18 April 2012

Episode 77: Sunsoft

Excellent, excellent music on this episode's company focus: Sunsoft.  Sunsoft put out video games with awesome soundtracks, games like Blaster Master, Gimmick!, and Journey to Silius.  Plus, Bucky from retrogameaudio.tumblr.com joins Brent and Rob via Skype to share some helpful and insightful information regarding NES sound design and how Sunsoft's unique approach gave them their very specific and recognizable sound.  Listen and learn!  Full track listing below.

Game - Composer - Song - Company - Console - Year (North American release unless otherwise indicated)

Gimmick! - Masashi Kageyama - Good Morning (Introduction) - Authentic Entertainment/Sunsoft - Famicom - 1992

Super Spy Hunter - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya - Staff Roll - Sunsoft - NES - 1992

Journey to Silius - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya - Stage 3 - Sunsoft - NES - 1990

Batman - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara - Stage 3 - Sunsoft - NES - 1989

Blaster Master - Naoki Kodaka - Area 6 - Sunsoft - NES - 1988

Tel-Tel Mahjong - unknown - BGM 4 - Chat Noir/Sunsoft - Mega Drive - 1990

Fester's Quest - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara - Outside - Sunsoft - NES - 1989

Super Fantasy Zone - Naoki Kodaka - Staff Roll - Sunsoft - Mega Drive - 1992

Pescatore - unknown - Unknown 1 - Tierheit/Sunsoft - Famicom - 1991 (unreleased)

Freedom Force - Naoki Kodaka - Stage 2: Terminal Walkway - Sunsoft - NES - 1988

Trip World - Phase Out (Tsutomu Ishida, Masayuki Iwata, Atsushi Mihiro) - Credits - Sunsoft - Game Boy (Japan) - 1992

Benkei Gaiden - Masashi Kageyama - unknown - Sunsoft - PC Engine - 1989

Hebereke - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya - Hebe's Adventure - Sunsoft - Famicom - 1991

Tel-Tel Stadium - Vial Music - Online Mode - Sunsoft - Mega Drive - 1990

Batman: Return of the Joker - Naoki Kodaka, Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya - Ending - Sunsoft - NES - 1991


  1. Nice show, gotta love that Sunsoft sound! I hear you guys are doing the Beyond 16-bit theme next time and I thought it would be great to hear some music from Ridge Racer 4. The music from RR4 is really catchy and set up the mood just right a good racing game. This is the only game music that I went through the trouble of importing the music CD from Japan. Looking forward to your next show.

  2. Oh man! Anonymous, I too have the R4 soundtrack in my CD collection, and Pearl Blue Soul and Lucid Rhythms are some of my favorite game music tracks of the 32 bit era.

    It's going to be interesting to see what these guys have in store for us this second time around. Make us game music lovers proud gentlemen!

  3. this episode was so good I listened to it twice. and now I'm going to play journey to Silius.

    I wish Gimmick wasn't so gd expensive. I'd love to own the actual pal cart of that.

    That interview told me basically everything I wanted to know about the nes music I love. great job as always, Brent and F Switch.

    1. You don't want the PAL cart of Gimmick!, because that version doesn't have the extra sound channels. You want the Japanese cart, so that the music is in full effect.

    2. Michael, just buy the repro cart from: http://www.retrousb.com/. Sure, it doesn't have the extra sound channels but the game play and music is still great! Also, it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

    3. I say hold out for the Japanese cart (assuming you have a Famicom, and if you don't, hold out for one of those too). I only resort to reproduction carts in very rare cases (so far only one case: Clock Tower). Even Seiken Densetsu 3, I played on an actual Japanese cart, but during story scenes with text, I just followed along with a translated playthrough on Youtube. I'd watch the scene in Japanese first, and then in English on Youtube. I know that sounds like a lot of work, but I just wanted to keep the experience of playing the game as pure as possible, which is why I usually don't do repro carts. But with Clock Tower, because it's so open ended, there's just no way to play along with a translated version, so doing the translated repro cart was the only option. And so, with Gimmick!, I would just wait for that day when I get my hands on a real Japanese cart. Although, I did recently get coerced into playing the first three levels on a repro cart (of the European version, of course), my friend's argument being, if the game was released in North America, this is exactly how it would have been. And that's a decent argument. But I guess it just depends on how much you care about purity and stuff. Sorry if none of this makes sense.

    4. Or just get the repro cart of the North American prototype, because that's what we would have played anyway.

  4. Thought this day would never happen, but I finally got my hands on a loose Famicom cart from ebay:

    The extra sound channels do make a difference! It's probably my favorite Famicom game at the moment.

    1. Sorry. Bad link:

    2. Aw, you lucky son of a gun! How much was it?

    3. $130. I hate to imagine how much a complete version costs...

  5. Musically speaking, this is my favorite episode so far (going through the archives in order). Nothing but super phenomenal music from start to finish. I wish we could've heard from Gremlins 2, but I'm still happy with the selection we got.

  6. I couldn't agree more with the prior comment. I've listeded to the mixtape of this episode like 5x already, and gone and downloaded most of the soundtracks (forums.ffshrine.org).
    Keep up the great work!