Tag Archives: Select Start

OILD – Ice Cap Zone

OH YEAH BABY!! I’ve gotten almost no sleep in the past 72 hours. There were lots of highs, lots of lows, but as you know by now, the goal was reached! All 493 caught, more than enough money raised, and tons of fun had. You helped out a great cause, and because of that I’m making one of my biggest Obligatory Ice Level Day posts of the month. You knew this was coming… it’s Ice Cap Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3!!

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You’d be hard pressed to find a more famous ice level. Act I starts off with Sonic snowboarding down a giant hill before crashing into an icy cave. Inside the cave is a series of steep slopes that will repeat from now until the end of time (or at least until the end of the game’s timer) if you don’t hop onto a frozen ledge and allow it to smash through a few icy barriers. Killer icicles rule the day in this cave; if they’re not sticking out of the walls, they’re covering the floors. Sometimes you even have let a huge icicle crash into the spiky floor and hop onto it in order to progress. Dr. Robotnik Eggman ROBOTNIK has worked to make this place even more dangerous by installing machines that blow freezing air and building penguin-like badniks. After busting out of the cave you’ll end up on an iceberg, and face off against a robot that uses levitating ice as a shield. Defeating it leads directly into Act II, which starts off in a more open, snowy area. Here you’ll find some shuttle loops that the Sonic series is known for, as well as some springy platforms. Really this Act isn’t as long as the first one.  Once you get to the end, you can find Robotnik piloting yet another silly robo-vehicle. It blows cold air that can freeze Sonic, and the spiky weight it pushes out can crush him. However, if you jump on the weight, you can get close enough to hit the machine and destroy it.

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Ice Cap Zone wallpaper, oh yes! I couldn’t decide which part to draw, so I drew ALL OF IT (kind of). Get the full version here!

I think you can guess what today’s music is. Yep, it’s Ice Cap Zone Act I and Ice Cap Zone Act II! This is a pretty famous theme. How famous? Well…

TODAY’S REMIXES: I won’t lie. Ice Cap Zone has been remixed so many times that it’s almost a running gag. Regardless, I like a lot of Ice Cap remixes. So let’s list a ton of them, shall we?

IceCapped by McVaffe is a very gentle remix, with a lot of harp and flute sounds in it. It’s one of the first Ice Cap remixes I ever downloaded and I still love it. IceCap Zone (Frozen Knuckles Mix), by Rayza, starts off with a decidedly bizarre speaking part, but quickly moves into a great mix that stays close to the source material. Ice Attack is by Trance-Canada and is a really nice trance interpretation of the song. Hot Ice is by DarkeSword and is a calmer version with a nice beat, and it also mixes in music from Lava Reef Zone. Snow Motion, by SkyHigh, is a slow version that nevertheless doesn’t drag and is great fun to listen to. Memories Frozen in Time is by DCT and Just Us, and is a rap version about the struggle of following a dream. Eastern Ice Field is by Big Giant Circles and is a uniquely eastern take on the song. Breaking the Ice, by DigiE, is a great electronica version that has a lot of cool synth sounds. Snowboardin’ Sonic is by Willrock and is a lively mix with some fun solos in it. As you can see, you could make a whole playlist of great Ice Cap Zone remixes! I love all of these.

Speaking of which, remember how I said remixing Ice Cap is practically a running gag? Well a few years ago, OC ReMix pulled a hilarious April Fool’s joke with ReCapitated: An Official OverClocked ReMix Tribute Arrangement Album Project. I think by now you can figure out what the gag is. But what made it even funnier was that OCR regulars actually made gag songs for this “project.” All of these remixes are wonderfully terrible, so get a good laugh out of it! Hey, I told you Obligatory Ice Level Day isn’t a serious holiday, didn’t I?

