Paragons & Renegades
Long ago, ancient scholars agonized over one existential question that would change the time space continuum, for all... time and space. That question: "Wouldn't it be cool to have a BadAss album, except for hero themes?"
We now have the answer in 18 tracks of BadAss arrangements of the most heroic heroes that have ever hero'd (and even some that aren't necessarily heroic but still did good in the end), from 21 heroic artists. While it may not change the time space continuum, it'll make the next hour and change pretty friggin' kickass, hardcore style.
"It’s been a long time. 4 years since BadAss 3, and 7 since the last time I had a hand in directing. It’s about damn time, and I’m proud to present the newest in the BadAss line, Paragons and Renegades: A BadAss Heroes Album! It’s finally here, you guyses! To commemorate this occasion, I'm gonna tell you a secret: I first started BadAss to have a different sound and tone when compared to what OCR had been putting out to that point, at least in overall style. Much as I loved all the albums to that point, I wanted something meaner and darker; I had just come off of DsoP and wanted more of that while at the same time not being tied down to a single game, so we joined up with KNGI and made it so. The making of BadAss 1 and 2 were some of the most fun moments I’ve ever had making music, & I look back fondly on those days. We made some kickass tunes, but I like to think it was the friends and memories we made along the way that make these albums good, & I think that's pretty kickass!
When Pieter and I first started planning a hero themed fourth album in the BadAss line in 2019, the only goal we really had was to have fun. I can't speak for Pieter, but I missed having fun making music. I'd been doing contract work composing & sound designing and I was getting burnt out by it all, but I remembered those days making BadAss 1 and 2 and how much fun it was. We were experimental & I think the tracks that come out of a BadAss album show that. So, we started BadAss Heroes if only to be experimental, to let the music guide us, and to just have fun. A lot has happened in the world since then, and so has my reasons for working on this album, this is a hero themed album, & maybe we can all use a reminder to better days when defeating evil and being a hero was as simple as loading up a game and pressing a few buttons. It’s become harder to see the better days, and even harder to see the heroism in the world. My hope is that this album leaves you energized, feeling badass, and most importantly, with some good ass memories. And hell, if we can inspire a little bit of heroism in you hardcore style, well, that’d be awesome too!"
"Welcome to Paragons and Renegades: A BadAss Heroes Album! A true spin-off from the main BadAss series focussing on heroes this time around and having two discs with their own feel. Why not a BadAss: Boss Themes Volume 4? Well, as I wrote in the album write-up of BadAss 3, I had been working non-stop on BadAss since its never-released spiritual predecessor, Crescendo to Chaos. BadAss 1 was really an experiment for us (I was just an assistant director then) and so was the music. A genre-style album, not focussing on a certain soundtrack, born from the KNGI community almost more than from the OCR community... it was new in many ways. In BadAss 2, I think David really found his niche of genre and we made it even rawer and focused than the first one. With BadAss 3, I took over as director and had my own staff without David. It gave me the opportunity to grow more as a director and give it more my (genre) niche and vibe: more eerie and more bombastic - more like a movie soundtrack. After that, I felt like the trilogy was complete and I did everything I could with the BadAss formula. But David and I (and others in the project threads) always teased each other with “well, one day there should be a GoodAss…”
And that day has come! We’re going back to something new, something fresh. Bringing different genres to the mix, having a new focus, being able to welcome new and additional mixers to the BadAss family and trying to figure out how to make something work all over again... It was the fresh energy I needed to direct another album, this time with David beside me! It has been a difficult one-and-a-half years for me (i.a. medically speaking), so making the time to work on this album and make a mix for it was very challenging for me this time around. But it has been a great experience slowing down and picking up again with David picking up when I couldn’t and vice versa. In the end, it was really fun doing this as it felt like two buddies making something new! And since GoodAss isn’t a great name and since we went for a separation of genres (bombastic and/or more peaceful on disc 1, and way more aggressive and raw on disc 2) this is: Paragons and Renegades! And who knows, perhaps there will be a Paragons and Renegades: Volume 2 in the future?"
