The 'Shroom:Issue 141/Palette Swap
Season's greetings, everyone! I hope you're having a happy holidays, whatever you celebrate!
I've been slowly working through Smash. I haven't been liking it as much as everyone else, but I do have a new main: got that Incineroar finally! Also I've gotten familiar with the Wii Fit Trainer again, which is nice. I hope you all are enjoying Smash!
Section of the Month
This month, Yoshi876 (talk) got the most votes for his What's on the Box? section on Super Mario Galaxy! The Pyro Guy (talk) took second place for his Ongoing Fan Projects section. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and please keep it up!
|Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH|
|1st||What's on the Box?||17||85%||Yoshi876|
|2nd||Ongoing Fan Projects||3||15%||The Pyro Guy|
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
It may come as a massive surprise to you, but I'm not a massively sporty person, in fact I suck at most sports, and in several instances, this does translate to sports game. Ones like FIFA or WWE I am just hopeless at, although I do alright when it comes to things involving motorsport, and during the 2012 Olympics I found out I was good at diving events. However, when it comes to Winter sports, I do just head back to sucking.
And although the Mario & Sonic series has come under flak for some of its blandness, especially the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, however one thing that the series doesn't skimp on is that of its boxarts, and nothing can be clearer then when you look at the boxart for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games for the DS.
The boxart is packed, but it's not so busy that it hurts your eyes to look at it. Instead, it actually looks quite a decent game, and the boxart definitely showcases a lot of what the game inside has to offer. Events like snowboarding, ice hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating, sky jumping and what I presume to be the skeleton all feature with a wide variety of notable Mario and Sonic characters performing them. In fact, we see Mario, Sonic, Princess Peach, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Knuckles, Tails and Metal Sonic. However, given how Shadow is a much more notable character, it might've made more sense for him to have been doing the speed skating than Metal Sonic.
Other than the Shadow thing, the only thing that I would really change about this boxart is that I would have tried hinting that there was a story mode, considering that would be an impressive selling point. And do this, I would have put at least one of the Snow Spirits on the boxart, probably between Mario and Sonic.
It’s the holiday season, and Nintendo gifted us with a headlining song for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Adventure Mode. “Lifelight” is certainly a treat, and though I’m not covering them today, there’s plenty of remixes and covers of it that you can find with a quick search. They’re worth your time. While “Lifelight” is fitting for kicking off a grandiose quest, Zach Boucher’s “Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Rap” focuses more on individual fighters. Though it’s called the “Ultimate Rap”, it has nothing to do with the most recent release, having been made after the fourth game released but long before the fifth was announced. While it may in some ways run afoul of the “take a Nintendo character and make them dark and edgy” trope that crops up in many fanworks, it still manages to give the characters it covers an intimidating aura. It isn’t completely devoid of self-awareness, either, with Mario pointing out about himself that “the lovable idolized Nintendo character will make you bleed” in a lighthearted jab at the song’s serious tone. The whole rap comes across as the fighters trash-talking each other. It’s not hard to imagine it as the result of some advertising department aiming to hype up people for a fighting tournament, which feels fitting for Super Smash Bros. The lyrics are filled with clever nods to fighter’s movesets, relationships, and personalities, and the accompanying video, with clips selected to match the lyrics, reinforces the tougher sides of Nintendo’s characters which the song presents. This first video has a wide range of vocal talent (all credited in the description, for the curious) and covers Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Pokémon Trainer (and, for those pedants out there, I too am annoyed that he’s called Ash), Charizard, Kirby, Bowser, Princess Peach, Link, and Bowser Jr. The collection of scenes from the first four Super Smash Bros. games serves as a good recap of the series up until Ultimate Throughout the song, Boucher makes use of music tracks from various Nintendo games to drive the beat of the rap, connecting the featured characters to themes listeners already associate with them. Even if the rap doesn’t suit your tastes, it can still be a treat to hear familiar tunes in the background. The “Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Rap” is altogether a clever and fun, if a bit unabashedly intense, song that you might think about giving a listen to hype yourself up before you start a round of matches on Ultimate.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that a sequel was made. “Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Rap Part 2” follows the same format as the first video, but features Ness, Lucas, Fox, Donkey Kong, Toon Link, Falco, Meta Knight, Pikachu, Samus, Sonic, Villager, Pac-Man, Zelda, Marth, Captain Falcon, Mega Man, and Mr. Game and Watch. A DLC edition goes on to cover Mewtwo, Roy, Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta. These two sequels push the edgy Nintendo character aesthetic even further than the original video but maintain its basic structure. Listeners who enjoyed the first may want to give the sequels a listen, as well. With Ultimate, out, though, it would be irresponsible for Boucher not to make the third installment of the Ultimate Rap, and, while his “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Hype Rap” isn’t that third installment (it’s less about Smash Bros. itself and more about reactions to Ultimate), the end of the description does promise that part three is on its way. If you’ve enjoyed Boucher’s Smash offerings up to this point, keep an eye out for updates.