And let’s not forget about my favorite Ice Cap Zone remix: ICE COLD RETRO! It’s by Joshua Morse and was made for our OILD soundtrack. It has a great beat and is tons of fun to listen to! And don’t forget that the soundtrack also has wonderful mixes by Posu Yan and Select Start! Please go download it if you haven’t already. And visit their websites too! Let them know how rad they are for helping out with this event! Those artists deserve some love!

THANKS AGAIN for watching the marathon! You all deserve some love too! Give yourselves a hand, ok?

OILD – Sunset Rock

Today’s the big day! The Pokemon marathon starts TONIGHT! I know the stream is already up and as such, few people will see these next few updates until after the marathon. But that’s ok! For some folks it might be like a flood of fun after the show. Today’s level is kind of an unexpected one, but cute nonetheless. It’s Sunset Rock, from Snowboard Kids!

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Snowboard Kids naturally had a lot of snowy courses, but Sunset Rock is the cutest in my opinion. Mostly because of the penguins. Near the beginning of the course, you race past a huge penguin-shaped house. There are also penguins waddling around the course, and running into them will cause you to lose precious time. After that, you can board past a snowy forest, but make sure to avoid the gigantic boulders that rain down from above! There are also several huge jumps after this, which offers you a few chances to pull some nice tricks. There’s also a huge snowman that shoots ice out of its eyes, which is a bit bizarre. After that is a snowy cave with huge penguin signs stapled to the entrance, as all snowy caves should have. When you get to the end, a flock of macaroni penguins are there to greet you! Congratulations! You have now snowboarded your way into their little spheniscene hearts.

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Today’s wallpaper, folks! I got the idea for this after seeing 1stpkmnfan’s Snowboard Kids marathon. Get the full-size version here!

And our music! I couldn’t pick a single Snowboard Kids tune, so instead I went with Frozen Ray, a song from Keyboardmania. YES IT HAS “FROZEN” IN THE NAME SO IT COUNTS QUIET YOU.

And now for a bonus remix! Rainbow Snowland is actually two remixes in one. It combines Frappe Snowland and Rainbow Road, from Mario Kart 64, and it’s by Dhsu!

And don’t forget to visit the official Obligatory Ice Level Day page and download the soundtrack! It has great remixes by Posu Yan, Joshua Morse, and Select Start! What are you waiting for? DOWNLOAD IT!

OILD – Ice Forest

Tomorrow! Tomorrow’s the big marathon! Oh I can’t wait! For any newcomers: Welcome to The Speed Gamers! You’ll be in for a great show. I hope you can help out Ally’s House by donating or by promoting the marathon. Either way, thanks!And if you’re new: This is part of the Obligatory Ice Level Day celebration. All month long I’ve been posting about famous ice levels. Why not visit the OILD page and download the official soundtrack? It’s got great ice remixes by some super-talented musicians! You can also find a link back to all the previous OILD posts and see all the other wallpapers. This goes on until December 25, so there’s still a lot to talk about!

Today’s Obligatory Ice Level Day obligatory ice level is a tricky one. It’s Ice Forest, from Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts!

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Yep, Ice Forest. The Ghosts n’ Goblins series is notoriously difficult, so some people never reach this level. I certainly can’t: BIG THANK YOUS go to my brother for capturing these shots for me, as he’s run through the game hundreds of times.

Arthur ended up in the Ice Forest after fighting his way through some demonic intestines. This stage doesn’t have slippery floors, but it does have blizzards. And spikes. And bottomless pits. The earlier volcanic level had a giant cat-like monster called Fire Woo, but this level is home to the ice-breathing (regular) Woo. After fighting through a small army of Woos, Arthur had to dodge some freaky ice vines that grew right out of the snow. Right after that lies a cave made entirely out of ice, which is full of ravenous wolf-devils. The cave leads to the top of a huge icy mountain range. Here things get a bit weird, because avalanches fall in short bursts. You have to dodge these, because otherwise they’ll push you back a ways. Oddly enough this is one of the few things in the game that doesn’t kill you in a single hit. The same goes for the boss, a giant frost demon. When Arthur reaches it, its frozen legs instantly shatter, leaving the upper body to float around. This is actually one of the easier bosses in the game; it’s main attack merely freezes you instead of destroying you. After a chilly battle, Arthur can be granted access to the evil Sardius’ castle.

