06 March 2019

Episode 210: Beyond 16-Bit 4

Brent and Rob AND Gabe focus on music from the fifth generation and beyond, something that the Legacy Music Hour does every now and then.  Full track listing below.

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

Sonic the Hedgehog CD - Naofumi Hataya, Masafumi Ogata - Tidal Tempest Present - Sonic Team/Sega - Mega-CD - 1993

Celeste - Lena Raine - First Steps - Matt Makes Games - Nintendo Switch - 2018

Snatcher - Motoaki Furukawa, Nobuo Yagi (harmonica), Motoaki Furukawa (guitar) - Tears Stained Eyes - Konami - Sega CD - 1994

Neon Drive - Gustav Eriksson (Pengus) - Valkyrie (Level 6) - Fraoula - PlayStation 4 - 2017

Tengai Makyou: Ziria - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tomotsune Maeno - Sad Past - Red Company/Hudson - PC Engine CD-ROM² - 1989

Cave Story - Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) - Geothermal - Studio Pixel - Wii - 2010

Jaguar XJ220 - Martin Iveson - Podium - Core Design Ltd./JVC Digital Studios - Sega CD - 1993

Undertale - Toby Fox - Alphys - tobyfox - PlayStation 4 - 2017

Pilotwings Resort - Asuka Ito - Glider - Monster Games/Nintendo - Nintendo 3DS - 2011

The Messenger - Eric W. Brown (Rainbowdragoneyes) - Into The Depths (Catacombs) (Past) - Sabotage Studio/Devolver Digital - Nintendo Switch - 2018

Urusei Yatsura: My Dear Friends - Kenichi Okuma - School - Game Arts - Mega-CD - 1994

Jack Bros. - Hiroyuki Yanada (Yanda) - Temple of Nightmare (Level 3) - Atlus - Virtual Boy - 1995

Wolfchild - Martin Iveson - End Credits - Core Design Ltd./JVC Musical Industries - Sega CD - 1993

Galactic Pinball - Kenji Yamamoto, Masaru Tajima - Moon Man Fandango - Intelligent Systems/Nintendo - Virtual Boy - 1995

Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams - Naoshi Mizuta, Hiroaki Kondo (arr.), Ryoji Yamamoto (arr.) - Staff Roll 1 - Capcom - Sega Saturn - 1996

RayForce - Tamayo Kawamoto - Vision (Round 3) - Taito - arcade (Japan) - 1993

Sonic 3D Blast - Richard Jacques - Rusty Ruin Zone Act 1 - Traveller's Tales/Sega - Sega Saturn - 1996

Shovel Knight - Jake Kaufman - The Fateful Return (Tower Approach) - Yacht Club Games - Wii U - 2014

Alundra - Kouhei Tanaka - The Wind that Crosses the Earth - Matrix Software/Working Designs - PlayStation - 1998


  1. OOOH shnip! That Pilotwings Resort track was killer!!
    In fact there were a lot of great tracks on this episode.

    Loved all the Sega CD stuff getting played.
    Woldchild CD was really good! Snatcher too.

    Before you even mentioned it, I also immediately thought the Sonic 3D Blast track sounded like Enigma or Delerium.

    I have to say, as a "Gabe Fan", I would enjoy having the Gabe Corner be a normal segment! I also second Gabe's opinion that Sonic CD is the best Sonic game.

    Finally, with all the talk about modern "retro" games (The Messenger, Shovel Knight etc), I was wondering if any of you have played Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon?

    It's a spiritual successor to the Castlevania series, created by Koji Igarashi himself. The music is by Michiru Yamane who did the music to Castlevania Bloodlines and Symphony of the Night. The game plays and looks just like Castlevania 3, with different characters who can join you etc. Definitely worth checking it out, if you haven't already.

  2. The track from Tengai Makyou: Ziria reminded me of "Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy. Is that what Brent was thinking of?

  3. So many instant classics in this episode, I can't wait to listen!

  4. Oh boy Alberto, this episode was sooo good! In fact, most of these tracks I rated 5.5 out of 5 - it was all too much for my system to handle!

    Interesting that Brent mentioned the Galactic Pinball track sounding like "futuristic pop" as it seemed like all these newer/post-forth games were closer to my ears to "present un-pop" (Mmm-Pop?) in their musical throwbacks/homages - and quite the presents they were. For example, the Celeste track made me think of Mike Oldfield's The Bell, the Urusei Yatsura: My Dear Friends track reminded me of Tea for Two mixed with George Michael's Last Christmas (!), and as for Pilotwings Resort, gosh, there were so many W A V E S of melodies I almost drowned! I definitely heard Mr. Mister's Broken Wings and Seal's Kiss From A Rose referenced in there on my first listen - curious to know what some of the other (other) users heard? Maybe I need to borrow/snatch Doug and Brent's microscope for a closer inspection/panty sniff... "wut is that?"

