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Facing the Foe - Remake


Author Comments

Edit: Thank you for posting this on the frontpage <3

At this point I have made so many compositions that I have long since lost track of them all. Because I always tend to move on to the next thing, I rarely get to revisit my old works to improve upon them further. Since I started learning to compose on the computer I always felt like I never could get the production to sound quite like I wanted it, and I still do! But I am also certain that I have been constantly developing on that front. For that reason, I have often entertained the idea of going back to some of my old works to revamp them a bit, but I never (or at least, rarely) get to it.

Out of all of my digital compositions (that is, the ones that I don't just play on the piano), this track is easily the one I most of all wanted to go back to improve. During the summer last year, I finally had a reason and motivation to do so. Thus, I bring to you a remake of my battle theme, which was composed for the NGADM of 2015.

It is still not perfect. Because of the arrangement, there are so many things going on at once that balancing was far from easy. I also need to buy better brass libraries at some point. Regardless, this is a vast improvement upon the original. Perhaps in another five years, I shall give it another go, and end up with an even better version. But for now, I am quite happy with this!

The artwork for the Newgrounds CD was originally made by SkyrisDesign, I just played around with the colours a bit:

Oh, and a few other notes. Should you prefer to listen in wav format, you can find the song here:


And of course, the original is here:

Finally, the loop function on Newgrounds tends not to work too well these days. But I can assure you that if you were to download the song and play it in Winamp (on Windows, I am not as sure about Mac) with the loop function on, the transition is quite flawless.

Thank you if you took the time to read, and thank you most of all for listening.

Without further ado, please enjoy!

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This is good. I'm going to make a geometry dash level with this

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you, and good luck with making a level that matches the piece ;)

Very complex. Lots of interesting things going on. Still relatively transparently mixed so you can hear all of the layers in the song. It really fits the drawing it was based on with the epic jrpg style. It has an elegance you see in the character in the drawing. The organ and the harpsichord at the beginning make me think of the scythe as weapon. The highats are an interesting choice in this orchestral piece. It's those details that make the song stand out. Lots of original ideas.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you very much! I really tried my best to balance all the elements here, which was a bit of a mixing nightmare :'D
I really like that drawing, and I too feel like it fits the mood quite aptly.

The organ and harpsichord I think are cool at the beginning, but obviously it makes the loop very evident. If I make a battle theme in the future, I think I will make the beginning a lot more subtle, and maybe the ending too, so that the transition can be more smooth :)

A fantastic remake, Lucid! The original is very good, but this version is even better. Isn't it fun to go back and redo something from the past once in a while? I know that you've been kind enough to compare and contrast several of my remakes over the years, and I'm really thankful for that input.

My only real critique is that sometimes the attacks on the strings (:25~:40) and brass (1:15~1:24) just don't allow for the instrument sound to be fully realized. It seems like the notes themselves are just too brief, and perhaps this could be remedied with a more staccato variant for its short bursts of sound, rather than the latency created by legato attacks.

That's all I've got, honestly. Can't really help but chalk it up to being one of those issues that arises when using digital instrument samples. The battle theme idea comes across very well, and I can honestly say that you've outdone yourself--quite literally! There is just such a wealth of instrumental goodness to be had here, and you know me...I'm a total sucker for that well-placed piano.

In conclusion, I personally believe that this easily rivals any RPG battle music available today, yet still manages to feel totally classic and give me those awesome feelings of nostalgia. I pray that you never stop making music, Alex.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you very much! That was actually a pretty close round, as I recall it. I'm glad you think that this version is even better ^___^

It is fun to return to stuff, but it's difficult to find the time! Thank you for your avid reviewing; I haven't been as good on that front lately myself. Your input is most welcome :D

I agree with the attack on the strings. I tried so many different kinds, but I found none in my library that sounded just like I wanted them to. I had to settle for some ones that kind of worked. I hear the point about maybe changing them to staccato, but I feel like that would've brought other changes I would not have liked :)

I'll see if perhaps I can remedy that in a (far) future update!

Speaking of a well placed piano, I found the piano to be the most difficult part to make shine in the mix, without muddying everything up. It has such a broad range that it was difficult not to make it clash with other instruments, which is also why it's so subtle in the mix (1:15 for instance). That's another thing I would like to remedy in the future, especially since the whole orchestral arrangement was based around my original solo piano version.

Thank you for the great feedback, as well as for the encouraging words <3

This is really nice. I think there's some lack of realism with the lead instruments at points, and the backing instrumentation can feel a bit repetitive at times, but that's all I can really complain about. The melodies are lovely, and a lot of the areas of the production really shine. I love the cymbal crashes specifically, plus the timbre changes on the lead instrument. 1:35 e.g. is a really nice moment.

Definitely sounds like an awesome battle theme to me :D

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks dude! I agree that I still am not at a point where all of the instruments sound realistic. To some extent, it's the limitation of the libraries, but I am sure that many of those aspects could be improved with an even closer look at the arrangement (which I would have to do if say, I were to create sheet music for this piece).

I also agree with the backing instrumentation bit. That's why I wanted them to play their own melody at a later part in the song (2:08 =>), although the actual instruments there are still mostly the same!

I'm especially glad if you think that the production was at least improved in this version, as I know that was one of the main problems in the original :)

Thank you for the review, and for listening!

Damn. Your mixing had been greatly different. Great work! :)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you! It has certainly improved a little bit, but I still have far to go :D

Credits & Info

4.71 / 5.00

Jul 2, 2020
9:07 AM EDT
File Info
8 MB
3 min 29 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.