29 August 2012

Episode 96: World Music

Brent and Rob travel the globe, discovering world music tracks from 8-bit and 16-bit era video games.  The music heard on Episode 96 resembles the kind of music one might hear on a world music radio program, that is, traditional ethnic music, world-fusion, and even New Age.  The boys also share stories of traveling to foreign lands such as Minneapolis.  Full track listing below.

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

Elfaria II: The Quest of the Meld - Yukihide Takekawa - Plot - Red/Hudson - Super Famicom - 1995

New Horizons - Yoko Kanno - The Mahout - Koei - SNES - 1994

Street Fighter II Turbo - Yoko Shimomura - Dhalsim - Capcom - SNES - 1993

Wally wo Sagase!  Ehon no Kuni no Daibouken Where's Wally? - Masanao Akahori - Egyptian Village - Tomy/Natsu System - Super Famicom - 1993

Higemaru Makaijima: Nanatsu no Shima Daibouken - Harumi Fujita - Marmaid Island - Capcom - Famicom - 1987

Final Fantasy V - Nobuo Uematsu - Harvest - Square - Super Famicom - 1992

Donkey Kong Country - David Wise - Bonus Room Blitz - Rare/Nintendo - SNES - 1994

Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Douchuu - unknown - Inside the Castle (Stage 13) - Konami - Famicom - 1986

EarthBound - Hirokazu Tanaka - Enjoy Your Stay - Nintendo - SNES - 1995

Sparkster - Akira Yamaoka, Michiru Yamane, Kazuhiko Uehara, Masahiro Ikariko, M. Matsuhira - Musical Town - Konami - SNES - 1994

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - David Wise - Steel Drum Rhumba - Rare/Nintendo - SNES - 1995

Seiken Densetsu 3 - Hiroki Kikuta - Damn Damn Drum - Square - Super Famicom - 1995

Fantasy Zone - Hiroshi Kawaguchi - Hot Snow (Round 5) - Sega - arcade (Japan) - 1986

Bonk's Adventure - Tsukasa Masuko, Hirohiko Takayama - World 3-1, 3-2, 3-3 - Red Company/Atlus - TurboGrafx-16 - 1990

EarthBound - Keiichi Suzuki - Threed, Free at Last - Nintendo - SNES - 1995


  1. I am surprised you guys didn't chose anything from Sega's OutRun. That game has really nice island themes.

  2. New Horizons sounds like a reconfigured version of Within You, Without You by world music masters The Beatles.
    Is it possible that Dhalsim's theme is actually borrowing from an already existing piece of music?

    Why have you guys not talked about that Street Fighter 2 art thing you went to afew weeks ago? I'd like to hear about that, I saw some cool pics.

  3. when Brent said he was going to Minneapolis i thought "GameInformer?"
    and today i see that he is the guest in the GI podcast :>

  4. Great episode as always, gang!

    It might not have been this episode, but it was within the past few, I picked up on an off-hand comment where Brent said [something to the tune of] "SNES has better graphics [than Genesis.]" I'm gonna have to take issue with that. It's not that I think Genesis has better graphics than SNES either, but that I think better/worse is simply not a helpful category. I think just like with the sound issue, its a matter of separate, but equal, of a mix and match of relative strengths and weaknesses.

    I'm not trying to convert the world to "Genesisism", but instead, I am only trying to do battle with what I perceive to be an "arbitrary defaultish SNESism" that seems to be fairly prolific.

    I won't get into a long, drawn out thing about that here, but over on the retro league forum, I started a thread about it where I go into much greater detail. At the time of this writing, the thread has reached five pages, and there's been some decent discussion. Here's the link:


    Like I said, i'll let that thread do most of the talking, but I will give the "blow the punchline" short version below:

    You may want to tweak the language here just a bit, but I say instead of speaking in terms of "SNES/Genesis is better/worse", instead, I suggest we position things this way:

    In terms of graphics: SNES is "crisper, cleaner, more colorful", while Genesis is "bigger, louder, bolder".

    In terms of sound: SNES is "more diverse, more lifelike, and more theoretically advanced" while Genesis is "crisper, cleaner, punchier and more arcade-like."

    In terms of overall hardware design/performance: SNES is "the gentleman", more sophisticated, more polished, yet more internally inconsistent, and at the core, not as powerful. The Genesis is the "snarling beast", unsophisticated, unpolished, but a powerhouse, and internally consistent.

