SSF2 Dev Blog #4 – Audio and Music

Hello and welcome, everyone! I am ASF, a veteran member of the Audio Department who is passionately dedicated to Super Smash Flash 2 production.  I have been granted the fortunate opportunity to share some new and exciting elements regarding SSF2 Beta.

Before that, let’s play a game: I want you to imagine a horror film where a man is about to have his arms torn from his body by an evil creature. The monster is growling, you can hear the man’s whimpers as he attempts to free himself of the evil beast’s clutches. He struggles for freedom, but his efforts are to no avail and he is gobbled up. The idea is quite frightening. Now, try to imagine this same scenario lacking dynamic music, sound effects, and screaming voices. Try to picture such a gruesome event without sound! Does this seem as invigorating to you?  It seems to fall flat, if you asked me.

You might find that emotions aren’t the same when audio is muted. Watching a film or playing a game without sound is not a particularly thrilling experience by modern standards.

That’s where Smash Flash comes in.  In order to improve the game, music and sound have been continuously upgraded over the years, and Beta is no exception!

Back during the development of version 0.8, there was no distinct audio team.  Sound effects were very non-­standardized and musical pieces were outsourced. Beginning with 3 particular members, the music crew began rendering unique remixes. Early renditions of songs were generally well­ accepted, some even being endorsed by the OverClocked ReMix guys at APEX. Since then, music developers have come and gone, contributing to pieces found in demos as recently as version 0.9b. More recently, the team has expanded and with each new member contributing their unique styles, we’ve found the sound direction of the game to be shaping up quite nicely!

Without sound, the game would have no impact.  Would Captain Falcon be as iconic without being able to hear the “Falconnnnnn PUUUNCH!” when you throw out a neutral special? We’ve taken great care when it comes to making sure the sound effects of the game retain a high standard of quality. For that reason, many of the older outsourced sounds and voices have been replaced with the Audio team’s material, and newcomer’s voices have also been made from scratch. For example, the upcoming demo will feature a custom voice for Isaac, a first for SSF2!  Some of this work has been followed up by L0Z741, a new member with lots of creativity and a sharp ear.

Defeating your opponents wouldn’t be feel anywhere near as great without the glorious victorious musical piece unique to your character at the end of a match, so victory fanfares are key to the Smash ambiance. To make SSF2 feel more unique and vibrant, victory fanfares from Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee have been updated from their originally orchestrated versions, and are now unique to the game. For the upcoming Beta release, some fanfares have been reprised, including a familiar sound, here:

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(Marth’s Victory theme by Chernabogue)

We have many more where that came from as well.

SSF2 would not be the same without the distinct remixes that play as you battle it out. The new song additions, beginning in 0.9a, have given the game a special personality.  We make sure to pay special attention to the influences of the characters’ series when creating new music.

Super Smash Flash 2 Beta will double​ in song abundance compared to 0.9b. “Did he just confirm twice as many stages?”, you speculate in your Slack chat. Well, not quite. However, there will now be two songs per stage in the new demo!  That’s right, Super Smash Flash 2 Beta will mark the debut of Alternate Music tracks on every single stage. ​After countless hours of dedication and teamwork, the music team is accomplishing its goal of incorporating high ­quality songs that are unique to SSF2, ensuring that each stage has at least two different tracks.

Since this is an upcoming demo, it wouldn’t be fair to show you all of the new music up front, so here are two brand new songs that will be debuting in Beta:

(Bramble Blast by 194)

(Proof of Blood by Chernabogue)

Luckily for you, more tunes will be released soon, including showcased pieces. An approaching blog post will express more musical talent, even introducing the composers themselves with their favorite Beta creations.

On behalf of the entire SSF2 development team, I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard and read. Feel free to ask any questions and discuss Beta to your heart’s content!

Make sure you stay tuned for our next post. I can assure you, there is much, much, more to follow in the world of SSF2!