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Author Topic: Dekkadeci's VGM Piano Transcriptions: Castle Crashers Necromancer Theme  (Read 1283 times)

Dekkadeci

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This is the home of anything I'm willing to submit to NinSheetMusic and their Musescore ancestors. The Musescore ancestors often contain versions of the same song from different games. Most of them end with semi-improvised endings based on the source material because I hate abruptly ending VGM loops. (As will eventually be seen with "The Schemer" from Shovel Knight, the Musescore ancestors may be nigh-impossible to play for solo piano.)

You can listen to my works on Musescore's website (the audio will not be mastered there). I will neither be publishing nor submitting my transcriptions in order of arrangement. If enough of you request downloadable files, I'll start stocking up my Google Drive.

Transcriptions on NinSheetMusic
http://www.ninsheetmusic.org/browse/arranger/4953

Transcriptions on Musescore
https://musescore.com/user/9996931/sets/2205296 (Also contains piano transcriptions of non-video game music)

Kirby
Dark Meta Knight
In the Musescore ancestor, Bars 1-22 are from Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, Bars 23-40 are from Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and Bars 41-45 are the ending I semi-improvised. Beware--the treble clef notes in Bars 25-32 are an octave higher than in the original.

Galacta Knight
(a.k.a. "The Greatest Warrior in the Galaxy"...we may as well trust Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and the Kirby Super Star Ultra OST, right?)
In the Musescore ancestor, Bars 1-37 are from Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Bars 38-70 are from Kirby Super Star Ultra, and Bars 71-81 are the ending I semi-improvised. Beware--octave voicing is off in some of the phrases--this will be corrected in cuts I submit to NinSheetMusic.
My goal for this transcription is 100% melodic accuracy. I'm amazed that none, yes, NONE of the remixes I've heard completely nail the tune. Everyone has screwed up the solo (Musescore: Bars 25-58, Bars 58-61) and omitted the melody at the end of the loop (Musescore: Bars 34-37, Bars 67-70). More details are in the post below.
I am aware that this, especially the solo against its accompaniment, is probably nearly impossible to play for solo piano. Jonny Atma's sure tried twice already...

Revenge of Meta Knight Ending
(a.k.a. "Friends and Sun", "Sundown and Friends", "My Friend and the Setting Sun", "Meta Knight Defeated"...and that's just the Kirby Super Star version!)
In the Musescore ancestor, Bars 19-32 are the ending I semi-improvised.
The Musescore arrangement is purposefully thinner than the original so I can actually play it at full speed with (almost) no mistakes.

Prism Plains
In the Musescore ancestor, Bars 34-45 are the ending I semi-improvised. This transcription may be a bit off.
This is deceptively difficult because its notes are so fast--if it weren't for the triplets against duplets in Dark Meta Knight's theme, I'd say this is the unambiguously harder piece.

True Arena
In the Musescore ancestor, Bars 49-67 are the ending I semi-improvised. This transcription may be off rhythm-wise, and some accompaniment lines (and even arguably melody lines in Bars 2-9) have been omitted there.

Shovel Knight
The Schemer (Tinker Knight Battle)
Yeah, my original cut from the .nsf was nigh-impossible to play by a solo pianist (even though I already omitted channels). Many notes were trimmed after this was pointed out. (It wasn't originally tested on the piano, as opposed to the first 2 Kirby tunes on the OP.) It's still a wicked fast song to play.

Castle Crashers
Archetype (Arena Theme)
It's composed by Helix6. It's published by Newgrounds. It's found in Castle Crashers (as its Arena theme) and Thing-Thing Arena 2. This transcription is of the Newgrounds original.
This is meant to be sight-readable at full speed. It exhausts me, though.

Simple Sight (Necromancer Theme)
It's composed by Real Faction. It's published by Newgrounds. It's in the Piercing Lazer album. But, most prominently, it's found in Castle Crashers as the Necromancer's boss theme. This transcription is of the Newgrounds original, but The Behemoth loops the entire song in Castle Crashers (complete with empty space at the end), so how much does that matter?
This piece is in verse-chorus form. Each time the verse or chorus returns, this transcription changes that portion's accompaniment and texture. Perhaps this is some part arrangement and some part theme and variations...

