Video Game Music of the Week - 302


Arrow Flash (Genesis/Mega-Drive)

vgm302

Tracks:
Opening Theme, Stage 2-1/5-2, Stage 5-1, Ending

Composer(s):
Hanauri Musume


Arrow Flash is a scrolling shooter that released on the Sega Mega-Drive & Genesis in 1990 and 1991.



Opening Theme
Like so many great soundtracks of the era, Arrow Flash features a very melody focused set of music that delivers a memorable score. The short, opening theme sets this idea in notion from the get go, with a great melody.




Stage 2-1, 5-2
While Arrow Flash features a more rock centric selection of themes, this specific song also delivers some funk elements that help create diversity in the action-oriented soundtrack




Stage 5-1
This track has a great, slow build up, with a steady introduction that shifts its sound as it progresses from each section. Its melody, yet again, is a focal point of the theme.




Ending
This song has a slightly different sound to the rest of the game's music, with a very catchy chorus-like section, a neat bass line and a very jazzy solo that comes in at around the 2 minute mark.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 301


Gunstar Heroes (Genesis/Mega-Drive)

vgm301

Tracks:
Stage 1, Stage 5, Boss 5, Ending

Composer(s):
Norio Hanzawa


Gunstar Heroes, a run-and-gun shooter for the Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis, released in 1993 and later was ported to the Game Gear. The game has since been re-released in numerous forms, with a 3D version that released on the Nintendo 3DS.



Stage 1
Gunstar Heroes has a very well-crafted soundtrack that features various melodies and intense themes. The opening stage is a prime example, showcasing the games unrelenting search for musical greatness.




Stage 5
The fifth stage theme has a pulsating bass that becomes the themes motivating drive. However, the tracks melody balances perfectly with this, playing off it at times in clever ways.




Boss 5
Each Boss theme in Gunstar Heroes is different, and this specific version is a definite stand out. It has a wild drum beat that is littered with drum-fils and rapid snare hits.




Ending
The Ending theme has a more reserved and simpler sound than many of the other themes in the game. There is a main section of music that plays throughout the whole theme, but it' s the realistic drum percussions that give life to the theme.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 300


Psychonauts (PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2)

vgm300

Tracks:
Title & End Credits, The Catwalk Phantom, Whispering Rock

Composer(s):
Peter McConnell


Psychonauts is a Platform game developed by Double Fine Productions and well-known game designer, Tim Schafer. The game released in 2005, with a sequel currently in development.



Title & End Credits
This theme plays during the title and end credits. The song has very cartoonish elements to it with its wild orchestration.




The Catwalk Phantom
This cunning theme has obvious elements of deviousness and trickery. It jumps from low-key moments to grand, quick-hitting sections.




Whispering Rock
This western-style theme has a very gentle and harmless melody. It has some assorted guitar moments that remain unique as the song progresses.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 299


Beyond Good & Evil (Various)

vgm299

Tracks:
Home Sweet Home, Hyllian Suite, Violent Jade Suite, Funky Bar

Composer(s):
Christophe Héral


Beyond Good & Evil is an action-adventure game that released over multiple home consoles and PC's in 2003. The game received quite the cult following and a sequel was finally announced at this years E3 expo.



Home Sweet Home
This song features a very enticing opening with its strange background sound and core piano line of music. The theme suggests an adventurous setting with some elements of mystery and grandiose layered within.




Hyllian Suite
Hyllian Suite features a very tribal and natural sound. The flute-like melody brings a sense of wonder to the theme, with the songs string instruments giving it a more ambitious feel at the same time. The xylophone segment is also one of the themes more memorable moments.




Violent Jade Suite
This theme is immediately noticeable as a very action-oriented and tense piece of music. The main section of the theme is extremely fast, delivering an almost agitated sound.




Funky Bar
This track has a great jazz feel with it's cleverly delivered trumpet solo. The beat box-backing only helps to deliver one of the games truly unforgettable themes, proving the unique qualities that the game possesses.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 298


ARMS (Switch)

vgm298

Tracks:
GrandPrix, Scrapyard, Snake Park, Get New ARMS Theme

Composer(s):
Atsuko Asahi
Yasuaki Iwata


Nintendo's latest brand new IP, ARMS, released on the Nintendo Switch in June of this year. The title took advantage of the unique capabilities of the consoles motion controllers, the Joy-Cons, and delivered a competitive fighting game for the new system.


GrandPrix
This track is the games official Main Theme that plays during the title menu. It's an infectious tune that conveys a fun, colourful atmosphere to what is yet another unique world hand-crafted by Nintendo.




Scrapyard
This is one of the games stage themes, that is paired with the character Mechanica. It's funky guitar chords play in tandem with an almost sporadic selection of instruments and varying sounds.




Snake Park
This theme is another stage track, this time for the character Kid Cobra. It's one of the faster tunes found in the game and features a mild play on the Main Theme of ARMS. In fact, most of the games stage themes feature recurring elements from the games title track.




Get New ARMS Theme
This song is a bonus theme of sorts that plays when the character is partaking in a Mini-game that allows players to obtain more "ARMS" for their characters. Its yet another ultra-funky track with a great bass riff.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 297


Splatoon (Wii U)

SQ_WiiU_Splatoon

Tracks:
Main Theme, VS Mode 1, Booyah Base, Credits

Composer(s):
Toru Minegishi
Shiho Fujii


Splatoon released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2015 and was a fresh new take on an immensely popular video game genre. However, as is often the case with Nintendo, the game featured a remarkably unique style, along with some interesting gameplay ideas.



