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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:46 pm 
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Can you suggest me some good songs from NES games with a fantasy/medieval setting like in "Zelda" or "Final Fantasy"?

I want to present some inspiration to my composer for my new game. But everything I've heard so far is not really what I'd imagine for my game.

For example, the songs in "Final Fantasy" are too penetrating for my taste if you know what I mean. Compare any of these songs, like overworld or village, to the song of level 1 of "Castlevania" (or the level just before Dracula where you walk over that bridge) and you might know what I mean with "Final Fantasy" being penetrating.

So, which of these games have the best soundtrack?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:54 pm 
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I like every bit of soundtrack in Solstice. Especially the main dungeon theme.

Swords and serpents have something... i don't know how to describe it. It sometimes think it hurts my ears with its straight, shrill notes, but at the same time something below makes me like it.

Faxanadu has some cool tunes. The city music fits perfectly for the hometown being in disorder.

Shadowgate is great.

Iron Sword II, too. Especially theme 1 and shop music. More focus on 'fantasy' than 'medieval' here. With medieval, i specifically mean 70s/80s fantastic ideas of medieval.

Of all these, i feel NTSC/PAL agnostic, but i feel solstice sits better in PAL.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:17 pm 
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"Solstice" title screen and credit/continue sound quite nice, although only credit/continue could fit into my setting.

"Swords & Serpents" is again too penetrating.

I also like the first level of "Kick Master".

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Iron sword II's boss music could perhaps be a good example of how to not overdo boss battle music. I wouldn't categorize it as 'penetrating', for example.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:25 pm 
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The "Faxanadu" overworld theme is one of those typical shrill, penetrating sounds that I'm talking about.

"Shadowgate" main theme is quite alright.

The "Iron Sword II" music is alright, although there are also examples of penetrating sounds. But I don't really see it as fitting for the atmosphere of my game.

By the way, my game's general atmosphere is similar to a "Final Fantasy" or "Dragon Warrior" game: Fantasy world with a good king, an evil overlord, magicians, monsters etc., but with the world generally being alright, i.e. the overlord hasn't come to power and hasn't devastated the land yet, so it's your task to make sure that this indeed doesn't happen.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Is the word you want "piercing", rather than "penetrating", maybe?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:06 pm 
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I'm not sure. I'm usually talking about sounds that stay the same when you keep pressing the key.

For example, if the Volume property in FamiTracker has the value
5 6 7
then this is a penetrating sound.

If the value is
5 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0
then the sound is alright.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:30 pm 
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An idea might be to study medieval instruments and what makes them tick, and how they were played.

For instance, medieval flutes were wooden and had no flaps with which to make trills. You could still do trills by hand, but not as readily as a later-age philharmonic orchestra musician would.

When playing the recorder, a medieval musician would sometimes play two recorders at once. One pipe plays a drone, and the other a melody. The artist would often shift the task of the two pipes, so that the one that played the melody now plays the drone. They have a common wind envelope (air pressure from the musicians' mouth), which should be reflected in volume and fine pitch. The two square channels are perfect for this job. Pictures, sound and a modernized replica of the instrument setup can be found here:
http://www.flute-a-bec.com/flute-doublegb.html

Then, there were many treatices on how sacred music should be played. You could take inspiration from that.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:54 pm 
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It's not the actual middle ages, it's a fantasy setting. I only used this as a reference point to make clear that it's not a setting like "Crystalis", more "Zelda"/"Final Fantasy"/"Dragon Warrior".

Sound-wise, I'm looking more for stuff that sounds like Square's Super Nintendo RPGs (for example "Final Fantasy - Mystic Quest"). I'm not necessarily looking for stuff that you would connect to terms like minnesong or Sir Lancelot.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Still can't hurt to study what makes an instrument. I mean, what you seem to want to get away from is using instruments that just go beeep. The way you'd do that is by knowing the properties of/examining the sort of physical instruments you want to synthesize. You composer can likely do that, and take something like the following as an instruction: "Here's pieces of music that i feel are somewhere in the ballpark, if you can overlook some instruments - I'd like to stay clear of unnatural beeps/pc speaker-like sounds." You can then still study the composition of prior works without needing to take notes on the actual contour of sounds. Had different instruments been applied to the Swords and Serpents arrangement, it wouldn't have been so piercing.

