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only 90s kids will like this admin

The second phase of the RPG Music Challenge is completed and all of the entries are in! Once again it is time for the Voting Round

Voting begins now.
Voting ends on Wednesday, February 1st at 6pm UTC

There were 24 entries (slightly down from last time, but still: wow!) to Phase 2 of the RPG Music Challenge. There were 5 midis, and 19 mp3s submitted. I have broken up the entries by their format and labeled them as Entry 1 thru Entry 24. To vote, reply to this topic. When you cast your vote, please be very clear which entry you are voting for, for example:

My Vote: Entry 37

If you wish for your vote to remain anonymous, vote privately via PM to kentona. Please include "RPG Music Challenge - Phase 2 Vote" in the subject line.

Feel free to comment upon any of the entries - feedback is appreciated and encouraged!

To the entrants, please do no reveal which entry is yours until after the voting for phase 2 is completed.

Phase 2: Orchestral
Orchestral music isn't a necessity for an RPG but it is very common in the genre and it is a good skill to be able to compose a piece that can be played by an orchestra.

How well did the entrants harmonize multiple voices of different instruments?

The piece they created for the theme of phase 2 didn't have to follow the professional principles of orchestration, but it was supposed to revolve around orchestral elements and utilize strings, brass and woodwind sections. Not necessarily all of them (though, variety in orchestration is encouraged), but it needed to have orchestral sections, instead of single instruments playing all the tracks.

There can be additional instruments, though modern orchestras already cover a lot of instruments these days. The focus of the theme still was in orchestration, however.

The theme of phase 2 was Nostalgic Flashback Scene

Please, listen to them all and vote for the one you think sounds the best and fits best the given description and theme of the phase.

Without further ado, here are the entries:

MIDI Format:

Entry 1

Entry 2

Entry 3

Entry 4

Entry 5

MP3 Format:

Entry 6

Entry 7

Entry 8

Entry 9

Entry 10

Entry 11

Entry 12

Entry 13

Entry 14

Entry 15

Entry 16

Entry 17

Entry 18

Entry 19

Entry 20

Entry 21

Entry 22

Entry 23

Entry 24

Good luck!
/me has listened to all the entries!

Christ, there's so much good stuff here. It's gonna take me a while to whittle this down to a single vote.

Also WHOA #20 (this is not my vote)

Nice work everyone D:
Ho. Ly. Crap...! It's safe to say that the bar has been doubled in this round. Some AMAZING sounding pieces here - it's going to be tough to choose!
Oh WOW... This is wonderful... The quality, my GOD... And the theme means Ive had tears in my eyes just listening to these..! haha :')
This is an extremely tough round! You can tell that a lot of work was put into each and every piece. That said, I've narrowed it down to entries 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 16. I'll have to listen to those again before I cast my vote.
only 90s kids will like this admin
*Entry 1: sleepy nighty-night time. It is evocative of a flashback scene of an SNES rpg - good job!
Entry 2: rural village theme
Entry 3: Opening game theme, or perhaps a castle theme
Entry 4: A good solid tune, and fits the theme
*Entry 5: I can totally see this as a nostagic scene. I quite like this one.
*Entry 6: subtle, and loving the pacing of this one.
Entry 7: a very rising and inspiring theme moreso than nostalgic. Very good in any event! (except this event d'oh hohoho)
Entry 8: a sad/bittersweet song. nice.
*Entry 9: I like the instrumentation of this one.
*Entry 10: This is amazing orchestration. Blew me away.
Entry 11: Ominous and foreboding - the end of the world is nigh. Cool tune, but not very nostalgic imho.
Entry 12: I like this song. It reminds me of elephants.
*Entry 13: a warm happy memory. It has a nice feel to it, and captures the theme well, imho.
Entry 14: ...Lava temple? that you?
Entry 15: a little bit of a country twang in the middle there. Nice piece.
*Entry 16: this fit the theme exceptionally well. Especially if the hero grew up in a remote village, and had a female childhood friend (don't they all?). Abrupt end?
Entry 17: 17th century Japanese wartime ballad.
Entry 18: windy! also, this really captures a sense of a yearning mememory for me, perhaps for a lost loved one.
Entry 19: oooh good orchestration
*Entry 21: piano-y! I think it is also evocative of the theme. very long!
Entry 22: We are sailing into battle men! Prepare yourselves! Excellent song nonetheless.
*Entry 23: This is just like it is straight out of a Disney movie! nice!
Entry 24: whoa trippy effects. Guitar-y! Not very orchestral, though.

This was a tough choice, as there were many great tracks, some amazing orchestration, and so many that captured the theme. In the end...