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And today’s wallpaper! My brother said I was obligated to work longer on this one. Get the full version here!

Aaaand music! Ice Forest is the theme of the stage! It’s one of the best songs in the game, in my oh so humble opinion.

And a remix! Ice Mountain Symphony is a remix of Ice Forest, by McVaffe! It’s a really old mix but very awesome. You definitely need to hear it!
And while you’re at it, why not visit the homepages of the artists involved in the OILD soundtrack? Posu Yan, Joshua Morse, and Select Start are very talented and very nice, so show them some love!

OILD – Snowpoint City

Day 11, and only a week until The Speed Gamers’ Pokémon marathon! I’m hyped! And that’s why today’s ice level is Snowpoint City, from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl!

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Snowpoint City lies in the northernmost point of the Sinnoh region, and getting there is no easy task. After venturing through Mr. Coronet, Pokémon trainers have to brave the harsh snowstorms of Route 216 and 217. The constant storms mean that all battles taking place on these route have the “hail” weather condition, which pelts all non-Ice-type Pokémon and damages them every turn. Skiers and other adventuresome folks don’t seem to mind, and will battle you at the drop of  a hat. What’s more, trainers hiking through these routes are up to their eyeballs in snow, making their movement difficult. Fortunately things lighten up once you get closer to the city. Lake Acuity is nearby, and around there you can catch Ice-type Pokémon such as Snorunt, Delibird, Sneasel, and Snover. Within Lake Acuity is Uxie, the mysterious Pokémon of Knowledge.

Snowpoint’s gym leader is Candice, and as you might expect she specializes in the Ice-type. Her gym is covered in ice, and trainers must slide across it in order to destroy the giant snowballs blocking their way. Candice’s main Pokémon is Abomasnow. She knows Swagger, Avalanche, Wood Hammer, and Grasswhistle, and can be a little tough to beat if you don’t have any Fire-, Poison-, or Fighting-type attacks on-hand.

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And today’s wallpaper! It has a Delibird as you can see. The full version is here!

What’s that? You want MORE? Well Nina Matsumoto’s struck again with this incredible wallpaper of Sniper Wolf, the expert sniper from Metal Gear Solid! Yes, MGS counts because after all, the whole game takes place in a snowy climate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You definitely need to pick up Nina’s new manga Yokaiden volume 1 and volume 2 TODAY! Like Japanese monsters? Like hilarious dialogue? Like bizarre characters? Yokaiden has it all. “But I don’t read manga!” That is NO EXCUSE, SOLDIER. This is a comic everyone can enjoy, so get it!

And yep, we got us some music! Route 216 is the snappy, catchy tune it plays on the way to Snowpoint City. And here’s the Sniper Wolf battle music from Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. The original MGS didn’t have specific battle music, but Twin Snakes fixed that right up.

And oh yeah, we got remixes! Party in the Snowland is a remix of Frappe Snowland from Mario Kart 64, by DarkeSword! This is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s quick and energetic, and it can really get you in the Obligatory Ice Level mood. And wasn’t there some super-wonderful Route 216 remix out there? Hmm…

Select Start to play at MAGfest

Hey there, people! Remember when I said I had some great news? Well here it is! You might know about MAGfest, the fun video game festival run by fans, for fans. I’ve heard it’s a real blast and I hope can attend some day! But those of you fortunate enough to attend this January will be in luck, because guess who’s playing there…

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SELECT START!!

Yes, that rad-to-the-max picture is the actual group pic they sent me to promote with. Clearly Select Start is our kind of people 😀

If I were you, I’d definitely attend. MAGfest is January 1 – 4, in Alexandria, VA. There’s a special New Year’s Eve event if you preregister, so if you can, then go for it! So please check it out, because I’m sure Select Start sounds even more amazing in person. If anyone in the community does go, please tell the forums all about it! I’d love to hear a con report about how cool our new musician friends are 😀

OILD – Viaduct

And now it’s Day 7 of the OILD celebration! It’s been a fun week, hasn’t it? And there’s still more fun to be had! Especially on today’s level. It’s Viaduct, from Team Fortress 2!

