Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 42 ~Asteroid Belt~ (Star Fox: Assault)

OriginStar Fox: Assault
Plays In: Mission 5 (Asteroid Belt - The Aparoid Menace)
Status: Arrangement
Arranged by: Yoshie Arakawa, Yoshinori Kawamoto

Love it or hate it, Star Fox: Assault's repertoire of orchestras may very well be the musical apex of Star Fox. The second Nintendo game to feature a full orchestra transformed a cheesy space shooter into a full-blown space opera; one still cheesy, mind, but now every story beat and character arc was granted more gravity and heft than ever before.

A number of songs from Star Fox 64 are given the orchestral spotlight, albeit with a slower motif. Some were disappointed it didn't emphasize  fast-paced action, but I can't imagine a more fitting tradeoff. Just take the fan-favorite arrangement of the Star Wolf theme: a cutthroat skirmish between two adversaries is revamped into the splendor of their joint destiny: two rivals, the greatest pilots in the galaxy, locked into glorious combat.

We also see this in one of my personal favorites: this foreboding arrangement of Meteo. Encapsulating the never-ending awe of space, it's a perfect complement to the stage's context: hunting down an old enemy within the endless black, as familiar wreckage and abandoned machinery haunt the Star Fox Team.

Even taken on its own, it holds such raw power. I envision slowly losing myself into the infinite darkness, the innumerable constellations and nebulae of the Lylat System swallowing me whole. The remains of the Gorgon war machine, destroyed in the battle of Area 6, gloomily drifting across the galaxy until resting at the vapor of Sector Y. The Pleiades, sailing across the cosmos with no pilot, guided by a purpose known only to those who created it.

Only once before had Star Fox presented such a pure depiction of space: the previously-covered Sector Y from the original game. Whereas that waltz depicted the grand beauty of space, this one commands its ever-lasting dread; the mystery of the unknown. But even such qualities hold such an imposing allure on their own, and I can't help but be swept up every time I listen. Even now, its gripping enigma terrifies me, as I imagine the Arwing's cockpit growing ever more claustrophobic in the depths of space.

Some days, I just want to lose myself into whatever reverie such songs provide me. The responsibilities of the adult world always stop me, and in truth, even as a child I caught myself saying, "I don't have time for this." But to think eternally with no concept of time and responsibility...the treasures that could be surely mined from such meditation captivates me.

Spinning. Falling. Absorbing. Soaring. Dreaming. Gaping. Sailing.

I want to create and imagine forever.

But not today. Someday, surely.

Final Thoughts: Hearing the original song pop up in Star Fox Zero was pretty fun, especially since its accompanying level didn't conform to the typical "asteroid field" template found earlier in the series. 

No comments:

Post a Comment