The 'Shroom:Issue 144/Palette Swap
Hi, everybody, welcome to the March issue of Palette Swap!
Things are finally warming up in my neck of the woods. We got up to 45 (F) this week! Heatwave!
Think you want to join in the fun but aren't sure where to start? Our sign-up page is the place to go! Find a section to write for, or you can contact a sub-team director for ideas and help to create your own new section! Send all your completed applications to our Statistics Manager, LudwigVon so we can get you started!
We have a good assortment for you to read this month, so I'll let you get to it! ~FunkyK38
Section of the Month
Yoshi876 (talk) cops the top spot this month for his What's on the Box? section detailing the box art of Mario Pinball Land. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and please keep it up for this issue as well!
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.
Despite being one of the bigger Yoshi fans here, I don't often look at things involving my favourite green dinosaur. And although I'm not about to launch a series where I exclusively look at his games, I am at least going to take a look a game in the Yoshi series, and one that I have no experience in whatsoever. I haven't even watched a single gameplay clip, all I know is that the ending theme to this game is used in the Super Smash Bros. series.
The boxart features four different Yoshi colours, those being green, red, yellow and blue; and a Shy Guy. And that's about it. There are a couple of different coloured Yoshi eggs, and you can see the storybook aesthetic in the background. And the background is actually pretty cool, in the way that it resembles a pop-up book; something that I assume was intentional. Another nice detail is in the way that a Yoshi Egg replaces the first o, while a Yoshi is popping out the other o, welcoming us to his new game.
Where I'd like to see a bit more of is variety. From my understanding, each Yoshi colour has its own different kind of favourite food, and yet the only food on this boxart is the Shy Guy. Also, I'm fairly certain that the plot involves the Super Happy Tree and Baby Bowser, perhaps it would have been nice to have seen one of those make an appearance on the boxart as well.
This isn't a bad boxart by any stretch of the imagination, and it's very visually engaging. It's certainly better than boxarts like Super Mario World or Super Mario 64, but at the same time, I would have loved it if we could have seen a bit more around. In some ways it does feel a little barren, maybe Baby Bowser should've stolen the book pages.
Ongoing Fan Projects
HI, everyone! I'm your zestful writer, Tucayo, here with the last regular edition of Take Cover! That's right, after this month I will be stepping down from this section. It has been an absolute blast to write it, and I have enjoyed every single issue, but the time has come to give the section a breather. But don't worry,.
Touhou (Remix) Project
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to your newest edition of Touhou (Remix) Project, the section where I tell you all to listen to music that I personally enjoy! Today, we're going with one of the themes for my favorite characters, the Stage 5 theme of Touhou 7 - Perfect Cherry Blossom. That being Mystic Oriental Dream ~ Ancient Temple, the stage theme for Youmu Konpaku. As one of the older songs around, and a very popular remix target, there were far too many remixes for me to cover all of the ones I wanted to cover. So I trimmed the list down to 20, and they're almost all vocal covers! If you're not a fan of vocals... perhaps skip this month's edition.
Starting with one of the simpler vocal remixes, we have Colors by ALiCE'S EMOTiON, which messes with my spellchecker because of course, it does. It might not be the same tier of "vocals overlaid onto original song", but it's very clearly Ancient Temple with a faster beat rather than a really esoteric remix. The same can be said of Axis by Amateras Records - heck, once the vocals kick in there, it feels a lot like Colors. They're clearly different songs, but there's a lot of similarities in both musical stylings and vocal work, so you could almost think they were sister pieces. Buta-Otome, on the other hand, doesn't have quite the same level of familiarity with Cutoff Thread, which feels more like a remix that takes the base of Ancient Temple and discards anything unnecessary. It's the general MO of Buta-Otome's songs, which focus more on the singer than the backing music, using the theme as a supplement to the vocals. To finish off this first collection of songs, we've got Just Like a Sword by Frost Fragment, a near-direct use of Ancient Temple's basic melody but with enough mix to the sound and powerful vocals on top of it!