As for final fantasy, 8 bit music theory is a youtube channel that has a few episodes that fall somewhat close to your OP query in that they analyze the moods of said and similar titles. That might help with some inspiration, perhaps.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:52 pm 
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What about a song thts in a victorious war or something?
Try Battlefield official single player trailer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:03 pm 
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I suggest you to don't limit yourself and your composer to use 8-bit music only as inspiration.
In fact, many more complex music was used as inspiration before.
Try to watch some movies, cartoons, animes, listen to some bands or musicians that have a sound similar to what you're searchin inspiration for.

An anime that had a music that are still in my head today is the Magic Knights of Rayearth, the theme when one of the girls gets a "level up" sounded so great to me back on the day and are still in my mind.
As bands, I suggest you to listen a little bit of Angra (they have some nice guitar solos and sometimes sounds like a gospel band), Rhapsody, Nightwish (dammit! The Kinslayer's solos just got pasted on my mind), Iron Maiden and Metallica have some nice solos, and even Evanessence and classical music.

Good look with your new project!
Hope to see some teaser soon!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:48 am 
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A few random suggestions that I think haven't been mentioned (otherwise I missed them)

Willow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpRxZuC52jU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhJDkt3HUK0

Sword Master:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye4sVRuIDAc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaBt-Ja24OU

Little Nemo (not a fantasy setting, but I think this is a good example of an upbeat tune that would go well with it):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX75X2fOwpw


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:43 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
Still can't hurt to study what makes an instrument.

Yeah, but analyzing how real world instruments are used, that's the task of my composer anyway. I can only provide her with examples of what I'd like to have.

I myself am not very deep in the technical aspects. I only know what I like and what I don't like.


Jayden Garrison wrote:
Fisher wrote:
I suggest you to don't limit yourself and your composer to use 8-bit music only as inspiration.

Sure, but I need to show her what's doable on the NES. While she is capable of using FamiTracker and her first song sounds pretty neat, I assume she can still learn a lot about the techniques. So, a few songs that are done with the same limitation that she faces here will probably help. Otherwise, I could just send her the sound of "Adventures of Mana" or "Final Fantasy - Mystic Quest" and be done with it. I will probably do this as well, but for this, I don't need help. For NES games, however, I do need help to find suitable tracks.

Fisher wrote:
Good look with your new project!
Hope to see some teaser soon!

Thanks.
Any kind of teaser will probably take a while, though.
In the moment, I'm working on the engine with mere placeholder graphics. In the meantime, we do the story, the scripts and soon the sprites. Then we have to create the maps. So, there's still a lot to do. This is not just some small-scale arcade-like game like "City Trouble".

Sumez wrote:
A few random suggestions that I think haven't been mentioned (otherwise I missed them)

Thanks.
"Sword Master" is quite neat for the most part.
"Little Nemo" really fits better into a quick side-scroller, not so much into the classic open world fantasy game.

However, "Willow" is exactly the kind of music that I don't like for my game. For example this:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhJDkt3HUK0&t=7s
That's the kind of penetrating that I'm talking about.

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Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Based on how you have defined "penetrating" in terms of a volume envelope and the lead instrument in that part of the field theme from Willow, one of the following two is the case: an envelope with sustain at the same volume as the peak of attack is "penetrating", or all envelopes with a sustain (such as wind leads and bowed string leads) are "penetrating".

To distinguish the two, I'll need you to tell us whether the lead from Pently sample songs is also "penetrating". Here's the relevant code snippet, which can be pasted into a Pently project or into the envelopes of a new FamiTracker instrument:
Code:
instrument bf98_flute
  volume 4 6 7 6 6 5
  timbre 2

instrument bf98_flute2
  volume 4 6 7 6 6 5 5 4
  timbre 2

(Timbre is the musical term for what FamiTracker calls "duty" on 2A03 pulse instruments.)

These instruments are used in bf98v2.nsf attached to this post. They hit volume 7 for each new notes, but then they pull back to 4 or 5 for the sustain.

If these are "penetrating", you'll have to go with a lute/guitar lead.


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