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One of the newest ice levels to be featured in this year’s OILD, this version of the map is also known as koth_viaduct. “KOTH” refers to “King of the Hill,” and this is the first new official TF2 map to feature King of the Hill-style gameplay. The goal is simple; capture the single control point, and hold it for a total of three minutes. As with all TF2 matches, this quickly escalates into two teams of lunatics violently destroying each other.

Unlike most ice levels, the snowy theme really doesn’t affect gameplay. There are no slippery ice patches or evil snowmen. Instead the snow theme is purely aesthetic, but I have to say this may be the best looking official TF2 map out there. The snow-covered evergreens in the distance, the way the sunlight reflects off the snow on the roofs, the distant mountains, the gentle flurry… it’d almost be soothing if it wasn’t for the maniacs constantly shooting, stabbing, and exploding each other. As the first official KOTH map, this is also the home of the infamous “overtime” glitch; if the game goes into overtime and the two teams are still running all over the point, the announcer will yell “OVERTIME!” repeatedly, sometimes interrupting herself. This leads to a pretty amusing bout of “Overtime….OVERTI–overtime…OVERTIME! ooovertiiiime” until the match ends. It was so popular that even after they patched it, Valve allowed for the glitch to be “turned on” by a server if the server’s owner so chose.

Speaking of which, Valve is another developer that’s very nice to its fans. Not only do they listen to the community’s suggestions for future content, but they’re very supportive of the modding community. They don’t slap people with lawsuits for fanwork; in fact, buying their games gives you access to all sorts of tools for animating their models and making your own maps. They want you to have your own fun with their games, and I love that about them. If you’re looking for some awesome holiday cards, why not get some Team Fortress 2 cards, or even Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2 cards?

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Hooray for today’s wallpaper! The full version is here, so GET GOING!

Viaduct doesn’t have it’s own unique music, but there’s still music to be had! Sno, Yell Oh! is from Sno, the ice level in Skullmonkeys. I figured it’s appropriately goofy for a post about the funniest game in the world.

And the bonus remix! Flurry of the Frozen Fury is a remix of Blizzard Man’s stage from Mega Man 6, by Vurez. It’s not goofy, but still really great.

And of course our other bonus remix and final track on the official Obligatory Ice Level soundtrack, Select Start’s Route 216, from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl! I was so glad when Select Start said they’d take on this song. Route 216 is snowy, from Pokémon, and full of catchy music, so I knew it’d be great for this event. They did such a wonderful job on it, too! Just like the tracks by Joshua Morse and Posu Yan, Select Start’s songs turned out even better than I anticipated. They all deserve a round of applause, don’t they? And speaking of Select Start, tomorrow I’ll be posting some awesome news about them! You won’t want to miss it, so be sure to check back!

OILD – Sidewinder

Day 6! Day 6! Yes, it’s Day 6 of our Obligatory Ice Level celebration! So it’s time to talk about a revolutionary game for our revolutionary holiday. Today it’s Sidewinder, from Halo!

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There’s a bit of nostalgia for me in this stage. Halo blew up when I was going to school in Canada with people from all over the world, and it proved to be a nice bonding experience. Halo proved that no matter what country you’re from, you’re going to love shooting people with the Needler and running them over in the Warthog. Anyway, we played quite a few matches on Sidewinder, Halo’s icy map.

Sidewinder is a horseshoe-shaped map with icy patches all over the place. While it doesn’t make running too difficult, it does make driving the vehicles pretty dang tricky.  There are also some pretty tall cliffs, which can be used as prime sniper nests. To this day I remember one of the players freaking out and screaming “YOU SNIPERS WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOOUUU” after being killed for the 70th time. There’s also a little collection of frosty tunnels down below connecting the two opposing bases, which makes Capture the Flag games pretty fun. Your buddy can slam a vehicle into some opponents while you sneak into their base like a sneaky sneakenstein! Who wouldn’t love that?