Boucher works with more than just Super Smash Bros., though. He creates raps about a great variety of games, with clever nods to the games inspiring the songs in his lyrics and creative uses of classic music to provide the beat. “Paint a Picture” tells the story of Super Mario 64 through a rap set over a remix of Koopa’s Road. "While You're Gone (ft. Allie Cormier)" actually covers the story of The Thousand Year Door chapter by chapter up to the opening of the titular door through a rap. Peach’s concern for Mario form the basis for a chorus that breaks up Mario’s rapping. If Super Mario songs aren’t appealing, Boucher also offers a rap based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. “Dawn (feat. NLJ)” is a rap that covers the three-day loop from Link’s perspective, incorporating Clock Town’s theme into the music. Well, perhaps it’s from Link’s perspective. It seems that the perspective shifts near the end of song, with Majora becoming the narrator. Though there are some lines that also suggest Skull Kid may be narrating in part at that point, so, for those who enjoy analyzing lyrics, the song is open for interpretation and ought to generate some discussion.
There’s a much larger collection of work by Boucher and his collaborators than this article can reasonably cover. That said, the songs that have been described should give you a rather clear idea of how Boucher approaches his music. The edginess of his work may mean its an acquired taste for some, but, if you want to hear more of his music, you can take a look at his channel and see what all this rapper has to offer.
HI, everyone! I'm your youthful writer, Tucayo, here to close out the year with Take Cover! I came into this issue thinking it would be my last, but the truth is I have so much fun writing this section that I just don't want to let it go, so I guess you will be seeing me around for at least a while longer! What I did want to do was to make this a big, end-of-year special, but the last month and a half has been rather rough for me and I have lacked motivation to do much, so this will be a regular-sized Holiday issue but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless! Let's get started!
And just like that, the end of the year is upon us. Things can get rough every now and then, but it's always important to find the strength to overcome hardness. To find the positive in the negative. To enjoy and value the happy moments in life. As Google's Year in Search video puts it, good things in life are worth searching for. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy 2019, filled with joy and peace.
Touhou (Remix) Project
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome again to Touhou (Remix) Project, where I'll tell you all about remixes of Touhou songs that I enjoy! And for the second edition of this section, I'll be talking about Reverse Ideology, the stage 5 boss theme of Touhou 14 - Double Dealing Character. Reverse Ideology belongs to Seija Kijin, the amanojaku who can reverse anything and everything. With a strong main melody and one heck of a beat drop at 1:18. It's actually my second favorite theme from Touhou 14, but it's got more remixes that I enjoy compared to Pristine Beat, so... it gets to come in a lot earlier!
Starting simple, there's Reverse Ideology by dBu, which follows the dBu classic trend of being basically the original song but with somewhat different instrumentation. That's pretty much their entire discography. Not that it's bad, mind you - dBu's stuff is good, there's a reason I keep linking it. In a similar re-instrumentation fashion, Famicom-style Reverse Ideology by Phroneris is exactly what you'd expect from a name like that! It's the song blended up and turned into a chiptune, and a very catchy chiptune at that. On the other side of the spectrum is one of the funkiest remixes, Kishinjou set 10. This one is primarily just a reinstrumentation, but it throws a nice twist into the middle, with the segment of the song going backwards.
