Let’s Interview; 8-bit Game Music Remixer Tater Tot Tunes!

Wow, it’s been a while since the last one of these, hasn’t it? Indeed, ever since we posted the second part of our interview with Randy Linden back in June, interviews have been pretty thin on the ground here at Gaming Reinvented, with the last two months having none whatsoever.

But that’s now all over, since today we’ve got another exclusive interview for you all.

This time, it’s with a YouTube video game music remixer called Tater Tot Tunes, known mostly for his 8-bit remixes of classic Nintendo songs. So without further ado, let’s get started with the interview!

So, first things first… who are you?

My name is Adam, I’m a musician and a retro gamer at heart. I’m currently in my senior year of high school, where I’m a trumpet player in my school’s concert band. I’ve constantly been surrounded by music for my whole life, so I thought I’d put my talents to use online.

And where did your username come from? Why Tater Tot Tunes?

I had been thinking of creating a YouTube channel for a while, but I didn’t really have many ideas on what genre to pursue. I chose Tater Tot Tunes because one of my friends suggested making the channel’s character a tater tot (I think we might have had burgers and tater tots for lunch that day). I liked it because it was a unique choice and didn’t restrict me to one genre of music.

According to your bio, you had eight years of trumpet playing experience and four years’ experience as a songwriter before staring out on the site. What kind of songs did you create then?

I had the Garageband app on my phone and used it to create music during my spare time. Most of it was going to be used in a game that I was making, but never finished.

Did you ever share those online anywhere?

The decent ones are up on my SoundCloud account, also called Tater Tot Tunes.

Clearly, you’ve got quite a lot of interest in games too. How did you get into gaming anyway?
I was introduced to gaming with the Nintendo 64 back when I was very young, with my first game being Diddy Kong Racing. Even back then I remember certain songs that would get stuck in my head.

Regardless, you’re obviously most known for your video game remixes. What made you decide to start a channel about that?

I started a channel about video game remixes mainly because I’m so familiar with them. There’s also not much risk in covering video game songs because the developers usually don’t bother you. With movies and popular songs, however, companies usually eat up all the ad revenue.

Were you inspired by any other video game remixers out there? Which ones?

I was originally inspired by remixing communities like OC Remix, and I wanted to try putting jazz styles on certain songs from gaming. The first remix I posted was the only one that I ended up finishing, as I quickly found an interest in chiptune afterward. As my channel grew I also took inspiration from some of the other channels that make chiptune music like Bulby and Loeder.

And why 8-bit versions anyway? Are you a huge fan of the NES era?

Definitely. I’ve collected NES games for years and I really enjoy the simplicity of the gameplay and the music. I didn’t mean to make 8-bit remixes the focus of my channel, however. I was originally inspired by the 8-bit sections in Super Mario Odyssey and wanted to try transcribing some of the music from the E3 demo. People requested more, so I continued.

Did any games from that era inspire you more? Like say, ones with a certain composer or music style?

Absolutely. Composers like Hirokazu Ando (Kirby’s Adventure) and Takashi Tateishi (Mega Man 2) inspire many of the styles that I choose. I usually choose to remix songs from a series in such a way that they sound like they could fit into their NES originals.

You also seem to focus a lot on remixing songs from the GameCube era and beyond? Why?

With GameCube era games and beyond, the songs got a lot more complicated in their instrumentation. In this way, they’re more interesting for me to remix, since they require a lot more creativity. My preferred era of songs to remix is the DS/Wii era, though, since it’s the era that my audience connects with the most.

There’s also a huge Nintendo focus when it comes to your song choices too. Have you ever remixed any songs from non-Nintendo titles?

A few. I’ve done a bunch of Star Wars remixes in the past to keep things fresh, but I like to keep things consistent which is probably why I’ve mainly stuck with Nintendo and Sega stuff.

How do you choose a song to remix anyway?

I usually choose songs from requests or from games I’m playing at the time. Sometimes I also hear songs in videos or other covers that inspire me to create a remix.

Do you ever decide not to make a remix for whatever reason?

Sure. I try to keep my remixes consistent, so I usually won’t choose remixes that most people wouldn’t find an interest in. Sometimes, I get really far into a remix and just decide that it’s not working, so I set it aside and pick it back up later. Other times, I realize that someone else has made a remix exactly like mine, so I decide that I’d rather work on something new and unique.

I’m also guessing you get a ton of requests too. How you deal with all of those?

I consider all requests, though obviously I can’t take them all anymore. I’m much more inclined to take certain requests if they’re from the same game that I’m currently working on. Also, the earliest requests usually get prioritized, since I typically haven’t picked my next song yet.

Onto a few taste related questions now. First up, were there any songs you just knew needed a remix the minute you heard them?

Recently, I’d say Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s theme. The second the song ended on the live stream, I downloaded the MP3 and began working. I think I got it done in just under two hours. It was funny, a lot of people thought that I had somehow gotten ahold of the song early.

Continue Reading…

High Voltage Software Was Working on a Splatoon Predecessor

As you likely know, Splatoon has quickly become a huge success for Nintendo. With millions of fans playing the game online and a large eSports community dedicated to the title, it’s clear the franchise has become one of Nintendo’s biggest successes, and a multiplayer game almost on par with Mario Kart and Smash Bros in terms of widespread appeal.

But did you know that Splatoon wasn’t the first such game of its kind? That Nintendo was at one point actually working on something similar much earlier in the Wii U?

Probably not, but it’s true none the less. Because as it turns out, Nintendo was actually working on a very similar game in tandem with High Voltage Software right back in the early days of the Wii U.

