It’s been an extremely rocky past year and change. Even with life gradually inching its way back to normality, I still have lots of downtime for worries and fears to surface. So, I was looking to find something distracting and productive, and this is what I’ve landed on. Recording covers of videogame music fills this need – it’s an excuse to break out my guitar after many moons of it hibernating in its case, and a nice gentle way to ease back into playing, since during the recording process I get to correct my many mistakes. It’s also been a real learning experience on the editing side of things. Most of my audio experience comes from recording and editing the podcasts on this here Very Very Website, but music is not something I’ve spent any great time with.
Most of all, I love the music. Even when using crummy samples, old FM synths and generally dated tech, great videogame music still sounds great to my ears and I listen to it all the time. I don’t claim to be able to fully replicate, let alone improve on the beauty of the original tunes, but I hope my interpretations are at least interesting to listen to.
Without further ado, I’m excited to share the songs here. I’ve done
six eight so far.
I’ve put them in a playlist from the most recently recorded to the earliest recorded. I’ll keep adding to this playlist over time, but as of today (updated 9th June ’21) the playlist contains:
- So Much for Today from the Ys series
- Domina (hometown) from Legend of Mana
- Frontier Village ~ Dali from Final Fantasy IX
- Overworld from Super Mario Land (plus the game over music from Super Mario Bros at the end)
- Call at a Port from Terranigma
- Castle Damcyan from Final Fantasy IV
- Boundless Ocean from Final Fantasy III
- Places of Soul from Legend of Mana
I haven’t uploaded it, but to get started I did a test run, a recording of one of my fave VGM pieces, Crysta from Terranigma. It’s a lovely song but I accidentally recorded a lot of background noise and I wasn’t happy with how it turned out in the end. Even so, it proved really addictive to work on, so here we are now.
For anyone wondering how I do each of these, it turns out there is a fantastic community and repository of guitar music over at gametabs.net, highly recommend it. They’ve done the heavy lifting for me in terms of transcribing these songs and thousands more. It’s thanks to this site that recording each of these tunes only takes a few hours rather than several days!
I hope you’ll enjoy listening! The songs I’ve covered so far all have a relaxed feel, and I plan to keep that going forward. This is the kind of music I put on in the background while working or studying. You can find my YouTube channel here – if you like what I’ve done so far, you may like to subscribe to keep up with any new recordings.
I’ve had a long history from Final Fantasy VIII. I played it when it first came out on PC only to get stuck somewhere on the third disc (in all fairness I was only 10 years old at the time). A few years later with a better grasp of VIII’s systems I started over and made it to the final boss. Here however I was defeated – beating the final boss’s various forms proved impossible. I was forced to download a save file from the internet with every characters’ stats maxed out just to see the ending. Over the years since I’ve played chunks of Final Fantasy VIII a couple of times, never to the end and more often than not just to enjoy Triple Triad. If only younger me had known that the game can essentially be played as an interactive novel – seriously! No random encounters, comfortably easy bosses and over-powered characters, and with little to no grinding at all! It’s the special, broken magic of FFVIII. Continue reading
Unlucky episode 13 is the first of a trio of podcasts dedicated to the Operation Rainfall games on Wii, namely The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and Xenoblade Chronicles. In this mostly spoiler-free dissection of 2011’s The Last Story, we discuss everything from the game’s nods to Maya’s favourite game, Final Fantasy IX, to The Last Story’s integration of storytelling and gameplay, to its relatively short running time with some Resident Evil 4-esque quick pacing. We also find out what makes for a bleedin’ amazin’ localisation, and question the game’s limited exploration.
It turned out to be a particularly haphazard show, which suits this haphazard game! Even if it didn’t quite live up to our expectations of being the ultimate RPG, our final fantasy you might say, still, we hope you’ll tune in as we endeavour to pin down where The Last Story fell short despite the talent involved (Sakaguchi, Uematsu… Sakaguchi). Watch out for our next episode of the Very Very Gaming Show, in which we’ll be discussing the highly unusual Pandora’s Tower, also for Wii! And more English voice acting!
Episode 13: Operation Rainfall, The Last Story
Download episode… (MP3)
Check us out on iTunes or search for Very Very Gaming on the iTunes Store
Final Fantasy IX was indisputably the most formative game of my life. My brother and I bought it when it first came out. Unfortunately, we had quite an unpredictable set of discs, which meant that the game would constantly crash during the CGI cut scenes. I remember when this first happened (around 3am – when 12 year old me should have been asleep). I crawled over to the blank screen of my TV in horror, tears in my eyes, pleading with the unresponsive disc to go on. I even remember which cut scene it was: the one just after you receive Ramuh (our PS1 could just not handle the glass flying everywhere). Thankfully, it did restart after a few minutes. Continue reading