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Collaborations

One thing that I have a tendancy to do a lot in the community is working with others. Here are some tracks that I ended up working with other people on; some of these had me leading the arrangement; some had me making a guest appearance; and some of the others were joint writing efforts.

Super Dodge Ball "Almost Frozen" (vs. Team Iceland) [feat. Monobrow]

Original Release: October 2011
OCRemix Version Release: January 2013


This arrangement of Team Iceland is part of OverClocked Remix's Super Dodge Ball album "Around the World", and one that took many different forms over the years in development. Close to the album's completion it took a more new-age form, and while the arrangement turned out great, it really struggled during the evaluation on a production level. Thankfully, Monobrow was on hand to jump in and rework the production, emphasizing the feeling of the cold a lot better than I could've done as well as doing some accompaniment re-writing in the process. She also consulted me several times on a creative direction too, and as a result it came out with a product that we were both extremely happy with. I owe a huge amount of thanks to her for bringing the track into this form, and as a result it's definitely a collaboration to be proud of!

Fun Fact: More attentive listeners would notice a cameo from a different Kunio-kun game near the middle of the track, but in earlier demos, there used to be a reference to Kraid's Hideout from the original Metroid in its place. This cameo was changed late in development because A) I wanted something more appropriate, and B) I was getting sick and tired of cameoing Metroid songs!
Click to download "Almost Frozen"
Ristar "Stars on Ice" (Ring Rink) [feat. DusK]

Release: December 2012


This collaboration was done for the Sixth iteration of An OverClocked Christmas, a series of festive collaboration albums featuring people involved with OC Remix. When the album development started, I noticed that DusK wanted to actually contribute that Ristar remix that he failed to do last year (apparently), but little did I know that I'd actually get involved near the end by contributing a piano part! His instructions to me were to play some parts set in the scratch track, and left room for some improvs; so it's natural that I'd do everything I can to keep it syrupy sweet. I may be praying that one day someone will do the epic "Greedy Game" mix that I've always wanted to see, but with this and "Shoot the Moon", Ristar got quite the love this year!

Fun Fact:When DusK stated his initial plans to get the track done, I quickly replied saying that I'd "love him a load" if it did. To that, he responded: "TWO loads, no less". Now you see why I really like his confidence!
Click to download "Stars on Ice"
Breath of Death VII "Quest In Peace" (Calm Streams) [feat. Brandon Strader, some1namedjeff & WillRock]

Release: August 2012


The Dwelling of Duels event for August 2012 was an Indie Games theme, but surprisingly, development on this Breath of Death track had been on since a few months even before then. This is a more subdued arrangement than what we've usually done together, which I found really difficult to work with considering my mindset at the time. Eventually it got finished for the DoD, and with Brandon also drafting in Jeff Ball on the viola and WillRock in a guitar duel near the end, in addition to himself playing the drums live as well, this ended up being one of our more unique works to date. It even scored first place as well... albeit there were only four entries. Say what?

Fun Fact:Yes, I bought the game off Steam the day we decided to arrange this track. And yes, I cleared it on Hard in less than a week. And yes again, it gave me a twitching arm for playing it THAT close to my old laptop, without a break!
Click to download "Quest In Peace"
Sonic 2 & 3D Blast [Genesis] "Vitamin Sea" (Emerald Hill Zone 2P / Rusty Ruin Zone) [feat. Phonetic Hero]

Release: June 2012


The Sonic bracket final for Sonic Zone was dangerous in every sense of the word. Let's get to the bad stuff first - I lost to Amphibious here, whom then went on to win the whole thing. Now, onto the good stuff - a fun retro-funk-influenced take fusing together my source and his choice of Rusty Ruin Zone, and literally adding in every bit of nostalgic hint towards 3D Blast (if any at all?) to really add to the difficulty of seeing Emerald Hill transformed into some re-surfaced underwater ruin. Mad props go to Phonetic Hero, an artist I kept an eye on since WCRG and also lost to Amph in Round 3, for providing the drumwork here - he's a BEAST at this thing!

