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Invasion of the Court of Hearts (snes version)

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Second entry of Pixelday 2019.

Re-make of the only song I made in 2017. I had the unreleased sequel to the game Invasia in mind. The game would have pixel art just like the first game, so I thought about using 16-bit music, but back in the day I couldn't really do that, because of lack means, experience and time restrictions. I made that song for the first round of Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch 2017. Originally I didn't get past the auditioning phase, because I presented a track that was too short. A few weeks into the first round I got the chance to step in for someone who had dropped out. However, by that time I had only a few days left to finish a song, and I hadn't started yet. Moreover, I was on holiday, I had very little time each day, only a laptop with me that wasn't powerful enough to handle this ambitious project. So that didn't turn out too well. The song I've uploaded was never really finished.

I received a lot of criticism. One point of criticism was the samples weren't good and realistic enough. Since I still don't have any better samples then I did back then, I decided to downgrade the song instead and use lo-fi snes sound fonts. That way it didn't matter the samples weren't realistic or high quality, because they weren't intended to be. It turned out the original song had a very low polyphony, so it lends itself well for the limitations of the snes sound chip, which could only handle 8 notes at the same time. I didn't have to cut out too many instruments, and could focus on making the tracks that remained as full and complex as they needed to be. I think the 16-bit sound really lends itself well to the pixel art the game Invasia II was going to have.

Other points of criticism were lack of coherence, melodic content, there were long uncomfortable pauses in the song, certain parts dragged for too long and much more. Not all of these points I completely agree with, but I took all of them into consideration and tried to fix them in my own way. I think the song is very diverse, like I intended, but by making it all 16-bit, it automatically becomes a little more coherent. I think it has plenty melodic content though. I tried to emphasize that by having the main theme return for a third round and by trimming down the less melodic sections that dragged. Also the snes sound brings out the melody better. Back in 2017 I said I originally intended the song to be 7:30 minutes long, but because I trimmed so much, removed the pauses and didn't want to repeat my past mistakes, this song turned out only 4 minutes long. Only slightly longer than the 2017 version.

The song is made entirely with snes sound fonts. I didn't use any actual snes reverb,, but other reverb effects as well as a bit of EQ and compression and such. Other than that I stuck to the snes' polyphony of 8 samples max at the same time. For the 8-bit nes sounds I've used Chip64 by Ochen K.

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Oh man I want this in a SNES game so bad. This is just perfect.
Some chrono trigger influence there too (0:44).

SourJovis responds:

Thanks. I'd want a SNES game to go with this song as well. A strategy rpg like tactics ogre, but real time and with sky islands.

Man, I think this is a legitimate instance of taking lemons and making lemonade! Yeah, it's true. You had little time to work on a track back in 2017, and you were already on vacation, but you still threw down with something. And hey, if I'm being completely honest, that's more than I can say for some. The quitters and walkovers really miss out. Frankly, your courage in the face of adversity was more than admirable.

And here you are now! Reworking and retooling this story that was barely able to be told at all, and bringing it home. Are there still technical issues? Sure. Some of these instruments still don't strike quite the right chord with me, but much of what you've presented here is fantastic.

I personally believe that you've done great justice to your vision and maintained the integrity of the original piece. Very well done, SourJovis. Very well done, indeed.

SourJovis responds:

It turned out nicely in the end. I can't complain anymore.

I've got a new computer now. There are no technical issues anymore. I can think of 3 reasons why some of the instruments still don't sound great.
1. In the 2017 version I didn't have the large expensive sample packs required for the sound I was going for. I gave the choir and strings legato but didn't have any legato samples. I had to use a pitch bend to get the same effect, but it just sounds very fake and ugly. With the snes sound fonds I had the exact same limitations as with the first version, but with samples that sound even less realistic. Only now I no longer have to say "the quality of my sample packs isn't high enough", but "it's supposed to sound like that because I'm replicating the SPC700 sound chip with all of its limitations."
2. I may lack the competence to make this sound better than it does. I'll always thrive to become better.
3. Maybe I just don't hear the flaws you hear. Perhaps I never will, but who knows.

Thank you for your kind words.

Ignore the haters. I enjoyed this a bunch.

SourJovis responds:

Thank you! That means a lot to me. Negative criticism can be a good way to understand how to improve. But in the end you only make music for those who understand what you do and appreciate it.

Credits & Info


4.45 / 5.00

Jan 23, 2019
2:00 AM EST
Video Game
File Info
8.9 MB
3 min 54 sec

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