A similarly funky remix is Agitator by Jericho's Law, a remix keeping the main beats of Reverse Ideology but putting a really jazzy spin on it. Especially with all that trumpet - they even beat ZUN himself in sheer quantity of trumpet, and that's not easy to do in the slightest. Not when it's ZUN, trust me. Despite discussing jazzy tunes, though, that's actually not the best instrumental style I've seen for Reverse Ideology - my personal favorite would have to be the instrumental remixes in electronic style. The ElectronicMudkip remix of Reverse Ideology pulls off some impressive style with the music, really giving a new theme while also keeping the main melody of Reverse Ideology. This is similar to what's done with TH3-Nightbug's remix, which sacrifices some of the dramatic punch of the main theme for a remix that starts off low-key and picks up over time.
My personal favorite instrumental take on Reverse Ideology is Mirror The World by Komeiji Records, which actually... skews surprisingly close to the original. It does a great job of infusing the theme with a power and punch the original version doesn't have, and I'd say it does a better job with the beat drop section than any other theme I've listened to. Meanwhile, going completely away from the original, Turn in or #TURN UP is... Actually, I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. The closest I can compare it to is the same instrumentation as certain video games. Just imagine hearing this in the background of a platforming section rather than a shooting game! I do feel this remix might be a bit too long for its own good, since it tends towards simply iterating on the same parts rather than varying wildly over the eight and a half minute run. The same can't really be said for Evil in the mirror, which takes Reverse Ideology and turns it into a full-on rock remix. Complete with a guitar solo and blending in elements of The Shining Needle Castle Sinking in the Air, this song doesn't overstay its welcome and makes good use of the time it has.
Of course, I'd be remiss to not talk about the various vocal remixes that Reverse Ideology has. Starting off with 死神×Resistance by AdamKadmon, this one has an interesting feeling to it. Thanks to both how closely it matches the original, and how it takes half a minute to kick the vocals off... It almost feels like it was created as an instrumental with vocals added later. The same feeling doesn't come from Duplicity by Liz Triangle, a song that almost doesn't sound like Reverse Ideology at moments. Of course, a moment isn't the entire song, and when you listen to it all the way through you can still hear some Reverse Ideology in there. Still, Liz Triangle has quite a tendency to bend a remix almost as far as it can go. A couple of their songs, one could question if they even qualify as remixes anymore... Resistance Girl by SYNC.ART'S strikes a solid middle ground between those two. While you can still easily hear the basics of Reverse Ideology in there, you can also hear how the song has been changed and adjusted to fit with the new vocals added. It's a good example of the type of remix I like to point to.
Which is why I'm going to go ahead and point to 逆らい背くレジスタンス by Yonder Voice. As a remix, it's similar in style to Resistance Girl in terms of keeping most of the song but still bending it somewhat. Of course, it's completely different in actual music and genre terms, so there's no redundancy here. They're both worth listening to! Taking a completely different tack is Farce Silhouette by Pizuya's Cell, going in hard compared to most of the songs. This is one song that'll leave itself in your mind once you've listened to it. Good guitar, too. To cap off our adventures in the reversal of beliefs, we've got a song without Japanese vocals for a change. I know, it's weird. RE-versed uses German vocals instead, and... it mixes well. German Touhou remixes is an interesting idea, and one that I personally wouldn't mind seeing more of in the future.
Thanks for reading, loyal readers! I've got a bit of an announcement about this section - next year, you're seeing me in January! I'm shifting my bi-monthly schedule to cover January, March, and the other odd-numbered months, to balance better with Take Cover and help keep Palette Swap shored up. See you soon!
|The 'Shroom: Issue 141|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • Director Election • End-of-the-Year Awards|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|
|Specials||It All Started With Melee • The Holiday 'Shroomfinity Scavenger|