Fun Fact: The "failure to name" curse kept on sinking in on this one. However, it was THIS picture on I Can Has Cheezburger that finally inspired the title when looking around for pointers, right in the last 24 hours.
Click to download "Vitamin Sea"
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "Dare of the Fossils" (Emerald Hill Zone 2P / Casino Night Zone 2P) [feat. DusK]

Release: May 2012


After defeating DusK in round 1 of Sonic Zone (see the standard entries for more info), I then progressed to my opponent for round 2 of the competition. This time it was fellow dino-named artist TheRexAsaurous, coincidentally also spawning a 2-player variation on a Sonic 2 stage - Casino Night this time. I saw the swanky nature of the stage itself and the irony of the matchup as an appropriate way to literally take Casino Night into the prehistoric past and see how it would've matched up. And DusK was also happy to chip in with a guitar solo in this one - truly the heart of a champion through and through!

Fun Fact: After deciding to get Reaper prior to the start of this round, this ended up being the first project done with it. It may have been a learning curve to get used to, but it felt so much more flexible to me than Cubase was before!
Click to download "Dare of the Fossils"
Teen Agent "Dystopia" (Intro B / Village) [feat. Brandon Strader]

Release: April 2012


Pretty much since work was done on "Hogging Molly", ideas were thrown between me and Brandon in regards to covering a game that HE was passionate about - Teen Agent... to the point that he even did an entire album for it on OC Remix. Intro B - pretty much seen as an unused song -was envisioned as the time that Don Noty settled into the main village setting after a successful bank heist and thus upscuttling its population with his antics - something musically similar to what Muse might do. The track itself, mostly out of obscurity, didn't score that well in the Dwelling of Duels April 2012 Free Month, but it still got a good average score, which was still pretty nice.

Fun Fact: An old demo of the track had a piano break in the middle similar to the Muse song "Butterflies and Hurricanes", one of my main musical inspirations for it. However, it ended up getting cut out because the track was getting way too long.
Click to download "Dystopia"
Mega Man 6 & 9 "Sweet Wet Nectar" (various sources) [feat. Brandon Strader & Hylian Lemon]

Release: January 2012

Sources: Wily Machine (MM6), Plant Man's Stage, Splash Blue, Hornet Dance, Schala (Chrono Trigger)

For round 10 of the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet, the teams were challenged to make a track that involved all 3 themes of their roster and a Wily Machine of their choice. So for us, the Bad Guy Robots From Mega Man, we decided to spend the two week timeframe to take turns in writing parts of the arrangement out. It ended up showing elements of our character all the way through - Lemon's more radical handling of the source, my dependancy on structure and hookability, and Brandon's unpredictable nature. After a close 3-way battle, ultimately our track came out on top - taking the real super power of teamwork to a very literal meaning.

Fun Fact: Even though there were 12 teams throughout the competition, only 8 had something for the final round - the lowest turnout throughout. It goes to show how hard it is to mix multiple sources at once, and one to watch out for what you're in for if you do that yourself...
Click to download "Sweet Wet Nectar"
Suikoden "Hymn of the Eternal Empire" (Eternal Empire) [feat. Abadoss, Brandon Strader & Nutritious]

Release: January 2012


This is the second track that I got involved with on OC Remix's Unsung Heroes project (see below). Abadoss's arrangement of the Eternal Empire theme from Suikoden pretty much went through development hell and back; but either way, I was recruited closer to the end of the album's development to perform a replacement piano part when he absolutely failed to get a live church organ performer. Tied together with Nutritious's extra writing and Brandon's production work, the track managed to survive and went on to become the closing track for the album.

Fun Fact: As a joke, Brandon then went on to put the acapella of Katy Perry's "California Gurls" over the top, misunderstanding a statement in regards to needing more substance if it had to be an OCR mixpost. Amusingly, it DID get posted on OCR... but as part of the site's "VocalClocked Remix" April Fool's Day gag that year.
Click to download "Hymn of the Eternal Empire"
Faxanadu "This Winding Road" (Guru's House) [feat. OA, Brandon Strader & DragonAvenger]

Release: January 2012


"Don't have negative thoughts. Remember your mantra." Such is the feel that OA took for this symphonic interpretation for the Guru's house theme as featured on Unsung Heroes, an OverClocked Remix album that focused on lesser known RPG/adventure game franchises. My involvment with this track was the improvised piano performance, which managed to ramp it up to 11 when it came to filling some spots for melody as well as adding the ending. Brandon's (acoustic guitar / vocals) and DA's (vocals) performances later further managed to add to the soundscape to provide an arrangement that can be seen as a calming mid-album segment.

