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ZessDynamite

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Salutations! I am ZessDynamite, but you can call me Zess. Ever since I was very young, I was enamored with video game soundtracks. So much, in fact, that to this day, I still pretty much exclusively listen to video game music. When I was younger, it was a personal dream/goal of mine to work as a composer for a video game, so I started composing and refining my skill.  Over the past several years, I've built up a sizable portfolio.

While I haven't composed for an official game yet, I have been quietly working on an FE fan game: Absolution. Before I even knew I was actually going to make this project a reality, I started writing music for the various characters and scenarios in the game. Flash forward to today, and an incomplete version of Absolution has been released the public! You can check out the thread ~~ here ~~ The current version contains the first act of the game, spanning from the prologue to chapter 9.

Please tell me what you think about these songs and give feedback if you can, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much for listening!

~~ Fire Emblem Absolution Music Playlist ~~

Song list with links to each song individually and descriptions/notes for each song:

Spoiler

NOTE: The quality of the instruments will vary wildly between all of these, because I slowly got access to better virtual instruments as time went on. Eventually, I want to remake every song on this list with my current instruments, which are probably the best I'll ever be able to use. Songs that have been upgraded to use the newest instruments will have an indicator saying so.

- Verdict -

The title theme! I wanted it to be sparse and tranquil, so it's just wind, the main theme, and wind.

- Farewell, My Brother - 

You dastard! You let one of my characters die! ... Oh well. You're probably hearing this theme then!

- Everything in it's Place - 

The base theme! I was of course inspired by FE9 and FE10 base themes, but I wanted this song to have it's own flair. I hope you can see yourself shuffling inventories to this theme!

- Steel on the Horizon - (Upgraded)

The preparations theme! This one takes inspiration from FE15's prep themes.

- Steel on the Water -

You know how Radiant Dawn had a special preparations theme for the last chapter in each part? Well here's Absolution's equivalent!

- A New Hero -

The recruitment theme! GBA FE inspiration here, but that's kinda obvious. Still though, I wanted it to sound unique.

- Distant Travels - 

A world map theme for when characters are traveling long distances.

- Fated Journey - (Upgraded)

A map theme. Specifically, the first one! Lighthearted and a little bit bouncy the start off your adventure.

- The Liberators -

A map theme. Spoiler Alert: There are rebels in the Absolution. You play as them. You liberate things. Usually with this music in the background!

- Vestiges of Hope -

A map theme. This plays in the later chapters of the first act, when the revolution gets serious!

- The Hidden - (Upgraded)

A map theme. Originally written with fog of war maps in mind, but... there's no FoW in Absolution. So it plays on dark or mysterious maps instead!

- Under Her Watchful Eye -

A map theme. This one plays only when fighting in certain sacred locations. It won't get to play very often, but I still wanted to make it the best song it could be!

- Brotherhood -

A map theme. I was inspired by Irish jigs and reels for this one. It typically plays in harbors and boat maps!

- No Glory -

A map theme. This plays during very important battles story-wise. Don't even think about achieving glory with this song in the background.

- Besieged -

A map theme. This plays on defense maps. Why? Because you're under siege, of course! Stop reading and get back to the fight before the enemy takes the objective!

- The Iconoclasts Rise -

A map theme. One of the final ones, actually! But not quite the final one. I was inspired by FE9's late game music for this.

- March of Pride -

Green units deserve a theme, too! This will play during the other phase in Absolution.

- Fearsome Stride -

Uh oh! A theme this menacing could only mean one thing: it's enemy phase!

- Sunlight Warrior -

The theme of the main character, Valentina. If I wrote it well, you can get a sense of her character just from listening.

- A Hollow Blade -

The theme of certain characters... can't say much else about them at the moment.

- Moonlight Champion -

The theme of a character whose sprite in the thumbnail is VERY outdated. This guy has been revised to look far more menacing, I promise.