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1-01 - The Hidden Ones
- Arranged by: Pavos
- Source: Ezio - Assassins Creed series
- Pavos: BadAss is back, but this time it’s the heroes’ time to shine! Usually I make ReMixes of fairly old (SNES-era) games, but Ezio’s theme stuck with me since I first heard it. No wonder it became the de facto overall theme for the Assassin’s Creed series (I do kinda feel sorry for the composer(s) of the first Assassin’s Creed game though). It wasn’t so long ago that I finished Assassin’s Creed Origins and hearing the theme in there gave me a lot of satisfaction and reminded me of how good Ezio’s theme is, but I also very much liked one of the battle themes in it. And while playing I already started mixing it with Ezio’s theme in my head. The new BadAss album was the ideal opportunity to give that idea a shot, because what hero is more BadAss than a master assassin? While my experience and most of my expertise lies in piano mixes (with various accompanying instruments), I’ve been working with a more synthrock style for an original album of mine. So I wanted to try and make a ReMix in that style; this is BadAss after all. The track was a lot more challenging to make than I had first anticipated, since I didn’t want to lose the tranquility and peacefulness of the Ezio theme and the dynamics in the build-up of the original, but still make it harder and more… well, BadAss. I’ve switched parts around quite often, changed the energy levels of the track a lot, but I finally found a synthrock-ish/piano-hybrid that I’m really happy with. The themes work perfectly together in this style in my opinion and I feel it pumps up the energy for this new (series of?) type of BadAss album to kick off!
1-02 - Time Warrior
- Arranged by: Sam Dillard
- Source: Crono - Chrono Trigger
- Sam Dillard: My idea for the track was actually pretending that Crono had become a playable character in Smash Bros. and after an epic intro, Crono jumps out of the Epoch and squares off against other foolish heroes and villains, with swords clashing as they fight on the wings of the Epoch and the background flies between the different ages throughout time and space. Sadly we will never see this, but I thought it would be cool to provide the soundtrack anyway!
1-03 - Chariot of the Moon
- Arranged by: RebeccaETripp
- Source: Cecil - Final Fantasy IV
- RebeccaETripp: I chose "The Big Whale" because Cecil is my favourite "paragon" hero in video gaming (maybe tied with Link). I had already done arrangements of virtually every other track that had anything to do with Cecil’s journey, including (to name a few) The Redwings, Mount Ordeals, The Lunarians, Mysidia, the Main Theme and the Credits/Epilogue/Prologue themes. However, this theme was still on my to-do list! I’ve always been enchanted with the whole idea of the moon and the Lunarian people in Final Fantasy 4. This seemed like a really good theme to represent the hero’s truest identity -- an identity which he doesn’t really discover until the latter part of his journey. The song also has a kind of grandiose, virtuous aesthetic that I associate with superheroes and old-fashioned epics. I’m hoping that this arrangement will tell a story of Cecil’s party slowly lifting out of a docking bay, optimistically thrusting into space, accelerating into the slipstream and then finally arriving to meet their collective destiny at the moon.
1-04 - Revenge on the Terror From The Deep
- Arranged by: Audio Mocha feat. Pandora's Bread
- Source: Magus - Chrono Trigger
- Audio Mocha: I remember seeing when BadAss: Paragons and Renegades was announced and thinking that I’d finally have a chance to contribute to my favorite line of albums on OC ReMix. I kept telling myself that I’d think of an idea for the album and start working on it as soon as I could. However, at the same time, I was also dealing with having to plan a move with my wife from Michigan to Colorado. With the worry of having to find another job and dealing with a move with an uncertain date, the thought of BadAss: Paragons and Renegades slipped my mind for a while since I was mainly focused on looking for work and interviewing after getting home from my job then. Fast forward about 10 months to finally having settled in Colorado and lurking on the forums looking for any open albums to join and I notice BadAss: Paragons and Renegades once again. My heart had sank because I thought I had probably missed my chance to join in! I posted in the album forum hoping that there was still time to join and was super stoked when I was told I could still make it. I knew I wanted to make some energetic surf punk track since that’s the genre I like to make most since it’s fun to play and is not commonly seen in the VGM world so a renegade character was the obvious choice but I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to pick. I made a list of various anti-hero characters from a bunch of my favorite games and eventually the choice came down to Dark Pit and Magus. After much deliberation, I realized that Magus theme worked perfectly with a surf punk aesthetic and I started thinking up ideas for it and the whole thing started coming along pretty well. However, I realized that the VST bass that I was using was not up to the task even after fiddling with it as much as I could, so I contacted my friend Alex (Pandora’s Bread) from Pixel Mixers and asked if he was up to laying down some bass for me. I may have gone a little too nuts with the composition I made for the bass on MIDI but in the end, he came through and added some great little touches that really made the track come together. After working through some feedback, I finally had a track that I felt proud of and can’t wait for everyone to hear once the album is out!
