07 November 2012

Episode 106: Side-Scrolling and Platforming 2

The Chiki Chiki Boi-zzz take another look at the side-scroller/platformer category (their first one was for Episode 39), but really these games are so broad, it's almost like another free play.  Rob plays some really long tracks and Brent talks about a really obscure video he saw in the 1980's.  Also, Brent gives Rob (and the listeners) a fun, little geography quiz.  NOTE: Quiz originally given to Brent by Zach Sherwin AKA MC Mr. Napkins, who may very well have created it himself.  Full track listing below.

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

Flink -  Matthias Steinwachs, David Lowe (arr.) - Title Screen - Psygnosis/Sony Imagesoft - Mega Drive (Europe) - 1994

Hi no Tori: Gaou no Bouken - Iku Mizutani (Funny Iku), Hidenori Maezawa (Dandy Hidenori), Kinuyo Yamashita (Charming Kinuyo) - Past - Konami - Famicom - 1987

Daze Before Christmas - Kim M. Jensen, Geir Tjelta - Elves Factories - Funcom/Sunsoft - Mega Drive (Australia) - 1994

Dynamite Headdy - Aki Hata - South Town's Theme - Treasure - Genesis - 1994

Pulseman - Junichi Masuda - Stereo Protect - Game Freak - Mega Drive - 1994

Gimmick! - Masashi Kageyama - Identity Believer (Boss Theme 2) - Authentic Entertainment/Sunsoft - Famicom - 1992

Mr. Nutz - Raphael Gesqua, Matt Furniss (arr.) - Woody Land 3 & 4 - Ocean - Mega Drive (Europe) - 1994

The Smurfs - Alberto José González - Act 3 & 10: The Swamps & Gargamel Manor House - Bit Managers/Infogrames - NES (Europe) - 1994

Alisia Dragoon - Mecano Associates (Fumihito Kasatani, Nobuyuki Aoshima, Mamoru Ishimoda, Yoko Sonoda) - Opening Theme - Game Arts - Genesis - 1992

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - unknown - Sewer 1 - Konami/Ultra Games - NES - 1989

Kiwi Kraze - Yasuko Yamada, Tim Follin (arr.), Geoff Follin (arr.) - Kiwi Kraze Theme - Taito/Software Creations - NES - 1991

TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure - Kenichi Matsubara, Yukie Morimoto, Saiko Miki - Rainbow Music Factory - Konami - Super Famicom - 1994

Wardner - Osamu Ohta, Kazuo Okabayashi (arr.) - Shop - Toaplan/Dragnet/Mentrix Software - Genesis - 1991

Chiki Chiki Boys - Hiromitsu Takaoka (Hifumi), Junichi Ueda (Junchan) (arr.) - Round 4-2 - Capcom - Genesis - 1993

Wolfchild - Matt Furniss, Martin Iveson - Stage 1: Wolfship - JVC/Core Design - Genesis - 1993


  1. Pulseboy was having system issues with his Motherboard because she was sending interrupt request commands to clean his ROM.

    Great track, despite the awkward story line. :-)

  2. The Smurfs - Alberto Jose Gonzalez - Act 3 & 10 (The Swamps & Gargamel Manor House), This track is amazing. Might be my new favorite video game track. Keep up the great work fellas.

    1. Yeah, that was a really great track! I also ended up really liking the Chiki Chiki BOIZZZ track. That, or Pulse Boy was probably my favorite of the episode.

    2. I'm calling it right now. That Smurfs track will be on my top 10 list next year!

  3. Daze reminds me of the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack.

    WTF, Pulseman? I'm with St. John on that one.

    I'm staring a band called Fumihitos In Iowa.

    I did a little half assed research, and to the best of my knowledge, these are Konami's 8 bit departure points, as far as how the games sound:

    1985, Yie-Ar Kung Fu is the 1st game, begins the "original" 8 bit Konami sound. In the 1985-86 phase includes games such as TwinBee and Gradius.

