Posts Tagged ‘Mother’

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EarthBound – “Smiles and Tears” (Keichi Suzuki)

September 8, 2010

EarthBound has a great soundtrack. It really does. Keichi Suzuki (EarthBound series). There’s comedy, there’s horror, there’s intensity, there’s weirdness…in short, the entire game is summed up in this one song, “Smiles and Tears.” The track plays during the credits and displays photographs taken during your adventures around the world. With each image, you remember the event that happened here with laughter – but you also know it’s time to say goodbye to the friends you met in this game.

EarthBound – “Smiles and Tears” (Keichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka)

“Smiles and Tears” has a mix of joy and sorrow, nostalgia and melancholy, all wrapped into an enchanting piano piece. The notes climb high, seeking happiness of friendship, and the short steps of the notes gives the track a confident, homely feel. At 2:04, we’re given the theme played back in minor key – the sadness of leaving friends and loved ones behind. But at 2:33, we dry our tears through resolution, reassurance – and hope. Everything is going to be alright because we still have the memories. From here, we return again to the main theme, this time with confidence (3:20) which slowly builds in intensity until we have a pause – and a synthesized voice – and the song fades away into disollution.

In the collaborative EarthBound remix project, Bound Together, Dhsu produced a touching piano arrange called “Bound Together.” His hands deftly play with a kind of tenderness from someone immersed in the emotion of the piece.
Actually, there are also some lyrics that go with this song, too. The only work in Japanese, but there is a literal English translation available. The lyrics were written by the game’s designer, Shigesato Itoi, and they were included with the Japanese version of the game. Players were encouraged to sing along. This video is the official lyrical version by Keichi Suzuki. I also like this fan rendition, but it doesn’t have karaoke.

I haven’t lived even half as long as adults have,
but I do have plenty of memories in my backpack
My favorite baseball cap, my sneakers with worn-out heels
Deep in my pocket is my worn-down guitar pick
There were some things sad enough to make tears come out,
but you were always by my side
I thought of the two of us as just friends the whole time
I probably loved you without ever realizing it

We walked while we laughed, played, and got hurt
I realized it as we took shortcuts and went in circles:
that even if you can’t believe in everyone
you can’t cast aside a heart you do believe in
You made me stronger just being who you are
Like a gentle wind blowing and swaying the grass
you always walked with a smile

Yes, the two who shared smiles and tears one after the other…..
(I miss you)
…..are now far apart…..

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EarthBound – “The Battle of Final Destiny” (Keichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka)

July 24, 2010

EarthBound (Mother 2, 1994) certainly had an interesting soundtrack. The entire game was off-beat, and it had a wide range of music and background to cover those emotions, but also many pieces that stand out for their strong melody. One of the more interesting – and thus memorable – tracks is “The Battle of Final Destiny,” a rather redundant track title that couples 8-bit drama with 90s death metal. You can find the rest of the EarthBound soundtrack on the impeccable Starmen.net (actually, the site is crazier than I last remember).

EarthBound – “The Battle of Final Destiny” (Keichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka)

“The Battle of Final Destiny” is the final boss music. Ness and his friends have transferred their souls into robots in order to travel back in time and destroy Gygas, a creature of chaos dead set on obliterating the earth (I don’t remember why; must have been all the porn we’re broadcasting into space). So the fight begins with the player facing a giant face of Ness inside an organic globule with a giant robotic spider controlled by Pokey – a rather humorous sight. The track opens with about 50 seconds of 8-bit music played over the SNES speaker, recalling classic games (and more specifically EarthBound Zero, aka Mother).

This type of music is completely unexpected, not only for its archaism but also because there is nothing else in the game that plays like this. Likewise, the infusion of death metal at 0:53 is equally surprising, and it’s actually not that bad a tune. Read the rest of this entry ?

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EarthBound – “Dreaming on Distant Shores” (Rellik)

February 6, 2010

For the end of the Atlanta Art History of Games conference, I felt this piece fits as a good denouement for the entire experience. “Dreaming on Distant Shores” is my favorite EarthBound remix, and one of my favorite tunes. Both the name and the sound conjures so much to the mind, that it’s difficult for me to not evoke romanticized imagery from the game as I think back on it.

EarthBound – “Dreaming on Distant Shores” (Rellik)

“Dreaming on Distant Shores” is a remix of “A Flash of Memory“. The original is fairly minimalistic, with bubblings in the background over a constant midi drone, and Rellik’s rendition really fleshes it out. His piece is a kind of trance electronica, with a reassuring beat and a strong middle section with an evocative cello. It opens with static, suggesting the sound of falling rain, with beatdrops punctuating the rainshower. These resemble the midi trumpets and chorals from the original, and they bubble up within this space to give a sense of expanse. And then there is the steady drumbeat, a sense of trekking through dreamscapes that play so prominently in EarthBound.

There is some nice progression in this song, such as the distortion and electronic warbles added around 2:15, as well as the drum break at 3:24. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Bound Together – Get on the Bus (rem. Virt)

November 10, 2009

Ok, so Mondays are normally 8-bit Mondays, but this week, 8-bit Monday is an 8-bit Tuesday. The reason is I stopped at Chicago Midway Airport on the way back home from Boston and tracked down the House of Blues, which has some really awesome statues of the Blues Brothers (one dancing, the other sitting). The Blues Brothers happens to be my favorite film (which is saying quite a bit!), so this has been one pilgrimage spot on my list for awhile. I replaced my old, beat-up Blues Brothers T with a brand new one and got my picture taken with the statues. After meeting some of my old friends and seeing the BB statues, I think I can die a happy man now (at least until tomorrow). Anyway, what does the Blues Brothers and a trip home have to do with this Daily?

Bound Together – Get on the Bus (rem. Virt)

Well, “Get on the Bus” is a medley of the photo shoot, city, and bus themes from EarthBound (aka Mother 2, 1992), along with most of the songs played by the Runaway Five, the game’s nod to the Blues Brothers. The band’s leaders, Lucky and Gorgeous, even resemble Jake and Ellwood a little, though this time the entire band is dressed in black (they also have mustaches, giving similarities to Mario and Luigi). Interesting is that they are known as the “Tonzura Brothers” in Japan (means “The Escaping Brothers”). This group of R&B musicians manages to spend away all their money and get locked in a contract at wherever their last gig was. Ness and his friends save the day by paying off their debt and the band gets on a bus and drives through the ghost-infected tunnel, driving the evil spirits away with their blues beat!

It’s a pretty slick beat, capturing the feel of the city as well as that ‘get up and go’ of dancing and travel, two of the Blues Brothers’ hallmarks. The synths are fantastic, with a lot of spirit behind them, and the arrangement is also well done with excellent transitions and a moving rhythm. Jake and Ellwood would be proud! Anyway, here’s some cool fanart from that scene: Read the rest of this entry ?