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Ranger of the Old Woods

by Zweihänder

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L-ONE-X | EMOTION ENGINE So well composed. A lot of composers who do retro game style music seem to concentrate on ''when it sounds'' rather than ''how it sounds''. They end up sounding fun and nostalgic but that's it.

But you can tell Zweihänder naturally understands what the consoles sound like and so the creativity and emotion just flows out of him!

This is real, retro game composition. Amazing Favorite track: Secrets of the Forest Ruins.
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tobbetob6 Very nice & chill.
there is a cupple of golden nuggets in there :) Favorite track: Secrets of the Forest Ruins.
abou123 thumbnail
abou123 Outstanding album! It's hard for me to narrow it down to one favorite track with so many great songs! Favorite track: Even Sexy Vampires Must Die (Symphonic).
more... more...
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Bobbit lives alone. Bobbit works alone. Bobbit knows the rainspell that reveals the path to the ancient grove... and the broken walls. The ranger must descend into the ruins. Bobbit's work is not finished. Bobbit's work is never finished.
Rainspell 04:51
These are my woods. I know the trees, the rocks, the paths, the beasts and the monsters... But I do not know this creature. He begs me to follow... Rain begins to softly patter upon leaves. I follow. The curious creature leads me to an ancient, primeval grove where a bard sits, strumming. Ruins reveal themselves as the light cuts through the trees. I've never seen this place. Where am I? The bard does not speak, though they acknowledge my presence.
I think I'm still in my forest, but this place feels off. It's beautiful, but these ruins are far older than the ones closer to the village. I don't recognize the inscriptions... or the symbols. And... I think I can hear bells or drums somewhere beneath the stone floor. The bard approaches accompanied by the creature, whom I'm told is a magical being called, "Bobbit." Bobbit cuts their hand... blood drips on the ground and it begins to lightly rain again... as the blood drips onto the ground and mixes with the rain, something begins to glow. It appears to be a septegram. The symbol slowly splits to reveal an ancient, stone staircase. The bard produces a lantern and we descend.
The stairs descend to a narrow path above a chasm. Bobbit is too agitated to continue... it seems he is turning back, but we will press on. Who knows what is down here. Farther along, I hear drums... or chimes. Following the sound, we soon realize we are approaching an underground city. How long has this been here, under my forest? We are welcomed and offered the most delicious fish with cooked in rock fungus. After this, a town leader approaches. They tell us of a deeper, even more ancient area that has been silent for decades... but, something has woken up and monsters have been attacking the citizens. We meet one of their warriors who is preparing to explore the deeper caves... the bard and I decide to join her. If they make it through this city, there won't be anything to stop them from wondering into my forest.
It's warmer here... ahead there is a light. After sliding through a narrow crevice we come to a vast expanse.. and I've never seen anything like this. The ground is a blanket of fog- no mist, but I can still see through it. The chasm seems to extend forever. We stand on a precipice. Before us, giant boulders float about like great comets, trailing mist as the hover and gently smash into one another. On the far end of the expanse, a figure stands watching us. We leap from floating stone to floating stone, narrowly avoiding death (thanks to the warrior who caught me on more than one occasion). As we reach the other side, the figure vanishes down the path. We regain our composure, then pursue.
Vegetation hugs the walls of this path... it opens up on to a large cavern housing an underground grove of what looks like ancient yew trees. I notice how bright it is here... We haven't needed the lantern for a while. Glowing rocks are speckled about the walls and ceiling of the cave. They seem to be providing enough light. Everything is bathed in a pale twilight. Down a slope, an old castle sits nestled among the trees... maybe it's not old... It's weird, it looks both new and old at the same time Once inside, we realize it is, indeed ancient, but in impeccable shape. Someone or something has really taken care of it. Speaking of, "someone," a voice greets us from the darkness atop the stairs... then a figure emerges. It is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen... I'm mesmerized. is this a man or a woman... or what is this? The bard lowers his hood... and begins muttering to himself in a tongue I've never heard. He isn't a bard at all, he's a wizard. His hands begin to glow. The figure descends. I squint. This can't be. There hasn't been one for centuries. It passes through the light and I am sure. It is a vampire. It must die.
Private Eyes 03:10
Autumn Snow 07:02


This collection of songs is really more like two albums in one (plus a couple of bonus tracks). I just didn't want to release it as two albums or make people pay twice.

The first six songs are a concept piece about a ranger finding a secret area in the ancient woods where she's been a ward for years. The story is told in the lyrics. These songs start with DOS ADLIB & OPL2 sounds, progress to Roland Sound Canvas (fancy midi), and end with two SNES-inspired tracks.

The following few songs are an homage to the old sci-fi, cyberpunk, and noir games we grew up playing.

Finally we have a fun track in both the NES and DOS styles... Lastly, I included two fully symphonic tunes.

There are two tracks that feature alternate versions. I have been thinking a lot about how older soundtracks used to sound different based upon the platform or even the sound hardware used. So, I explored that a little.

I tried to limit myself to different systems or styles more so than on previous albums. The results are a bit more "purist" than usual. I cheated a couple of times with a light touch of reverb, but most of the tracks are very similar to what you would hear on the original hardware.

Here's a track list with the style/system in parenthesis.

1. Bobbit's Journey (DOS | OPL2/Adlib)
2. Rainspell (DOS | Roland Sound Canvas)
3. Secrets of the Forest Ruins (DOS | Roland Sound Canvas)
4. City Beneath the Mountain (DOS | Roland Sound Canvas)
5. Journey Through the Enchanted Chasm (SNES)
6. Even Sexy Vampires Must Die (SNES
7. My Vision is Augmented (FM Synth)
8. Private Eyes (DOS | Adlib)
9. Apparition Apprehension Agency (DOS | OPL2)
10. Autumn Snow (DOS | OPL2)
11. Dance the Light Away (NES)
12. Dance the Light Away (DOS | OPL)
13. Allure of the Dark Castle (Symphonic)
14. Even Sexy Vampires Must Die (Symphonic)

Enjoy and please leave me a review so I know which songs you enjoyed the most.


released October 31, 2022

pixel art by mr_pistooki
"Even Sexy Vampires Must Die" originally composed for the awesome Doom WAD: Abysm. Info here: ko-fi.com/jazzmaster


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Zweihänder Portland, Oregon

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