'Balloons' Animal Crossing inspired orchestrations by Ryan Stunkel

Float away

Balloons is a relaxing acoustic album, inspired by the music from Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series. With this in mind, I had two goals. One, I wanted to make the style fairly minimalistic, while keeping it emotional. And two, I wanted to make each track represent different times of day. So, I based each track on a general time during the day, starting with “Wake Up” for the morning. I wanted to incorporate a lot of my own style and personal taste into the composition and arrangement of each track. Although the album is not particularly themed towards Animal Crossing, the games remained my source of inspiration and I created this album to sort of give them under my own interpretation!

There is a story to this album, but I don’t want to say what it is because I like hearing other peoples interpretations of a story for the music! So if you have any ideas for stories I would love to hear them.

The entire album was created using the following VST and AU sample libraries:

Versillian Studios - vis.versilstudios.net/hand-chimes.html
East/West Hollywood Strings
East/West Symphonic Orchestra
East/West Goliath
EZ Drummer

But thanks for coming by to listen to Balloons! And another thanks for if you liked it enough to download it. The support is greatly appreciated!


Feel free to contact me to ask questions or just say hi!

Website: ryanstunkel.com
Email: ryanwstunkel@gmail.com
Skype: stunkel2
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/pianoatlarge
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/ryan-stunkel
— Ryan Stunkel

Metroid inspired original album 'Child of the Chozo' by Will Brueggemann

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One-half of the Super Marcato Bros reveals the lost legacy of Metroid.

Will Brueggemann, better known as Super Marcato Bros when he voltron's with his brother Karl, has created an 'inspired by' tribute to the entirety of the Metroid games. Series composers Kenji Yamamoto, Hirokazu Tanaka, and Minako Hamano are all paid tribute to over the course of nearly two dozen tracks. From the NES original and the SNES classic, through the multitude handheld outings, and even into Wii/GCN territory with some tributes to the Metroid Prime series.

Grab the full album for $5 on the Super Marcato Bros' Bandcamp page for Child of the Chozo.

Boss Battles for the Soul - a collection of SNES 'bonus tracks' by Kyo

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The first time I heard this album, I hit play and let it run in the background as I did other tasks. The moment the second track on the album came on, an alternate battle theme from the SNES classic Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars, I could only focus on the album. This arrangement would easily fit into Yoko Shimomura's original soundtrack. 

Boss Battles for the Soul is a fantastic title for the album, as each song doesn't simply use the soundfont of SNES classics, Kyo takes the spirit of the music into consideration as he arranges each track. Seven classicSNES games are represented on the album. In all, the album includes Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore, Legend of Zelda, Link to the Past, and the aforementioned Super Mario RPG. I didn't really plan to list every game, but they are all great. 

If you have ever wished a game like Link to the Past could have had just one more boss fight, or if there was just one area of Earthbound you hadn't seen yet, then this album is worth a listen. Sit back, listen, and imagine what could have been.

Grab the seven track album for $5 over on Kyo's bandcamp page.

Alternate reality Mega Man, the Super Marcato Bros Mega Buster Soundtrack

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Another 'Inspired by' type album. I have to wonder if there is a slightly catchier name for this type of VGM. Sadly, words fail me. Fortunately, this Super Marcato Bros release can cure any blues with their patented funk jazz brand of alternate dimension Mega Man soundtrack.

This is a complete soundtrack as well, with songs for a variety of new villains such as Vector Woman and Electrode Man. The greatest part of the soundtrack is the moment the  blue bomber storms the evil Dr Billy's castle. No i did not mistype.

Much like my favorite track from Mega Man 2, the ending theme, I am elated to say that the finale of Mega Buster also finds a place in my heart with it's sudden turn into an upbeat, celebratory dance track. This falls easily in line with my idea that there is a giant party after the hero saves the day. I mean, why wouldn't there be?

Grab the full, 16 track 'OST' for a measly $3.99 from the Super Marcato Bros. Bandcamp.

Spirit Climes - a Tales of Xillia inspired electronic album by Emrls Community Music

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I love these types of albums, such as Spirit Climes from ECMusic that take inspiration from a game, then flip that into an original album full of tunes inspired by that game. It's almost as if you get a bonus disc of amazing music included with the game. In this instance, said game is Tales of Xillia 1 & 2 from the often overlooked Tales of... series of RPGs. Though I haven't played this particular iteration of the series (I am also doing some o that overlooking, sorry Xillia fans), I feel like I can recognize the style of To... series composer Motoi Sakuraba.