    As far as I can tell, Castlevania's 1986 release begins the slightly more involved second wave of Konami soundtracks, which includes Top Gun, Goonies 2, and Metal Gear. I could be wrong though.

    Again, as far as I can tell, Castlevania 2 (1987) starts the "signature" Konami sound, with the fully realized drum tracks, which sound like actual songs. I'm more inclined to believe that 1988's Wai Wai World is a better exampleof a trasition game, because about half of the soundtrack sounds like old Konami and half sounds like signature Konami. The next game after that is Contra, and there's no turning back after Contra as we all know. I think this period contains the bulk of Konami soundtracks that we all know and love, followed by the final transition.

    And I think the game that finally pushes Konami into their most involved 8 bit music starts in 1989 with Super C. Then the music basically diesn't evolve much for the next few years, until the 16 bit era.

    Again, just a cursory snooping around. If anybody cares to do a more involved investigation, feel free.

    1. Yeah, there are tons of Fumahitos here in Iowa, especially in the rural areas.

      That's good work on those konami tracks. I can't think of any issues with it! Konami really was a treasure trove of great music. I actually think I like the 16-bit stuff better (i like 16-bit vgm better than 8 bit vgm in general), but I definitely think the 8-bit konami music is so much more iconic!

    2. Thanks!

      I love the 16 bit Konami tracks too, but I have an app for my mostly useless android called MODO music player that will only play the nsf/nsfe files. so, i have probably 75% of the soundtracks from the nes and famicom era at this point. it's actually a great app, but it won't display song tiles from the nsfe files. anyway, listening to the soundtracks i had combined with the konami wikipedia page was how i came to my timeline.

      but yeah, i admit i'm more of an 8 bit guy. the period when the nes was exploding also happened to be my sponge period, the period where i started playing music and video games (and discovered girls). today they call em tweens, i guess.

      i didn't realize at the time how my wanting to play music and loving video games were connected. i didnt connect those dots until i was about 20.

    3. Oh, do you make music? What kind of music, and what instrument (s)? Chip music, quote unquote "real music", both independently, or a fusion? If you have anything, I'd definitely be interested in hearing it.

      I would love to record a homebrew album that was foundationally an edgy, jazzy, ambient rock, and try to work in a strong supplemental chiptunes element.

      But at my best, I was a ho-hum bassist, and even less adept at everything else, was definitely limited in my skillsets, sloppy to boot, would "speak one language" on one instrument and "other languages" on the others, and never had much success getting them "on the same page" (in other words, I would come up with a good guitar riff, and have a very hard time figuring out how to add bass and keys to it, etc, etc.

      Add to all this that I'm now also very rusty, which only compounds my lack of motivation, and the prospect of recording that solo album seems more and more unlikely.

      If I ever was in a band again (also unlikely, though I've been in them before), whether theirs chiptune elements in what we play or not, I would insist on using vgm as the set up / tear down music between sets or acts.

      Imagine it: the band's playing loud their last song, big finish, maybe a second or so silence, and then as the lights come up, and we start packing up, gambit theme from spiderman/x-men, or bonus room from wolverine, or in the bar from streets of rage 2.

      The only alternative to vgm I'd be okay with is odd theme songs like the joy of painting w Bob Ross (i have it on my ipod...sincerely love that track!)

    4. I have been able to realize my childhood dream of making music for a video game. My friend, Jay Cook (www.avalondreams.com) is a programmer, and has worked on programming games for things like "Hydra" and "Parallax", and has asked me to do some music for them.

      X-Racer, and Ranquest feature my music. I know there's a YouTube video of ranquest w sound, and I know there's video of x-racer, but I'm not sure if it has sound. Just simple melodies, but still, it's my music in a game. :-D

      There was a German tech show with a fellow named Rolf Dieter Kline that did a special on hydra, and featured our game with sound for a few seconds.

