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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nightmare X: postmortem

What a long, strange, almost forgotten trip it has been.

For those who aren't in the know, it's Project Nightmare X I'm speaking of.

Sunday night, it was completed. After 4-5 months of sessions, mixing, busted laptop, and gradual leaking of the project via, it was done.

Now with that, here's a little running commentary track-by-track, so refer to the player atop and follow along (sorry facebook viewers).

Dr. Light's Warning: The lead-off track for this whole project, I remember composing before the announcement dropped that Nightmare X was out. Right with the write-up, it was being tweaked on FL Studio. Then, it was done, after a quickie tweak mix session.

Abandoned Highway: In a nod to Mega Man's NES roots, the opening was done with mostly NES/Game Boy soundfonts, then for the second part, the other instruments came roaring in to emphasize how this was indeed a new Mega Man.

Zero's Theme: This one was unique, because instead of going all guitar and bass and heavy,  took it more of a Asian/Jazz fusion route. Very different, and that was what I was trying to do, make it different from everything else, you know?

Short Circuit Breakdown: Ouch. This was rough to mix because the synths and guitars didn't like each other in terms of mixing, and the drums were either too soft or too loud. A compromised was reached and it worked out. I would hope so.

The glitch breaks were a fun thing to add. I love glitch, and the glitch drum breakdown was so rewarding. It just worked perfectly.

Ice Planet: This track right here...I liked it, but it's a decent attempt at emulating Mega Man X's Chill Penguin stage. Notice the end, the nod to Blizzard Buffalo? There's a lot of nods towards the other tracks of the series.

Sting Chameleon: In the vein of the Zero theme, I took it to a more chilled, more unplugged, more Asian feeling with a mix of acoustic guitar. A left turn from the bound-to-be-expected guitar heavy tracks on here.

Jazzy Kuranger: Now THIS was where this whole project clicked. But here's some background for you:

2 years ago, I saw this version of the theme.

Dope, isn't it? So 2 years later, I gave it a try, only throwing in my hip-hop teachings and crafting a crazy re-imagining of a great BGM.

Funky Flame Mammoth: This one turned out fine, a mix of NES and funk organs and live guitars lead to this. I enjoyed it, but in looking back, I would believe there's more that can be done with this theme.

Rolling Base Drops: I tried dubstep...? Yes. Feel like I'm adding to the problem but whatever. Enjoy the experiment.

Submerged: Hard with the bassline, heavy with the drums, great turnout, and listen for the X2 nod near the end. Guess what track I borrowed from?

Airspace Rock: Face it, you HAVE to rock hard with Storm Eagle, it's a federal offense if you don't. And seeing as how much I dislike felonies...I did, just not off the bat.

Boss Battle: The one theme I went all out with. I held nothing back and executed every idea I could muster. Bassline and xylaphones? Check. Halftime drums? Check. Guitar chugging? Check PLUS!

Sigma Stage I: Personal favorite track of the entire project, because it was the rare moment where my crazy ideas paid off and in grand fashion! You can see things begin to loosen up here and there and the freedom begin to shine through.

Sigma Stage II: Very jazzy. That's been me as of late, jazzing it out with my remixes. I just play off vibes and make music like that. Fun fun fun.

Sigma Stage III: One more full on reinvention. Totally different structure basis and a more ambient, film vibe, that may remind you of the soundtrack from Dirty Harry. Or at least, that was my reaction....

Sigma Stage IV: Revisiting a similar theme I did on Nightmare 2.0 only longer. This time, short and to the point, quick build, quick exit.

Sigma Boss Battle: 3 into 1. Barely got it to work but I did.

Ending/closing: the end of it all, and at this point I was tired. Really tired, and so this was lacking a sense of innovation, but the closing of the entire project in summary was so important to me. So it was a combination of two themes into one and it worked as a nice calm down from it all.

Final thoughts: Project Nightmare X was made to take a peek back into my childhood and this game. I believe that it was successful and worked out really well. I'd love to tackle the future, not now, too much to do man :)

Thanks for reading, we'll be back in effect for Nightmare IV.

-mc larny

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