Falsion
The First Space Flight
This is the Level 1 theme of an obscure 8-bit video game named Falsion. It's compatible with the Famicom 3D System peripheral, which tacks on one extra sound channel. If you're otherwise wondering how this transcription has 4 notes at once at points where normal 8-bit music should only have 3 maximum, this is it.
In the Musescore...er, ancestor (truth is, I wrote the "ancestor" and the upcoming Ninsheetmusic submission simultaneously)...the ending I semi-improvised is Bars 43-51.

I hope to transcribe songs I don't find good piano transcriptions of on the Internet. (There are loads of decent transcriptions of Super Mario themes and King Dedede's theme, there's already an excellent piano transcription of "That Person's Name Is" (from Bravely Default) by nnwt, the list goes on...)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 04:20:18 AM by Dekkadeci »
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Dekkadeci

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Re: Dekkadeci's VGM Piano Transcriptions
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 12:32:21 AM »

This is where you can help me out!

As mentioned above, I'm considering making Kirby Super Star Ultra and Kirby's Return to Dream Land cuts of my transcription of Galacta Knight's theme, and there are a few sticking points I appreciate having addressed first.

First things first: Other than easily correctable octave voicing, are the melody notes in my transcription 100% accurate?

For reference:
My transcription of Galacta Knight's theme
(Bars 1-37 are from Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Bars 38-70 are from Kirby Super Star Ultra)

Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Kirby Super Star Ultra
(I sort of don't like the sound balancing in Musescore Bars 46-51 or ~0:17-0:25 here, but I suspect that the one with the sound balancing I liked the best is now deleted.)

...I hate how debatable Bars 5-12 and Bars 38-45 are.

I'm the most concerned about the melody notes and rhythm in the solos (Bars 25-28, Bars 58-61) and the melody in the fractured measures section (Bars 29-33, Bars 62-66). Kirby: Planet Robobot's version of the fractured measures section sounds nice and regular, but both KSSU's and KRTDL's melodies there definitely jump around.

Second: Should I submit the Kirby's Return to Dream Land cut or the Kirby Super Star Ultra cut first? Galacta Knight's theme first appeared in KSSU, but I actually figured out the intro (Bars 1-4) for the KRTDL cut.

Third: For the KSSU version, what should I do for the intro (first 4 bars)? I suspect I'll use the same LH as the KRTDL version in Bar 4 to simulate the drums, but the first 3 bars are likely going to be pretty boring. Should I do a solid A-C-E chord for 4 bars, attempt to incorporate the guitar pulsing, or do something else?

Fourth: Do you like the arrangement in Bars 13-18 or Bars 46-51 better? ...Or do you evenly split between them and make me use a Bars 13-18-like version in KRTDL and Bars 46-51 in KSSU?

Fifth: Harmonic and accompaniment accuracy may have already gone out the window in my Musescore version, but do any places stick out and need adjustment, and if so, which bars?

I'm not 100% certain I'll ever edit the Musescore version, but all your comments will help me write the NinSheetMusic cuts! (I already foresee at least one LH adjustment in the NinSheetMusic cuts...)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 05:16:14 AM by Dekkadeci »
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Maelstrom

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Re: Dekkadeci's VGM Piano Transcriptions
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 03:10:27 AM »

Finally, a post on your PA thread:
1st: I'm sorry, and I'd love to help you, but listening to this song too closely gives me a legitimate headache.

2nd: It's completely up to you. Whichever you like best, or which ever you are most satisfied with your arrangement.

3rd. As a guitar player, the opening of KSSU is just a held chord, and nothing pulsing. If you do a chord, make it a piano equivalent of a power chord: 1st, 5th, 8th, as that's probably what's being played. Honestly, I can't hear any sort of intro notes besides the held notes there. You could use Ped. to hold the chord and pound a low octave for the cymbal beats. It's completely overkill, but it'd probably sound pretty good and give a desired effect.