- Call of the Void -

The theme of a certain character... can't say much else about them at the moment, either.

- The Rebel's Creed -

The theme of a group of rebellious characters. You can hear some of the melodies from "The Liberators" in this piece!

- The Conspirator's Waltz -

The theme of a very wily, conniving guy... I wonder what mischief this oaf is up to?

- The Pragmatic -

A generic character theme. It would play during conversations with regal or noble characters. This is actually one of the first songs I wrote, but I didn't orchestrate it for years.

- The Enigmatic -

A generic character theme. It would play during with characters who seem pleasant, but are perhaps a little eccentric.

- Light of Sanctuary -

A cutscene theme. Plays in locations and scenes pertaining to a certain deity.

- A Time Forgotten -

A cutscene theme. Plays in locations and scenes pertaining to a certain deity. You can hear melodies from "Under Her Watchful Eye" in this theme!

- Uneasy Victory -

A cutscene theme. Plays in after-battle scenes where the day is won, but the larger battle is not yet over.

- Together in the Sunlight -

A support conversation theme. Plays in peaceful and more lighthearted supports.

- Together in the Distance -

A support conversation theme. Plays in supports with a serious, but not dramatic tone. Expect some heart-to-hearts when this one is playing.

- Together in the Farce -

A support conversation theme. If this song is playing, there's probably some nonsense going on. I really enjoyed writing this; it's a different kind of piece than I'm used to!

- Together in the Clouds -

A support conversation theme. Plays in upbeat and cheery moments with bubbly characters having fun!

- Together in the Storm -

A support conversation theme. Plays when characters are having a particularly emotional chat- one that lets them understand one another just a little better.

- Charge! - (Upgraded)

A battle theme. Plays during player phase in the first act of the game.

- Mount the Offensive -

A battle theme. Will play during player phase in the second act of the game.

- Pressure -

A battle theme. Plays during enemy phase.

- Towering Goliath - (VERY Outdated)

A boss battle theme. Plays when fighting characters large in presence and/or size.

- Moonlit Battle -

A boss battle theme. Who is that mysterious masked man, anyhow?

- A Healing Wish -

The healing theme! ...which you will never get to hear in-game because of how the game works. 😞

- Mercy's Lullaby -

A cutscene theme. Plays in melancholic or tranquil moments. It's actually the main theme in music box form!

 

 

Edited by ZessDynamite
Update!

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Gotta say I like your arrangements, they efficiently gave good FE soundtrack vibes and would definitely fit in in some GBA hacks imo. Don’t know if it’s intentional or not but each of the tunes had this specific melancholic atmosphere. 

For example in the Royal Reunion, the choir gave the feeling of sorrow; like somebody is in pain or has died/sacrificed himself. It also feels like a tune for a male character/noble.

The Hidden actually works well as a fog of war map soundtrack till the midway. Felt like the map would be a dark cave or something. 

As for Besieged, I think it’s intended to be for a castle grounds based map. The trumpets make it sound like that, but the high flute notes make it feel like you’re in a dark forest at the same time. That might be just me, tho. 

Nevertheless, I liked these and hope you keep making more :)

 

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Oh, I like it. Just as Jeheza it's really fit in a GBA title.

As for my personal opinion: 

*Besieged feels like a close quarter map. 

*The Hidden gives a mystery vibe at the beginning. And then boom. It's suddenly become lighthearted and it's done magnifically!

*Royal Reunion, for a theme that would play with meeting with noble/royal it does sound like it. I get snob vibes just listening to it. Ahaha.

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6 hours ago, Jeheza said:

For example in the Royal Reunion, the choir gave the feeling of sorrow; like somebody is in pain or has died/sacrificed himself. It also feels like a tune for a male character/noble.

Yeah, I tried to blend an aristocratic sound with a more minor feel. I'm curious, though - is there any specific part of the song that makes it seem fit for a male character, or is it just a general, inexplicable feeling that you get?