This album opens with a breezy, cool summer evening style atmosphere, a sharp contrast to the burning sunlight hours of August, when this album debuted. As the album continues, tracks such as "Sylph" and "Volt" create a different atmosphere. One filled with a little more adventure and perhaps a few enemy encounters.

Even in this albums most intense or bass thumping moments though, there is always a sense of calm flowing just beneath the surface. I believe it's that undertone that shows the influence of the renowned but slightly obscure music of Motoi Sakuraba through the entire album.

The seven track instrumental album is available for download via the ECMusic bandcamp page.

H.A. Sedda pays tribute to Koji Kondo & Motoi Sakuraba in new album 'Chosen Giants'

Guitarist's original album influenced by the Legend of Zelda and Tales of series.

Sedda has quickly returned to the studio for a follow up to his impressive VG tribute EP Vignettes from Millennia. In his latest, he continues his fusion of influences. This time, not just in tribute to two particular games, but two incredible pantheons of games, the niche RPG series Tales of, which began with one of my personal favorite games, Tales of Phantasia for the SNES. The second title is about as far from niche as a game could get, of course I'm talking about the wildly acclaimed and beloved Legend of Zelda.

Motoi Sakuraba and Koji Kondo have been the foremost composers for their respective series, and it's clear that H.A. Sedda has worked hard to provide music worthy of these influences.

Chosen Giants starts softly with "Melomakarono" (which Wikipedia tells me, is a type of Greek dessert). The song quickly spirals into a fusion of genres, including glitch, jazz, rock, and more. Once the song kicks into the closing half, the gentle tones give way to a foreboding shift in mood. The guitars cackle out riffs as the drums and deep bash push forward unrelentingly. This track goes from 'resting at an inn' to 'boss battle' in under four minutes, like a medley of songs from a game that never existed.

At this point I can't help but think of a few of my favorite scenes from Tales of Phantasia, such as the snow falling as Mint and Cless have a conversation outside an inn, or dropping to the depths of the ocean to find a now destroyed ancient civilization (as many RPGs do).

'Klutz Nicolette' follows. This theme takes on a much more positive tone, though no less adventurous. That's not to say that Sedda doesn't fill the song with his brand of eclectic instrumentation and mood. The songs finale builds, as if a great strength is enveloping the hero as the track comes to a close.

Title theme, Chosen Giants, brings the EP to a close. The guitar work on this track is vibrant, and ever flowing. It's easy to get drawn in, making this my favorite track of the clearly too short album. The final track evokes some of that deep dark dungeon exploring that is at the heart of so many classic adventure games and RPGs. It's easy to imagine descending deeper and deeper into the depths of the earth as the song pushed forward. This, of course, includes the requisite dungeon boss battle. The struggle builds and builds, with a single final note deciding the fate of the album. and possibly some grand mission by a group of ragtag adventurers.

The constant shifts of mood in each song create a varied and emotional trek through his music, surprisingly reminiscent of the games S.A. Sedda is influenced by. Thanks to this, he has quickly rose through the ranks of my favorite VG inspired guitarists. Now, I hope Sedda can find the time to nail down a full album. I can't imagine how many influences he could muster in a full 45 minutes.

No matter what musical endeavor H.A. Sedda takes on next, at least he can rest assured that Zelda fans are a patient breed thanks to Nintendo and game delays.

Download the album by naming your own price on the Chosen Giants bandcamp album page, or stream the full EP below.

Video game inspired heavy metal album 'Sleeping With Wolves' from guitarist Husky by the Geek

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Debut original album by Youtube one-man VG cover band

This album is a surprise hit for me. I'm digging around for hip hop as I tend to do lately, when I stumble upon one mighty stallion of a metal album from incredible guitarist and musician Husky by the Geek. Eleven video game covers drenched in sweet sweaty guitar riffs and double pedal drums.

Or so I thought.

When I first came across this album, I noticed that this album is tagged as 'covers' and 'video game music' yet I don't recognize any songs on the album. Am I losing my touch?

Nope! Turns out this is an album of completely original tunes, and they are amazing. Husky by the Geek tears it up over eleven tracks of amazing video game inspired metal instrumentals. I would definitely play any game that had this music in it. I want to hear some chiptune covers of this album and that'll create some kind of time distortion I'm sure of it.

If you are in need of your VGM fix, check out all of HG's videogame cover music videos on his youtube page. The album is available now via Loudr and Bandcamp for $9. Stream the full album below.