8-Bit Sonic 2 Piano Redux - Interview
Welcome to a special feature presenting a new fan-made album based on the 8-Bit versions of Sonic 2. Read on to see what the people behind the project have to say about 8-Bit Sonic 2 Piano Redux.
It's great when new community projects see the light of day and Sonic Paradox seem to be on a roll these days. Not only Sonic Shorts: Volume 8 and Metropolis Mayhem were released last weekend at Summer of Sonic, but now a new album comes to light.
Put together by Dr. Mack Foxx, Recorderdude and Espiokaos, 8-Bit Sonic 2 Piano Redux is a collection of all the music from both the Master System and Game Gear versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with a twist... Besides, the cover art was made by our own SonicRemix!
I had the chance to interview two of the guys behind this project, Philip "Dr. Mack Foxx" Byard and Thomas "Recorderdude" Hart, and this is what they had to say about the album, Sonic 2 being hard as hell and... the Wild West. Well, actually, that was me! Read on.
KC: First of all, thanks for taking the time to do this.
Recorderdude: No problem.
Dr. Mack Foxx: You're very welcome and thank you.
KC: First question, what is 8-Bit Sonic 2 Piano Redux?
Dr. Mack Foxx: Ah! This is a fan-album which contains all the music from the Sega Master System and Game Gear versions of Sonic 2, redone as piano/electronic remixes and covers. It was put together over the course of a year by John "EspioKaos" Weeks, Thomas "Recorderdude" Hart and myself, Philip "Dr. Mack Foxx" Byard.
Recorderdude: It's worth noting that Mack here handled the lion's share of the work. EspioKaos provided basework, and I helped debug certain tunes in the process, but Mack was the one that ultimately assembled the songs on the album. Regardless, it's been great to see it all come together.
KC: Great! When and how did the idea of making this album come about?
Dr. Mack Foxx: Well, it started well over a year ago. I had been collaborating with John Weeks for a few years making piano/electronic covers of music from various Sonic the Hedgehog games. After hearing one tune I proposed to post, John Weeks suggested I expand upon his basework. I had not played the 8-bit verison of Sonic 2 in several years and, with help from Recorderdude, revisited the soundtrack for 8-bit Sonic 2. I had completely forgotten how much I had enjoyed this game's soundtrack! At that point, it was settled for me. I was going to try and put my own spin on the 8-bit Sonic 2 soundtrack. All of it.
KC: Were you "raised" on the 8-Bit Sonic games?
Dr. Mack Foxx: Well, my younger brother [Alias: Aaraboga] had a Sega Game Gear with Sonic 2. I never managed a perfect game, but I did beat the game with its bad ending several times.
Recorderdude: I myself had become somewhat of a Game Gear enthusiast recently, so I had a better memory of the composition of Sonic 2 GG's soundtrack, making it relatively easy to help mack assure his tracks were correctly written.
KC: That was gonna be my next question! I never beat the game on the GG. Just managed to do that on the 3DS Virtual Console! Damn that first boss!
Dr. Mack Foxx: Ah, yes. That bloody Ant Lion. ^_^;
KC: I just played through Sonic Chaos on the GG and SMS for our Game of the Month feature and it's so much easier than Sonic 2!
Dr. Mack Foxx: I've heard that Sonic Chaos was much easier.
Recorderdude: Sonic Chaos for GG was pretty much designed to be incredibly easy due to complaints received for Sonic 2.
KC: There's something I didn't know, Recorderdude!
Dr. Mack Foxx: Granted, Sonic 2 on Master System was easier as you had about twice the playing field of the Game Gear version.
Recorderdude: Essentially, Sonic 1 had it just right, 2 was a bit too tough, Chaos was a bit too easy, then Triple Trouble got it just right again. In the eyes of the public at the time, anyway.
It's surprising just how much fan complaints influenced SEGA back in the day. Angry letters kept SEGA from localizing Popful Mail on the SEGA CD (A Wonderboy-style adventure game) into "Sister Sonic".
KC: Shows the difference between then and now.
Recorderdude: Haha, yeah.
Dr. Mack Foxx: Indeed, indeed.
KC: Although, they've listened to the fans more recently, truth be told.
Recorderdude: Then again, I can't think of a company that's pulled a Mario 2 on America in the past decade. We've sorta outgrown that age.
KC: Haha, yeah! Moving on, why piano/electronic versions?