Fun Fact: According to the project thread, originally Nutritious was going to co-write with OA on this, but in the end none of his additions (if any) were used in the finished track. Thankfully he stuck around to help on another piece of work.
Click to download "This Winding Road"
Mega Man 4 & 6 "Red Chamomile" (Dr Cossack's Fortress 2 / Plant Man's Stage) [feat. Brandon Strader]

Release: November 2011


Going into round 6 for the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet - having appeared on one of Brandon's tracks, it had to be absolutely fair for him to appear on one of mine. Inspired by Queen's early material, Plant Man was taken in a more aggressive form as he braved the extreme cold amidst Dr Cossack's siberian fortress. Both this and "Synthesize This!" (see the Standard Nintendo page) had that 70s-based inspiration to it that seemed to emphasize more of his delicate character, and thus managed to justify its 4th place finish. It was also one of the more exhausting teamups we did, but that's for another time.

Fun Fact: The working title throughout the whole thing was "Stone Cold Hogweed" (namely as a reference to the fact that past collabs with Brandon have involved pig related puns), but was quickly changed when we realised the joke was getting old.
Click to download "Red Chamomile"
Mega Man 6 & 9 "Liquid Metal" (Mr X's Fortress / Splash Blue) [feat. Brandon Strader] | {LYRICS}

Release: November 2011


Round 4 for the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet (see "The Root of All Things" above as a reminder as to what it is) had the lead arrangers being tasked with blending their Robot Master themes with Mr. X's Fortress from Mega Man 6. Some point in concepting the track, Brandon - himself picking Splash Woman - thought it would be a good idea for me to do some vocals for it. Then after showing him what I'm capable of, he then wrote out this full-fledged comedy death metal arrangement fusing the two themes together, kind of similar to what Arch Enemy might do but somewhat safer and more hilarious in the lyric writing. Not surprisingly, this got Brandon's lowest ranking at only 4th place, but it did however boost my vocal confidence a lot!

Fun Fact: During a night's growl training over Skype, Brandon started looking around his contact list for people that could help out with his teaching methods. The only person who even responded to the calls was OverClocked After Dark
's Brushfire, and even then he stated that he couldn't scream at all, but left behind something to "help" us in the form of some My Little Pony fanart. Ah, Brushfire; you and your ponies.
Click to download "Liquid Metal"
Sonic the Hedgehog "Hogtied" (Boss) [feat. Brandon Strader]

Original Release: April 2011
OCRemix Version Release: September 2011


This track was written for OverClocked Remix's Sonic the Hedgehog 1 album "The Sound of Speed", and a more daring adventure for me as well. When I signed onto the project, it turned out the only track left to claim was the Boss theme; it was difficult enough with it being 10 measures long, but I had the idea in mind to provide a rock-driven bolt into the works, intending to provide a completely different feel in comparision to the individual zone arrangements. Brandon Strader was picked up later on to record the guitar parts and mix down the whole thing, and thanks to his precision it made for a very worthwhile and epic collaboration.

Fun Fact: Due to an error on project manager halc's part, I was originally going to do the Special Stage theme until he realised that José the Bronx Rican picked it up first. In spite of there being three arrangements of that track there in the end, José's "Caos" still ended up as one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Click to download "Hogtied"
Crash Bandicoot "Hogging Molly" (Hog Wild) [feat. Brandon Strader]

Release: May 2011

The May 2011 Dwelling of Duels had a Sony theme, which meant any song from any game originally releasead on a Sony system. Hoping to try and bring some further Crash awareness into the works, I then had an idea in mind to bring the "Hog Wild" stage music from the first game into a Celtic Punk setting. Having realised Brandon's versatility since the Sonic 1 project's release, we played to that strength and he was absolutely fine to go ahead with this, even adding a more southern flair when it came around for him to record his own parts. As a result, we got a 4th place finish together out of 12 entries - not bad for an uncommon game series for the DoD!