1-05 - Human After All
- Arranged by: David L. Puga feat. XPRTNovice
- Source: Eshe - Sundered
- David L. Puga: I love cosmic horror. Absolutely adore that stuff. I like metroidvanias too, which is what Sundered was a great old time for me! I’ve fond memories of playing the Eldritch Edition alone and feeling that solitude and loss; I also played in co op with my wife, back to back, the both of us whupping up on some of that eldritch ass and spending hours exploring hellish alien landscapes together with a beautifully horrific soundtrack pushing us on. A soundtrack that I would rate up there with the best of them for its beauty and horror. The main theme has been on my list to remix ever since, if only to commemorate that time spent with my partner, & I figured this was as good an excuse to check it off as any. I’d been listening (hell, I still am listening to) lots of dark synthwave at the time - Gunship, Perturbator, Dance with the Dead, etc - and I really wanted to do something in that type of feel, particularly Gunship’s “Cthulhu” and “Dark All Day”. To that end, I also wanted a sexy cool sax line that would make all the little sisters both cry and still believe; so I wrote a really noir sounding bit and hoped for the best because I have no idea how to write for sax. However, the synth sax just wasn’t cutting it. Luckily Joe came through and recorded some sax for me and elevated it to a new unseen maddening level! I’m talking like 60 Insight, if you can dig it? Anyway, hope you enjoy this cyberpunk flavored foray into horror!
1-06 - Part of Me
- Arranged by: heymagurany
- Source: Madeline - Celeste
- heymagurany: Celeste was my favorite game of 2018 and I knew I had to make an arrangement of at least one of the songs in the amazing soundtrack. So when I saw a new BadAss album in the works, I took the opportunity! This was a tough one for me. I wanted to make a rock arrangement while keeping to the source enough to make it obvious that Madeline is the BadAss in question while at the same time changing things up so it’s not just a cover. So I smashed together "First Steps," "Resurrections," "Scattered and Lost," and "Confronting Myself" into a guitar/organ slightly proggy rock thing. I hope you enjoy the result!
1-07 - Whip of Justice
- Arranged by: HoboKa feat. sykozealot
- Source: Simon Belmont - Castlavania 4
- HoboKa: I felt it was a must to include the Castle Gates theme to preface Simon’s Theme as gamers familiar with Castlevania 4 just love some gud fan service. Plus, it adds an element of spooky atmosphere. I used Omnisphere 2, E/W Composer Cloud, Aria Player, some Castlevania 4 soundfonts and a Sykozealot E-guitar VST Library Whom I discovered on Newgrounds. He rocks. Especially his Megaman X remix collection. The general idea was a cinematic Metal cover-remix, which is seen in more modern iterations of Castlevania games, like SoTN and the PS2 3D games. I also did some other fan-service things, like having an outro using said CV4 soundfonts. This was a long, painful process. In contrast, equally painful to the Project Staffers, whom I made my captive audience, whilst getting it to sound reasonable enough. And now... I’ll be hopping on to the Paths Less Traveled Volume 2 bandwagon. Wish me luck, OCR and beyond.
1-08 - Apex Predator
- Arranged by: Chernabogue feat. heymagurany
- Source: Samus - Metroid Series
- Chernabogue: When you think of badass video game protagonists, Samus comes to mind immediately and having some Metroid representation on the album was much needed. This track blends the Metroid Prime 2 Main Theme with Super Metroid’s Theme of Samus. I went for something sounding rock/metal and added synths to symbolize the space/sci-fi aspect of Metroid in the music. Big thanks to heymagurany who proposed to record guitars for this track and recorded some badass ones! See you next mission!
