Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks: Sol-Feace (Sharp X68000)

In this series of posts, I highlight soundtracks that we may have overlooked.  Let’s take a look at music from WolfTeam’s Sol-Feace for the Sharp X68000/Sega CD/Genesis, composed by Motoi Sakuraba.

Okay.  A while back I posted a write-up on Cruise Chaser Blassty, one of Uematsu’s first works.  I felt like it was only fitting to seek out something early from the career of another legend.  So, I searched Motoi Sakuraba’s completed works and stumbled upon this game:  an space drama shooter from 1990 for the Japanese home PC (the Sharp X68000).

The game was released here for Sega CD, of all things, under the title “Sol-Deace” in 1991 with a completed revamped Redbook audio soundtrack.  (I uh, have no clue why they called it Sol-Deace here.)  However, I’m more concerned with the original MIDI files he wrote as opposed to the arranged OST as I find the original format more interesting.

A note about the Sharp X68000- from my understanding, the Sharp X68000’s sound playback was completely based off the sound audio cards installed.  If you remember, old PCs used to have SoundBlaster (or equivalent) cards that directly read the MIDI instructions and provided output.  The issue with original fidelity on these old cards was that they provided many different forms of MIDI output and since the instructions from the code didn’t stipulate the direct instrument assignments to each individual line, the output varied greatly depending on hardware.  This same principle applies to the Sharp X68000.  Thus, you’ll hear subtle differences in all the music I post here, depending on the audio hardware used for playback.

Getting back to the music, anyone familiar with Sakuraba knows that Motoi Sakuraba + space = progressive rock in space.  And he definitely serves up some amazing tracks in this game.

Here’s the epic intro from Sol-Feace:

Motoi Sakuraba’s abilities (mainly his amazing keyboard skills) really translate well when it comes to MIDI composition.  I mean, how epic is this track?  The visuals on the X68000 are amazing for 1990 and the music fits perfectly.

Here’s some more from the OST:

(credit:  VGMhalloffame)

(credit:  Perkinson78)

And just for fun check out the Redbook audio version of the intro:

Pretty awesome.  You can find copies of this game pretty readily if you want to rock out on your Sega CD or Genesis.  The game isn’t that spectacular but the music is.

Hope you enjoyed listening!  Leave comments, as always!

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

4 responses to “Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks: Sol-Feace (Sharp X68000)

  • Frank

    SolFeace is an amazing sound track, and have been saying this for years. It really is very under rated.

  • CWalois

    Hopefully it’s not just me, but the first link to Sol-Feace’s intro now goes to a playlist that starts with some kind of bizarre rape-escape game. I watched almost the whole thing with a dazed expression before I remembered why I was there and that there was no music playing. Also, the Redbook link at the bottom is also broken😦

    P.S.: Do you have an interest in writing about the Descent soundtrack? The Redbook (Mac, PS1) vs. MIDI (PC) situation there is very interesting. Also, I feel like no one has done research on the ST, and the credits situation could use some explanation. I’ve seen countless names attached to it: Type O Negative, Nivek Ogre, Allister Brimble, Jim Torres, Ken Allen, Brian Luzietti, Larry Peacock, Tim Wiles…. Sorry for the random question, but since you talked about dueling soundtrack versions here, I couldn’t help but think of Descent.

    • Classical Gaming

      Woah, I’ll fix that tomorrow after the Beta Test concert. Sheesh! Sorry!

      I LOVE the soundtrack to Descent. I’ll work on that this week. I remember there being really little info about the composers but we’ll see what I can find!

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