My Vote: Entry 6

This entry really captured the theme for me AND I am a huge sucker for slow buildup. Entry 10 was probably the best orchestration, but it didn't quite capture the theme as well as some of the others, but it was in strong contention. Entries 1 and 23 were also in contention for me. (I've put asterisks next to the songs I liked the most)

For entries 14 and 20... Did I make a mistake here? Seriously, these seem out of place.
Number 20 for life.

As far as the rest are concerned... I didn't really listen. #10 is great, but I can't properly vote for it since I didn't give all songs a fair listen (this theme is a zzz fest for me personally), but I did want to recognize #10. Good job there!
My Vote: Entry 6
Second Place: Entry 9
Third Place: Entry 10
Fourth Place: Entry 8

This phase was, just amazing, I liked ALL THE SONGS with no exception. Maybe not every song was so well orchestrated or so nostalgic but It will be an honored to make a review of each of one. So here it is:

Entry 1: Don't know if it is so much as an orchestrated, but it gives me to much the impression of nostalgia.
Entry 2: Pretty good, I was having the impression of melancholy, but then I got more like the impression of my dreams have just came true
Entry 3: Nice... but it is more like a castle song
Entry 4: I really feel the melancholy, I like it much, but still have son minor details I didn't like so much
Entry 5: Comparing to the phase 1... Midis have improved a lot. I pretty enjoy all of them but, although this is too broken(sad) for me to considerate it as nostalgic, but I am pretty sure this is more about tastes and point of views
Entry 6: Damn... memories strike back to my mind just in the first notes. Just beatifull, what more can I say
Entry 7: Hard to get nostalgia, it's more like a promise of a heroe. But definitive is not a bad song
Entry 8: Don't know why, but this specific style of music stoles my heart always. In the beggining and final it's pretty fill with nostalgia for me but the GLORIUS! orchestra in the middle just takes all the feeling.
Entry 9: O.O How the hell do I am going to pick one from to AWESOME SONGS. Theme well achieve :')
Entry 10: Not sure if in every moment I feel like melancholy, but what the hell,love the very first part of song and the overall... this is just... PROFESSIONAL, good job, but really, GOOD JOB
Entry 11: WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT!, NOT FOR WAR BUT FOR PEACE! FOR CHILDREN! FOR WOMAN! FOR ELDER! FOR ALL OF US! FOR THE FUTURE! SO WHO ARE WE! everybody:SOLDIERS. pretty epic man, but how is this suppose to loop
Entry 12: ...Not bad... but did I just enter to kupo's house?
Entry 13: I am a dreaming? This one got me the chills. Thumbs up to this song
Entry 14: Get the volumen control down AAAAHH!!! okay, done XD... I am pretty sure you will receive a good place in the phase before cause of that start, I like it but not sure what this make's me feel but pretty sure that is not nostalgia.
Entry 15: Get the volumen control up AAAAAAHH!!! okay, done XD... very relaxing, just remember 127 hours movie when he is in the car with the chick... don't know why but... yeah, this bring me a lot of memories, congratulations.
Entry 16: Nice ambient... I am running out of words to review this songs I pretty much like everyone songs, so... Greag song: Check. Nostalgia: Check ;)
Entry 17: Sorry... It is not you... It is me I got something psycollogical that hardly let me aprecciate the not real sound violin and trumpets, but telling the ture, if there were real, I will enjoy it a lot ;)
Entry 18: This is not an orchestra, it is? either way... pretty emotional. One of my favorites to be honest
Entry 19: Epic one, but not so nostalgic for my taste.
Entry 21: Man: Bartender, give me a glass of whisky. one of his friends enter to the bar and ask him why so sad, he mention the anniversary of his dead wive and start remembering. This song got tears of nostalgia man (y)
Entry 22: I love this strings on the begging, they make me remember the SSS Theme, yet nothing of nostalgia yet, sorry :(
Entry 23: Phantasy Star Online someone? Okay man, this is an amazing piece, some parts bring me good remembers but some others not so much.
Entry 24: Not the best sound quality, but taking that out, pretty nice western nostalgia feeling you put there.
After a bit of thought, I'd have to say... Entry 15.
okay, time to listen and vote HARRRRD~