1-09 - Spirit of the Sword
- Arranged by: MkVaff
- Source: Fi - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- MkVaff: I came up with the idea for this song while I was in the middle of a completely different arrangement of another song for this project. I originally worked on a cover of Dark Pit from Kid Icarus Uprising, but I didn’t feel that the song captured the theme of this project well enough. During a workout, I randomly remembered Fi’s Theme from Skyward Sword, and started humming it, even though I hadn’t heard it for years. After going on YouTube and confirming that it was just as gorgeous as I remembered (if not more so), I decided to change my source material to that track instead. Though my primary instrument is piano, I’ve never practiced enough to become any kind of virtuoso on the instrument. If I had to choose a musical muse for that instrument though, I’d have to say that I’ve always had a profound respect for Tori Amos throughout the years. She has a wonderful way of using her classical training in interesting contemporary trappings, and often uses the piano beautifully to weave in and out of her vocals. This arrangement is heavily inspired by some of her earlier work, and it was wonderful to feel like I was channeling even a bit of her brilliance and sound into this already gorgeous source material. It was nice to be part of another OCR project and In the end, I felt this track fit in well with the paragon theme and was a much better fit for the overall concept. Luckily, weeks later, I also ended up completing the Dark Pit track anyway, which seemed too cool of a track to leave incomplete in its own right. I guess I still have a thing for those Nintendo themes!
2-01 - Devils Lament
- Arranged by: Lashmush
- Source: DooM Slayer - DooM series
- Lashmush: I went for a kind of last man standing approach to the track, which is not far from the truth in those games. Most everyone else in Doom games are either dead or people you kind of want dead. I took on the idea of a paragon "good guy" or rather pomp and glory "anti-hero" theme of E1M1 simply due to it being one of the suggestions and it kind of tickled me to put that spin on it. I really wanted to give some broader reference to the two original games and their tracks since they hold a special place in my own gaming past. A sum total of seven different tracks are used to cobble together this end result. I’m quite happy with my new approach to mixing and mastering as I think I’m getting closer to a clear and fully expressed sound. I do however feel like this is the product of me being quite rusty in terms of general composition since I put music on the shelf for a few years but it still delivers a good, solid punch and I’m pretty satisfied with the end result.
2-02 - Fire Cleanses All
- Arranged by: Mak Eightman
- Source: Firebrand - Gargoyle's Quest
- Mak Eightman: Mostly inspired by Rammstein’s Radio. I wanted to make a vocal song, but unfortunately I’m still not good enough with using a microphone.
2-03 - Blood Is Everywhere
- Arranged by: Clem
- Source: Caleb - Blood
- Clem: Blood is a really fun classic. This remix is an atmospheric take on the main theme. I took a very basic approach for sound design: lots of distortion and compression. But I made sure it still had some good dynamics. Thanks for listening.
2-04 - Eternal Shadow
- Arranged by: Steele
- Source: Nero - Devil May Cry 5
- Steele: When I heard about BadAss: Paragons and Renegades, I was immediately excited to get to work on a new remix. It just so happens that I had recently played Devil May Cry 5 at the time and I loved the song ’Devil Trigger’. I decided I’d attempt to remix this one even though I knew it would be a challenge because it’s a well known song with high production value. At first I was going for a synth rock style, but changed to a synthwave style half way through. I find it hard to let go of heavy metal when I am making a remix of this kind so I ended up doing a mix of both in the end. It took a long time as I was working full time in Japan but when I finished it, I was quite happy with the results. A big challenge was using a Vocoder for the first time and trying to get a dubstep voice similar to something like Teminite.
2-05 - Bassbag
- Arranged by: bLiNd
- Source: Duke Nukem - Duke Nukem 3D
- bLiNd: "Grabbag" has always been a favorite VGM song of mine and secretly I always wanted to do something with it but was never equipped enough to make my visions come to life. Well with the help of some Impact Soundworks Shreddage 3 Hydra guitar and my heavy drum n bass drum sounds I was able to make the Duke track come to life even more with a Drum n Bass remix. I really wanted to keep the feel of the original so the synths are also vintage sounding Roland JP series stuff. Hope you like it as much as I did making it!
2-06 - Righteous Ragemaster Rocketship Rampage
- Arranged by: Garpocalypse feat. Willrock
- Source: ToeJam and Earl - ToeJam and Earl
- Garpocalypse: I’ve been meaning to do a Rearrangement of something from this glorious OST by John Baker since I started doing OCRemixes years ago. However I felt that I could neither do the game justice nor make anything that could stand with the 2 other remixes on the site from the early days of the absolute musical juggernauts that are Jake Kauffman and Joshua Morse. When the call came that the legendary BadAss Album project was reviving for another installment I decided to finish this idea I had for a funk/powermetal take on “Toejam Slowjam” because there was no way that I would have been satisfied if I did not at least try to get in on this project. During the near final stages of the track I was still slamming my head off of my desk trying to figure out what more I could do to really drive this remix home and contacted long time OCRemix solo specialist and all around good guy Willrock who agreed to do up one of his solos for a section of the remix. It all came together to make for something I am very proud of and hope you all find it as enjoyable as I do. Toejam and Earl being the first game I ever personally owned the day that I received a Sega Genesis makes this a very special remix for me and I am thrilled to have been a part of this project with the many other great musicians that are part of this community.