For this next paragraph, all of the songs here are actually done by the same artist, despite being very different in style. ShibayanRecords repeatedly remixed Ancient Temple in different electro takes the first being MyonMyonMyon. This one's actually completely instrumental, except for a few "Myons" at the very end, and the shortest of the five Shibayan remixes here. They followed it up with MyonMyonMyonMyon, and listening just a minute in is more than enough to show that it's the same tune and same artist, yet a different song in practice. Vocals kick in with MyonMyonMyonMyonMyon - it carries several Shibayan hallmarks, like a surprisingly long song length, and a lot of instrumental-only portions - as well as taking a while to actually hear the Ancient Temple in it. And plenty of Myon. The next one, MyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyon, just gives the feeling of an inherently cheerful theme. Keeping the full vocal trend from the previous song, this one compacts the song length down, focusing on quality over quantity. Finally, there's the opposite direction in MyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyon, which goes for a nearly ten-minute marathon song. Surprisingly, only a little over half of that is vocal, a minute-long intro and three-minute long instrumental outro bookending about six minutes of music. Still, they make the intro and outro worth listening to! If you like electronic, of course. There's also a MyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyon, but in my opinion, it's not quite good enough for this section. Your opinion may be different!
One thing that's sometimes heard in remixes of Ancient Temple is traditional instrument styles, such as woodwinds or strings. Good examples of this include Imitation by NJK Records, which starts off with a woodwind-heavy opening a half minute before launching into the main song, and the vocals along with it. SAMURAI GHOST GIRL, KILL! KILL! by Akatsuki Records has a similar calm intro -> rock song combination, though it focuses much more on high-speed rock music. And along the same lines is HλLF-LIFE by Pizuya's Cell. Surprisingly, despite the name... there's no Half-Life references to be found in the song. At all. It's just another rock version of Ancient Temple. Don't ask me why they named it that!
Speaking of rock, that looks like a good excuse for me to talk about some more remixes along those lines! For example, 妖桜乱舞 by Garbanzo... who I basically don't know outside of this one single remix. It's a good remix, though, so if I ever manage to find more by them, don't be surprised if they show up in relevant editions of this section! Next is DUAL EDGE OF FAITH by SOUND HOLIC, which does a great job of a fakeout a half minute before suddenly hitting you with a full blast of Eurobeat, right in the face. One of the catchier songs, this one diverges more from the original Ancient Temple, but still creates a memorable, interesting song. Fascinated Dream by Kraster has a cheerful start to it, and the main beat remains, well, upbeat! Kraster's got an interesting split between songs that skew close to the original and ones that depart very heavily, and this is a pretty clear case of the former. Meanwhile, one of my favorites (but not my definite favorite!) is be your shield by RD-Sounds. Honestly, it's hard to put why I like this one a lot into words! A lot of it just has to do with the vocal quality, but the music itself does some really good things with Ancient Temple. Definitely recommend it.
There's a few themes that aren't quite the same as the high-paced action most of these remixes give, but still definitely worth listening to all the same. For example, arise ancient music is a very slow-paced piece by CYTOKINE. One might even call it a lo-fi beat to study/relax to. But it's still a very good remix! Compact @ Mobile by Hachimitsu-Lemon, meanwhile... if anything, it reminds me of Metal Harbor from Sonic Adventure 2. It's got that same sort of positive energy and several similarities in the theme itself. A good pop take on the music! Eastern by Floating Cloud, on the other hand, blends Ancient Temple with a theme from Touhou 8 - Imperishable Night and turns the whole thing into a folk remix. If anything is a large department from the others in this section, it's absolutely this one!
Finally, I've saved the best for last - Ancient by Alstroemeria Records. Technically it's two songs, with the first 1:41 classed as a different song named "only in the morning upside down after moonlight", but the two of them are clearly meant to fit together as one piece. It's a very catchy vocal/techno piece, and for once it's worth linking the lyrics to, considering how much they're a significant part of the song. In fact, for a variety of reasons, Ancient is my favorite Touhou remix of any of them! So it means a lot to link it here. I hope you enjoy, and I hope you come back in two months to see whatever theme I happen to do then!