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  • FUN Episode 2 playlist

    Posted on May 6th, 2013 keving 1 comment



    Now that Episode 2 of FUN is out, it’s time to fully examine the playlist. Read on for names, titles, details, and endless rambling.

    Crocket’s [sic] Theme — Mad (Scoop Designs)
    – Title music — David Beckham Soccer (Rage Software, GBA) — ?

    Rage Software paid £1.5 million per year to license Becks’s likeness back in the day. This, among other financial extravagances and the general failure in selling games they exhibited after the turn of the millennium, led to their liquidation in 2003. Thus they became just another rung in the great, towering ladder of publisher bankruptcies that defined much of that decade of the UK games business.

    There are around 20 to 25 covers of “Crockett’s Theme,” one of Jan Hammer’s signature synth tunes for Miami Vice, available for the Commodore 64. Quite a lot of them were composed while the show was still on first-run TV. Until now I had no idea the show’s official run went on until May of 1989; I thought it was a lot shorter-lived for some reason. This means that Miami Vice and Cops were premiering new episodes at the same time for a few months — and the first season of Cops was shot entirely in and around Fort Lauderdale, FL, so even their subject matter overlapped a bit at times. That’s what I call “Must See TV” (especially after a night at the bar).

    Segment 1
    – Circuit Race — GT Advance 3 (THQ, GBA) — Eiji Kaneuchi
    – ? (sound test #8A) — J.League Pro Striker 2 (Sega, Mega Drive) — ?
    – ? — Tecmo Super Bowl (Tecmo, NES) — Keiji Yamagishi
    – Intro — Namachukei 68 (Konami, X68000) — Yuji Takenouchi
    – Main theme — Indianapolis 500 (Bally, pinball) — Chris Granner
    – Main theme — Banzai Run (Williams, pinball) — Brian Schmidt
    – Title — Kore ga Pro Yakyu ’90 (Face, PCE) — ?
    – Main theme — Konami Hyper Soccer (Konami, NES) — ?
    – Menu theme — Ski or Die (Konami, NES) — ?
    – In game theme progression — Miracle Nine (Sega, Mega Drive) — Naofumi Hataya

    I could fill hours with just this genre alone, but that’d get boring for anyone apart from me.

    Once Rob Hubbard and crew stopped doing the music for EA Sports games on the Genesis, US makers lost their ability to compose good sports-game music — or should I say, they no longer saw it as something necessary to the game, much like how nobody who engineered hardware for Atari consoles thought that sound was at all important. They kept on remembering in Japan, though, fortunately.

    Konami Hyper Soccer did show up on “coming soon” lists in Japan circa 1991, but wound up being a very late-era Euro-only release instead. Ski or Die is US-only. Neither have credits, so I can only guess at who did the really rockin’ synth-drum music for either.

    Segment 2
    Soccer Kid (Amiga) soundtrack — Matt Furniss

    See if you can count how many different instruments Furniss has the steel drum substitute for in this series of tunes. I can’t get enough of it for some reason. It also helps that Soccer Kid is a legitimately good Euro-platformer.

    Those of you who want more soccer-themed action can always look up Go! Go! Beckham! — Adventure on Soccer Island, released for the GBA by — wait for it — Rage Software in 2002, inexplicably in Europe only.

    Segment 3
    – Main theme — White Water (Williams, pinball) — Chris Granner
    – Stage 2 — Ordyne (Namco, arcade) — Shinji Hosoe
    – Flower Garden — Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Sega/Westone, arcade) — Shinichi Sakamoto
    – Dungeon theme — Might & Magic (Sammy, NES) — Masaharu Iwata
    – Theme 2 — M.C. Kids (Virgin Games, NES) — Charles Deenen
    – Main theme — Kings of the Beach (Konami, NES) — ?
    – Title — Knight Lore (Spectrum 128k hack) — Grigori Bologov

    Looking back, I sure stuck a lot of music from pinball games and Konami NES sports games, huh? It’s not my fault it’s all this catchy. US gamers may know Monster Lair’s music best from the remixes Jun Chikuma produced for the TurboGrafx-16 CD release, which honestly I never liked very much compared to the original arcade / Genesis soundtrack.

    M.C. Kids rocks. It’s totally what the cool kids play. Charles Deenen has done audio tech stuff at EA for the past ten years, but I still love his work on the 8-bits the best. He produced more than a couple memorable tunes for the Dutch C64 demoscene in the early ’90s, although he didn’t work all that often on commercial games until later.

    Segment 4
    – City map 2 — Police Quest I (Sierra, PC/Adlib) — Robert Atesalp
    – Frontpage Issue 6 — Marco de Jong (Hithouse) — C64
    – Car tuning screen — F1 Sensation (Konami, NES) — ?
    – Menu screen — Game On (June 1993) (C64) — Thomas Detert
    – World map — Final Fantasy Legend II (Square, GB) — Nobuo Uematsu, Kenji Ito
    – Ikari Intro Tune — ? (based on song by Thomas Detert)
    – Frazze — Antii Hannula (Flex)

    I think Sierra’s Adlib work deserves a lot more respect…at least, with this game, which does a great job imitating slide guitars and the background music of a lot of Hill Street Blues episodes.

    The Game On tune is a cover of a song from Lethal Xcess, an Amiga/ST shooter that came out in 1991. The soundtrack was by Jochen Hippel and was ripped and used in about eight million crack intros in the following years. Catchy, isn’t it? Detert is on my short list of composers to do a special look at, but I don’t want to have too much C64 stuff in here…



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