2-07 - The Butcher of Blavikin
- Arranged by: Gunderslam
- Source: Geralt - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Gunderslam: It’s an honor to be on this album and to also be able to pick a song that I resonate with melodically. Geralt’s theme has elements from folk and orchestral music which pair really well to metal so it was an easy transition for me to work on this track. I also love the Witcher 3 and really like his character. My girlfriend points out to me some personality traits between us too, like me hating to wear formal clothes and playing meaningless card games (I like to play magic the gathering occasionally lol). Working on the song was super fun and I love any chance I can get to make something from a video game sound like it’s off of an Amon Amarth record. I’m super excited to hear this album in its entirety and excited to take part on this record!
2-08 - City of Lost Things
- Arranged by: Justin Lassen
- Source: Earthworm Jim - Earthworm Jim
- Justin Lassen: Earthworm Jim was first brought to my attention in the early 2000’s from my friend and kindred spirit Tommy Tallarico. He scored the video game and our circles crossed so many paths over the years. I met him before the existence of G.A.N.G., Video Games Live and his new Amico/Intellivision revival when he was still heavily scoring all kinds of projects under Tommy Tallarico Studios (I still have his CD-R business card from back in the day!). He pulled up in a yellow sports car with a custom Video Games license plate at a DTS 6.1 surround project I was mixing at the time and he had the best attitude ever! So I got to help mix his remix and stems even back then! So I took on this remix as a tribute to him in a way from my heart to his awesomeness and fantastic work over the last 2 decades! It’s upbeat, exciting and a lot of fun! I hope that I have done the theme justice for him and the fans of this now-retro run-and-gun platformer! I wanted to do a more visceral straight to the point rock with electro elements kind of version that ticks all the right bells. I had a lot of fun working on this remix! I even got to use my own loops from my own custom Black Fox Society loop library!
2-09 - And Hell Followed Him
- Arranged by: David L. Puga feat. Mak Eightman
- Source: Death - Darksiders 2
- David L. Puga: I’ve wanted to remix this song since I first heard it, it’s one of my favorites. Even tried to do it for a previous BadAss since a version of it is used in the Guardian boss fight; no matter how much I tried to dirty it up, the inherent heroism always seemed to shine through. So I decided to make a new BadAss album for heroic tracks just for this song. Probably anyway, I mean it’s not the only reason but it is one of them. So I started working on inclusion on this album, and after getting it to a good enough point I asked Mak if he wanted to come in and help me get the more visceral, rock sections to a higher quality. His Geets, Bass, & drums really made this fly! In a lot of ways this is the heroic counterpart to our Wesker track from BA3, as well as an evolution of that sound. I’ve always found it beautiful that in games this is used both as Death’s theme and the Tree of Life theme, that death & life are one and the same. This is my attempt to tell that story through music. Beautiful, naive beginning into the world, the inevitable hardships that test you as a person, the understanding that while not easy, finding balance is possible, and Ending with a crescendo of the elements giving way to a serene climax without a traditionally satisfactory end. Death, while absolute in a sense, is seldom the end; it always gives way to a new beginning somewhere. That there is always hope, & heroism in this world if we look for it. And if we can’t find it out there, then maybe we can find it within ourselves.
About OverClocked ReMix
Founded in 1999, OverClocked ReMix is an organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form. Its primary focus is ocremix.org, a website featuring thousands of free fan arrangements, information on game music and composers, resources for aspiring artists, and a thriving community of video game music fans.
OCRは１９９９年に創立されて、ゲーム音楽への感謝、保存、演出に専念するための組織です。OCRの主要な活動は ocremix.org で見つかるインターネットサイト。このサイトに数百のゲーム音楽好きに作られたリミックスのMP3と、ゲームの音楽と作曲家の情報と、音楽家を熱望している人のための供給源と、にぎやかなゲーム音楽のファンがいっぱいいます。