Entry 1: Oh goodnessss, this was so nice! I'm a sucker for e.piano, so this was like hnngghhh for me. ;w; Totally made me think of flashbacks.
Entry 2: I like this one, but I'm not feeling especially nostalgic! It feels more like a cheerful character theme. Nice use of the pan flute, though; I dig!
Entry 3: Hmm, not entirely sure where to place this one. It feels like it belongs in a scene in which a character is indeed thinking on their SECRET AND DARK PAST~, but it feels more like learning from said terrible past and being determined to succeed in the future...? Either way, I like it, but it doesn't totally fit the theme to me.
Entry 4: My first thought when I heard this was "oop someone has a dead girlfriend/little sister". Definitely like this one, and it defs feels like a bittersweet flashback.
Entry 5: Ooooh, I really like the intro to this one! There were a few strange notes in here, though, that detracted from the overall fluidness of the piece. It was nice, though, and I liked the use of harp!
Entry 6: I like the simplicity of this one; the repeating piano bit makes for a nice effect I can't really put my finger on. I also like that bit in the middle where the strings/flute/clarinet (I think) are all echoing each other!
Entry 7: Hrrrm, it was a bit to grandiose in the middle to make me all misty eyed and reflective, but nice orchestration! That flute also sounds super clear and pretty and lovely. ;w;
Entry 8: Oh geeeeze, I REALLY like this one. But it feels more like a quiet, romantic moment to me instead of a flashback (well, until the timpani busts in). Hahaha, main thing I thought when I first heard this was "dat piano". <3
Entry 9: Not entirely sure how I feel about this one. The orchestration is really nice, but the melody doesn't really grab me. It also kinda fits the theme, but kinda doesn't...? It's not pulling me in either direction. I dig that horn near the end, though!
Entry 10: Oooh, now this feels like a flashback! The dream-like piano bit and harp combo, and then the music box bit is nice. The melody is very sweet, too. <3
Entry 11: This feels very determined and not very flashback-y. More like a climactic dungeon, to me! I really like the drum in this, though: it feels like a heartbeat!
Entry 12: This feels a bit too whimsical to be a flashback. Not entirely sure how to pin this one; it was a little all over the place. That flute bit was super cute, though! XD
Entry 13: Agh, I'm getting all misty eyed over here. ;__; This feels like memories of home. <3 The echoey-ness to it gives the impression of it being in the super distant past, too. I really, really like this one. <3
Entry 14: Ahhh, not feeling the theme here! Definitely feels more like a determined character theme or a dungeon or something. The percussion is cool, though. DAT TRIANGLE~
Entry 15: Uwaaah, pretty! It feels a bit muddy and quiet, though, which takes away from it. I love that guitar in there, though. <3
Entry 16: Oh man, now this is what I'm talking about. Again, digging that pan flute, and the accordion sounding thing. This definitely sounds like an RPG flashback scene!
Entry 17: This one is interesting! Doesn't really fit the theme and isn't exactly my cup of tea, but I like the movement in it.
Entry 18: Wooooaahhh, that windy sound is really cool. Doesn't feel especially game-y to me, but I like the atmosphere of this one. I imagine this one as the opening credits to a movie, more!
Entry 19: Mmm, same problem I had with entry 9. I can't exactly pin where it fits for me, but it sounds nice!
Entry 20: This has gotta be the funkiest flashback I've ever heard. Ah-hahahaha I love this entry, but not for this theme. XD IT'S SO CHAOTIC <333
Entry 21: Feels more like a character/"WE CAN DO THIS~" theme to me. I really like that low piano, though!
Entry 22: My first thought when I heard this was "REBEL LAIR~" or "CASTLE~". Doesn't fit the theme at all, in my mind, but I like it a lot. It's very powerful and commanding!
Entry 23: ...wooooaaahhh this one was so cool, holy man. IB I'm feeling the "memories" vibe, but not for a flashback...? It feels like a location to me; maybe something from someone's past, or a final destination with a lot of significance...? Kinda like a Zanarkand thing.
Entry 24: Uwaaah, real instruments! ;w; The poor sound quality kinda goes against you, but I really like this one! Feels more like a town, though.

Agh, this was a tough one, but I think my vote has gotta go to Entry 16. It felt like it belonged in a game, fit the theme and criteria, and the melody was just super nice! It stuck out to me, and it used a lot of instruments that I really like. <3
Vote: Entry 21
Some of the percussion in the background seemed a little bit out of place, but other than that I can't really find any fault in this piece. I especially loved the piano introduction.

I might add some comments on more individual pieces at some later time.
Honorable mentions to tracks 2, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 21, 24.

But my vote goes to 6. It's very good at evoking memories.
Second place is 18. I really like the windy, desolate feel.
Third to 1. I really like it.

Great job on all of these!
Ah, well, I may as well write a review of all of them. I cast my vote already, but I'll review them anyway, since I have more time now. xD

1. This sounds kind of like a theme I'd find in a shop or town of a more retro-style game (probably 'cause it's midi). Seems kind of like some music I've heard in Lufia II or Secret of Mana. Not quite the theme though.

