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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Song of the Week! 7 November 2015

Earlier this week, a (blue) bird told us that we passed 876 tweets sent from our Twitter account, @taikotimeblog! To celebrate this simple feat, we're taking a look at the last 876-combo notecount songs in Taiko.

 Sacred Ruin (セイクリッド ルイン) / Picopico Ruin (ピコピコ ルイン) Sacred Ruin x Prof. Sakamoto
Allx5 (203)x6 (323)x7 (475)x9 (876)
 Taiko 0 K (both), Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko + (Sacred only)
struin (Sacred) / stru8b (Picopico)

Picopico Version

The last couple of Ban-Nam Combo songs (for the time being) happens to be bonded so strongly to be considered twins! The huge share of common traits compels us to treat these two Namco Originals together as one entry, and you're about to see the reasons of that as well.

The original song, Sacred Ruin, made its debut on the second 3DS Taiko game as one of the new default tracks, starring singer Yura Hatsuki (葉月ゆら), composer Drop and lyricist Giw (祇羽) for the first time together in a Taiko song, and years later for the creation of Kokushin Chronicle, also a console-born Namco Original (see our previous SotW feature for more details). With the song being quickly ported to the (at the time) new-born Kimidori Version arcade firmware as a Don Point unlock, it later become the model for the creation of an arcade-exclusive 8-bit remix that goes under the name of Picopico Ruin, in occasion of a collaboration with Japanese talent Professor Sakamoto (サカモト教授).

Born as Kentaro Sakamoto (坂本健太郎), the Professor is mainly a solo record producer majoring in 8-bit chiptune composition under the recognizable facade of full jet-black from head to toe plus a Famicom-on-the-head. He also got involved in many different projects throughout the years (some of these also starring other international talents) and commissioned as a scenario writer or as a composer for anime and video games. In fact, we in Taiko grounds have come to know the musician under this alias, as part of an arcade Taiko collaboration with the addition of a Megpoid Gumi song from one of his latest albums and two musical remixes of his creation. He was also invited by the Taiko Team to join the crew in one of their livestream sessions, in his 'Prof. Sakamoto' attire no less! Check out our past livestream footage here for a brief look back to this past Taiko collaboration.

Regardless of the song's version being the lyricised one about how the remains of eldest buildings can inspire both light and dark ideals (according to the people getting involved) or the 8-bit lyric-less version by the Professor Sakamoto, both Sacred and Picopico Ruin share the exact same notecharts for all of their modes, crafted by Taiko Team leader Etou. Due to the fierce BPM value and the many relentless clusters involved, it's not uncommon to see its Oni mode as a cousin to the similarly-graded The Carnivorous Carnival. It's not common in the arcade scene for Sacred Ruin's involvement, either; linked to the song are the two titles 'Black Awakening' (黒き覚醒者) and 'White Awakening' (白き覚醒者), which not only reflect the original song's themes, but also link their unlock to the two digits of the timer in the Song Selection mode: a Full Combo play with an odd double-digit number in the Song Selection menu upon selecting the song grants the White Awakening, while the completely opposite scenario (even double-digit timer, plus flipping the chart itself over to the opposite with Abekobe) unlocks Black Awakening.

  Sacred Ruin (セイクリッド ルイン) / Picopico Ruin (ピコピコ ルイン) Sacred Ruin x Prof. Sakamoto

x10 (1000)
 Taiko 0 K (Sacred Ura from 0 R), Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko + (Sacred only)

Sacred version

The aforementioned Professor Sakamoto collaboration was made even juicier by the fact that the newborne Picopico Ruin came along with a brand new Ura Oni chart, which later on also managed to cross the console game boundaries as Sacred Ruin's Ura Oni mode.

For SR's case, according to Etou, the Ura Oni mode's addition was originally planned to Taiko Plus if Sacred Ruin would have won the Taiko Plus' 10 Million Downloads popularity poll. In the end of the day, the song lost to Tatsuya Shimizu's Xa, so the Ura was added a few months later to the second 3DS videogame as a not-advertised added bonus to the Popular Song Pack 7, and later on to an effective Taiko Plus release in the subscription-based Gakkyoku Tori Houdai mode.

After the always-popular Senbonzakura, the two Ruin songs are the first ones to have an Oni mode whose notecount barely breaks the triple-digit limit, with another Etou-made notechart with even longer and more exhausting cluster section to break through.

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