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‘8-Bit Jesus’ is now my favorite thing about December

It’s nearly that time—and by “that time,” I mean Yule Time!—which means I am making my annual holiday mix CD. It’s a great way to save money on gifts.

And thanks to Brian Kent’s blog, I am about to fill my mix with the styling sounds of Doctor Octoroc’s 8-Bit Jesus, a half-finished chiptune album of traditional carols. Currently, nine complete tracks are available for download.

But here’s what is amazing: each carol has been reworked in the style of a treasured NES game’s music. So “The First Noël” is reconsidered as a moving Zelda theme. “Silent Night” inexplicably translates into a powerful Mega Man anthem.

And then there’s my favorite song—although at least five other tracks are competing for the title—the Christmassy ditty, “Little Drummer Nemo.”

What a perfect track! What was a sombre melody about wide-eyed wonderment is reenvisioned as snappy action music from my favorite game about childhood. So it’s unexpected, but it makes perfect sense.

8-Bit Jesus’ first nine tracks are available for download, whether one-at-a-time, or all together as one giant RAR/ZIP file, intending for unzipping/disRARing.

  • UPDATE: Download or stream 8-Bit Jesus here.

9 responses to “‘8-Bit Jesus’ is now my favorite thing about December” »

  1. Time to pour some eggnog…

  2. Chris Person says:

    The premise of Little Nemo: Dream Master always struck me as a bit morbid.

    Flip the Magic Clown: “Welcome to your Jungian subconscious little boy! If you throw candy at the wild, possibly rabid animals, they’ll let you crawl inside them and give you magical powers!”

    Isn’t that the textbook behavior of a serial killer as a child? He goes out into the woods and just fucks with the animals?

    And if you’re childhood isn’t sufficiently destroyed yet, try watching the Little Nemo arcade game one of these days.

  3. librarian says:

    Winsor McCay’s serialized comic strip was never really intended for the consumption of children.

    For that matter, a lot of Victorian fantasy—even literature that was intended for children—is very dark. Remember that before we culturally began to encourage imaginative play among tykes, parents were actually instructed to treat their children as “little grown-ups.”

    edit: OK, I watched your little “video.” You act like there’s something wrong with including an awesome Mother Brain eXistenZ atom nucleus eyeball battle sequence. As much as I love the gentler NES game, that is awesome. Like, the Nemo sprite looks crazy-like the Nemo from the movie.

    I think, as uncomfortable as we grown-ups are with involving kids in violence or macabre surrealism, kids are pretty cool with this sort of thing. I don’t know if you saw the (small) backlash against Coraline, the kids’ book by Neil Gaiman, but a lot of narrative sequences seemed, to some, much too grim for a children’s book. I think adults were more disturbed by those arcs than children were, though; the book itself seemed very true to the way children dream. What we call “weird” or “scary” is pretty par for the way kids think.

  4. Chris Person says:

    I was talking about the abhorrent soundtrack; in no way do I take issue with swiping from Cronenburg to make a boss battle.

    I’m aware of the sordid history of the fairy story. But hey, don’t get me wrong; In the off chance that I forget a condom and actually do spawn more little versions of myself, I fully plan on rearing them on a steady diet of Grim’s (Original) Fairy tales, Shel Silverstein, Rahl Dahl’s darker stories and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (or at least just showing them the illustrations and going BOO!). That should give em a fifty fifty shot of being as psychologically sturdy as a rock or one of those creepy goth dudes that paints his coke-nail black.

    P.S. Playing devil’s advocate for a second: “Camptown Races sing this song, doo-daa. Doo-daa.”

  5. librarian says:

    Re. your P.S., I hate that you know that about me.

  6. Chris Person says:

    You only said it like 20 times in blog/podcast form, then told me in person. You only have yourself to blame!

    And you can always make fun of me for Snake Meat, so I call it even.

  7. Kevin Bunch says:

    Man, you just reminded me of how totally fucked up Little Nemo was, and also totally awesome. I loved that game, even if I never could get past the one level where everything is big but Nemo.

    Always meant to read the old comics, but never got around to it. Kind of weird, though, isn’t it? That they made a game based on a 90 year old comic?

  8. librarian says:

    Well, more specifically, the US and Japan teamed up to make a cartoon movie that was based on a 90-year old comic, and then we made some games out of the movie. The comic is great. Art Spiegelman always pulls Little Nemo out during his lecture slideshow, just to convey how sophisticated and modern Winsor McCay’s sense of composition really was.

    Chris: everyone can make fun of you for snake meat

  9. kentdoggydog says:

    Full album is released! Go get it and save the Doctor’s puppy. Then, the dancing!

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