      Now, my involvement was that of composer, Jay did the arrangements. I would record a track with bass and keys, etc, I would have my mom, of all people, come over to the house and convert it to sheet music, then I'd give both the sheet music and my mp3 to Jay, and between them, he'd be able to program it into the very rudimentary hydra sound system as a chiptune, so it really was a three person effort. I would love to learn how to program sound for myself, especially on things like the Genesis....maybe someday.

      Jay is wanting to do a zombie game on android, and is asking me to do the music, this time not as a chiptune, but in quote unquote "real instruments", but to date I've not been able to put any work into it.

    5. For ranquest, I was trying to be derivative. I wanted to fuse a zelda 1 overworld style baseline with a metroid 1 brinstar style melody. The chiptune version turned out slightly different than my original, and insofar, sounds a little less like them.

      X-Racer, I was not trying to be derivative, so that track is much more "me." I have an mp3 of x-racer for anyone who a) wants to hear it, and b) can't find it online.

      Also, the hardware Jay was using on ranquest was a little more advanced than what he was working with back in the day w x-racer. X-racer sounded more like a c64 or zx spectrum, the ranquest sound hardware was essentially identical to the master system.

    6. Send me a link to your jams St JOHN!!!

    7. Rob, I sent them in an e-mail to legacymusichour@gmail.com.

      I only included the chiptune versions, but this e-mail was still very text heavy because I basically disclaimered the crap out of the original recordings (also avail upon request).

      I don't know how jamtastic these tracks will be (X-Racer will probably have the best shot), but I'm just honored to have been able to score a video game..two of them, one of them even getting enough attention to appear on a german internet tech show. Even if it's just two one-track games, for a dev kit, rather than a dedicated console, and even if I had to have Jay actually code it into the game....heck, even if the tracks aren't anything to write home about...it's still my music in a video game...one of my childhood dreams come true! :-D

      ...know what I mean?

    8. I have been recording and playing music since 1991 or so, when I was 12 or 13 (born in 78). I've been involved in projects of all different sorts, but not really any chiptune music. Honestly I don't really care for the genre because the people that make it most often come from a punk rock background, therefore have little understanding of what makes the music what it is. The best 8 bit composers have obviously a keen understanding of the rules as well as a vast awareness of the hundreds of years of classical music. i dont hear that in chiptune music, or i havent yet. i DO however lusten to a lot of 80s music, especially pop. because i do hear those elements in that music beleve it or not. modulation, counterpoint, melody, etc.

      but all that being said, you can hear the vgm influence in everything i play. i think it
      gives me a colorful style, especially when played in the context of the weird beefheartish stuff that i normally play.

    9. Sure. Well, I'd definitly like to hear some of your stuff! Where can I go to do that?

  4. I'm glad you guys finally discovered the Smurfs track. I had emailed you about this months ago, but I'm just glad its being played. I discovered it randomly and have been listening to it ever since.

  5. Thank you guys for another great podcast, and also for the nice comments! They're greatly appreciated (^^)

    FYI, I have a Soundcloud account where I've been uploading old (& odd) works for some time. There are even some unpublished Game Boy tracks, and also very old 8 & 16 bit computer stuff.



    1. Thanks for the comment and link Alberto!

    2. One more thing - I just listened to
      Vintage 8 bit - Calma Cero (ZX Spectrum, 1991)
      on your Soundcloud. Wow! That sounds so cool! Was this ever released for a game?

    3. My pleasure! ^^

      Glad you liked the the tune, I made that one just for fun. From all the ZX Spectrum tunes on my Soundcloud, only Hostages OST was published.

  6. Sweet episode - I'm glad you included two of my recommendations from my recent email (Kiwi Kraze and something by Alberto Gonzalez). I really liked the Pulseman song - it sounds surprisingly modern.

    One platformer I haven't heard on your show that's worth checking out is Socket - it's a mediocre Sonic clone with good music. And I will be severely disappointed if I don't hear Pictionary (NES) on your board games episode.

  7. One of the classic episodes based on the track listing. Excellent. I'm becoming as nostalgic for these older episodes as I am for the games the soundtracks come from.