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Tone Deaf: Crypt of the Necrodancer


Hello, and welcome to Tone Deaf! Today, I've got a real "treat" for you. Ya know, like "trick or treat?" Being that we are in the month of October, I wanted to keep the Halloween (Day of the Dead) theme. Which brings me to the game of choice! Crypt of the Necrodancer. If you haven't played this game yet, you should. Hands down one of the best games in terms of its music. Needless to say, that's all this game really revolves around. Crypt of the Necrodancer is a rouge-like, dungeon crawling, rhythm game that will steal your soul, or at least take it out dancing that is. 

I will spare you the details on what the game is. We are here to talk about music. Crypt of the Necrodancer has some of the best dungeon crawling music I have ever heard. Written and composed, in its entirety, by Danny Baranowsky. Danny has done other great games, such as Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, and Canabalt. If you've played any of those games and liked the music, this one is definitely worth checking out. Let's jump right in with our first song!

Zone 1-2: Crypteque

Crypteque sets the groove and doesn't stop. We've got the bass bumpin' and my heart pumpin'. My feelings for this song in particular are very high. Just before the first chorus we have a slight pause to where only the bass hits, and then bam! Hits ya with a nice grungy, distorted synth, complimented with subtle hints of chip-tune like notes. Ugh, the feels I tell ya, the feels! If this song doesn't want to make you get up and groove, I don't know what will. 

A common theme here is the fact that most of the songs are in the same tempo, or relatively close. Why is that? Crypt of the Necrodancer is meant for you to follow along with the music as you move your character. In order to get a higher multiplier or score, as you move your character to the beat, you must contain being able to attack enemies and breaking down walls all within the tempo of the song. Hidden throughout some of the floors you will encounter a trap known to increase and/or decrease the tempo just for fun. Makes for a thrilling experience. Moving right into our second song!

Zone 2-1: Fungal Funk

Fungal funk, is exactly how it sounds. Funky! With its very ominous, electronic organ taking the stage, it's hard to not want to snap your fingers. Giving it a nice whimsical flow to this floor.  Again as the chorus comes in, the feeling of beating the crap out of some walking dead like creatures is very apparent. 

Zone 4-3: The Wight to Remain

You have the wight to remain silent. Anything you do or say can be used against you in the crypt of law. Another up-tempo thriller to add to the mix. The wight to remain, hits with this intense feeling for desperation. Desperation and a hint of spunk. This song is one of the more quick songs, in which gives it this feeling. As the song progresses, it evolves without ever losing its vision. A lot of the time, notes will tend to hit on the off beat. Why is this important? As you hack and slash your way through this floor, it makes you feel like your initial attack is more prominent. It's this back and forth communication between you and the song. One of my favorites for sure.

But wait, theres more! Check this out for size. For each of the floors within a zone, we have a shopkeeper hidden deep within the crypt. If you can find him, you're in for a treat. Anytime you get close, you can sometimes hear a faint voice, as if someone nearby was singing for the opera. This is indeed true. Welcome to the shopkeepers lair! Check out Fungal Funk again, but with the addition of the shopkeeper. Had me rolling on the floor laughing. 

Fungal Funk (Shopkeeper)

Good stuff. Alright, I will let you take a breath after that. I will tell you one thing though, it was a very ambitious way to give a character some personality. For a dungeon crawler, there are a lot of characters in the game that give off subliminal elements of personality, for which I really enjoyed.  

Besides Danny taking the reigns on most of the music, at least in the electronic side of things, we also had a collaboration of different genres present within the game as well. With a couple of artists doing covers for Crypt of the Necrodancer, here are a couple to give you an idea of how they sound. 

The Deranged (1-2 Remix)

Arranged and performed by FamilyJules7x. I thought this was a very well done rearrangement of Danny's original. I can't say I've played with these alternate artists remixes. All I know is that they aim with the intent to cater to a larger audience. For any music lover though, whats not to love about a little remix?

Stone Cold (A_Rival Remix)

Work well done by A_Rival. We see more of an EDM approach here. Yet still true to Danny's original. I could totally see this playing at a club for Halloween. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think it would be something I could break-dance to. Might make for a terrifying scene though. 

Which ones are your favorite? There are a ton to choose from. Also, I highly recommend checking out Chipzel's cover of Chipped of the Necrodancer. Her approach was a more chip-tune based style. I love chip-tune, but be sure to check out these artists other work too!

Moving on to our final thoughts here. Overall, I love this games soundtrack! To be honest, the game would be nothing without the music that's been presented here. Danny Baranowsky was the right man for the job, hands down. He stuck with the theme in its entirety. Each of the songs fed off of each other just enough for when you proceed onto other floors, it wouldn't feel foreign.

I know I didn't cover all of the songs, and I advise you go check them out for yourselves. What are your thoughts? Can you dig it? One things for sure, Crypt of the Necrodancer isn't for everyone. It is a very difficult game to get through, however shouldn't stop you from enjoying its soundtrack. You can find Crypt of the Necrodancer on pretty much every platform, except the Switch. For now, that is. Brace Yourself Games is making a port over to the Switch at some point in the future. I know I will be picking it up for the Switch! Thanks for joining me this week. I hope you had just as much fun listening as I did. Be sure to tune in next week! Stay classy, and groove on!

- With great power, comes great responsibility.

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About ALinkToTheDanone of us since 6:54 PM on 09.29.2017

Just an average joe, getting through life with the hopes of world domination. I've been around the ? block a couple of times. Games, to me, are an addiction. Good thing or bad? You decide.

In my free time outside of games, I like to review them, write about them, and talk about them. I am part of a weekly podcast over at wigaming.com. If you haven't already guessed, we talk about games. Mostly news and the sophisticated life of a gamer.

The reason I started blogging was really no different than any other blogger out there. I like to speak honestly, and with opinion. Something that resonates with a broad community is something I admire. I seek to make relationship with people who have similar interests as my own.

If you like my work, please comment! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Also, please feel free to criticize (in a respectable manner), as this is somewhat of a new thing for me. I look forward to hearing from you all! Thanks again for any incoming support. It is truly appreciated!