Where to get Pumpkin Adventure III?

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By konamiman

Paragon (1116)

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02-03-2021, 12:53

Am I the only one thinking that this game is much more enjoyable with FM musics than with OPL4 musics?

Compare for example https://downloads.khinsider.com/game-soundtracks/album/pumpkin-adventure-3-msx2/023_Dragon%2520Mansion%2520%2528FM%2529.mp3 and https://downloads.khinsider.com/game-soundtracks/album/pumpkin-adventure-3-msx2/080_Dragon%2520Mansion%2520%2528OPL4%2529.mp3 ... such a huge difference in the atmosphere created :)

By wyrdwad

Paladin (917)

wyrdwad's picture

02-03-2021, 13:03

konamiman wrote:

Am I the only one thinking that this game is much more enjoyable with FM musics than with OPL4 musics?

Compare for example https://downloads.khinsider.com/game-soundtracks/album/pumpkin-adventure-3-msx2/023_Dragon%2520Mansion%2520%2528FM%2529.mp3 and https://downloads.khinsider.com/game-soundtracks/album/pumpkin-adventure-3-msx2/080_Dragon%2520Mansion%2520%2528OPL4%2529.mp3 ... such a huge difference in the atmosphere created :)

100% agreed! I actually don't even really like the OPL4 versions of the music tracks in this game very much, in most cases. As I understand it, the soundtrack was first composed for MB-stereo, then adapted to OPL4 just... because at the time, that was the hot new thing, so UMAX wanted to make sure they supported it. But the OPL4 music really sounds like an afterthought compared to the absolutely STELLAR FM tracks, IMHO.

I find this to be pretty common, actually. Most games that support OPL4 sound better without it IMHO -- the only exception I've encountered thus far is Bombaman, which was clearly composed with OPL4 in mind and just sounds leagues better with it than without.

-Tom

By Meits

Scribe (6338)

Meits's picture

02-03-2021, 14:15

What Pumpkin Adventure III suffered from quite a lot is that not all music was written by Hans Cnossen. The music he did not make is quite boring and short. So there was quite a skills gap between both musicians.
I know Hans had a moonsound, but I'm not sure he did the moonsound versions of this score. If he did not (as in Realms of Adventure, where the fm-music was converted by a third party), then there's your "problem" (between quotes, cuz subjective).

By wyrdwad

Paladin (917)

wyrdwad's picture

02-03-2021, 18:10

Meits wrote:

What Pumpkin Adventure III suffered from quite a lot is that not all music was written by Hans Cnossen. The music he did not make is quite boring and short. So there was quite a skills gap between both musicians.
I know Hans had a moonsound, but I'm not sure he did the moonsound versions of this score. If he did not (as in Realms of Adventure, where the fm-music was converted by a third party), then there's your "problem" (between quotes, cuz subjective).

Subjective indeed, as I actually found almost every track in the PA3 soundtrack to be quite excellent. Stefan Boer was the other composer, I believe, and while a lot of Hans Cnossen's tracks are indeed my favorites, I seem to recall some of Stefan Boer's were in my top ten as well. The both of them are extremely talented, and to this day, I rank the Griffith Park theme as probably my favorite OPLL track on the whole of the MSX platform (not sure which of them composed it, but it's just so incredibly catchy!).

-Tom

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5540)

JohnHassink's picture

02-03-2021, 18:19

wyrdwad wrote:

I rank the Griffith Park theme as probably my favorite OPLL track on the whole of the MSX platform (not sure which of them composed it, but it's just so incredibly catchy!).

That would be Hans, but based on a bassline by Stefan (as quite some PA3 songs are).

By Hans

Supporter (6)

Hans's picture

05-03-2021, 10:57

Hi guys,
Sorry to interfere.
I also think that of the mayority of the tracks the original FM music is better balanced. The track Konamiman mentions"Dragon mansion is a very good example of that. Is there a track of which you think the OPL4 is better?