2. Again like a town theme, though this would be more of a port town. Either that or the title screen. Still retro-sounding, though I suppose that's the midi again.

3. Sounds most like Runescape music... :P I do notice that it seems pretty off-key in a lot of places. Doesn't seem to fit the 'nostalgic flashback' theme.

4. Liking the pulsing strings. It seems pretty disconnected, though it does kind of fit the theme. Still does sound like a town and Runescape, I don't know why.
*5. Now this fits a lot more. I very much like this, even with the midi sound. Grats to whoever made this with midi, that's no small feat. Unfortunately though, since it's midi and not converted to even decent instruments, I couldn't have given it my vote. I notice a bit of off-key-ness in a few places.

6. Amazing intro. Probably the best out of all those I heard. I like how there's the echo in it. Unfortunately, it kind of runs out of steam and is essentially the same thing until about 1:15 or so in, where it changes for about two repetitions. I think that a lot more could have been done with the melodies in this, it started out so well. As it is, it's kind of... dull.

7. Pretty nice. I feel more like it's a ravaged town. Bit too dramatic for my taste though.

8. Very sweet and sad. Brings tears to my eyes. I think this does fit the theme quite well. Very town-like in some parts, still...

9. Intro reminds me of another song I heard in an indie game called Verge. Unfortunately, it also seems to have a slightly undeveloped tune initially, which put me off quite a bit at first. It's pretty good, but really needed a better hook.

10. Ice temple theme was my first thought. Then it switches to something completely different. Nice orchestration though. I think it's a tad misleading initially though, that's why I wouldn't vote for it. It also goes back into that part again. It actually would entirely work for an ice temple theme or some snowy area.

11. My Fruity Studio sense is tingling. I think this could use some better instruments. It sounds nice overall, but a bit too dramatic and repetitive. Ah, the curses of working with loops.

12. Um. Not a nostalgic theme at all. What Kentona said really is true. It is reminiscent of elephants. Not the point though, sorry.

*13. Throwback to #6. Fairly good. I like the orchestration, it's pretty darn good. I
once again think it fits a town a LOT better than a nostalgic flashback scene.

14. I think you're a bit late to the party. The Lava Temple themes were for round 1, not 2. It's pretty good though.

*15. I had voted for this one, mainly because it has some VERY nice piano. The strings and tubular bells in the background are really good. I mainly like this song because it's so subtle. Plus, the guitar is a very nice touch, was that recorded live? When it gets more upbeat, it's still pretty quiet, but oh well. The single thing I don't like about this as much is that the loop is pretty much only the second half of this, the intro goes on quite long and I would have loved if that could be looped back to.

16. Another town theme! Again, more of a seaside one. Very nice, but not quite "nostalgic flashback". Also. Loop, good sir (or madam)? I did this in my first phase entry.

17. Sounds very midi-ish, and a tad random. Not that refined, unfortunately. :| Could definitely use a lot more work.

*18. I personally think the mixing on this is pretty darn good. It builds quickly, not much of a tune initially. The guitar-ish sound is pretty nice. It seems more desolate, but there's definitely a note of happiness in there.

*19. Nice beginning. I noticed it right off. I very much like the shifting of the strings in the beginning, gives it a nice morphing feeling. There's some awkward pauses in it though, seems some of the strings have a long attack. I think this is pretty much a string ensemble with a few other instruments mixed in rather than a full orchestra, but whatever. I'm fairly sure the requirement is more "orchestral instruments, but you can add some other ones". Unfortunately, with all the morphing, the loop is kind of lost to me...

20. Sorry, your techno loops are not nostalgic, and barely orchestral. Please, please, please stick with the theme, rather than going off into other genres, phases, and iPhone apps.

21. Pretty nice, pretty nice... Bit long for a loop, but that's fine. It doesn't seem that nostalgic though, more town-like, like so many others. I think I recognize those strings. Not sure though. In any case, this is very nice, but I don't think it fits the theme properly.

22. Welcome to the arena! I don't think this fits the nostalgia theme, but it sounds pretty darn cool.

*23. Ambiance FTW. Seems a bit off-key in some parts, but sounds very cool. Not quite nostalgic, but more like a peaceful crystal cave. I think it's definitely more movie-like than video-gamey. Perhaps if it didn't change feelings so much... As it is, I'm not sure it would fit anywhere perfectly. As I had said though, crystal cave would be a pretty nice place to put it. Doesn't quite loop properly...

