Radical Dreamers and Cardboard Cutouts

August 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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So earlier today I was trying to explain something really weird that has happened to me at least twice in my life. I’ll tell you about the one incident I remember most clearly. I was in Home Depot, walking with some friends, and I noticed a man standing in front and slightly to the right of me. I wasn’t making eye contact with him, but I was aware of his presence. And for some reason, my brain decided that he was a cardboard cutout.

At this point, we continue walking towards him, and I’m now looking directly at him trying to figure out what this cardboard cutout is advertising. “Is this a paint advertisement?” “Is this for garden supplies?” Then suddenly he moves, and I get so startled that I scream right at him! Of course, this startles him and he looks very confused. So after I catch myself, I start profusely apologizing, and awkwardly trying to explain to him that I thought he was a cardboard cutout. Then I thought, “wait, is that offensive?” So then I dive into all these weird disclaimers like, “n-not that you look like cardboard… I mean, I just, from far away you were standing so still… and I… I don’t know, I’m sorry!!” He was nice about it.

Time for a weird weird segue!! I had the pleasure of collaborating with Meine Meinung on one of my favorite video game songs (Radical Dreamers 盗めない宝石 from Chrono Cross, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda). This cover has 2 guitars, double bass, and vocals… and if you are familiar with Chrono Trigger, you should be able to pick up the nice throwback they put in the arrangement ^_^ Originally they asked if I wanted to come to their studio, but I’m not in Japan right now, so they edited me in. And I think it looks pretty cool… sort of like I’m there, and sort of like a cardboard cutout (get it? Because of my story earlier? Ah… ehhh… sorry)

For real though, these guys are awesome. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you will not be disappointed. They have some of the best video game music covers on youtube, they’re fantastic musicians, and they have a really good sense of humor ^__^ I hope you enjoy our new video!

Play for Japan and To Far Away Times

April 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Video Games | 11 Comments
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Last week I was invited to participate in Akira Yamaoka’s Play for Japan: The Album, which will be released on iTunes at the end of May. The album is going to be a compilation of music created by video game composers from around the world, and all proceeds will be donated to the relief effort in Japan. I can’t tell you how honored I am to be able to help in this way; my favorite game composers, whom I have looked up to since I was a child will also be participating (Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu, Akira Yamaoka, etc.). I will try my hardest to compose something beautiful for this album, I hope that I can do a good job!

Also, Matt made a request for “To Far Away Times,” and since he’s like the biggest Chrono Trigger fan I know (he even had a job beta testing the original SNES version) I had to fulfill it ^_^ Hope you enjoy!

Chrono Trigger – Frog’s Theme (piano improvisation)

April 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Video Games | 11 Comments
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This one is super short. I was messing around after finishing the recording of “To Good Friends” and decided to play “Frog’s Theme” as well… Originally I wasn’t going to post it because it’s not even 30 seconds long, but then I got a request for it… Now I’m really glad I didn’t just delete it! Hope you enjoy!

Also… who is your favorite Chrono Trigger character? Mine is either Frog or Schala… but then again, I also really like Robo. In terms of battle parties, my favorite was Chrono, Marle, and Ayla because it was fun to do Cube Toss and Falcon Strike!

Chrono Trigger – To Good Friends (piano improvisation)

April 7, 2011 at 12:21 am | Posted in Video Games | 16 Comments
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I love this song ❤

Lavos is a Giant Durian

October 22, 2010 at 12:13 am | Posted in Video Games | 17 Comments
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I’ve always thought that Lavos looked like a giant Durian…



Favorite Video Games

May 23, 2010 at 3:08 am | Posted in Video Games | 101 Comments
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I need to take a break from working on boss battles in Melolune (too many variables, my brain is gonna explode!!) so I decided to write a quick post asking all of you, “what are your favorite video games and why?” I love this question. It’s always one of the first things I ask people once I find out they play games. Here are mine:

1.) Chrono Trigger

This is by far my favorite game of all time. I love how the story is initially simple, but grows deeper and more complex over time. I still remember how moved I was when I found out one of the major plot twists in the Kingdom of Zeal, and how sad I felt when Azala said to Ayla, “we have no future” ;_; The art was incredibly detailed and beautiful, the music was memorable and evocative, and the gameplay was fun. I hadn’t experienced turn-based battles before, so at first I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t fight enemies the way I did in Secret of Mana… but I quickly acclimated and developed a great appreciation for how balanced everything was, and how fun the double and triple combination attacks were. I remember looking forward to watching the battle animations everytime I learned a new move. The ending was great, and the “New Game+” option made it easy to go through the game again looking for all the fun little secret endings… All in all, it was a fantasic game.

