An example of the Sunsoft5B sound expansion chip

We’re been talking sound expansion chips for a while now.  This chip, in particular, is the rarest.

We mentioned the Sunsoft FME-7 that was used in Batman:  Return of the Joker.  However, there was a special version of the Sunsoft FME-7 chip known as the Sunsoft5B.  This sound expansion module added three square channels.  This was ONLY used in the game Famicom game “Gimmick!”.  I watched some gameplay videos and I have to say – the game looks incredibly fun.  For those of you interested in playing Gimmick!, it costs about $400 on eBay.  I’d suggest emulation or the finding a copy of the Japanese Playstation version, which was released as part of the Sunsoft Memorial Series as Vol. 6.  (An aside:  I did some background – the JP PSone version is even harder to find on eBay but only will set you back about $50).

At any rate, this is an interesting mix of sounds.  Here’s the full OST:

(credit:  grad1u52)

This music is not overly complex but… it makes me remember what it was like to be a young gamer, firing up the NES and enjoying a simple and clean platformer.  The music actually makes me happy.  There’s some really great stuff done with the combination of squares and pulses.  It’s a shame that chips like this were only used toward the end of the NES’s life.  You have to imagine this game came out in 1992.  The Super Nintendo had already been out for almost two years at this point in Japan.

Hope you enjoyed it!

About Classical Gaming

Steve Lakawicz holds an MM in Music Performance from Temple University as well as a BM in Tuba Performance from Rutgers University . His teachers include Paul Scott, Scott Mendoker, and Jay Krush. His love of video game music has lead him to form a blog, Classical Gaming, to promote discussion both casual and academic about the music of video games. He is the co-founder of the video game/nerd music chamber ensemble, Beta Test Music and regularly composes/performs chiptune music as Ap0c. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he teaches college statistics at Temple University. View all posts by Classical Gaming

2 responses to “An example of the Sunsoft5B sound expansion chip

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