6 hours ago, Jeheza said:

As for Besieged, I think it’s intended to be for a castle grounds based map. The trumpets make it sound like that, but the high flute notes make it feel like you’re in a dark forest at the same time. That might be just me, tho.

 

4 hours ago, Ycine said:

*Besieged feels like a close quarter map. 

I never really thought about it until now, but a tight battle in a castle/fort was the scene I pictured in my head while composing it. Really happy that vibe came through!

4 hours ago, Ycine said:

 

Oh, I like it. Just as Jeheza it's really fit in a GBA title.

 

For the map themes, GBA is definitely my main inspiration, though I find myself listening more to Radiant Dawn and Fate's soundtrack for leisure.

Thank you for listening!

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15 hours ago, 3+2=Pie said:

Yeah, I tried to blend an aristocratic sound with a more minor feel. I'm curious, though - is there any specific part of the song that makes it seem fit for a male character, or is it just a general, inexplicable feeling that you get?

Now that you asked, I guess it's the mixture of harpsichord and the sad feeling which together brought the theme of Pelleas from RD into my subconscious. And since Pelleas is a male character I started thinking the theme being for male character instinctively. Though, I also consider by standard the harpsicords and different types of clav to fit more for a male noble character. For female counterparts, high-pitched piano or violin.

Spoiler

 

 

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Hmm, these are all pretty good!

- Besieged: First off, epic introduction. However, the entire track is good. It reminds me of Justice RIP from Conquest. I don't know if it's the sad tune or the slight Japanese influence, but I feel it could play somewhere in the midgame, and evoke feelings like "This journey is only halfway; how many more lives must be lost to end this war?"

-The Hidden: Kind of a different type of track; it reminds me of some of FE4's map music. The transition in the middle is pretty cool as well. Unfortunately, I think it would be difficult to place in a FE setting. Don't get me wrong- it's still very good. I just feel the "calm, then suddenly energetic" style isn't very Fire Emblem-y. Unless you wanted to make it like Awakening and Fates and have the calm portion be the normal map theme, and the energetic section be "Ablaze."

-Royal Reunion: Before the choir came in, I felt it seemed like a support conversation ost of some sort. But afterwards, I feel it might fit a character like L'Arachel- someone who initially comes off as silly or forgettable, but later serves an important part in the plot.

Also, why are all the pictures hamsters? Not complaining, mind you.

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On 2/11/2017 at 1:19 AM, Rex Glacies said:

Also, why are all the pictures hamsters? Not complaining, mind you.

They're my guinea pigs, and I use them as the background for the sole reason that I have no other interesting pictures to use. I suppose I could use some of my mugshot splices to keep it Fire Emblem related.

These next two songs are largely inspired by my personal fire emblem story and characters (specifically the antagonists) and not so much the series as a whole.

- Villain Theme 1 -

I wasn't really satisfied with this one, but I've been stewing over what to do with it for a couple of weeks and just decided to call it done for now. As the title says, it's a song for a villain, though I made it for a group of villains. It would be used before their insidious nature or true extent of their power is known. Instruments: Harpsichord, Accordion, Glockenspiel, Hand bells, Choir.

- Villain Theme 2 -

I was much happier with this one. This version would play once the antagonists' strength is revealed, usually in scenes where they concoct their schemes. Instruments: Clarinet, Violas, Bass, Glockenspiel, Hand bells, Choir, Cymbals.

If you've listened to the songs and you're curious who the villains of my story are...

Spoiler

they're 5 manakete sisters, the youngest of which isn't truly evil at heart and will join the player's party in a similar vein to Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand year Door. I'm still very interested in hearing your original interpretation, though! That's what I find the most fun about sharing my music.

 

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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Wow these are all really good. If I may offer some feedback on the villain tracks, they don't really sound, well, "villainous" enough. The second one is a little more sinister, but if you didn't say these were meant to be villain themes, I probably wouldn't have guessed that was the case. That's not to say they're bad however. Keep it up.