Also I’d like to mention that I love Bungie’s attitude towards their fanbase. Halo is so huge that it’d be easy for a developer to get a big head and look down upon its fans, but not Bungie. They love that interaction and they love making their fans happy. And they help out charities, too! I doubt anyone from Bungie will ever see this, but on the off chance that they do: You guys are an inspiration and you rock forever!

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Wallpaper! I had to throw in a Grunt because I love ’em. Get the full size here!

Music! Kind of a different selection today. I went with the “futuristic vehicle” theme and picked out White Land 1 and White Land 2, from F-Zero! White Land’s music also ended up in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, so here’s White Land (SSBB version)!

And bonus remix! Here we have the oddly-titled Go Blow Snow for a Year, a remix of “Story” from Snow Bros., by housethegrate. It’s a strange little guitar and synth mix, but it’s good stuff.

And our other bonus remix! Select Start’s A Wish, from Secret of Mana. Select Start is a group that specializes in video game covers, and they’re amazing. Not only were they friendly and enthusiastic, but they always kept me up-to-date on the status of the music. A Wish was a high-priority song for me, and the group did a heartwarmingly beautiful rendition of it. I’m so glad they did it! Their sound is so soothing and pretty that you’ll want to listen to this song over and over. Additionally, they have a free CD available on their site! You should definitely get it. There’s not a single bad track in the bunch.

OBLIGATORY ICE LEVEL SOUNDTRACK

Hey hey hey! I promised you a big treat, and a big treat you shall have!

You all are so very important to TSG. All year you people have helped out the marathons by promoting, watching, and donating. Together we helped raise money for Susan G. Komen, the Earth Day Network, and The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. We were even able to raise $50,000 for ACT Today, and soon we’ll help out Ally’s House. I think it’s wonderful how so many people have united to help these great causes.

So as a special gift to everyone, I commissioned the first ever Obligatory Ice Level Soundtrack! Yeah, that’s right, this event has its own SOUNDTRACK. Just go to that page and grab it for yourself! I even made printable cover art if you want to burn it to CD!

TRACK LISTING:

1) “Holiday” (“Penguin” from Pop n’ Music) by Posu Yan
2) “Frost Bossa” (“Frost Man” from Mega Man 8 ) by Joshua Morse
3) “Ice Cold Retro” (“Ice Cap Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog 3) by Joshua Morse
4) “A Wish” (from The Secret of Mana) by Select Start
5) “Route 216” (from Pokémon Diamond/Pearl) by Select Start

These artists are some of the raddest in the game remixing community. And what’s more, they were all very friendly and helpful! You wouldn’t believe how enthusiastic these people were. It was such an honor to work with each of them. In fact, this went so well that I hope we can work together again in the future! Expect to be driven mad by my constant praise, because I’m going to be plugging these folks’ work all month. I want everyone to know their greatness!

Speaking of which, there’s something I want you to do for me. You see, these artists deserve to have their talents recognized. I want each and every one of you to spread the word of their greatness. Show your friends the OILD soundtrack and link to these musicians’ pages. Tell your friends to tell their friends. Post about them in your personal blogs and link to them on your sites. Join the Facebook groups and follow the Twitters! Turn these people into superstars! Let everyone know how they helped make this event even more awesome! Do this for me and I will be eternally grateful.

Here’s where you can find these folks! Promote them like crazy! You’ll be glad you did.

Posu Yan – Website: posuyan.com and wushuplaya.com
Joshua Morse – Website: jmflava.com Other: Joshua Morse on Facebook Joshua Morse on Twitter
Select Start – Website: selectstartband.com Other: Select Start Facebook Group Select Start on Twitter Select Start on Myspace