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Cold Surge |NORTHPEAKS SPY an NVGMC SUBMISSION|

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This is my official submission for Newgrounds Video Game Music Contest hosted by: @Everratic


Now this is a quiet a different thing apart from my other productions. I love to experiment and challenge with stuff. Its fun, ambitious, thrillin' y'know? I couldve picked the easiest topic but i managed to pick something like this. Heres the description and storyline for this track i got for inspiration: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cOxDJvBh-wBK8M5mV80wOl-1FGZg-7Bi2uIUI26rhw4/

I got immediate Elder Scrolls vibes. I got some inspiration from it too. Mostly because i used to play Skyrim alot back then. Ive certainly imagined the enviroment when i used to walk through cities like Dawnstar or Winterhold. Sunny afternoon within a really cold enviroment.


I also got really inspired by Outlast 2 chase tracks. I think you can hear some motives from them in the second half.


Ive tried a few cinematic scores using only acoustic but ive never managed to go this far. As you might hear, theres a shit ton of samplework but instead of using samples and modulating them with effects i smacked them in the Iris 2 because that actually saves alot of time when automating these sounds. All of the noises are made with Serum (and actually i recorded alot of the noises myself too.) Percussions are samples modulated through Iris 2 aswell. I used stock Halion VST from Cubase for the instruments mostly (This track was made in Cubase after all.) It may sound like a cheap production... Well mainly because it actually is xD I also split the track in two parts because its more of a storytelling than just a soundtrack.


SCENARIO: A spy wandering through the most northern parts of the world is sent to investigate local uprising and what caused it. He must be not seen so hes mostly undercover. Meanwhile he plays on a guitar while wandering through all these villages for people to not find anything deeper about him. The first part of the track is about this section of the story. The undercover spy is wandering through a forest covered in snow.

When the sun sets. The spy is starting to show his true face. He breaks in to the nearest military camp to examine what lies deep within the hidden campspot. Unluckily he get spotted and tries to get out of the area as fast as possible. Running through the already known areas he tries to escape from the evil grasps of the ruthless warriors. The clock in the nearest village strikes midnight whilst the faint spy is trying to run for his life.


Thanks to SkyMix for some neat little ideas for the mix.

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This is a VGM Challenge review.

Composition:
The first section effectively established a cold, eerie atmosphere. It seems like the character is moving with stealth; the song's ominous vibes hint that his life could end at any moment. The introduction of the choir adds more tension and suggests a greater state of danger. At 3:08, it seems the character is realizing that he will get caught and begins panicking. He indeed gets caught. The climax is appropriately chaotic and effectively conveys a sense of great danger. I really like the rhythms and choices of percussion. I'm not so fond of the very ending as it's quite ambiguous, and not in a way that seems deliberate. The loud tubular bell feels arbitrary to me.

Production:
You created a fantastic atmosphere that I believe would lend itself well to an immersive video game experience. Some elements, such as the pluck synth at 2:52, stick out for being too dry. When I created this challenge, I assumed all the submissions would be primarily orchestral, especially considered the Skyrim influence, so I'm glad you took a different approach. I would have never imagined hearing a track like this one, but it works!

Utility:
I find it difficult to see how this song would be implemented in an actual video game. It effectively tells a story based on the events in this theoretical game, but as you know, video games are not movies. I can't imagine how this track would fit with a player experience that has many variables, and I can't think of many cut scenes that are this long. This is not a critique per se - I just felt that I should point it out given the nature of the event.

Thanks for participating, and keep up the nice work!

CryNN responds:

Thanks for the review! It was a fun experience

Hello CryNN,

Very good music, composition, everything so why only four? Because your music give me more the impression of that the king give orders to the spy and outside it's the war! But the demand was more the travelling, gathering of informations and the live of the spy was in danger or not, things like that, so...

Rafdows

CryNN responds:

It was on the forms as a topic ;) thanks for the review

First off, you really nailed the "forest" vibe here. I got the sense of being in a forest or jungle of some sort, surrounded by bamboo and mist in a way where I can't see everything around me due to the density of the foliage.

The second half in particular has just the right amount of tension. I get the sense that if I were a character in this game it would seem like there is a real threat somewhere nearby. I'm imagining, I can't see the threat, nor do I know exactly what it is, but it's making the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I need to run away, immediately.

If I were rating this on how much I liked it, I'd give it 5 stars because of the immersion alone, no question. However, the way I review is based not on my own taste as much as it is how effective I think your intent came across.

With that in mind, I have some notes. First, the imagery I get from this, while very immersive and accurate, doesn't completely match the scenario IMO. The background sound design in particular, especially throughout the first part before the tempo picks up, makes me think of a very warm climate, rather than a snowy one. Also, there isn't a lot in this piece to make me think this scenario takes place at night, which, from what I gather from your description, it is supposed to.

Other than those points, I think you did a fantastic job accomplishing what you set out to do. It's easy to see why this was frontpaged.

More info about how I review music here: https://codefreq.newgrounds.com/news/post/1089806

That whole description was a great read and DEFINITELY enhanced my experience listening to the track. Good shit man.

Fits very well with the theme.

Credits & Info

CryNN
Author

Listens
3,217
Faves:
12
Downloads
50
Votes
32
Score
4.49 / 5.00

Uploaded
Nov 30, 2020
2:41 AM EST
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
7.1 MB
5 min 9 sec

Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

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** Contains third-party samples.
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