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  • FUN Ep. 1: The playlist

    Posted on April 29th, 2013 keving 8 comments


    Thanks to everyone who listened to FUN Episode 1! If you haven’t yet, you’re missing out on something I’m sure is very important!

    Here’s an RSS feed. iTunes feed is submitted and hopefully it’ll go up sometime soon.

    As promised I am going to outline the playlist below, along with some commentary. In the future I’ll just release it alongside the actual podcast, but I ran out of time over the weekend. How many did you guess right?

    Segment 1
    – Yokai Dochuki main theme (Namco, arcade) — Hiroyuki Kawada
    – Kid Chameleon — Mountain Music (Sega, Genesis) — Nu Romantic Productions (Mark Miller)
    – Ninja Gaiden II — Stage 2-1 (Tecmo, NES)
    – Magical Chase — Rampish Chase (Quest, PCE) — Hitoshi Sakimoto
    – Secret of Mana — Tell a Strange Tale (Square, SNES) — Hiroki Kikuta
    – Doofus — Stage 1 (Prestige, Amiga) — Jeroen Soede, Michiel Soede

    Music Through the Night, a classical program played late-night on NPR stations, had an awful time pronouncing Hiroki Kikuta’s name when they played an orchestral Secret of Mana medley the other day. They made him sound Polish.

    Doofus came out for the Amiga and PC in 1993, and despite having the same core concept (you’re a kid jumping around a Day-Glo world and your dog follows you), the two games are completely different, including the soundtrack. The PC version has some nice FM stuff going on but I like the excessively synth-y sound you get over on the Amiga.

    Segment 2 — Steve Rowlands
    – Music Select 2 — Tune 2
    – Creatures (demo) — Intro tune
    – Creatures — Torture level 2
    – Creatures 2 — Water levels

    He also did a lot of great music for Retrograde but these tunes all ran long and I didn’t want the segment to go on forever.

    If Steve’s still around, he should try making some more C64 music! There are a lot of SID musicians out there, but a relatively small number of them had immediately recognizable and catchy styles like this. JCH, Jeroen Tel, Martin Galway and the like immediately come to mind, and I think Steve deserves to be brought up on that list too.

    Segment 3
    – Fuzzy’s World of Miniature Space Golf — Title tune (Pixel Painters, PC) — Alexander Brandon
    – Road Rash — Redwood Forest (EA, Genesis) — Rob Hubbard, Michael Bartlow
    – Hanny in the Sky — Level 1 (Face, PCE) — Ako Matsudaira
    – Kick Master — The Bottomless Crevasse (Taito, NES) — Nobuyuki Shioda, Yusuke Takahama
    – Interference (Amiga) — Jochen Feldkötter
    – Nostalgia 1907 — Image. (Sur de Wave, X68000) — Yukie Marikawa

    Nostalgia also came out on the Mega-CD in Japan and therefore got a little bit of coverage in the US mags of the time. The music on the X68k version is much better orchestrated, however. It’s a really neat adventure game, not porn-y or anime-y at all, and I wish someone would fan-translate it.

    Isn’t Road Rash great? Hubbard really did a great job at imitating that hillbilly-guitar snarl, even though it’s not exactly a perfect simulation or anything.

    Nobuyuki Shioda is responsible for the out-of-this-world music you hear in the KID-produced NES games like Kick MasterLow-G-ManIsolated WarriorG.I. Joe and so forth. Speaking of guys with immediately-identifiable styles…

    “Interference” is an Amiga demo from 1993.

    Segment 4
    – Final Fantasy II — Reunion/Rebel Army Theme (Square, GBA) — Nobuo Uematsu
    – Ano Gaea — title (ZX Spectrum) — Andy Mills
    – Puggsy — Darkblade Forest (Psygnosis, Genesis) — Matt Furniss
    – Epic Pinball — Space Journey (Epic, PC) — Robert A. Allen, Joshua Jensen

    Mr. Furniss will very likely be my artist spotlight next episode. He did some amazing longform stuff on the Genesis; I’d put him up with Jesper Kyd in that respect.

    I pirated played the hell out of Epic Pinball as a kid, and Space Journey was probably my favorite table for the simple fact that I liked the music on it the best. The Mikko Iho-designed graphics were a bonus, too. It was around this time when I finally felt “Oh, man, who needs an Amiga when I’ve got this killer 486 machine?”.



    7 responses to “FUN Ep. 1: The playlist” RSS icon

    • Great job on this all around! I really enjoyed it and look forward to more, as I’m also addicted to old chiptunes.

      Not sure if you’re interested in requests/suggestions for future playlists, but I think it would be great if you’d feature some of Soft Studio WING’s creepy PC-88 horror AVG soundtracks at some point. That stuff is awesome and should be better known in the west. Those weirdo soundtrack cassettes they did for their early MSX stuff were cool too, but I guess those don’t really qualify as “chiptunes”.

      By the way, I’m embarrassed to admit that I was actually a member of a couple of the more well-known, umm, “distribution groups” that existed back then in the late 80s/early 90s Amiga/PC scene, so you may well have seen one of my ridiculously “k-rad” handles when you were playing some of those games!

    • This was some neat stuff to be exposed to, I’m only familiar with a bit of it. I am really curious about possible developer overlap between Doofus and Chuck Rock, those 90s Amiga platformers are pretty easy to spot but those two are really, really similar looking. MobyGames doesn’t seem to indicate any relation at all.

    • Michael –

      There doesn’t seem to be any direct relation between the two games. Amiga Chuck Rock was developed by the famous Core Design, whereas Doofus was made by an obscure little developer named Sphinx, which seems to have been run by two German (I think) brothers. You can see all the credits for these games at Hall of Light, the big Amiga games database. However, it looks like the later PC version might have been ported by a different company.

      By the way, the review that Amiga Power gave Doofus back then was absolutely hilarious, and has become semi-legendary to fans of that mag.

    • Must be this one here 🙂 The music seemed ok!

    • I respect both AP and Jonathan Nash’s tastes in 16 bit games a great deal but that review’s fulla crap.

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    • Kevin, do you know of a place to find the Yokai Dochuki main theme? I have found other, crappier versions of the music, but none as good as the track you played on the podcast (which I assume is from the arcade version). I’ve searched high and low for it, but no luck.

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