27 February 2013

Episode 122: Mahjong Games

Mahjong based video games is the topic of Episode 122.  Super obscure titles, yet still very fruitful.  Tons of games in this category and they're all Japanese only releases.  Real good music too.  Full track listing below.

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

Mahjong Cop Ryuu: Shiro Ookami no Yabou - Aruaru Nakayama, Hyaa Maruyama, Adarutohideo Kamei - gameplay - Whiteboard - Mega Drive - 1989

Ide Yosuke Meijin no Jissen Mahjong II - Norihiko Togashi - gameplay - Capcom/Arc System Works - Famicom - 1991

Mahjong Club Nagatacho: Sousaisen - unknown - gameplay - Hect - Famicom - 1991

Super Mahjong 3: Karakuchi - Masakatsu Maekawa - Battle Theme 5 - I'Max - Super Famicom - 1994

Koufuku o Yobu Game: Dora Dora Dora - Kiyohiro Sada, Kana Takahashi - Ending (?) - Natsume - Famicom - 1991

Mahjong Taikai II - unknown - gameplay - Koei - Super Famicom - 1994

Majaventure: Mahjong Senki - Kazuo Sawa - World 1 Theme - Tokuma Shoten - Famicom - 1990

Super Mahjong Taikai - Fiori Wakakuwa - Theme of Cleopatra - Koei - Super Famicom - 1992

Tel-Tel Mahjong - unknown - BGM 1 - Chat Noir/Sunsoft - Mega Drive - 1990

Shodankurai Nintei: Shodan Pro Mahjong - Eurhythm, Kenichi Fujii - Title Screen - Gaps/Khaos - Super Famicom - 1995

Gambler Jiko Chuushinha: Katayama Masayuki no Mahjong Doujou - Fumihito Kasatani - Sound Code 0C - Game Arts/Yellow Horn - Mega Drive - 1990

The Mahjong Touhaiden - Soushi Hosoi, Pirowo - Mister Diviner - Video System/Khaos - Super Famicom - 1993

Ide Yosuke Meijin no Jissen Mahjong II - Norihiko Togashi - East Round, 1st Rotation - Capcom/Arc System Works - Famicom - 1991

Janou Touryuumon - Mecano Associates - BGM 1 - Game Arts - Mega Drive - 1993

Naki no Ryuu: Mahjong Hishouden - unknown - Opening - IGS - Super Famicom - 1992


  1. Hey guys have Spotify open for your music references!

  2. First of all, yep, Rob, as you requested, your backup: those tunes do sound like "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

    About "Mister Diviner," it's not only reminiscent of Steve Reich, it's almost a miniature homage to Reich. Several of his techniques are used here in a quick sequence -- e.g. the in-and-out bass note pulsing (dead giveaway right there), the staggered ostinati (repeated melodies) as counterpoint. His '70s and early '80s work inspired a big chunk of film music and art music composers, American, European and Japanese alike (even David Bowie paid tribute on the 1977 album LOW with the tune "Art Decade"), and it only makes sense that some of them would end up in video games.

    As for the time signature, it's in mostly 16/8 (so 4, in other words) but the Reichian tricks are employed to unmoor the sense of downbeat -- the main ostinato is 16 beats subdivided into 5/5/6 and then, like I mentioned, he staggers it/starts it at different times. But indeed, for a nice curveball, it ENDS in 7/8.

    People who liked "Mister Diviner" should absolutely listen to Steve Reich. "Different Trains" is great, and my personal favorites are "Music for 18 Musicians, "Drumming," and "New York Counterpoint" (the shortest of these mentioned).

    p.s. The pronunciation of "Reich" does indeed end in a soft "sh."

    1. Side B of Low is the business. Or rather that whole record is the business.

  3. Great music as always, love these really niche episodes they always seem to have great music.

    Just a dumb side story but because of the first Valentine's Day episode, with the great music from Panel De Pon/Tetris Attack I've been really into that game and it's soundtrack. (Plus the episode with the guy who made the Tetris Attack tips website) I even bought a SNES and had it modded so that I could play Super Famicom games and bought Panel De Pon, and just beat it last night. Those last levels and Thanatos boss can get pretty tough!

  4. I was about to type "Majaventure sounds like a konami track," and then Brent said it sounds like Castlevania. So. I agree.

    In Mister Diviner I really hear 10 Day Interval/4 Day Interval by Tortoise, even some Oval and a lot of Nobukazu Takemura. There's a track by the group Ghost on their album Snuffbox Immanence that sounds a lot like this as well, but I can't remember th name of that song. Of course, all this music is influenced by Terry Riley/Steve Reich/Philip Glass. I think that's where Mr Diviner lives.

    I noticed the poll results weren't mentioned in this episode. I'm personally ok with this, I kinda stopped voting. Not because I wasn't interested, in fact it was the opposite. By the end of each episode I would have 6 or 7 tracks that I wanted to vote for, and I would forget which track was which, which meant I'd have to go back hrough the episode to find the tracks and lsten again. I did do that once or twice but a lot of time was required for that, time I don't really have. I know I have decision making problems too, which doesn't help. But maybe if yall would stop with the bangin tunes it would make my life easier. Play some total crap once in a while, geez.;)

    1. Cosign to Tortoise/Oval/Takemura/Ghost! Speakin' my language here.

  5. At 25:34 I totally thought Rob was going to say, "Okay Brent, how would you like to go on a mahjong carpet ride?"