby’s Superstar) is a pretty cool concept. Here’s this little pink marshmallow fighting a five-ton penguin inside a boxing ring – and the penguin has a giant mallet. In the background, of course, all his minions are there jeering at you and cheering for him. It’s a pretty epic battle and a great finale to the game. (Incidentally, about the only other game I can recall that has a giant boxing/wrestling match for the final battle is Donkey Kong 64, which ended up as a good level concept with poor execution.) So, at the risk of doing too much Kirby (is that possible) – or more specifically, Kirby’s Superstar – here’s King Dedede’s theme! (Screenshot is from the DS version.)

Kirby’s Superstar – “King Dedede”

For the two-second intro, Kirby smashes into the castle at the top of Mt. Dedede and proceeds to bust his way into the arena. The instrument selection is very Kirby (and hence Jun Ishikawa), with big drums and a wood block. The main melody is played on trumpets with some nice bells and other tones added for emphasis and variety. The version in Kirby’s Superstar is actually better because it adds a third section at the end of the first loop (0:40) – whereas the original just looped at this point. This adds great variety to an a melody that is pretty catchy but would otherwise get old pretty quick. Anyway, the boss music is great for the fight against this bully with a nice bit of lighthearted humor.

“King Dedede” has only one really good remix, and that is the amazing Yoko Shimomura‘s rendition from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There’s a lot of great percussion here, with better trumpet samples that just add so much emotion and atmosphere to the piece. There’s a nice break for the second loop with a brilliant piano and flutes. The only place I’m really torn is with that synth line as it’s a little too high-pitched.

And…that’s really about it. There’s a club mix from the more miss than hit Peach Mold doujin album (2006) and a couple trance/electronica mixes by cthonic (the other one is from VGMix 2.0, but not really worth sharing). Honestly, not my style.

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Kirby’s Super Star – “The Underground Jungle” (Jun Ishikawa, Dan Miyakawa)

July 20, 2010

Kirby’s Super Star (1996) happens to be one of my favorite games. Not just because Kirby is a pretty fun character, but because the idea behind the game – to create a single game containing five full original games in one playable by two players. The game was remixed as Kirby’s Super Star Ultra for the Nintendo DS and you can also get it on the Virtual Console. Aside from the final game, Milky Way Wishes, my favorite game in the collection is The Great Cave Offensive, which basically catered to my interest in exploring underground caverns for hidden worlds (something that must have arose from reading Journey to the Center of the Earth as a kid). There’s just something surreal about finding an entire world under the earth (especially one with race car monsters; and people once thought that really existed thanks to the hollow earth hypothesis). Anyway, it still makes good sci fi. The game is pretty cool – explore a giant cave Kirby has mistakenly fallen into, snagging all the loot as you go on your way. In any event, I find the main theme, “The Underground Jungle” to be quite fun, and one of the most memorable moments.

Kirby’s Super Star – “The Underground Jungle” (Jun Ishikawa, Dan Miyakawa)

“The Underground Jungle” is a crazy exploration tune that Pitfall Harry might be envious of. It’s got an amazing drum and percussion section with snare, wood blocks, taiko, and Kirby-style synth drums that really demand the player run forward. There’s a little bit of romance of exploration here as well, exploring a teeming jungle just below the surface and a vast forgotten land. Flute and strings add some nice texture. Granted, the theme does get a little monotonous after awhile, mainly because it repeats the same section twice, the second with variant, before heading to the loop.

Lucky members of Club Nintendo in Japan had the opportunity to get the Kirby Ultra Super Deluxe Original Soundtrack of the DS remake (2009). There was also a remix by doujin artist Makoto Shozu called “The Great Cave Offensive” that is a medley of all songs from the game (this one is pretty cool).

Incidentally, one of my other favorite tunes from this game is “Crystal Caverns,” a dramatic orchestral mix of “Green Greens.” Just the thing you’d expect for discovering a giant, majestic underground city. Great stuff.

