Plants vs. Zombies 2: Egypt Theme on the piano

January 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Plants vs. Zombies piano version series | Leave a comment
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Hi you guys! So a lot of folks have been asking me whether or not I contributed any music to Plants vs. Zombies 2. To answer your question: Yes, a lot of my compositions from the original PvZ were remixed for the sequel; I also composed the music you hear during the Egypt stage. Originally I gave it a silly pun name, as I did with all the earlier tracks (“Walk like an Egyptian Zombie” heh heh)… Anyways, I hope you enjoy ^_^/

Terra’s Theme

February 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Hi everyone! I hope you’ll enjoy my first collaboration with my friend Britaney! She is a really talented violinist who does covers of video game and anime music on youtube. You can find her channel here. We decided to arrange and perform Nobuo Uematsu’s lovely composition, Terra’s theme from Final Fantasy VI. I hope you’ll enjoy!

Why I love video game music

December 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Video Games | 7 Comments
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I’ve been experimenting with a new video setup in order to try and improve the audio quality of my piano videos. I really wanted Hard Man’s theme from Mega Man 3 to sound good because it’s very special to me… it was the first piece of video game music I had ever learned when I was a kid, and it launched me in the direction of loving video game music and eventually pursuing it as a career. So… here is my piano improvisation of Hard Man’s theme from Mega Man 3:

I also suggest listening to the original NES version… the middle part is especially great and really matches the fast-paced feel of his stage. Lastly, here is a vlog that I made explaining why I love video game music (sorry for the weird thumbnail… youtube always seems to catch me in the weirdest poses, or when I’m half-blinking):

The Rescuers Down Under

October 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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When I was a kid, there were certain movies that just took me away… Miyazaki films definitely fell into that category, as did most films from the Disney Renaissance. One in particular, was The Rescuers Down Under. It’s certainly one of the more lesser known films during that era, but it is one of my favorites. The story is about a boy in Australia who befriends a giant Golden Eagle after rescuing her from a poacher’s trap. Shortly after, the same poacher kidnaps the boy in hopes of getting him to reveal the Golden Eagle’s nest. In order to save him, a team of very brave little mice (Bernard and Miss Biana from the Rescuers Society) travel to Australia and begin searching for him… If you haven’t seen this film, this scene in and of itself makes it worth watching:

The film also had very beautiful music (composed by Bruce Broughton). Here is my piano video tribute. I arranged this when I was around 10 because I fell in love with the film and its score. I’m such a sucker for films where a human befriends an animal or otherworldly creature (Iron Giant, How to Train your Dragon, The Water Horse, etc.)… Anyways, hope you enjoy!

No Yoshi is an Island

April 3, 2011 at 2:45 am | Posted in Video Games | 10 Comments
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I don’t know why Yoshi makes me so happy. Perhaps it’s because I have such fond memories of playing Yoshi’s Island when I was younger. Perhaps it’s because everything in his world is so weird and funny and cute…

See those puffy white things? If you eat them then your pupils will get really small, you’ll completely lose your balance, and the world will wave back and forth as if you’ve had too much to drink. The level is very appropriately named, “Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy.” Besides hallucinogenic dandelion puffs, you will also be shrunken and eaten by a frog (your only way out being to shoot eggs at its uvula), sent into outerspace to fight a crow by pushing spikes through the other side of the planet (which I suspect was an inspiration for Mario Galaxy), morphed into trains, cars, helicopters, and submarines, and chased by someone named “Tap Tap the Red Nose.”

The world is highly interactive for a Super Nintendo game, which is probably why I spent so much time replaying it… Besides wanting to get 100% on all the levels so I could unlock bonus mini-games and secret levels, I also wanted to uncover all the little hidden details that made the world feel so creative and whimsical. In one of the levels, there’s a row of enemies standing above you. Their goal is to pass a bomb from one side of the room to your location so that they can hit you with it… But if you stomp the ground while the bomb is being passed from enemy to enemy, whoever is holding the bomb will prematurely drop it, causing the poor butterfingers to lower his head in shame as his peers disapprovingly shake their heads.

I could go on and on about how much I loved the gameplay, the puzzles, the character art, the music, and the world… but the thing I love the most about this game was how it inspired me. When I was younger, I used to subscribe to Nintendo Power (I also got grounded a lot for calling the Nintendo Power Hotline, but that’s another story)… My favorite issue was #77 because it had an article on Shigeru Miyamoto that completely fascinated me. This was the first time I’d ever heard anything about the creator of Super Mario Bros. and I was immediately impressed by him. When I was growing up, I always found myself immersed in some sort of creative activity… I drew comics of my friends on the side of my math homework, I procrastinated practicing my Classical music assignments because I was too busy improvising new songs or figuring out how to play the music from Little Nemo the Dream Master on the piano, I wrote stories and designed new levels in Megaman, and I was always imagining. The more I learned about Shigeru Miyamoto, the more I felt like I could relate to him and how he saw the world. Yoshi’s Island was like this big crazy manifestation of all that creativity… and after reading that Nintendo Power article, it became my dream to work in the video game industry; I promised myself that I would never abandon my creativity and that I’d always try to look at the world with a childlike heart.

So that brings me to the latest video:

This is my improvisation of the ending theme song from Yoshi’s Island, which was written by Koji Kondo. It’s beautiful and sweet; a perfect way to end the game. The premise of the game is that Kamek (a wizard and caretaker of Baby Bowser) has foretold that Mario would stop Bowser in the future… so he sends his cronies to kidnap Baby Mario as he’s being transported by the stork to his future parents. The cronies are able to kidnap Luigi and the stork, but Mario falls safely onto the island of the Yoshis. Shortly after, the Yoshis set forth to rescue Luigi and the stork so that the babies can be delivered to their parents. At the very end of the game, the parents hold up Baby Mario and Luigi, and “heroes are born” is shown at the bottom of the screen. Right at that moment, the Super Mario Bros. “level completed” riff from the original game is been worked into the composition… it’s so beautiful… I’m slightly embarassed to admit this, but I get tears in my eyes during that part.

Anyways, I hope you like this rendition… and if you’ve never played Yoshi’s Island, I hope you get the chance to play this wonderful game. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you, too.

Plants vs. Zombies piano versions #7: Sheet Music!

September 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Plants vs. Zombies piano version series, Video Games | 100 Comments
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So as most of you know, I’ve been trying my best to post piano versions of the music from Plants vs. Zombies on youtube and I’ve been amazed at the response so far! I’m really happy to learn that there are so many people out there who can appreciate video game music, so thank-you all for the support and kind words. And if you haven’t gotten a chance, I hope you would subscribe to my channel ^_^

In the meantime, I’ve got something for you today: Since I’ve gotten literally thousands of requests for sheet music, some awesome folks have stepped up and transcribed sheet music for all of my piano videos 🙂 Thanks, you guys rock!

This set of transcriptions was done by Tobias Deussen from Germany. It has all 8 pieces: Brainiac Maniac (Dr. Zomboss), Cerebrawl, Choose Your Seeds, Grasswalk, Graze the Roof, Loonboon, Moongrains, and Watery Graves.
Pack of 8 pieces of sheet music in pdf

Ron Lester Crisostomo has also transcribed and uploaded a couple pieces of sheet music to scribd.com if you’d prefer to see them online:
Graze the Roof
Brainiac Maniac (Dr. Zomboss)

And lastly… I’m working on setting up a music store at bandcamp. Currently it has my old album and the first part of the Melolune soundtrack, but later I’ll be using it for the Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack.

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