Fun Fact: Sometimes I wonder how much different this could've been if I didn't go to Ireland during the Easter break that year. Or rather, if it would even exist at all...
Click to download "Hogging Molly"
Seiken Densetsu 3 "Our Little Secret" (Medley) [feat. dasaten]

Release: October 2008
Sources: Sweet Little Cafe ~ Female Turbulence ~ Nuclear Fusion ~ Decision Bell ~ Sacrifice pt. 3

After having not taken part in the Dwelling of Duels for nearly 2 years at the time, dasaten then approached me with the idea to collab again in October 2008's Free Month in a similar style to our Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 2; same series!) collab long ago. Since him going solo for a medley in that style during a Magfest DoD gained him a decent finishing position, I thought pairing up with him couldn't do much harm, and indeed we did do a lot of fun working on this ridiculous medley. He provided bass, melodica, percussion and recorder parts, while I was on hand to provide a second recorder, a keyboard, vocals and an acoustic guitar. Suffice to say, it gained us a pathetic second-to-last-place finish for that month, though it did go on to be welcomed with open arms by the OverLooked ReMiX gang.

Fun Fact: This would mark my only attempt to record a guitar part that I would play myself. Even though I've had a guitar since 2006, it's several years on and I still can't consider myself all that great at handling it.
Click to download "Our Little Secret"
Sonic & Knuckles "Beneath the Ashes" (Lava Reef Zone) [feat. Hetcenus]

Release: November 2006

Close to the end of the completion for OCRemix's Sonic 3 & Knuckles album "Project Chaos", I was approached by fellow project musician Hetcenus, who had an idea on what to do with the Lava Reef Zone music. Ultimately we ended up co-writing a solo piano track together, which somehow seemed to mash our styles at the time; while I had a tendancy to go for darker and more somber approaches to music, Hetcenus - hailing from Brazil - bore more of a laid-back Latin American style to his performances. It can be seen as one of those tracks that split the listeners for the album, but on the other hand it made for an interesting experience that would be hard to replicate elsewhere.

Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, he performed the whole thing once written while I was on hand to provide the mixdown due to his own home situation at the time.
Click to download "Beneath the Ashes"
Secret of Mana "The Twelfth Nerve from the Closet" (The Second Truth from the Left) [feat. dasaten]

Release: July 2006

dasaten and I were both regulars in OverLooked ReMiX's DoD spinoff, the Dwelling of Fools, which ran for only 12 monthly contests from August 2005 onwards. For the last one - with an appropriate End Credits theme - dasaten went all out and did collaborations with almost everyone he could locate, including myself, us in particular working together to provide a full live instrument cover of the end credits music for Secret of Mana. His provisions were a bass and what I assumed was a jazz guitar, while I was on hand to provide some whistling (!)
and the recorder, synth and panpipe parts here (still the only known time that I ever attempted to record panpipes). That got us both a first place finish overall and made for one awesome performance experience.

Fun Fact: dasaten's frequency not only as a contributing OverLooked artist but also as a bass player may have placed him in site administrator Wire's good books for a long time, which may explain how in 2008
he was recruited as the new bassist for Game Over...!
Click to download "The Twelfth Nerve from the Closet"
Knuckles Chaotix "Only Christmas" (Evening Star) [feat. BlackPerson] | {LYRICS}

Release: May 2006

WARNING: This arrangement has lyrics that might be offensive to believers of Santa Claus or the Christian faith. If you are to hear this, approach with caution!

This was one of the more ridiculous collaborations I ever did. Back in the VGMix days, BlackPerson was infamous for having ridiculous remix ideas at the expense of weak production, and it heightened even more when he started adding lyrics to some of these (most notable being "Hurricane Katrina"). So when I set about making a vocal submission to OverLooked ReMiX back in 2006 (in which I used some source coverage from Knuckles Chaotix due to my thrill with the game at the time), BlackPerson was the perfect fit to see if he could "take an aspect of society and give it a dragon foot to the face". His choice of subject matter? Christmas.

