This was the first piece I wanted to arrange, along with Field of Hopes and Dreams (I haven't figured out how to approach that one yet!). What's really exciting here is that I got to build further on techniques and instrumentation I developed from pretty much all my previous Undertale arrangements. Plus I spent a considerable amount of time balancing every instrument, EQ'ing every track to get it sounding good.
My takeaway from the original track and the context of the boss fight is a mix of shock, terror, and some mischief. You know while ascending the palace that the king is not going to grant you access to the fountain, but what surprises you is his disapproval of his son. Not only does he show such disdain, he even relishes in his villainy. This creates a strong motivation to the player to abandon the pacifist method and go all genocide on him.
Hopefully you can tell from listening to my arrangement that I had so much fun with the percussion. After doing the I Am Setsuna track, No Turning Back, I had an itch to make another track with percussion that is intense but still quick on its toes. Nearly all of toby fox's original rhythm is preserved, and I merely layered on top of that.
For others wondering how to orchestrate music, think of it as remastering a game. You don't just copy the same notes and substitute orchestral instruments. That's like slapping on some high-res textures and calling it a day. Does anyone enjoy playing the Final Fantasy games ported to mobile with the smoothed out graphics? You have to remodel everything from scratch with more detail. So for percussion, a trick I use is to subdivide the original rhythm, and then cut it up and distribute it among a bunch of instruments. Give the big booming drums the down beat, and the higher frequency instruments the syncopated and faster 16th note beats. Here are all the percussion patches I used in this song.
Spitfire HZ01 Percussion - Boobams, Paper Djuns
Spitfire HZ02 - Sony Stage Drums
Soundiron Clacks - Bamboo Pole
Cinesamples CinePerc - Taikos, Concert Toms, Tambourines, Tubular Bells, Crash Cymbals, Ensemble Claps + Snaps
QL Stormdrum - Ambient Largeness, Lord of Toms Ensemble, Clacks (Taiko), Spring Drums
I used to only use the stage mic versions of the patches because I naively thought that was the best when trying to recreate the sound of a full orchestra. Here, I experimented a lot with close mic versions, and I discovered that with the right control I can really get the punchy sound of the drums out without having to raise the volume out. This extended to the melodic instruments too, and allowed me to give the cello the same percussive rhythm.
I repeated the first half of the song because it's my favorite part. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to explore without repeating the entire track. I didn't want to rush into the more intense variation right away because it deserves a build up. If you listen closely, the percussion rhythm in the first run-through is inverted before being restored at the repeat at 1:35. Another first for me in this track is pairing up instruments from different families. I used to keep the woodwinds, strings, and brass separate in their motifs, but here I had them all make friends and do parts solos together, so you'll hear match-ups like Harpischord/Horns, Piccolo/Trumpet, String/Percussion, Brass/Choir. Hope you guys enjoy this!
MP3 and FLAC available for Patrons. ► https://www.patreon.com/thesecondnarrator
Arrangement by Jeremiah Sun
Original Song composed by toby fox
DELTARUNE Chapter 01 is currently free to download on PC and the Nintendo Switch