 

EDIT: I reread the descriptions and noticed what you were going for. I guess the first one fits the bill in that case, but I still think the second could be more intimidating somehow.

Edited by Zelkami

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On 2/11/2017 at 3:20 PM, Zelkami said:

Wow these are all really good. If I may offer some feedback on the villain tracks, they don't really sound, well, "villainous" enough. The second one is a little more sinister, but if you didn't say these were meant to be villain themes, I probably wouldn't have guessed that was the case. That's not to say they're bad however. Keep it up.

Thank you for the feedback! I'll probably go back to them later and add something to create a more malevolent feel. 

Edit: Reuploaded to fix a minor few issues I noticed with the original

I tried something a little different this time... 

- Distant Travels -

A world map theme! The beginning became a little loud after the render, so remember to turn down your volume before you listen, just in case! Instruments: Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet, Violas, Cellos, Piano, Celesta, Harp, and Orchestral Percussion.

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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Okay, this isn't related to Fire Emblem in the slightest, but I still wanted to share it.

- Battle! Rival -

Fire Emblem isn't the only game franchise I draw inspiration from. I've been working on Fire Emblem-inspired songs for a while now, and I wanted to take a brief break. As you could probably tell from the title, this is my take on a Pokemon rival battle theme. The sprite is a simple yet unpolished splice/recolor of some Generation 5 battle sprites I made.

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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Didn't check around here for a while and you were busy it would seem.

*Since it's the first I've heard, Distant Travels. It works really fine as a map background's music. But it would also fits with a "prepare to battle" menu and to a "recap story" music or a "interlude for the next chapter" as we had in FE7.

*Villain Theme 1, the beginning doesn't feel villain at all, it's more intriguing until we reach the "chore" who does sound gloomy. Considering using it for a villain's introduction would fit.

*Villain Theme 2, since the beginning is much more "marked" than Villain Theme 1, it does work better than the first one. So yeah, having it for a direct confrontation with the villain is the best. Or has the pre-fight dialogue with the said villain.

*Battle!Rival, the use of trumpets (I think that the instruments you've used) is awesome. The transition just before the trumpets is really well done and the melody that follows *claps*. Overall it has a good energy and I like it.

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On 2/25/2017 at 0:13 PM, Ycine said:

*Battle!Rival, the use of trumpets (I think that the instruments you've used) is awesome. The transition just before the trumpets is really well done and the melody that follows *claps*. Overall it has a good energy and I like it.

That instrument is actually a saxophone! I probably should put down the instruments I used. Saxophones are one of my favorite families of instruments simply because of it's versatile and unique sound, so anytime I have an opportunity to use them, I will not hesitate to.

Thank you for your feedback!

I return to FE-inspired music with a new song:

- Fated Journey -

This one is intended to be a map theme for the first chapters of the game. Instruments: Flute, Clarinets, Trombones, Trumpets, Violas, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Glockenspiel, and Basic Orchestra Percussion.

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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It has been quite a long time since I've been able to work on my music, and thankfully, my schedule is finally loosening up.

- No Glory -

This song is more of a remaster of something I composed many months ago: My first Fire Emblem-inspired piece of music. It's just a simple map theme; not necessarily written for one kind of chapter.

Instruments: Harp, Trumpets, Trombones, Flute, Clarinets, Cellos, Violas, Violins, Basses, Piano, Basic Orchestra Percussion.

Feedback and comments are always immensely appreciated. As always, thanks for listening!

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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It's really good, I especially like the beginning and the end of the composition. 

To me this would fit weel anywhere be it dungeon crawling, visiting village or on a map.

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Aiming for some sort of boss battle theme with this composition:

- Towering Goliath -

Instruments: Basic Orchestra Percussion, Basses, Cellos, Violas, Violins, Choir, Tuba.

As always, thanks for listening!