Fun Fact: Aside from this track, BlackPerson (under the
username of 'headfonez') also sent a huge repetoire of material at OverLooked to appeal to his audience. Sadly, "Hurricane Katrina" wasn't submitted amongst them.
Click to download "Only Christmas"
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon "Time's Anxiety" (Clockwork) [feat. GrayLightning]

Original Release: August 2005
OCRemix Version Release: March 2006

The origins for this track can be traced to RPGamer's "Splendid Performance" competition which ran through most of 2005. July saw the third audition round "Around the Square", the arrangement requirements simply being to NOT pick anything from a game done by Square, Squaresoft or Square Enix (though Enix games prior to the merger were still acceptable). After seeing the remix community's then-recent history with the Castlevania 3 track "Clockwork", and particularly taking note of the version of that track done for the GBA title Circle of the Moon, that source tune was picked to channel a load of inner frustrations that I had at the time. It wasn't easy getting everything together - in fact, at one point I became way too distressed to even think of an ending - but in the end the track scored a 2nd place finish and gave me a chance to compete in the final round. The original arrangement can actually be located as a MIDI at VGMusic.com, long before Gray refined the production, added some further bells and whistles and sent it to OverClocked Remix in this form many months later.

Fun Fact: Disappointingly
, the OCRemix version of this track would be the last thing that GrayLightning would ever do for the site, before he left the community to focus on his career path. You can tell I was disappointed to see him leave, because he was one of the most humble and encouraging guys I could've ever come across.
Click to download "Time's Anxiety"
Yoshi's Island "Dream an Eastern Peace" (Castle) [feat. Prophecy]

Release: August 2005

My third foray into OCRemix's Peoples' Remix Competition ended up taking a radical direction. For some reason I felt really desperate to take a win but couldn't due to my home setup at the time, yet Prophecy ended up overhearing everything and hoped to take my arrangement for it and add his own flair to it. Strangely he only took the intro and outro for what was originally a 5-minute arrangement on the Castle theme and worked with them to create a middle-eastern-inspired trance track. In spite of its liberality, the voting masses enjoyed it, we both took the win, and I decided to pick a Crash Twinsanity source tune for the following contest. Which I admit, was interesting, but that's another story.

Fun Fact: When doing the re-master for VGMix submission, Prophecy apparently fell asleep at the keyboard while working. Such is the oddities of using IRC at such ridiculous times, I guess.
Click to download "Dream an Eastern Peace"
Dragon Quest IV "Requiem of a Warrior" (Elegy) [feat. KyleJCrb]

Release: April 2005

Ah, my first ever competing entry into the Dwelling of Duels. Actually, the whole thing was Kyle's idea since he had a tendancy to play a load of tracks from that monthly competition on his Nitro Game Injection radio show at the time. Either way, April 2005's theme was the Dragon Quest series, which at the time I had very little familiarity aside from small fragments of the fourth game's score. Taking that in mind, Kyle showed particular interest to cover "Elegy" and cater for a more gentler crowd. It felt risky for a first submission, but it can't have been too bad if we ended up with a 5th place finish out of 12 entries.

Fun Fact: Since the DoD, I then started to play other games in the series over the years, steadily being drawn to Koichi Sugiyama's score. As of June 2011, I am still yet to play Dragon Quest VII.
Click to download "Requiem of a Warrior"
Kingdom Hearts "Key of Destiny" (Medley) [feat. k-wix]

Release: March 2005
Sources: Dearly Beloved ~ Hand in Hand ~ A Day in Agrabah ~ Shipmeisters' Humoresque ~ Blast Away! -Gummi Ship- ~ Hollow Bastion ~ End of the World ~ Guardando Nel Buio ~ Always on My Mind

k-wix was a lot like me back in the VGMix days in that we both frequently commented on other peoples' works. So he approached me earlier in the year proposing a piano solo collaboration idea, us both ultimately agreeing to do a Kingdom Hearts arrangement because we both knew the game really well. What turned out in the end was a medley of many different cues in the game, mainly from near the finale, which somehow combined both my human inputs with Dustin's thicker and more mechanical style (which I had to edit some parts to better accomodate for 2 hands). It was fun getting to work with him, and one that was something to learn a lot about working with others upon.

Fun Fact: Though we came up with the mix name together, the title of "Key of Destiny" would also later be used to refer to Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II. Did any of Square's English localisation team members visit VGMix during translation?
Click to download "Key of Destiny"
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