A Melodious Melee! Heroes vs. Villains Review

A chronicle of the epic battle between two remixing greats. Read it here!


by Taylor Brown
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One of the most anticipated albums in OCR history has finally been released! No, not Threshold of a Dream. I already reviewed that back in December, remember? No, it’s not The Missingno Tracks either; that doesn’t drop until the end of the month. I’m talking about OC ReMix vs. The Bad Dudes: Heroes vs. Villains. First conceived by Mustin, this album is the most collaborative album in OCR’s history, featuring work from the notorious Bad Dudes and several now-veteran OC ReMixers. And it’s a great collaboration indeed; you want to know more than read on! Just be warned, if you’re listening to this album some face-melting may occur. Let’s begin! Let the musical battle between Heroes and Villains begin!

But first, a little note. Due to the character-based nature of this album, the first line will contain track number, artist, title, and duration. The second line will contain character, series, and game the main source is from in italics. Okay, NOW let the battle begin!

1. Big Giant Circles – Bounty of a Brain 3:55
Samus Aran (Metroid) – Super Metroid
It starts out classic BGC style; Mr. Hinson hasn’t lost his touch at all. Everything builds and builds continually… intensity rises clear past the minute mark… 1:12 brings in some awesome guitar to really kick the album, and the battle, off. 1:29 or so gets the melody rockin’ right on. 1:47 gets Samus’ theme in the mix. 2:09 isolates the theme from the rest, only to reacquaint it with everything else bit by bit starting at 2:25. By 2:55 it’s all back together, with more than it started with. A finale for the track seems imminent, as everything slows down at 3:20. Ambience kicks in shortly after, and carries the track through to the end.2. Mazedude – Dieselbrainage 4:20
Mother Brain (Metroid) – Super Metroid
Ambience continues, picked up by the first of the Bad Dudes, Mazedude. Infamous for his quirky tracks, Mr. Getman really keeps the mood eerie right off the bat. 0:52 brings in some rhythm. The drums ‘n bass genre works well for this track. Creepy sounds punctuate the soundscape like bats in a cave, only intensifying and amplifying the spooky atmosphere of the track. 1:59 brings in Samus’ theme, but it’s quickly silenced. After a brief breakdown at about 2:25, it all returns at about 2:58. Massive breakdowns much like the breaking of the glass around Mother Brain’s dome are plentiful in the later seconds of the track. By 3:46 the speed has slowed down considerably. 3:56 starts off a very basic rhythm. One dude down, many more to go. On to the next battle!3. audio fidelity feat. Eric Griffin, Derek Meler, Marcus Affeldt – Pirate Shout 3:32
Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island) – The Secret of Monkey Island
Ooh! Tropical! I like it already. And epic guitar at 0:13. audio fidelity didn’t waste any time. Screams of YO and HO add to the piratey feel. There’s awesome guitar and awesome chanting here. A flute comes in at about 2:20, only to be usurped by guitar again at 2:39. A PIRATE’S LIFE WAS MEANT FOR ME, TRIM THE SAILS AND ROAM THE SEA!! Think that’s the lyrics… they work. Awesome guitar to end.

4. Diggi Dis feat. Alex Jones – Voodoo, Roots ‘n Grog 3:45
LeChuck (Monkey Island) – The Secret of Monkey Island
Acoustic guitar now? And drums too? Awesome! This song has a nice rhythm… enjoyable. Some funky styling comes in at 1:03 or so, and the feel permeates the entire track. It’s quite groovy as well. Oh damn, chiptunes at 1:55 or so. This song has everything! More traditional instruments return at 2:24, with some awesome piano. A very fun track to listen to, only for all the funk and groove and general awesomeness… To the next battle!

5. Brandon Strader – Born of Ashes, Baptized in Blood 5:25
Kratos (God of War) – God of War
Starts out very dramatically, worthy of the character this battle is for. The question is, is the battle for the music or for Kratos’ very soul? Guitar comes in at 0:34 or so. Intensity builds at 1:05. Very nice guitar work done here by Mr. Strader. A bit of a mix comes about at about 2:20. Awesome bass at 2:44 or so. This song is more metal than the liquid metallic hydrogen seas of Jupiter. Yes, I mean the planet, not the Roman god, since this is Greek mythology-inspired. 4:35 brings in more melody, and it carries through to the end.

6. Kunal Majmudar – Wrath Industrial 3:01
Zeus (God of War) – God of War
Well the title’s not far off… this does sound very industrial. And bagpipey too; how that’s industrial I don’t know but it works. A very ambient piece… some electronica sounds come in at about 0:50. Guitar at 1:05 or so, and strings at 1:20 or so. Also a very unique track. More guitar at 1:46. Charging at 2:20 for awesome guitar at 2:25 or so. Song ends with a descent at 2:55. To the next battle!