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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I already commented your video but I will give you my opinion about it here too.

I like it. It reminds me of Final Fantasy 4 for some reason. At first, I thought it was a little bit short but if you intend to use it for boss battle theme it's really fitting in my opinion.

Have a nice day and keep up the good work!

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On 6/14/2017 at 4:19 PM, Ycine said:

I like it. It reminds me of Final Fantasy 4 for some reason. At first, I thought it was a little bit short but if you intend to use it for boss battle theme it's really fitting in my opinion.

Interesting! I'm not familiar with Final Fantasy at all, I'll have to check out a few of the songs form FF4. I kept it short only because it was intended to be for a Fire Emblem boss theme. Since fire emblem combat lasts very briefly, the later parts of the song would be wasted since the battle would be over well before it could loop.

Thank you so much for your continued feedback!

- Brotherhood -

I was suddenly hit by a wave of creativity today and just made a song from scratch. It's another chapter song, but I decided to theme it a little by giving it some Celtic flair.

Instruments: Basic orchestra percussion, guitars, piccolo flute, trombones, piano, glass armonica, basses, cellos, and violins.

Any comments or feedback is appreciated! And, as always, thanks for listening!

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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A fine tune. It may be because of the portrait shown in the video but it seriously has a "battle on sea" vibe to it or something like a nordic village festival. 

Good job. Have a nice day!

 

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A fine tune. It may be because of the portrait shown in the video but it seriously has a "battle on sea" vibe to it or something like a nordic village festival. 

Good job. Have a nice day!

 

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On 7/19/2017 at 2:34 AM, Ycine said:

It may be because of the portrait shown in the video but it seriously has a "battle on sea" vibe to it or something like a nordic village festival.

It's funny, I wasn't even thinking about the portrait at the time, but now that you mentioned it, I realized it fits with the feeling I was aiming for. I believe many sea shanties are heavily rooted in traditional Celtic rhythms.

Thanks again for the continued feedback!

New song! - Battle Preparations - 

Obviously, this is my take on a song for the battle preparations screen. I found myself taking inspiration from Echoes and Awakening with this one.

Instruments: Piano, harp, violins, cellos, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, hand bells, tubular bells, glockenspiel, and basic orchestral percussion.

Any comments or feedback are appreciated, and, as always, thanks for listening!

 

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I can definitely hear the Echoes inspiration. It has a light tone and is quite calming to hear. At some point it also reminds me of some themes in Ace Attorney. 

Overall I like it a lot. Good job and have a nice day!

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On 7/25/2017 at 2:34 AM, Ycine said:

At some point it also reminds me of some themes in Ace Attorney.

I should try composing a proper ace attorney song someday, seems like it would be quite fun. Thank you for the continued support!

New song! - A New Hero -

This is intended to be a recruitment theme. I took the most inspiration from the GBA games, but I did my own thing for the most part.

Instruments: Drum Kit, Piano, Cellos, Violas, Violins, Trumpet, French Horn, and Trombone.

Thanks for listening!

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What I like the most about A New Hero is the piano part, it's really pleasant to listen to.

Good job and keep up the good work!

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On 9/4/2017 at 1:56 AM, Ycine said:

What I like the most about A New Hero is the piano part, it's really pleasant to listen to.

Thank you! As my personal FE creative project develops, I've started thinking about tying all the music I've made together with instrumentation and leitmotifs, and I think something I'll do for that is using piano more in my compositions.

New song! - Charge

This is a song for the regular battles against normal enemies. I took a little inspiration from across the FE series for this one. 

Instruments: Piano, Violins, Cellos, Basses, Alto Flute, Trumpet, French Horns, Trombones, Basic Orchestral Percussion.

Retro Version uses the FE8 soundfont. (Thanks to circleseverywhere for the rip. The piano instrument he added to the soundfont is also awesome)

Thanks for listening!

Edited by 3+2=Pie

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