    None of these are objectively superior or inferior, inherently, but they all lend themselves perfectly well to subjective preference valuations, and everyone is free to prefer whichever one they want. I'm not trying to argue people out of their subjective preference, but simply challenge what I believe to be arbitrary assertions that are at least unsubstantiated, and I believe, unsubstantiatable.

    1. By the way, that was "The book of Genesis according to St. john Chapter 16, Verse 16" ;-) :-D

    2. Hello, Brent Weinbach says that he agrees with everything in this post except that he thinks the Genesis can be really sophisticated too, especially when it comes to the music. But definitely you're right, SNES is not better, it's different. It's like how Brent Weinbach prefers the SNES graphics to the modern day console graphics. It might be technically more advanced, but it's not as vibrant and colorful in the way SNES is. In fact, it's the lack of colors/technology that makes the colors sharper and stand out more (vibrant).

    3. DISCLAIMER: I posted this already this morning, but it appears to be gone. If it was deleted by LMH staff on purpose, go ahead and delete it again, but notify me so I don't repost it a third time. It is slightly modified this time, so if there was something objectionable in the first draft it may not be there now. If after I repost this the original post reappears, then I apologize for the double-post....


      Fair enough, Mr. W! The music on the genesis most definitely can be very sophisticated (Alien Soldier, anyone?) So I will wrangle with finding a better way to word that.

      However, keeping in mind that I'm on record with my subjective preference of the Genesis sound system over the SNES sound system, I think that in a sense, the Genesis sound hardware is somewhat unsophisticated, but in a good way. It's raw, it's edgy, it's in your face.......it's a snarly beast. :-)

      None of the above is true of the SNES sound system, yet albiet often somewhat poorly, the SNES can go anywhere, do anything, be anything. It can stroll into any part of the world, and just start playing the indigenous instruments found there. It can navigate the high seas, it hangs out at symphonies and biker bars. It's cultured, a rambler...it's a gentleman.

      Perhaps the important distinction with the Genesis is in producing sophisticated captivating pieces vs sophisticated methods to do so. Sticking with the snarling beast analogy, all this beast can do is snarl, growl, and howl, yet what's produced in the process is highly sophisticated, and magical. So much so, that I am incited to actually prefer listening to the wild animal howl, than the gentleman ramble.

      You know, the more I think about it, when viewed from that perspective, I think "unsophisticated" fits the Genesis after all. :-)

      Also, as far as this whole thing goes, its important that we keep subjective preference separate from objective assertion. You're not asserting that the 16-bit hardware is objectively superior to the 360/PS3, indeed, there's no debate, it's not. But subjectively, you prefer the 16-bit graphics for their generally more intense color saturation. While I wouldn't go so far as to agree with that, we're all entitled to our preferences, so I'm not of a mind to attempt to argue with it either.

      I think you'd agree that these kinds of discussions and debates would go much more smoothly if all parties involved would keep that objective/subjective distinction in the forefront of heir minds. You guys seem to do pretty well at that, which is why I enjoy having these conversations with you. :-)


    4. No, not us, we didn't delete the post. In fact, we never delete posts, even negative ones (not that yours is negative). It shows where your post used to be and says, "This comment has been removed by the author," so it seems as though you might have accidentally deleted it yourself...

    5. Oh, that. What happened there is I went to repost it, but instead of posting as a reply, I accidentally posted as a new comment. So I deleted the new comment and reposted it in this thread. :-)

      As to the earlier disappearance, who knows? I'd be inclined to blame it on my less than smart smart phone from whence it came. Except I received an email confirmation....oh well, the repost is still here and that's good enough for me. :-)

  5. I haven't been able to listen to the episode. I've downloaded it twice and it only partially downloaded.

    1. Hmm, that's strange. I just tried downloading it to test and it worked...

  6. With all that said, SNES music is better. :)

    Overall, I think Brent prefers the SNES sound while Rob prefers the Genesis. And, they do have some humorous exchanges due to their musical preferences. I certainly don't think anything said during the podcasts should be taken too seriously.

  7. Yeeeesss, two offerings from EarthBound in this one. This podcast has a serious lack of EarthBound's incredible score!