And this game actually shared a fair few similarities with Splatoon too. For one thing, it was a non-traditional shooter with non-lethal bullets and cartoony characters, just like Splatoon would be years later.

Yet at the same time, it also had its differences. For example, whereas Splatoon revolves around squids and ink, this unnamed game was going to be based on the idea of robots fighting with water-based weapons instead. In other words, it was kinda like if Mario Sunshine’s FLUDD had become the basis for a FPS game, albeit in a setting somewhat similar to Mega Man.

It was an interesting project really, and makes you think about how different things could have been had it come to fruition. Hell, we could have had a major new Nintendo IP right there in the dark ages of the Wii’s downfall!

Alas, that wouldn’t be the case. Why?

Well to put it simply, leaks happened. Basically, someone at High Voltage leaked the existence of the project online, and that scared Nintendo enough to drop the project. It’s a pretty disappointing outcome for a game like this, and worse still, one that actually harmed the relationship between High Voltage Software and Nintendo as a whole.

So, if you’re interested in hearing more about it, check out the video here:

And tell us what you think about the game and its potential too. Would you have wanted to see a Splatoon type game with water-based weapons? Would High Voltage Software have made a game on par with it?

Tell us what you think in the comments below or on the Gaming Latest forums today!


How Splatoon’s Predecessor Was Ended by Leaks – Game History Secrets (Nintendo Wii U)

is Smash Bros Ultimate’s New Mode Called ‘Spirits’?

Back in the recent Smash Bros Direct, we saw a blurred-out button for a mysterious extra mode on the main menu. This didn’t provide much to go on, but based on its position, size and colour (plus various other background details in the Direct), many then speculated it was tied to a single player adventure mode in the game.

However, now it seems we may have a better idea what it’s for. Why? Because as Imgur user Nintendrew found out with a bit of image editing, it seems the button may say the word ‘spirits’ on it, complete with an icon of a ghost or soul.

Here’s a mock up showing what the menu option might look like:

Spirits Menu Option

As well as some other images illustrating how Nintendrew came to this conclusion:

Smash Bros. Ultimate main menu decensor by Nintendrew

It matches up pretty well to be honest, and makes a ton of sense given the morbid death themes present throughout many of the game’s newcomer trailers. After all, would Nintendo really kill of Mario and Luigi for no real reason? Probably not, even for a game as interested in drumming up hype and controversy as this one.

So yeah, we think it’s pretty likely that Nintendrew is right about this. It just all seems so logical here.

But what do you think? Do you think the button likely says spirits on it? What kind of adventure mode do you think would you fit such a concept?

Have your say on the matter here in the comments or on social media today!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Decensor (Nintendrew on Imgur)

WarioWare Gold’s SMB Microgame Gets a Mario Land Makeover

Damn, these mods are being made crazy fast now! Yep, just days after WarioWare Gold’s release, we’ve already gotten mods for the title, bringing visual overhauls to the microgames and cutscenes in the process.

Such as this interesting one found on Mario Making Mods. This mod is based on the Super Mario Bros microgame in 18-Volt’s collection, and reskins it to feature graphics based on other Mario titles.

Namely, Super Mario Land 2 and the Super Mario All Stars version of Super Mario Bros instead of the original game! Here are some pictures showing the mod in action:

Super Mario Land 2 Version

Super Mario All Stars Version

As you can see, it actually works really well all things considered. Hell, if we didn’t know it was a mod (and someone posted it on Mario Wiki or the likes), we’d genuinely believe Nintendo was behind this thing. After all, it certainly fits the style of the game, as well as Nintendo’s tendency to update the graphics for the redone games in WarioWare Gold.

So if you’re interested, check it out. It’s a neat way to make one of WarioWare Gold’s microgames feel that bit more fresh again, and a look at the modding scene that may develop for this game in future!


SMB Gold (Mario Making Mods Forum)

Is Nintendo Planning a New Adventure Mode for Super Smash Bros Ultimate?

Earlier today, Nintendo hosted a massive Nintendo Direct livestream for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Featuring Masahiro Sakurai himself, the Direct showed off everything from new characters to new stages, items, assist trophies and Pokémon.

And also, as expected, tons of new modes were shown off there too. These ranged from the traditional Tourney mode to the Squad Strike and Smashdown modes, with all kinds of new features to go around.

However, there was still one mode that wasn’t shown off at all. Namely, whatever mode was behind the blurred-out button on the main menu screen.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Mystery Mode

Which is why we believe it leads to an adventure mode. What’s the reasoning there?

Well, think about it like this. When has Nintendo ever blurred out modes in a Super Smash Bros video?
Pretty much never. They’ve never done this at all so far.

Which in turn means it’s very likely that whatever is behind said button is a trailer worthy feature in and of itself. It’s not Classic or All-Star Mode, since those are guaranteed anyway. Its not tournament related, since that was in the Direct trailer.

And it’s probably not something minor either. Seriously, would you hide the presence of say, Master/Crazy Orders or Tour and have it as a major announcement? No, of course not. That’d be ridiculous, since very few people care about said modes anyway. Even Smash Run would be more of a neat ‘extra feature for the Direct to show off’ type of deal.

Add to this how it’s smack bang on the main menu screen (and not in say, games and more like other minor extras), and it seems like it’s a major feature that Nintendo’s going to be promoting heavily this time around.

So only adventure mode really fits that bill. It’s big, its heavily requested, and it’s something Nintendo may want to keep hidden for a future Nintendo Direct or announcement. Obvious really, and we’ll bet anything it’ll be in the new game.

But what do you think? Do you agree that adventure mode will be in Super Smash Bros Ultimate? If so, what do you think it’d have this time around?

Tell us your thoughts here in the comments or over at the Gaming Latest forums today!