    Even if at times this felt closer to a 'Behind 16-Bit' episode, it still totally went beyond my expectations - thanks again boizz for another legacy classic! Especially to Gabe - can Gabe's Corner be a regular [cartridge] slot?

    Oh, and one more thing before I totally run out of energy... how profound was Rob's quote "Live Your Life Like It's Your Last 5%"?


  5. Hey guys, loved the episode. So many great picks. I loved that Sonic CD track! VGMpire did a really great interview with Spencer Nilsen. http://www.vgmpire.com/2016/05/25/vgmpire-117-sonic-cd-with-spencer-nilsen/ Nilsen hadn’t heard any of the original tracks until that interview, where Brett played the Japanese tracks back-to-back with their US counterparts for Spencer and discussed. Interestingly, the Tidal Tempest you played from the Mega CD version sounded remarkably similar in emotional tone to Spencer Nilsen’s rendition.

    Incidentally, the Sonic CD past tracks on both the Japanese and American versions are the same, and use only the Genesis’ YM2612 and the sample chip(and possibly the PSG, I can’t remember).

    The podcast VGMbassy did a great interview with Rainbowdragoneyes back in October. It’s worth a listen: http://thevgmbassy.com/2018/10/12/episode-13-the-messenger-with-composer-rainbowdragoneyes/ By the way, he mentions in the interview that certain specific tracks are composed using the restraints of an NES(meaning they’ll play on actual hardware), and certain specific tracks were composed using the restraints of a Genesis(meaning they’ll play on Genesis hardware, with one notable exception). I’ll say no more about that.

    The PCE Super CD track was straight out of the PCE’s audio chip. No extra help there. And the Urusei Yatsura was almost all straight Mega Drive; it MAYBE used the Ricoh sample chip for some percussion.

    This brings me to ask for clarification on the official rules for what tracks are legal during a normal episode. Rob and Brent talked about Gameboy tracks being legal into the late 90’s, but I thought I remembered long ago that Brent said there was a cutoff of ‘96 or something because tracks after a certain point were composed with a different style. Did that rule change at some point and I just forgot about it? I mean, there are games being made currently that play on original hardware(Xeno Crisis being a prominent example). Are those eligible for play on the regular episodes? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_zXxR2B-IJc

    1. I too am a bit confused sometimes by the "rules." When they say 8 and 16 bit consoles, the Gameboy AND Gameboy Color clearly fall into those categories, because they both use 8-bit processors. I guess the Color is technically a fifth generation console, so if it's going off of the rule "third and fourth generation" consoles, then color doesn't fit. But then the Sega CD ALSO had a 16-bit processor, so why can't that be allowed? Granted, it gets fuzzy if the music from a Sega CD game is coming off a wav file, but I feel like add-ons or revisions of consoles should be accepted, as they're not standalone consoles that fit into a different "generation" per se. I also don't entirely get why the focus is on consoles and not other 8-bit or 16-bit computer video games of the time. I'd also love to see an episode that focuses on lesser consoles of those generations, such as the Atari 7800... If there was much music in those games.

    2. Yeah the "rules" sometimes seem a bit odd, if not arbitrary and really could use some nailing down beyond an actual Console Generation definition.
      Especially given 32 bits really wasn't its own generation and had a lot of crossover with the 4th and 5th.
      Especially as you mentioned with the Sega add-ons. [odd that the 32X cartridge based setup was more powerful than the Sega-CD set up]
      Granted the standard for audio through a chip rather than off a CD seems to be the basis for the proper sound and feel, but heck even some early Saturn music was written to the same specs as something that would work on a Genesis.

      And while we're on Sega, it's sad that the SG-1000 has yet to get any love.


    3. Or Intellivision for that matter: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiUkWLMC6z8

      Can you believe that’s from 1981? It sounds like some NES games!

    4. Being the first game console I'd ever played, I have a soft spot for the Intellivision, but that tune is pretty damn good. Especially given that it's only a 2nd gen console.

  6. Great show guys. Rob, despite never playing the game, your track Tear Stained Eyes seemed extremely familiar to me. After a couple minutes of humming it to myself I remembered it was sampled by the synth artist Com Truise on his track Norkuy on the Cyanide Sisters album. Being a historian of the 80s, you may appreciate that track as well.

    1. No way! Big Com Truise fan how did I miss this!?

  7. I am a HUUUUGE Michael Jackson fan, and I am almost convinced that the Snatcher sound track was worked on by Michael Jackson, especially the song you guys chose to play from it.

