You may not know it about me, but I actually think myself a pretty avid music lover. I just don’t listen to what most people listen to. What I listen to most of all are video game soundtracks, so when I want to up the stakes a bit I listen to video game remixes, and no one does it better than Overclocked Remix. OCRemix is the best site for video game music recompositions on the web, so I figured I’d share my love with the world in the form of a list. Problem is, they’ll be hitting their 2000th remix this year, and at least 500 of those remixes are in my constant play cycle. I couldn’t limit myself to a top 10, so I extended it to a top 15 list with two restraints: no two remixes by the same artist or of the same game. So here they are, my Top 15 OCRemixes.
15. Fear of the Flava by McVaffe:
Just the fact that I’m starting with a Secret of Mana remix, STARTING, is saying something about these remixes. While McVaffe’s remix is excellent in of itself, it didn’t have a difficult task as Secret of Mana’s source music is stunning to say the least. McVaffe though has a number of great remixes on the site with a number of wonderful Tetris and Yoshi’s Island remixes to take note of. This remix keeps things fairly simple, but sometimes that’s all you need to do.
14. Turd Surfers by chumble spuzz:
I argued with myself about this one by artist chumble spuzz since I really love this remix, specifically the phenomenal guitar solo that kicks in late in the track. I would have placed it higher if I was just going for face-melting solos, but that alone isn’t enough to push it to the highest spots. Still, such a great remix of Sewer Surfin’ in Turtles in Time for the SNES, my favorite TMNT game, I couldn’t pass up.
13. Sonic Gargles With Garden Marbles by GuitarBizarre, Prince of Darkness:
Sonic the Hedgehog is a series with a strong emphasis on great music. The games on the Genesis even challenged the SNES for great old-time tunes. This team-up of GuitarBizarre and Prince of Darkness gets me every time as it takes Sonic 3’s Marble Garden Zone and puts it to some smooth melodies that managed to mellow out any bad day.
12. DeathontheSnowfield by AmIEviL:
However, if you’d prefer to engross yourself in a bad mood, or at least the moody aspect of it, AmIEvil’s remix of Terra’s Theme from Final Fantasy VI manages to nearly bring me to tears. Terra’s Theme gets remixes all the time on OCRemix, but this one keeps it at a sadder, more emotional level that I can’t get enough of. Hey, music isn’t always supposed to get your jazzed, right? Besides, AmIEvil has plenty more good stuff to check out if this particular remix isn’t to your liking.
11. TurksInPursuit by DJ Orange:
This one’s just cool in every sense of the word. It was inevitable that Final Fantasy VII was going to show up here in some form, but how did a remix of the slums outdo Aeris’ Theme or One-Winged Angel? Take a listen and you might figure it out. One of the key reasons for my love of these remixes hinges on how much the source material is reimagined and DJ Orange seems to have that skill down for TurksInPursuit. Think mood music for this one and you’ll get why I love it.
10. Mamacitas in My Valley by Diggi Dis:
Another one of the most remixed tracks is Gerudo Valley from Ocarina of Time. Diggi Dis raised the bar for style in regards to the all-favorite track with a mix that plays like a good song to dance to. Heck, I even had this song playing during the reception at my wedding, an act that my wife didn’t argue with, if that gives you an idea of how great I think it sounds.
9. Jade Catacombs by bLiNd:
Beyond bLiNd being an amazing remixer on the site, part of my inclusion of Jade Catacombs comes from the story behind the remix. Other remixers on the site found out that bLiNd was sick, so they made him a get-well album of Metroid-themed songs. The album itself is worth a listen, but after all that, bLiNd not only announced he was all better, he announced he was engaged, so he did his own remix for the get-well album and named it after his fiancé. Even if the remix wasn’t incredible, that’s an awesome story. In this case we get both.
8. Super Mario Bros 2 Insomnic by Insomnic:
Despite my love of some remixes breaking conventions with the source, I’m also rather fond of remixes that take the heart and soul of the source and add tons of energy. That’s what Insomnic does with his remix of Super Mario Bros 2’s overworld theme. It’s fast, it’s peppy, and it’s a must-listen for any fans of cool techno music.
7. Bowser is Pissed by PriZm:
Oh my goodness, this is some great stuff. Take something as simple as the Castle BGM from Super Mario Bros and try to come up with something better than this remix here. It’s intense but gives a nice moment to breathe in the middle before attacking your ears with awesome at the end. I wish this would replace the actual music in all further re-releases of Super Mario Bros.
6. Triforce Majeure by Disco Dan:
I couldn’t include a list of the best from OCRemix and not include Disco Dan. He has a remix of Snakeman’s Theme from Mega Man 3 that’s to die for, but for this list, his best has to be Triforce Majeure from A Link to the Past, specifically the music from Hyrule Castle. The only word you can really use here is “Epic.” It’s long, but give it a listen and let it sink in for a moment or three. Then listen again and try not to envision how cool this would sound in a Legend of Zelda movie.
5. Dark Matter by PrototypeRaptor:
PrototypeRaptor nearly got on my list for his Star Fox remix but I had to choose between that and his remix of Miracle Matter from Kirby 64. No contest. I don’t know why Miracle Matter doesn’t get remixed over and over and especially why it doesn’t get mentioned as one of the best video game tracks ever as it is, according to me, the best boss theme music I’ve ever heard. Dark Matter is fight music, through and through.
4. BTMNTBAMLOL by Danimal Cannon, Kbart, Stemage:
Yes! Too much greatness is crammed into one little remix, taking tracks from TMNT 3 on the NES and mixing in some other Turtle themes from here and there. What this all equals is one heck of a face-melting rock remix. The opening has become my default ringtone, and I challenge anyone to stay seated or refrain from cheering at about 3:50 or so. It has what I’ll go ahead and say is the most powerful moment in any of these songs with a tone shift towards Beyond Awesome.
3. Just a Little More (Prime Edit) by DarkeSword:
My favorite video game song is undeniably Phendrana Drifts from Metroid Prime, so when I heard DarkeSword’s remix of said theme, I couldn’t help but love it, too, especially since he’s manage to keep the essence of the track but added just enough to make it better. The harp solo gets me every time and nearly makes me weep with joy. I love it that much.
2. Intense Color by SGX, sephfire:
Do you remember Mario Paint? Okay, try and think of the music in that. It’s calm and serene, right? Just some chill background music. SGX and sephfire managed to take this, and turn it into something too cool for words. What makes it even better is when you can definitely hear the source material in the track, but only for brief enough moments to make you go, “They were able to make this hardcore techno track from that?” So what could outdo a remix as skilled as that?
1. Chekan Winter by Prophecy:
It’d have to be something else to make the top of my list. Sure, remixing the Mario Paint music is one thing, but Chekan Winter comes from the Northern Hemispheres levels in Donkey Kong Country. You will not be able to recognize the remix as coming from this. I love songs that build slowly, leveling track after track on top of each other until they culminate in an explosion of Scrumtrilessence in the end. This is one such example of that happening. I could listen to this one over and over again without stopping, something I’ve done before and will do again. Hence, it’s my Number 1 OCRemix.
So have you listened to anything on OCRemix before? Do you have some favorites that I didn’t hit on? Remember, these are 15 from nearly 2000, so there are a lot more to cover. I’d like to hear what your favorites are and why, or even just who your favorite remixer is. And heck, don’t stop with commenting here. Head over to Overclocked Remix and show them some love as well. They certainly deserve it.