I did the OPL4 conversions of PA3 myself. I just had a Moonsound and no experience with it.
What happened is that I imported the FM files into Moonblaster for Moonsound.
Then you kind of replace the original FM instrument with a Moonsound instrument. What's in a channel stayed in a channel. That was not 100% the case of course, but you get the point. By starting the conversion like this your starting point is somehow fixed. Not to the benefit of the track.

In retrospective I should have listened to the FM-version and start from scratch in Moonblaster for Moonsound. Then there would have been more exchange of notes between channels as well.

Another thing is that using 'real' instruments in Moonsound demands more consideration about balance and choice of instruments. Natural instruments like violins, trumpets even more than synthy instruments. That takes time and experience. FM instrument by themselves tend to blend into eachother more easily.

Thanks wyrdwad for enjoying Griffith Park theme. That one was actually initiated by Stefan. The melody is Stefans. The counter melody + chords etc is mine. From 0:26 I take over.

Of course I did my own tracks. As for Stefan he usually sent me bits of music: a couple of measures. Mainly chords and melody. Or just chords. I enjoyed working on them. In the original files Stefans name is mentioned where he was involved. Besides that you can notice a difference in style. I added counter melodies, changed chords or made a clear transition like the one in Griffith Park on 0:26.

By Meits

Scribe (6338)

Meits's picture

05-03-2021, 11:12

Hans wrote:

Hi guys,
Sorry to interfere.

By all means, do interfere Smile

Quote:

Another thing is that using 'real' instruments in Moonsound demands more consideration about balance and choice of instruments. Natural instruments like violins, trumpets even more than synthy instruments. That takes time and experience. FM instrument by themselves tend to blend into eachother more easily.

This is so true and the number one reason I hardly ever touch a moonsound.

By Randam

Paragon (1197)

Randam's picture

05-03-2021, 11:34

Hi Hans,

Even if the conversions for the music haven't been done optimally as you put it, I still enjoy them very much. Sometimes I feel like playing the original music and sometimes the OPL4 music. So thank you for all the effort you put in. I love Pumpkin Adventure a lot and the music is a big part of the atmosphere.

And in case you would ever feel like updating some OPL4 music, maybe someone could help to get it in the game.

By konamiman

Paragon (1116)

konamiman's picture

05-03-2021, 12:15

Hans wrote:

Is there a track of which you think the OPL4 is better?

Sure! I think that would be for example End Demo, Cast

Randam wrote:

And in case you would ever feel like updating some OPL4 music, maybe someone could help to get it in the game.

If this game needs an update it's definitely in the character and cutscene graphics imho :P

Anyway that was a quite big and well polished game, it would be interesting to take a look at the sources/tools/methodologies used to develop and test it.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (917)

wyrdwad's picture

05-03-2021, 12:33

I hope you didn't think I was being too critical, Hans, when I talked about preferring the OPLL tracks to the OPL4 tracks! I think the work you and Stefan did on PA3's soundtrack is nothing short of exceptional, and it really is probably my #1 favorite soundtrack on MSX -- as evidenced by the fact that I've uploaded over 20 tracks from the game to YouTube during my time playing through it. Wink I've uploaded a few PA2 tracks, and a PA1 track, as well.

I may not be too fond of the OPL4 tracks, personally, but that's simply because the OPLL tracks exist, and I like them better. If those didn't exist, I'd probably be raving about the OPL4 music today! And the fact that players have a choice is really awesome -- not many games with THAT MUCH MUSIC let players pick and choose which version they want to hear!

I don't know how feasible it is, but I'd love to see the whole Pumpkin Adventure trilogy rereleased, and maybe ported to Steam or something so more people could enjoy it in the modern day. I really think the whole trilogy is great, and a lot of modern indie gamers would absolutely love it if they gave it a chance. And a really big part of why it's so fun to play is definitely the music!

-Tom

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