    It sounds just like Michael Jackson songs i know! Plus he is an easter egg in the actually Snatcher game, and he is known to work on a lot of sega games including sonic!

  8. Excellent episode and I hope Gabes Corner remains a permanent feature

  9. Beyond 16 Bit 'sodes are some of my absolute favorites, but only because they're so rare. Adding Gabecube as a sort of correspondent or a guest with an editorial is a welcome formatting change. This was full of hits. That Wolfchild jam made me think if Wolfchild were an 80s movie, that music would play while Wolfchild asked his crush out on a date at the end. Then she'd turn to the camera, lower her sunglasses, and bare her fangs to the audience. Freeze. Fade out. WOLFCHILD.

  10. I think the Tengai Makyou: Ziria track Brent was stuck on shares a bit of the melody from Kai-Koh by Yellow Magic Orchestra, from the album "Naughty Boys". (also composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, of course. He may have consciously decided to reuse it, but who knows?) One of my favourite albums.


    1. Totally! A great song from one of YMO's best albums.

      It's always interesting, and seemingly quite common, to hear bits of YMO songs echoed in VGM music - definitely a testament to the influence of Sakamoto/Hosono/Takahashi on Japanese music at large.

      Here's an example of such from the Great Battle Gaiden 2 soundtrack: a track called "Hungry Puzzle" that sounds uncannily like "Sportsman" from Haruomi Hosono's (great) album Philharmony.


      Here's Hosono's track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqdv032mFbg

    2. DD, no way! I JUST discovered that song a few days ago, and talked to Sentimental in San Gabriel about it yesterday! IT IS SO BONK

    3. Ah that's wild - it's real good!

    4. I had no idea Shinji Hosoe was in a YMO "tribute" band called Oriental Magnetic Yellow but I recently played a track from the N64 game Custom Robo (composed by Hosoe) and you can definitely hear the YMO influence:


      Sounds a bit like "Ongaku" from Naughty Boys:


  11. The track Brent was looking for is Sangokushi Retsuden: Ransei no Eiyuutachi - unknown - China Unified - TOSE/Sega - Mega Drive - 1991 from ep 74.

  12. Rob bringin' the smooth jams.

  13. Awesome episode, guys! One killer jam after another. No doubt, it's one of my favorites, along with the epic ones from some years ago.

    Some notes/suggestions:

    - The Celeste track reminded me immediately of the soundtrack of the game Fez, composed by Disasterpeace. I like the game, but the soundtrack is one of my favorites from all time.

    Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXfos-mAMMA

    - The Tengai Makyou track reminded me of the oldest episodes, in which Brent mentions that he likes Yellow Magic Orchestra. It's a nice coincidence that Rob chose a sountrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto (this track has to be his, it's definetely his style), a member of the band.

    - Another suggestion for you guys is my other "recent" favorite soundtrack is the one for the game Ori and the Blind Forest, by Gareth Coker. It has the obvious appeal of a huge sounding orchestral soundtrack, but to me it is a beautiful comeback of (some) melodic protagonism, and I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it is also a tribute to some great classical, movie and game composers.

    Hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkzeOmkOUHM

    Keep 'em coming!

  14. I also have been hooked on the Pilotwings track. I actually first heard it through a remix on OC Remix in 2012. If you like the original, you might like the remix: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02426. When I played Pilotwings Resort, I loved playing the glider level just to hear the song as long as I could.

  15. It's funny that you mentioned Jaguar XJ220 as having a warm feeling because it's on my "stuff to listen to in winter" playlist for just that reason. It definitely helped get me through the last polar vortex.

  16. Guess I'm the first Transformers fan to comment?

    You guys mentioned that 'Valkyrie (Level 6)' had a section that was lifted from Stan Bush's 'The Touch', but you didn't pick up on the fact that the other sections were lifted from bits of Vince Dicola's score. Most notable is the non-"The Touch" parts that are taken from 'Escape' [check out around the 3 min mark]

    But hey, I'm a sucker for that totally rad '80s sound, so I won't hold it against them.

    1. I had the same thought! I even played the two back to back for my kids recently, who I’ve raised to love the G1 Transformers cartoon run above its lesser descendants.

  17. So I've only just recently started playing Celeste. I don't know why the track didn't grab me when you first played it here....because it's become one of my favorite tracks and soundtracks ever.

    IT IS SO GOOD. I bought the soundtrack to Celeste, but I won't listen past where I've gotten in the game, because it's so integral to the game experience. That first track perfectly encapsulates the complex emotional feelings of excitement, determination, uncertainty, potential peril, and underlying unease. So good.