Songs of the Week (January 10th, 2013)
If the near-constant radio and television advertisements that have been taking up a disproportionately massive amount of airtime as of late haven’t already made you more than well aware, today marks the fiftieth anniversary of a day that will forever live on in FFR infamy. It all began as a routine celebration by the bourgeois and ruling classes, one to honor the traditional Christmastime festivities with a quaint twelve day-long song release event. At the beginning of the event the rest of the populous was enthusiastic enough, but as time grew on people began to grow increasingly wary. The songs, which were initially promised to be intended for all, resided at the upper end of the difficulty spectrum and were often times inaccessible to the lower rung of society due to outlandish unlock requirements. When it seemed that all was lost, a ray of hope appeared in the form of a secretive sect comprised of both the working class as well as a select few from the upper echelon who were displeased with how their contemporaries were running their beloved country. The group’s scheme to topple the oppressive regime quickly gained momentum and within a matter of days they had earned nearly unanimous support. It was then, on the eve of the final release, that the Synthlight Castle was treated to a violent uprising. Flames engulfed what was once a proud and noble structure, effectively reducing centuries of history and cherished memories into nothing more than a smoldering pile of darkened ash and formless rubble. Blood tainted Dance2 Avenue a vibrant crimson, and the disembodied heads of all the staff members were carried out on pikes for all to mock and bemoan. Although we as a populous have incurred many hardships since then, the sacrifices made by all those brave stepmen, women and children have nevertheless paved the way for a brighter future for all, a future in which the inequality between players has been made essentially negligible. It is on this day, the eleventh of January, that we celebrate our ancestors’ good deeds with a release of songs that are considerably easier than those that had been featured in the Twelve Days of FFRmas event.
Glaciate by Phantasma (DarkZtar) – Standard  / 1:31 / Dance / Artcore
Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Rondo by 40mP (Zakvvv666) – Tricky  / 2:19 / Dance / Happy Swing Pop
Garden Party by Blarsa (ichliebekase) – Tricky  / 0:53 / Dance / Bouncy House
Dragon Slayer by Richard Jacques (Silvuh) – Tricky  / 2:30 / Classical / Orchestral
I See You Staring by Lisa Lavie (psychoangel691) – Very Difficult  / 3:58 / Hip-Hop / RnB
Colors of the Wind by Marilyn Byrnes (iironiic) – Challenging  / 2:15 / Classical / Piano Solo
Our memorial release kicks off with a little bit of past meets present action. Those of you who are well-versed in FFR history should recognize Phantasma as being the artist behind such classics as Over the Frail Dream and Illumination of the Sky. DarkZtar, who made his FFR stepfile debut in 2008 with a single file but then remained dormant until 2012, brings us a short and sweet file for the song Glaciate. Being the easiest of our easy releases, this file doesn’t feature anything too difficult other than a couple of minijacks and polyrhythms at a relatively slow speed that should be perfect for introducing novice players to some of the sorts of patterns that they’ll be facing as they move their way up the FFR ladder. Check out the Dance section to give this one a try.
Next up on our list of releases is Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Rondo, an upbeat and cheerful piece by Vocaloid artist 40mP that features vocals from the (presumably) fictional idol Hatsune Miku. Don’t be led astray by the fact that stepartist Zakvvv666 has the number of the beast in his username; rather than featuring any outlandish patterns that would engender inexperienced players to flip over their table or desk in a fit of unbridled rage, the steps are exceedingly comfortable irrespective of play style and, aside from a couple of trills and grace notes, are straightforward enough to leave you feeling just as happy as the song itself is. Luckily for those who are lazier than most, Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Rondo can be found just a few spaces beneath our previous release under the Dance section.
It’s a Garden Party! Yes, that’s right folks, gardens from all across the American midwest have become sentient, removed themselves from the yoke of the earth, revolted against their respective homeowners and have gathered at some rich kid’s McMansion to drink Jagermeister and talk about assorted vegetables into the early hours of the morning! Or, at least, that’s what the tone of our next song may lead you to believe. Clocking in at just under a minute, Blarsa’s Garden Party is as blithe and airy as a light garden salad is. Thanks to the somewhat sluggish BPM, ichliebekase’s arguably treacherous decision to include hands, swipes and rainbow notes should be much more manageable for novice players than if they were in, say, a blisteringly fast speedcore file. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Dance is the location of this file as well.
For those of you who were unlucky enough to play through Sonic and the Black Night for the Wii, our next release may be familiar to you. Richard Jacques’ Dragon Slayer, an orchestral piece that sounds akin to something out of a Hollywood fantasy blockbuster, is both stereotypical yet at the same time unique. Since we’re dealing with relatively easy files this time around, getting a decent score on this file thankfully won’t be as difficult as battling a monolithic fire-breathing monster would be; rather, it’s more like attempting to slay a sickly komodo dragon with a really blunt stick. Silvuh keeps the difficulty low while at the same time maintaining a high amount of energy in his steps that will surely keep players of all skillsets fully engrossed for the entirety of the song. Check out the Classical section for this piece.
When all of the FFR genres meet up and hangout with each other, poor ol’ Hip Hop always seems to be left out of the fun. Even Funk, the suave middle-aged man with dreadlocks all the way down to his waistline, is still respected thanks in part to his service of being the drop-off point for every single new release back in the day. Thankfully for the often cruelly neglected Hip Hop, forum moderator and stepartist psychoangel691 has not remained ignorant to its plights. Although its offerings may not be as vast as its contemporaries Dance2 and Misc, Hip Hop nevertheless has a new addition to its repertoire with I See You Staring. If you’re after intermittent jumpstream runs, minijacks and smooth RnB lyrics courtesy of Lisa Lavie then you’re definitely in the right place, while if you’re not then…uhh…whoa, look over there!
Our final and most difficult file from this batch of releases is Colors of the Wind, brought to us by piano-file extraordinaire and on-again-off-again forum goer iironic. Just as the song style suggests, this is a piano solo piece and thus possesses many of the prevalent features of such sorts of files: variable BPMs, rainbow notes, polyrhythms, grace notes and even a surprise cameljack right at the end. If you’re a fan of pretending that you’re a brilliant composer performing your landmark piece in front of a fully-booked auditorium of men wearing luxurious suits and women draped in the most exquisite of dresses imaginable then you’re definitely in luck. If you haven’t already guessed, the Classical section is your destination if you’re jonesing to play this one.
And with that we wrap up our commemorative releases. As always, stop on by either the respective Songs of the Week topic on the forums or the comments section of this post and share with the other denizens of FFRland your thoughts, opinions or even scatterbrained ramblings about the releases and the like. Keep in mind as well that sign ups for 8th Official Tournament are now underway! Sign up today, lest for some strange reason you actually desire to miss out on what will surely go down in FFR history as being “The Beginning of the End.” What exactly does such an ominous statement mean? Hell if I know.
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