Welcome to another edition of Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks. Today, we’ll feature a game that even Konami wants to disappear with a soundtrack written by, well… I’m not even sure.
It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another Sunday Game Soundtrack! This opening tag sounds cheesier and cheesier every time I write it. Too bad. Today, let’s listen to Capcom’s DuckTales for the Nintendo Famicom/NES.
Before we dive in, I just want to point this out to all you blogger types who are writing incorrect articles: the composer for this game is Hiroshige Tonomura. It is NOT Yoshihiro Sakaguchi. How many sources do you guys check? YouTube? Seriously. Capcom’s official website lists Tonomura. It’s the 3rd result. It’s called Google, people. Please go and change it if you haven’t already.
Let’s dive right in:
Okay, while you listen, let’s chat:
- Hiroshige Tonomura’s alias is Perorin. In addition to DuckTales, he wrote tracks for the arcade version 1942 and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms-based RPG, Destiny of an Emperor. He left Capcom after 1989 to join Taito, where he worked on the sound team for such games as Bust-a-Move and Pro Baseball? Murder Case! (yes, that’s a real game). Not sure what he’s up to right now.
- Keiji Inafune (of Rockman and now Mighty No. 9 fame) did the character design for the game. Awesome.
- Yoshishiro Sakaguchi did the SOUND PROGRAMMING; it’s not the same as being a composer. He was a part of the development of the game, though.
- This was Capcom’s first Disney-based platformer. Disney sent over a spy (Darlene Lacy) to make sure the game was up to Disney’s standards. In an interview with Nintendo Player, she discussed DuckTales and some of the changes that had to be made to the game to get it “on board” with Disney. Some changes:
- Capcom originally had crosses on all of the coffins in Transylvania. Religion!!?? IN A U.S. VIDEO GAME SPONSORED BY DISNEY? OH NO! NO WAY! They changed them to say RIP instead.
- Scrooge was originally supposed to eat hamburgers to gain back health dots (the technical term for those red dots that I just made up). Disney had it changed to ice cream cones.
- Oh man, this one would have been brutal. There was originally a way for Scrooge to lose all his money. Lacey says they removed it because it was “un-Scrooge-like”. Just imagine…. oy…
- The beta version of the game reveals some different tracks. For instance, this alternate unused Transylvania stage track (also note the crosses! OH NO! RELIGION! PROTOTYPE REJECTED!)
- The beta version of the game also reveals a painfully slow version of “The Moon”‘s legendary track. It drags on and on:
Okay people, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Comments welcome, as always. More Lesser-known Game Soundtracks this week. OMINOUS.
It’s Sunday so that means it’s time for another Sunday Game Soundtrack! On Sundays, Classical Gaming takes time off from scouring older, lesser-known soundtracks to highlight some of the greatest original soundtracks of all time and, of course, highlight some little known facts about each game. Today, let’s take a look at an obvious choice for Sunday listening: the Nintendo-made and Koji Kondo-composed Super Mario World.
Here’s the soundtrack:
And here’s some little known facts while you enjoy:
- Many of you probably know this but I’m sure some of you don’t since I only learned about this about 5~ years ago. If you leave the Special World music on for a while, it transforms into a pretty rockin’ version of the original “Ground Theme” from Super Mario Bros.. It’s awesome.
- The Japanese version of the game has a couple fun differences:
- My favorite is that you can eat the dolphins in Vanilla Secret 3. Take that, you annoying platforming jerks.
- The last stage of Special World (Funky) spells out “YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!” in the English version. The Japanese version spells out “YOU ARE SUPER PLAYER!!”. Perfect.
- Reznor is called “Bui Bui” in the Japanese version.
- In the Japanese version, Cheese Bridge Area, Cookie Mountain, Forest Secret Area, and Chocolate Island Secret are all tagged “Course #1”, implying that there are other stages similar to them. But…. there are no other stages with those names so why do we need to know that these are the FIRST stages? This was corrected in the International release. (thanks to Super Mario Wiki for that!)
- Did you know that the berries you eat during the stages actually… DO something? I actually had no clue how they worked haha. Here’s an explanation for each color:
- Red Berry : Eat 10 red berries and receive a Super Mushroom.
- Pink Berry : Eat 2 pink berries and that coin throwing cloud appears. Collect all the coins dropped by the silly cloud thing and get a 1-Up.
- Green Berry : Eat a green berry and receive 20 more ticks on your timer. These ONLY appear in Special World’s Funky. Weird. Never noticed that.
Anyhow, enjoy Koji Kondo’s work AND your Sunday. This week – a couple new posts from the vault. So stay tuned!
Hey guys! Been really busy with a lot of things lately, including this. Yep, it’s my very first commissioned game soundtrack! Check it out here!
The soundtrack contains 10 different tracks created in Famitracker that utilize the Ricoh 2a03 and the Konami VRC6. I really tried to keep the music absolutely authentic to the console. It is unfortunate that many great game composers did NOT have the opportunity to use the VRC6, due the its cost and late release in the life of the Famicom. I spent a lot of time trying to think how some of the great shooters would have sounded IF they had the extra pulses and sawtooth. Hopefully, I was able to create something that is not only nostalgic but also brand new!
The album here is mixed so you’ll hear some unauthentic reverb that is not characteristic of the console. I do I think it adds more depth to the music, though. I figured it would be nice to use some patches when mixing to give it a bit more polish.
