Temple Distraught (snes version)

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First of the four songs I made for Pixelday 2019.

It's a remake of a song I made in 2013 for the a.i.m. audio contest 2013.


It's based on Captain Carrion's work of the same name.

Back then I received a point of criticism from RealFaction, who hosted the contest, that the song did not express the fact it was based on pixel-art, because it wasn't "8-bit". I responded the artwork didn't look 8-bit to me, and a 16-bit track would be more appropriate, and that the song lends itself for a snes rendition. Pixelday offered a nice opportunity for this. So I delved deep into how to make snes songs and found this amazing free vst called C700 by Osoumen. It allows you to play back samples the same way the snes soundchip does. Short bit-crushed samples that you can loop and put the characteristic snes reverb on. You can either use pre-existing soundfonts from snes games, or even use your own samples. For this song I mostly did the later. There seem to be a few drawbacks though. The interface isn't super user friendly. If you put the reverb length too high (over 63 out of a max of 100) the reverb becomes an infinite loop, so I wasn't able to use too much snes reverb. To compensate I added some high quality, dark studio reverb that sounds great adds something to the lo-fi metallic snes reverb. The vst doesn't allow a lot of tweaking of the samples, so you have to add all of the effects like EQ and compression before you sample it. I added some EQ the the tracks and did some minor mastering to make the track sound better. Is it true the actual snes sound chip (SPC700) doesn't have any high/low-pass filters? I think that's a bit strange, because many of the earlier 8-bit sound chips actually did have high/low-pass filters.

The 2013 version of this song had a staccato, angular sound to convey the pixels, and this lends itself well for 16-bit. I had to leave out half of the instruments of the original track because the snes sound chip has a polyphony of only 8 and I had to re-write certain parts so I was left with only the most important notes and sounds of the song. This left me with only the essentials of the song. Also I had to use really short and compressed samples by loading them into C700, to make the instruments sound the way a snes plays them back, which really lowered the sound quality. I'm a bit torn, because at the one hand I purposely made the song sound “worse”. At the other hand I'm impressed with all of the limitations, the song still sounds this close to the original. It could've been in a snes game like it is now. If it had been, I'd really liked it.

I'm glad that after almost 6 years I held up my promise to RealFaction and finally made that snes version of this song.

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When I listen to this I imagine the important briefing cutscene as the hero and his party are dicussing the next steps to fight the dark lord. Really well done Its got that nostalgic but iconic sound~

Credits & Info


4.39 / 5.00

Jan 23, 2019
2:00 AM EST
Video Game
File Info
4.5 MB
1 min 57 sec

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