7. WillRock – Bare Knuckle Blitz 4:00
Axel (Streets of Rage) – Streets of Rage
Whoa! I thought this was from Streets of Rage, not Dance Clubs of Passion. Regardless, Mr. Harby comes through, and rocks this track from the start. Signature WillRock sounds permeate the track like Febreze in a small dorm, and it’s a very good thing. 1:46 is an example of great guitar work by Will. This little bit continues until 2:14, when the main rhythm takes center stage. Everything breaks down for a bit unti 2:45 or so when it restarts in grand fashion. The song sort of takes a life of its own until 3:51 when the end begins.

8. zyko – Mr. Z 5:57
Mr. X (Streets of Rage) – Streets of Rage
Ah yes, zyko. A more versatile musician is hard to find, but we already have zyko so why bother looking? We’ve got some guitar, tense drumbeat, and electronic sound effects. Yep, it’s zyko. Laughing at 1:48 breaks the music down, but it slowly builds back up. By 2:24 or so, it’s back. Organ comes in at about 2:50. A solo of sorts busts out at about 3:05, with organ backing it up. Another sudden stop occurs at about 3:36… At 3:55 it all explodes back onto the scene. An awesome guitar solo picks up not long after, and continues more or less until 4:36. The end of the track is definitely building up. Sound clips from the game work well… after 4:45 or so weird effects and guitar go back and forth until the 5:25, when guitar comes back. It quickly vanishes and the main rhythm takes over and the end really does begin. To the next battle!

9. Mattias Häggström Gerdt – Screw Wily, I’m Taking a Vacation 4:08
Mega Man (Mega Man) – Mega Man 2
Piano and electronica. Typical of Mr. I-have-too-many-umlauts Gerdt. A very happy track worthy of a vacation. Some nice guitar comes in at about 0:53. The guitar comes back in at about 1:40 or so. I hear some Mega Man 9 title theme at 2:05 or so. This continues until 2:56 when a basic breakdown occurs. Everything returns back to the main source at 3:08 or so. The guitar takes prominence at about 3:18. More MM9 title at 3:40 or so. Heads up, last time Rock tried taking a vacation we got GUTSMAN’S ASS soo… yeah…

10. Joshua Morse – Screw Mega Man, I’m Taking Over The World 3:19
Dr. Wily (Mega Man) – Mega Man 4
Basic Morse style, and it’s never been more beautiful. Many parts working in harmony to create beauty. 0:45 isolates the main rhythm, punctuates with some bass and horns, and returns it to normal at about 1:00. At 1:28 we have some Wily Stage 1 from MM2. 1:52 brings the main rhythm back. The instrumentation is magnificent in this track, not surprisingly. A quick simplification occurs at about 2:45 or so and continues until the end. To the next battle!

11. bLiNd – Go Ninja, Go 4:13
T.M.N.T. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Go bLiNd go! We’re halfway there! What a very mystical sounding track… it’s beautiful and awesome. Everything starts to come in at 0:44 with epic guitar. A very fast-paced track, worthy of them heroes in a half-shell. Breakdown at 1:40 or so. Everything comes back at 2:11 with a solo of sorts. Breakdown again at 3:00 or so. I guess the turtles learned how to shred… suppose that cancels out Shredder’s shredding or something… This very basic part continues until the end.

12. Danimal Cannon – Enter the Shredder 4:09
Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) – TMNT IV: Turtles in Time
Now can Shredder outshred the turtle’s track? Let’s see what Dan can do. Fast-paced guitar and drums starting at 0:03? Very epic. Forgive any future typos; my face might melt over my eyes blocking my vision. Super-fast stop at 0:54 and restart a second later. Another breakdown at about 1:40 or so. Chiptunish sound effects take over… guitar returns at 1:58 or so. More basic rhythm at 2:25. 2:49 brings a feminine voice clip saying Enter the Shredder, only to bring in one of Dan’s signature solos immediately afterward. This solo continues on until the end of the track, only to start breaking down near the end much like the Technodrome does ALL THE TIME. Ends with laughing. To the next battle.

13. José the Bronx Rican feat. zyko – He Ain’t a G 4:22
Link (Legend of Zelda) – The Legend of Zelda
José starts off rapping immediately. Good instrumentation. YOU MUST BE HIGH IF YOU WANT TO RULE. Okay, this song wins already. The lyrics are good, as is the rapping. I heard Treecko… I love all the double entendrés here. zyko takes over rapping at 2:14 or so. The echo effect on his voice works well. José takes over at 2:48. The only tracks on the entire disc to be worked on by all involved in the particular battle, and it’s better for it. The track is passed on at 4:04 with instrumentation and the line, “Take this.”

14. zyko feat. Jos̩ the Bronx Rican РBladewalker 7:19
Ganon (Legend of Zelda) – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
A basic retelling of A Link to the Past? Wouldn’t surprise me, but that’s why I like me some zyko. Randomness in music is his forte. And I mean that in the best way possible. Voiceovers like ones from a movie are played, and they’re as well-written as the lyrics in the Link track before this one. A very basic rhythm plays throughout this part. The final battle theme takes over at about 2:00… 2:49 brings in some lyrics. They’re as well-written as the previous vocal parts, and the instrumentation is good. 3:50 brings in some guitar. Each time the verse seems about to end, it continues. Very well-done. I AM ERROR. Okay, now the Link track has some competition. The guitar sounds very raw, and that fits Ganon’s pure unbridled hate. Probably the reason it’s so raw sounding. More spoken word at about 5:40. And then, José at 5:50 or so. I think. Organs at 6:33 or so. Laughter at 6:40 or so. From here everything slows down to the end. To the next battle!