Don’t like that mixed sound? If you download the soundtrack, you will get copies of the NSF files. If you go get an NSF player, you can listen to the unmixed, raw Famicom sound. It’s kind of perfect. Of course, since I wanted to maintain authenticity for the game, the game itself features the tracks from the NSF files.
I’m going to do further write up for the music later. For now though, go check it out and download it. It’s free and I promise it’s awesome.
This track premiered at 8static 36’s Open Mic on June 8th at PhilaMOCA in Philadelphia, PA. It was written in Famitracker v. 0.4.2 using 2a03+VRC6 and numerous drum samples programmed through the DPCM channel. Please enjoy!
Some background on the piece while you listen:
- The title for this track was decided long after it was finished. The track was written specifically for June’s 8static with the intent of showing off all the new techniques I learned while working on my Chiptunes = WIN submission (which was accepted, by the way) without playing my ChipWIN submission live. At first, I wanted to call it something like “My Promise” or “Promises” or “It Will Continue”- something that showed that the work done here was not the end of my own personal growth. I figured that “My Promise” was too pretentious. There’s not really a pretentious vibe to the song. I eventually settled on “A Promise”. “A Promise” can be from me to you, from you to me, from anyone and anything, as long as it’s kept. I figured I’ll leave that interpretation up to you, the listener.
- My original goal was find a way to create “heavy metal” using NES audio. I spent a lot of time developing sounds and tweaking instruments to get a nasty, almost grungy sound. I was pretty happy with it.
- From there, I constructed the beat. 8static IS a dance party, I know people play chip music and stuff there, but it’s fundamentally a dance party. I spend time messing with various ideas until I settled on the beat your hear above.
- I overlayed the original bass line (which was far less busy) and then wrote a simple melody. I usually start with a very “quarter note-y” version of everything just to hear the harmonies and the direction. I adjusted the shapes of the melodies to be more interesting, cut some “holes” for silence, and then spliced the original part to the grunge part. I then cloned the beginning, changed the bassline and feel, and tweaked everything so that it flowed.
- Things I’d do differently:
- After almost getting rejected from the ChipWIN comp for bad volume levels on my instruments, I think I’ve finally learned that I cannot crank every instrument up to the highest volume setting. I LOVE the sound it creates. It’s like… garbage noise. It distorts and spreads. It’s a useful tool but I don’t think I can use it all the time. I definitely could go back and change the volume levels on this guy too. It would probably sound even better.
- I need to follow my instincts a bit more when composing. My ChipWIN submission took about 15-16 hours to write and this took 25+. At the last minute, I found myself reverting parts of the piece back to the originals ideas. Lesson here is:
Hope you enjoyed the track! More to come as usual. Thanks again!
Hi guys! It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. For those of you new to the blog, on Sundays (if I post), I like to post about games that have great soundtracks that AREN’T Lesser-known. Today, we’ll talk about Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, composed by Koji Kondo.
Here’s the complete OST for your listening enjoyment. Below, I’ll post some facts about the game.
- The game was originally released on August 15th, 1995 in Japan and October 4th/6th for NA/EU markets respectively. The game was re-released for Game Boy Advance as Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 in 2002 and featured a couple extra stages and features.
- Super Mario World 2 has not had an official re-release. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 and NOT Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was re-released for Virtual Console in 2011.
- Yoshi’s Island DS is the direct sequel to this game and was released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS.
- The game takes a departure from many of the other games in the Mario series as it is single player only.
- The SNES version uses the Super FX 2 chip. The original idea was to try to render the game just as they had rendered Donkey Kong Country. According to Kent Steven’s “The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World”, Miyamoto brought the game to his board of directors with 3-D pre-rendered sprites and was ordered to change it to something else. He then decided to develop it as if it had been drawn by children with crayons. He brought the game back and it passed. Miyamoto would eventually get his way, though, as Yoshi’s Story features 3D rendered characters.
- The Super FX 2 chip allows the game to render those GIANT sprites, such as Burt the Bashful. Many other games APPEAR to have large sprites (such as Contra III). These sprites are actually part background/part moving sprite. This game ACTUALLY HAS enormous, moving sprites.
The goal is to remove Burt the Bashful’s pants. And we’re okay with this.
- The game sold about 4~ million copies. It finds its way onto MANY “Greatest Video Games of All Time” lists.
- Koji Kondo’s soundtrack to this game is exactly what you’d expect from him. It’s goofy, rockin’, and thoughtful. When I was a kid, the music stuck in my head for days. My friend Mike and I actually arranged some of the tunes for trombone and bass back in the day.
- One of the coolest things Kondo does is for the World Maps. The game features 6 different worlds. World 1 features a very simple melody. As you travel from world to world, the map music becomes more and more diverse, adding drums, bass, strings, and trumpet. It’s a really cool feature. To hear it back to back, set the video to 23:20~. Enjoy
- One of my favorite tracks of all time is the Mid-Boss theme from this game. Here’s a direct link to it. It’s like… Mario meets Baby Elephant Walk meets Dancing Homer. It’s so Koji Kondo though- that laid back jazz feel and subtly goofiness? It’s perfect.
At any rate, I hope I helped you feel some subtle nostalgia today! Please feel free to leave comments!
It would appear that a couple of the major YouTube sources for the music on this website have gone dark. If you happen to find any dead links, please let me know here and I will fix them. I just fixed Over Horizon and a couple others. What a shame!