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Kirby’s Adventure – “Green Greens” (Jun Ishikawa)

July 19, 2010

“Green Greens,” known in Kirby’s Adventure (1994) as “Black and White Plains Level (GameBoy)” was originally composed by Jun Ishikawa for Kirby’s Dream Land (1992) (Mr. Ishikawa also worked on Kirby’s Adventure and nearly every other title in the series). The track has since become one of the most well-known Kirby songs out there. Kirby’s Adventure was essentially a full-blown adaptation of the Game Boy version for the NES (the game was later adapted again in Kirby’s Super Star as Spring Breeze).

Kirby’s Adventure – “Green Greens” (Jun Ishikawa)

“Green Greens” is a hopeful, energetic theme that presents joy in life and the green earth (and all that there is to eat upon it), but also presents Kirby’s tenacity to move forward and consume all his obstacles. While not as gluttonous as some of Kirby’s other themes, “Green Greens” really stands out for its grace and simplicity – factors that were made possible by its origins on the Game Boy. In fact, the hidden stage this song plays in is a replica of Kirby’s Dream Land, with a black and white color scheme and a similar instrument set to that of the Game Boy version. The stage was completely different from anything else in the game (and most things on the system due to its reflection of another console) and showed off quite a bit of what the system could do.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl had an excellent orchestral arrange of “Green Greens”, also done by HAL staff. This might be the best version, though the variation from Kirby’s Super Star (also by Jun Ishikawa!) is also fantastic, particularly with a fully-realized Kirby-style instrument set!

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What’s Pink and Sucks? – “Intro/Title” (arr. Xoc)

February 1, 2010

What’s Pink and Sucks? asks Xoc, the creator of this Kirby’s Adventure (1993) remix album. Don’t let his wimpish exterior fool you – Kirby is a badass who can outeat the Colbert hamburger man and outfight killer phoenixes, mechanical knights, and id-shadow demons. Kirby is kind of like the Chinese (or the Japanese) in this aspect: he consumes everything and then assimilates the digestible bits it into something new. Eat a monster and then steal its power, basically a multi-purpose Mega Man. The soundtracks also have a unique feel to them – bubbly and happy, gluttonous and daring, just like Kirby’s personality. I just wouldn’t get on his bad side – this power-puff eats bikers! (Thank you, disembodied sophisticated British voice!) Xoc takes the spirit of Jun Ichikawa and Hirokazu Ando‘s compositions (responsible for pretty much the entire Kirby series) and gives them a spin.

What’s Pink and Sucks? – “Intro/Title” (arr. Xoc)

Xoc is known for both his humor and imaginative usage of instruments. (This is the same guy who played “Mother Brain” from Super Metroid on an accordion!) “Intro/Title” is a perfect example of this. The “Intro” section is played with a telephone. The mix of a traditional Japanese-style song with lo-fi modern technology is a nice post-modern rendition, particularly considering the Intro screen’s ‘how to draw Kirby’ animation. He then follows in with some awesome high-fi beats and guitar with creepy breathing/speaking (hard to make out what he’s saying!). It’s like Samurai punks! With the “Title” section, Xoc takes the bubbly feel of the original and renditions it with samples of him singing different notes accompanied by his guitar. The distortions are also fun, dj mixing. Nobody can quite do instruments like him.

Xoc is a pretty active remixer/digital music artist with a VERY extensive homepage. He’s probably best-known for his Super Mario World remix album (another classic – link to the “Goldinum Edition” on his homepage). He composes his music by first laying down the drum and bass layer and then adding melody with whatever instruments come to mind at the time. As a result, it’s an instrumental collage that’s pleasing and ever-surprising to the ears. Aside from remaining very active in the mixing scene, he also hosts part of MAG Radio. Oh yeah, he also did the voiceover for the “Item Room” track in Metroid Metal’s Varia Suite.