24. Recordings! Oh boy. Could use some more quality on the recordings, I hear odd sounds in the background, and distortion. You may want to EQ them a bit next time. I don't think this is really orchestral at all... But for live playing, it's fairly good. Seems very improv-ey. May want to order it a bit more. Not very nostalgic either, and doesn't loop.

And there's my reviews. To the authors, hope it's helpful.

Like Kentona did, I put asterisks next to my favorites.

Luck to you all!
My Vote: Entry 21
2nd place: Entry 13
3rd place: Entry 10

These were all pretty good! It was just hard to listen to all the tracks without getting sleepy, haha. Probably because of the theme.

Good job, everyone!
( ̄▽ ̄)ノ De-facto operator of the unofficial RMN IRC channel.
After much listening, my vote goes to Entry 13.

Entry 13 has a really cozy, home-like atmosphere to it and reminds me of a Hero reminiscing his days back in his hometown. Maybe he's even paying a visit there. It also has elements of the Hero's childhood memories with his childhood-friend-turned-love-interest (what Hero doesn't?) and just fooling around as a kid growing up. Slow and uplifting with beautiful instrument choices, it really fits the theme and gets my vote.

2nd place goes to Entry 10 which was also very nice. Listening to it, I was given the image of the Hero seemingly looking back at a distant past with perhaps a sense of longing, standing with a background of rolling Scottish highlands under a gray, cloudy sky. Sadly, I can only vote for one track, and Entry 13 was simply the better song here.

Honorable mention goes to Entry 20 because what the hell and Entry 16 because it loops.
My Vote: 10!

6 was a close second, but seemed to repeat for most of the song.
Entry 1: Not bad but the long sustain on the main instrument kills the emotion.

Entry 4 doesn't feel like RPG music to me, while Entry 5's first half sounds almost up to FF6's level. Yet I think Entry 4 is the best of the midi tracks. Entry 5 would have beat it if it weren't for the few awkward notes and impression of familiarity.

Entry 6: Sounds good yet reminds me a lot of certain Falcom Sound Team's compositions (Ys, The Legend of Heroes) so it doesn't sound original enough to me. I also dislike the strings in the last part.

Entry 7's bunch of middle parts stray too much from the theme. And fairy dust is a no-no.

Entry 8: Same problem as Entry 7, although it is one of my favorites. That last piano part after the silence is magical. Congrats.

Entry 9: Nice but the strings and brass bury the main instrument.

Entry 10: Almost professional level. The experience shows here again. Congrats.

Entry 13: A poignant, emotional start. A gentle yet solid bridge. And then it becomes a bit too "lovey-dovey morning" to fit the theme. Still, very close to professional works. Congrats.

Entry 14: The composer probably thought that Phase 1's theme still applied...

Entry 15: Nice use of the flute here. Also gets Originality points for its Western feeling. Ambient and simple, which is great for the theme. The few piano notes at 2:12 start something awesome yet abort it just as fast as they started it... I want some more.

Entry 16: Old school and memorable track, yet not as impressive as the previous ones. Such an abrupt ending is a no-no.

Entry number 17 made my ears bleed twice now...

Entry 18: How could I put this..? It lacks "landmarks"... It feels really messy. I don't think the wind was a good idea either.

Entry 19: Great work, yet feels too generic and lacks emotional strength.

Entry 20: Fun, original and disqualified for delivering zero nostalgia.

Entry 22: Nice marriage of instruments and melodies. Feels close to professional works too, yet doesn't fit nostalgia much. Congrats.

Entry 23: I love the subtle mystic touch at the start and the many original instruments and note streaks. It reminds me of some of FFX's songs. Congrats.

Entry 24: The recording quality is just really bad. I suggest you use more noise removal. Not orchestrated yet could become pretty good with further work.

It's so difficult to choose...
My Vote: Entry 15. Fits the theme well, memorable and original.
I'm voting 20 because no one else will. It gives me nostalgic memories of messing with keyboard settings and Garage Band. You're misunderstood, but I appreciate you.

Second place goes to 14 for giving me nostalgic memories of the last phase of the competition.
I'm gonna have to vote for 14 just because it's misunderstood.

Songs can be very complex, and if I listen to it ignoring the fact it sounds slightly lava temple like, I can sort of see what he was going for. It actually had a slight legend of zelda feel to it at bits.
My Vote: 8 Great orchestration and a fantastic melody, wouldn't seem out of place in any game I've played

Other stand out entries:

10: Loved the orchestration in this one
13: Memories of home/young friends. This one realy hit the theme
15: Good use of instrumentation
21: Great melody, really set the scene

The quality of the entries even surpasses the last phase!
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