Recorderdude: I'll let Mack take this one.
Dr. Mack Foxx: It's my sound scheme of choice. I've done a fair amount of digging around the remix community and really did not hear anything with my particular sound and style that remains very true to the original game music. Overall, John Weeks' and my collaborations have been very well-received on Newgrounds, for starters.
KC: Cool, and indeed this is different from most projects out there.
From all of the tracks in the album, is there one that you can choose as your favourite?
Dr. Mack Foxx: That's a tough one!
Recorderdude: Out of Mack's 8-bit Sonic 2 album I'd have to say the tracks that worked the best with his soundset would be the two endings: good and bad. It's worth noting, additionally, that the 8-bit Sonic 2 Bad Ending track from this album can be heard in the credits of Sonic Shorts: Volume 8, slightly condensed for time purposes.
KC: Ah! I thought I heard it before… on SoS apparently. :)
Recorderdude: This can be seen in SoS uploads, and eventually Sonic Paradox's official upload, once compilation is completed.
Dr. Mack Foxx: As for my choices... My personal favorites are Green Hills Zone and the Master System Boss Battle. Green Hills Zone just brings back good memories of the Japanese Sonic CD soundtrack. Amazing that Green Hills Zone came about a year or so before Sonic CD. As for the Master System Boss Battle, even the original version of that song would have been a great theme for the last boss of the game as it has a more frantic feel to it versus the Game Gear boss battle BGM. I would say I did well remaking the Master System boss battle BGM very well as if it had been the song for the final battle of 8-bit Sonic 2.
KC: Nice. My personal favourites are Bad Ending and SMS Boss Battle.
Dr. Mack Foxx: Ah, ha! Most excellent. :)
KC: I've got a sweet spot for Green Hills/You Can Do Anything, but these two are what made me tick :P
Dr. Mack Foxx: I definitely understand why.
KC: Funnily enough, Good Ending reminds me of a Wild West movie as you enter a Saloon!
Dr. Mack Foxx: Hmmm! Intriguing.
KC: I like it though. I just imagine a man sitting by the piano as cowboys sit by the counter asking for tequila.
Dr. Mack Foxx: I can see that.
KC: Could be Eggman playing the piano XD
Dr. Mack Foxx: Very interesting scenario.
KC: Anyway, back to topic. When is the album going to be made available?
Dr. Mack Foxx: Friday: September 9th 2013 at around 1 AM Pacific Standard Time.
KC: Where can people get the album from?
Dr. Mack Foxx: A video version will be available on YouTube for listening, but you will also be able to download the album from SoundCloud and MediaFire for free. :)
Note: In case downloads run out on SoundCloud, sorry. ^_^; I'd be very surprised, though, if these tunes get downloaded more than 1,000 times each in the next month.
KC: Who knows ;)
Dr. Mack Foxx: Well, if that happens, I can only hope someone or a group of people want to get together for a better premium membership on SoundCloud for me. ^_^;
KC: Haha! One last question for both of you guys: As part of Sonic Paradox or individually, what future projects can you expect from you?
Recorderdude: Individually, look forward to future musical compositions from Mack and myself, and the continuation of our "Sonic Manga Madness" series (it'll happen one day, we promise!).
As far as SP as a whole, as announced during Summer of Sonic, with the end of Sonic Shorts, SEGA Shorts has taken precedence. We cannot give you a definite date for release, but we can tell you that it will include Sonic shorts as well as shorts for other SEGA franchises and exclusives. Additionally, as teased, Metropolis Mayhem WILL have a continuation in the casino zone. No further information on that at this time.
Dr. Mack Foxx: I'm going to continue covering and remixing music from Sonic the Hedgehog and other various games. In addition, I'm considering whether to finish off covering the soundtracks for Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles or working on a remix album for the 8-bit version of Sonic 1.
KC: Who did the cover art, by the way?
Dr. Mack Foxx: SonicRemix made the cover art.
KC: Ok, guys! Thanks for this.
Dr. Mack Foxx: You're very welcome and thank you for having us. ^_^
Recorderdude: Not a problem at all.
It's been a pleasure chatting with these two guys and I think you'll like the finished product when it becomes available.
And here are the links for you to get your hands on 8-Bit Sonic 2 Piano Redux. Go get it NOW! And enjoy!
9th August, 2013 - 00:26 GMT
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