2.) Starcraft

Yes, that’s my Hydralisk figurine which was given to me by George when he still worked at Blizzard.

For starters, one of my secret nerdy-dreams is to someday commentate for a live Starcraft pro-match. I was first introduced to Starcraft back in college. My dorm floor was filled with gamers, and I was naturally curious about this game that everyone seemed to be playing all the time. I decided to ask about it, and soon enough it was installed on my computer and a bunch of people were arguing over how best to teach me how to play. Despite this, the most coherent explanation I got was, “Make guys who will make these buildings, then use the buildings to make armies and go kill stuff.” … Um… yeah… thanks guys… So as you can imagine I didn’t do too well at first. After a while though I decided I wanted to get good, so I played through all the campaigns (I loved the story so much that I ended up reading a few of the novels), and played a bunch on battlenet. I even spent some time playing in Korea, haha… but that’s another story. Basically, it’s an incredibly fun and engaging game (so engaging in fact that I often play a game instead of taking an Advil if I have a headache or leg cramp or something) with a really cool story.

3.) Megaman 5

I love the original NES Megaman series in general, but the reason I chose 5 was because I had such a personal attachment to it as a child. When we had to write about 3 accomplishments in school, I chose overcoming my fear of elevators, something else I can’t remember, and beating Megaman 5. The game was so fun, the levels were the perfect length and the bosses were the perfect level of difficulty… they didn’t frustrate me to the point that I was stressed out afterwards, but they were hard enough that I felt like I had accomplished something when I beat them. The graphics were basically top notch for the NES, and the music was SO GOOD. Oh and I got such a kick out of the intro and ending sequences… (“Protoman!??”)

4.) Yoshi’s Island

Cutest. Game. Ever. There is a level called “Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy.” I actually first learned about Shigeru Miyamoto from reading the special Nintendo Power that talked about this game. I remember thinking, “wow, that guy must be so creative to come up with something like this.” Besides being cute and having a really charming art style, the gameplay was excellent… great player control, some of the most interesting and satisfying sidescroller puzzles I’d ever played (like that one bonus level where you have to navigate through a confusing pipe maze)… And I loved how in the very last bit of the ending credits song you can hear the original Super Mario Bros. riff worked into the score as they hold up Baby Luigi and Mario and it says “Our heroes are born!” ^_^

5.) Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

I don’t know how many times I’ve played this game… Yet every single time I play it, I’m just as excited to finally get Zora’s slippers or the magic hammer so I can explore those blocked off areas. I catch myself spending time just exploring the world… I love the little grove where that musician guy (Poe?) is playing his flute for all the forest animals who run away when you get close… I love how you can swim underneath that castle bridge and find a hobo who hooks you up with an extra jar. The dungeon puzzles make you feel smart. The only thing I didn’t like was how in the beginning your uncle says, “Zelda is your…” and then you never find out… she’s my what? My sister? A vampire and here’s a million dollars? (100 points if you get that reference)

It’s tough making this list… there are so many games that I enjoyed that it’s tough to rank them like this. I think my list changes a lot too depending on my mood. Sometimes Secret of Mana is up there, Twilight Princess, E.V.O. The Search for Eden (which is totally one of those games that no one has ever heard of, despite the fact it was awesome and I have a very strong hunch that it inspired Spore), Star Tropics, Maniac Mansion, Megaman 2-4 and ZX, the first Suikoden, Super Mario Bros. 3, Puzzle Fighter, DoTA… So many great games.

So yeah, how about you? What are some of your favorite games? ^_^

Chrono Figurines

May 21, 2010 at 1:45 am | Posted in Video Games | 18 Comments
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Oh my gosh these are great…

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