4th. Imo, 13-18 sounds better, but that's just me.

5th. See first point. I'm really sorry about that.
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Dekkadeci

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...Great, now I'm looking for input on two transcriptions, not just one.

I'm pretty sure my transcription of Archetype (the Castle Crashers Arena theme) is good enough to submit (after fixing the formatting, of course), but the part I'm the least certain about is the copyright. My transcription is of the original Newgrounds version.

For reference:


Castle Crashers
I'm pretty certain the Castle Crashers loop doesn't fade out at the end, and I've heard evidence that The Behemoth extended it. I've only found one gameplay video with the suspected extension, though, so I haven't transcribed it.

Thing-Thing Arena 2
I'm not certain that the original Thing-Thing Arena uses this song, despite the number of Youtube videos claiming that it does--if it does, please tell me!

Especially since Castle Crashers contains only one song that is actually composed by The Behemoth's employees (its Barracks theme is composed by The Behemoth's longtime artist, Dan Paladin), and Archetype is found in Thing-Thing Arena 2, I'm having doubts that the copyright of Archetype belongs to The Behemoth. There's also Newgrounds's IP policy here to consider.

(I've privately talked to Maelstrom before about the copyright, but I'd like to see a consensus here before I put the copyright on the submission.)

Dekkadeci

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Finally, a transcription I don't need help with!

I whipped up this transcription of the first level's theme of an obscure 8-bit game called Falsion not too long ago, and I believe I've learned a fair amount about piano transcription from making this.

For reference:
My transcription of Falsion's The First Space Flight
https://musescore.com/user/9996931/scores/2477036

Falsion's The First Space Flight
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Watch NSFPlay play this song:
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The complete Falsion soundtrack source code is here: http://www.zophar.net/music/nsf/falsion.html, www.zophar.net/download_file/25630

Falsion is notably compatible with the Famicom 3D System peripheral, which tacks on one extra sound channel. If you're otherwise wondering how this transcription has 4 notes at once at points where normal 8-bit music should only have 3 maximum, this is it.

I found a few things that got in the way of transcribing this song:
  • The echo effect in the .nsf's Bars 9-23 sounds cool in-game but is horrific to transcribe. ...So I skipped it.
  • The triangle wave is notated an octave higher than it plays in Famitracker and NSFImport.
  • Nonetheless, attempting to faithfully transcribe the triangle wave either causes me to skip transcribing all inner voices or makes the transcription impossible to play. So, with much reluctance, I transposed the bulk of it, if not all of it, an octave up.
  • Several accompaniment notes in Bars 33-40 are supposed to be higher than the melody. That gets in the way of a good listening experience, IMO, so with much reluctance again, I transposed them an octave down.
  • Sometimes, Bar 16 sounds like it's an octave higher in the .nsf than notated in the transcription. Sometimes, it doesn't.
  • I don't have big enough hands for the major 10th span in Bars 3 and 7. Perhaps you do. I recommend using an arpeggio if your hands are similarly too small.

Dekkadeci

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Re: Dekkadeci's VGM Piano Transcriptions: Want Input on Galacta Knight
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 11:47:18 PM »

After receiving no replies for weeks, I've decided to submit Archetype to NinSheetMusic, so I no longer need help with that piece in this arrangement thread.

Dekkadeci

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Back to looking for input on two transcriptions again.

The second transcription this time is for the Revenge of Meta Knight ending theme!