15. zircon, Joshua Morse – Satsui no Koto 2:57
Ryu (Street Fighter) – Street Fighter II
Wait? JM is on both sides? Okay, guess that works. Very Japanese sounding. Nice instrumentation. A bit of a solo at 0:45. Chiptunes at 1:15 or so. More strings at 1:39. Electronica at 1:56… this sounds like Morse’s part of the song. Piano at 2:08. Signature JM sound at 2:28 or so. Calmness through to the end.

16. posu yan, Joshua Morse feat. Stacy Morse – Coconut Milk 3:40
Sagat (Street Fighter) – Street Fighter II
After the introductory rhythm, main instruments come in at about 0:25. Another tropical track, moreso than the previous though. A very happy track too. A bit of an acoustic guitar solo at 1:34. More solo afterwards. Everything calms down at about 2:30. At 2:53 it picks back up. A finale is definitely imminent. Sure enough, it begins at 3:13. And it ends at 3:36. To the penultimate battle!

17. Insert Rupee (Benjamin Briggs, halc) – The Life and Death of Kirby 3:54
Kirby (Kirby) – Super Smash Bros.
It slowly builds… some nice bass and sound effects kick this off. Rhythm comes in at about 0:38, and melody at about 0:46. Chiptune champions Briggs and Wheeler take on this track with style and aplomb. It’s a great rendition too; happy, fun, chippy… what else needs to be said? Still think the band name should’ve been halchthonic, though. Solo of sorts at 2:00 or so. 2:40 or so brings a bit of breakdown. It works magnificently, especially at 3:00 when it takes on a unique feel with removed notes; a wondrous sound it makes though. Everything slowly tapers to the end at 3:45.

18. Mazedude – Hot Air Penguin 3:37
King Dedede (Kirby) – Kirby Super Star
He’s back for revenge!! Mr. Getman takes on Dedede’s theme wonderfully. Everything kicks in at 0:27. Chiptunes are present here; guess it’s a battle of the retro sound chips. At 1:11 the chippiness is really evident. Horns come in at 1:24. At 2:00 the horns and chips cohabitate the soundscape of the song. Piano is also used a lot here. 3:02 brings all instruments back for one final push. 3:15 signals the beginning of the end in piano chords. To the final battle! Who shall win? Let’s see!

19. Mustin – The Prodigal Son Returns 3:49
Simon Belmont (Castlevania) – Super Castlevania IV
Mustin’s not playing for the Bad Dudes here? Intriguing… just like the start of the track. Funky track for sure right here. 0:50 or so brings in some main source usage. 1:10 or so has piano for source usage. There’s also a whip sound effect throughout the track. Fitting. 1:42 brings in some of Mustin’s signature funk, probably borrowed from his own OneUp Studios hardware and/or software. Very mellow and calm. 2:17 signals a return of source usage… and whip. 3:08 brings in a solo, perfect for the end of the track.

20. Ailsean – A Walk with Death 4:16
Dracula (Castlevania) – Castlevania
And now, for the final song. Bad Dude vs. Bad Dude… who shall prevail? It’s tough, for this track starts out slow and calm, with ahh-ing and stuff. 0:33 brings in some simple guitar. 0:49 brings in more complicated guitar, still acoustic though. 1:04 makes it electric to great effect. 1:36 brings in more source usage. 1:51 has some laughter in the background, and again at 1:59. 2:08 returns to a very basic rhythm, and the ahh-ing returns. 2:39 brings back the awesome guitar. I’m expecting some epic guitar soon, Ailsean. Please don’t let me down. 3:11 returns the simplistic style of earlier in the track. 3:29 brings in what I was hoping for, epic guitar solo. Thanks for not letting me down man. Even though it stops at 3:45, it was still awesome. Acoustic returns at the four minute mark, only to stop at 4:10 to the end.

CONCLUSION
Well… it’s a bit hard to tell who came out on top here. If it was Heroes vs. Villains, then both sides battled bravely and built a balanced bout. If it was Bad Dudes vs. OverClocked ReMix, then each side masterfully manipulated music to manhandle the melee they momentarily met with. All alliteration aside though, this was a phenomenal album, worked on with love for the music and camraderie for the mixers.
The warning in the included readme file isn’t far off, either. “And if you’re reading this while listening to the album and still have a face, congratulations. But don’t freak out when your face starts melting. We warned you.” They most certainly did. Great work from all involved; I think this battle’s a stalemate. Until next time, game on!

Taylor Brown, alias Mirby, has been playing games for as long as she can remember. As such, she's also been listening to the music contained within said games, and enjoying it for just as long. She's interviewed quite a few remixers, including Level 99, Sixto Sounds, zircon, and even djpretzel! Now that she's at ThaSauce, she's gonna keep the interviews and scoops coming! Stay tuned!

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