I am still here…
It was quite fun putting this arrangement together. More so than usual. First of all, I am a huge fan of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise (I suppose it is a franchise at this point?) created by Scott Cawthon. Not because I find the gameplay engaging, no, but the lore and the way Scott Cawthon delivers an intriguing story. In the story aspect these games are akin to 6 word stories, like the famous “For sale, baby shoes, never worn,” in that he tells a compelling narrative that leaves just enough for the imagination that it becomes a pleasure to flesh it out.
Since the release of Five Nights at Freddy’s 1 in August 2014, I have been on board the FNAF train for a hell of a ride. When “definitely not FNAF 6”, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzaria Simulator was released I was thrilled to hear the Atari-style minigames finally came with some chip-tune music. I love chip-tune music. And the second I heard 240 bits per minute, I had to do this.
Inspired somewhat by Rob Hubbard’s Delta for the C64 and DJ Quicksilver’s arrangement of Jean-Michel Jarre’s Equinoxe part IV, I set out to appease my guilty pleasure of techno.
I wanted to create an almost trailer-like introduction in this arrangement using my favourite and the most iconic of voice lines from the FNAF series. The voice acting in these games is uniformly amazing, but to me Heather Masters’ performance as Baby is above and beyond, and I had to gave the line in here: “It’s a strange thing to do, to come here,” as this thought was what started the story in FNAF 1: Why do we actually do this?
I also wanted to include the line: “There’s no doubting what you’ve achieved on a technical level. These are clearly state of the art,” as this mirrors the somewhat apt criticism that the gameplay in the FNAF series (at least the first three) is not necessarily informed by the story, and vice versa. Being a player for story rather than gameplay, I do admit, I love this series.
So, the rhythm I set up here is actually quite similar to what I used for Spider Dance from Undertale. I wanted a rhythm that kept the original feeling of speed and adrenaline intact. The original feels really authentic as a 8-bit race car track giving you the need for speed. Love it.
The bass line is a Frankenstein of the bass in Rob Hubbard’s delta and my own imagination. I did not want to “just” keep an off-beat bass through it all, even though it does gives a more melodic arrangement overall. I wanted speed and chaos.
The melody is played in three synths. One for the “verse” that always plays alone and two that play the main part. One for the main melody where I took some “creative liberties” in the appregio section to make it cohesive in context of my own sound design and one I wrote from scratch that supports the main synth in repetitions, a mid-freqency very demolished square synth with a slight portamento.
This was for the FNAF fans out there, and to Scott Cawthon as a thank you for the many hours I have enjoyed attempting to flesh out the story in a cohesive way. If I ever succeed getting everything sorted, I will let you know, but until then it is a mental exercise I thorougly enjoy. Thank you Scott Cawthon, Thank God for you, and keep ’em coming!