Sometimes, you meet extraordinary people without even knowing it. Back in 2002, my friends and I attended a little video game festival in our hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. It wasn’t a very large gathering, roughly 250 people visited over the course of a weekend to play piles of video games and see some great bands. At the time, this event was called the Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival, and I got to see an awesome video game remix artist named Virt throw up some cool tunes. I even got my picture taken with him (I’m the goof in the Zelda shirt and he is the gentleman with blonde/pink hair in the back).
Fast forward twelve years to 2014, I am getting ready to enjoy a recently released game called Shovel Knight. I funded the game’s production through Kickstarter, and thanks to a very transparent and constantly updated campaign, I am well informed of the game’s development. It seems that the same remix artist who I saw ages ago has become a rather successful video game composer, and his latest work is the very game I have Kickstarted.
The game finishes downloading to my Nintendo 3DS, and I am hit with some of the best chiptune music I have ever heard. It seems that by limiting himself to the technology of the NES-era, composer Jake Kaufman has created a modern soundtrack that rivals the nostalgia-bolstered music of my youth. As a die-hard Castlevania fan, my favorite track is none other than La Danse Macabre, the theme of the Lich Yard.
The song is nothing short of excellent. Somewhere between spooky chiptune ballad and goth-pop hit, La Danse Macabre is an upbeat track that makes me want to both play video games and dance the night away. How could I have known that the enthusiastic guy who I saw perform video game remixes in 2002 would go on to become one of my favorite video game composers in 2014? Life is strange and amazing.