My transcription of the Revenge of Meta Knight Ending Theme
https://musescore.com/user/9996931/scores/2583031

Kirby Super Star
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Kirby Super Star Ultra
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I mainly need input on two things:
  • Is this arrangement too thin to submit? It's purposefully thinner than the original so I can actually play it at full speed with relatively few tries (Archetype is sight-readable at full speed but exhausting, and it only gets harder from there--Galacta Knight's theme is near-impossible to play).
  • What should I name this when I submit it? The leading candidate is "My Friend and the Setting Sun", as shown in http://vgmdb.net/album/10970, and this would make sense, as there's a purported interview that says this song was based on the folk song "House of the Rising Sun" (the only evidence I can find of that interview is in Youtube comments). The ending cutscene and credits has the name as "Friends and Sun" according to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUOubU_DOwM. I think I've seen the Japanese title once, and it translates the most closely to "Friends and Sun" (I can read Chinese and, therefore, I can translate every kanji character I understand the meaning of).
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 11:05:40 PM by Dekkadeci »
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Tobbeh99

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the songs sounds more like it goes in 6/8 than 12/8 for some reason. Maybe because of the bass or something, idk.
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tfw you get schooled in English grammar by a guy whose first language is not English

10/10 tobbeh

Zeila

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Nice job with the Ending Theme! Based off of what you said/provided, I think "My Friend and the Setting Sun..." (complete with the ellipsis) is the way to go. People usually reference names from vgmdb, and here's the Japanese Soundtrack w/ Japanese titles for Kirby Super Star Ultra for clarification

As for the music itself, I think leaving it thinner is fine. Maybe you could try putting the bass part (or combine that with what you have, or even another part) in a section to add variety. Also, I think you should add more staccatos (like in m9) to signify that there's a slight pause or break. I'm no expert on time signatures and the difference between 2/4 and 4/4, but 12/8 seems like a good fit

Instead of putting dotted eighth or sixteenth notes, you could also put a "triplet" sign where you play 2 eighth notes for every 3. Here's an example:

Insig also did that in his arrangement of Revelation Mountain from PSMD. I think it's a matter of preference though, so if you don't want to (or can't), then that is fine

Keep up the good work :3
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Dekkadeci

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Instead of putting dotted eighth or sixteenth notes, you could also put a "triplet" sign where you play 2 eighth notes for every 3. Here's an example:

Insig also did that in his arrangement of Revelation Mountain from PSMD. I think it's a matter of preference though, so if you don't want to (or can't), then that is fine
That's a great idea! I'd prefer quadruplets over duplets, though. Notation in Bar 2 is going to blow, though, as it blends a smaller duplet with regular compound (quadruple) notation.

Dekkadeci

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Another transcription I (probably) don't need help with: the Prism Plains theme from Kirby: Squeak Squad!

For reference:
My transcription of the Prism Plains theme
https://musescore.com/user/9996931/scores/2736791

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Like all my Kirby transcriptions (including future ones), this was by ear, and I made some assumptions for the accompaniment. This is based on the speakers I have at home, which are probably fairly low-quality: when I heard the original theme at work, I found that several places I thought were filled with regular 16th notes were actually filled with 16th-note triplets. I can't figure out which places those are at home, though, and repeated 16th-note triplets are hell at that speed.

Latios212

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Hey, Prism Plains! Love this theme. Never bothered trying to arrange it because of its speed and... yeah. Lol

Not checking in detail right now, but looks and sounds pretty solid, I like :J Quick thing to point out: Bass in beats 1-2 of measure 2 and the like - don't really like the droning C. Sounds like it should be alternating octaves.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 06:26:33 AM by Latios212 »
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Dekkadeci

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Hey, Prism Plains! Love this theme. Never bothered trying to arrange it because of it's speed and... yeah. Lol

Not checking in detail right now, but looks and sounds pretty solid, I like :J Quick thing to point out: Bass in beats 1-2 of measure 2 and the like - don't really like the droning C. Sounds like it should be alternating octaves.
I checked the LH accompaniment multiple times before publishing it, and I can confirm that the droning repeated low C is accurate.

Latios212

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Beg to differ. Getting this:

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Dekkadeci

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Beg to differ. Getting this:


On further analysis, I've never been that good at determining low octave voicings. Even the Dream Collection version agrees with you.

Prism Plains has been edited with a hopefully more accurate LH part.
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