Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks: Devil’s Crush (PC Engine/TG-16)

Welcome back for another edition of Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks.  Today, we’ll talk about a game that has two different names released for a console that has two different names.  Oh, and it’s pinball and stuff.

Finding information on this game is utterly infuriating.  Yes, this is how this article starts.

Okay, Devil Crash was a virtual pinball game.  It’s known as Devil’s Crush in the US.  The original JP game was for PC Engine/Turbografx-16 and it was released on July 20th, 1990 by developer NAXAT Soft and publisher NEC.  I cannot find a confirmation date but the game also found it’s way to the US TG-16 around that time as well.  It was also released for MegaDrive/Genesis as Dragon’s Fury in the US and as Devil Crash MD in JP.  It is the second game in the Crush Pinball series or, if you’re playing it on MegaDrive/Genesis, the first game in the Dragon Pinball series (Tengen released a sequel to the MegaDrive version called Dragon’s Revenge outside the original Crush series).  This game was released on Virtual Console in 2007 and then Playstation Network in 2009 as Devil’s Crush but with many of the satanic images removed.  My brain hurts.  A lot.

I thought it couldn’t get any MORE confusing but it does.  Many people attribute legendary composer Noriyuki Iwadare as the man behind the music to this game.  In fact, most do.  However, in my research, I discovered something interesting.  On nearly all of the YouTube channel videos of the music from this game, YouTube user erinaz1000 posts saying that he composed this music.  In fact, he goes as far as to correct people who attributed it to Iwadare in several cases.  This YouTube user is prolific TG-16 composer Toshiaki Sakoda.

“Noriyuki Iwadare is a mistake.” -Toshiaki Sakoda

Frankly, I’ve always heard that Iwadare did the music for this game.  Iwadare is attributed as the “composer” for the Alien/Devil Crash Arranged Album- I think that’s what people are using as a source.  Still, I always thought it was a bit… well… metal for him.   I don’t know.  Maybe Iwadare programmed the music into the MD/GEN version, which sounds a lot more likely to me.  Nonetheless, if I have Sakoda all over YouTube saying he did it and answering questions about the music, I would think that would be a bit too brazen and that he’s probably not lying considering he’s still an active composer.

AN ASIDE:  I’ve never really highlighted the way that the PC Engine/TG-16 creates music.  It’s a bit confusing.  It uses the TG-16’s HuC6280 processor to create sounds (basically an upgraded MOS 6502- the chip inside an Apple IIe, et al.).  Long story short, the TG-16 has 6 mini-wavetable stereo audio channels, each completely customizable.  (PLEASE NOTE:  WAVE TABLE IS NOT THE SAME AS FM SYNTHESIS!)  Using channel 1 AND 2, you could kind of manipulate the wavetables to make something like FM Synthesis.  Channels 5 AND 6 were BOTH capable of noise generation… so 2 noise channels.  Weird, right?  Every channel was capable of receiving and outputting PCM samples.  I’m simplying all of this but that’s a basic overview.

TL;DR:  The PC Engine has 6 channels of wavetable synthesis.

Okay, so the music.  Well, there’s no direct link to any of the music itself except for the Main Table.  Through watching some playthroughs and what not, you can hear a lot more of it.  Here’s the most famous track to the game:

This is so rockin’.  I could listen to this on loop forever.  You’ll notice that there’s a couple “FM Synthesis” sounding things.  The TG-16 uses Channels 1 and 2 in combination to create the sound… so there’s only really one “sound” at any time in FM mode.  The rest should be wave forms.  Lots of sawtooth here… love the sawtooth.

Here’s more of the music- I had to dig.  I don’t know the names of the tracks or anything but please enjoy- so awesome:

Very metal.  If you’ve played the game, it fits so well.  Keeps you pumped… to play pinball.  Not easy.

Also, for the sake of contrast, here’s the Main Table music from the MD/Genesis version.  This is completely FM Synthesis so it’s arguably meatier by contrast:

Hope you enjoyed listening!  Comments welcome.  Until next time!


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

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