Main Theme
Everything about Splatoon shows that Nintendo made a very different approach to a brand new IP. The games genre and style has a very unique characteristic, with the games music being one of the main stylistic stand-outs. The games Main Theme shows a very garage/punk-rock style, with a wacky vocaliser incorporated.




Vs Mode 1
The games soundtrack takes musical cues from Rock, Punk, Surf-Rock and Ska just to name a few. Some of these styles and sounds can be found in this track.




Booyah Base
This track features a combination of Funk, Hip Hop and Electronic music with some inaudible vocals. It's a fun tune that plays as a background theme while shopping for various items in the game.




Credits
This final track is a very smooth theme that plays during the games credits. Like many of the games other songs, it features some heavily altered vocals to fit with the games unique style.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 296


Brain Lord (SNES)

vgm296

Tracks:
Dragon Legend, Town Of Arcs, Road To The Tower, Natural Cavern, Road To Toronto

Composer(s):
Masanao Akahori


Brain Lord is an Enix published RPG that released on the SNES for North America and Japan only, never making its way to Europe or Australia. The game was developed by Produce!, a Japanese game company that also developed The 7th Saga.



Dragon Legend
This song features some rather emotional musical moments which are especially noticeable because the theme is played during the opening cutscene of the game. It's a relatively short song that introduces the player to a world that is set to feature some serious story telling.




Town Of Arcs
An ultra heavy bass carries this track, along with its super funky melody and other side instrumentation. This track is definitely one of the games most groovy themes.




Road To The Tower
This piece carries with it some more serious tones and ideas of a grand scale story with a deep sense of importance. Its melody is the driving force of the theme.




Natural Cavern
This song is yet another funky piece of music found within the game. The track is yet another example of how musically interesting the games themes are, with it's numerous unique melodies for the different sections and moments in the game.




Road To Toronto
This theme is a travelling backing track that continues the games very noticeable emphasis on diverse melodies and catchy riffs. Its one of the games more rock-centric themes.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 295


The 7th Saga (SNES)

vgm295

Tracks:
7th Saga, Overworld 1, Overworld Battle, Port City, Overworld 3

Composer(s):
Norihiko Yamanuki


The 7th Saga is a Japanese role-playing game that released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo in Japan and North America.



The 7th Saga
This short track is the initial title screen song to the game. It features quite a soothing theme for an opening to a large adventure style game, that perhaps has more meaning to the player once they finish their initial journey through the game.




Overworld 1
This is one of the many Overworld, or background music themes, that are found in the game. The games soundtrack as a whole does a very good job at creating a unique sense of adventure in a fantasy style world, while maintaining a very individual style to its themes.




Overworld Battle
This tremendous action piece is the games standard battle theme. As opposed to the previous two songs, this one most certainly delivers a more intense and exciting theme with its brilliantly diverse melody and various other percussions and sounds.




Port City
This song accompanies the Port Town area of Bonro. Its another more calm song in the soundtrack, which is to be expected due to it's partnered setting.




Overworld 3
This song is another of the games Overworld themes. Just like many of the other songs found in the game, it has many soothing qualities with a mild focus on a breezy melody.




Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 294


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube)

vgm294

Tracks:
Title Theme, Torvus Bog, Submerged Ruins, Sanctuary Fortress, Vs Emperor Ing B

Composer(s):
Kenji Yamamoto


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes released in 2004 and is the follow-up to the 2002 game Metroid Prime. The series continued to be scored by composer Kenji Yamamoto, who also worked on the original Metroid Prime.



Title Theme
This track is the initial Title Theme song to
Metroid Prime 2. It has a very noticeable, space-like melody that marks the tracks high point. Yet the theme still features various cinematic elements such as a great initial build up, awe-inspiring choir chanting, and memorable musical peaks.




Torvus Bog
This theme continues to show the otherworldly elements present throughout much of the games visuals and sounds. It features some ambient elements, with less of an emphasis on a core melody.




Submerged Ruins
This track is based on the Brinster Underground Depths theme from Super Metroid. It's mysterious and remarkably eery, being one of the most atmospheric themes in the game.




Sanctuary Fortress
The games notable electronic sounds are more-so expressed in this theme. The pulsing rhythm-track plays throughout the entirety of the song, with a softer melody playing over the top during certain moments.




Vs Emperor Ing B
This song is a final battle theme track that is certainly one of the games more intense and memorable pieces. It plays hard and heavy during certain sections, while maintaining some of the types of sounds that are found throughout other sections in the game.




Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 293


Metroid Prime (GameCube)

vgm293

Tracks:
Tallon Overworld, Chozu Ruins, Phendrana Drifts, Data Selection/Credits

Composer(s):
Kenji Yamamoto
Kouichi Kyuma


Metroid Prime released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube and was a distinct departure from the visual style of the previous games. It cleverly took the core gameplay of the original 2D titles, and brought it into a 3D world, seamlessly.



Tallon Overworld
Tallon Overworld is a great comparison theme that shows the series' evolution from the original game. It takes the
Brinstar Theme from the first Metroid, and creates a very atmoshpheric, yet familiar tune.




Chozo Ruins
Chozo Ruins is the first major area in the game and its theme track has a thin layer of mystery surrounding its sound. Interestingly, the Drum Beat in the song does not play in game, until Samus has defeated the Plated Beetle and regained her Morph Ball.




Phendrana Drifts
The Phendrana Drifts is an ice-themed area in the game, and as such, its theme plays on this environmental setting. It's a very diverse, evolutionary song that features numerous stand out moments.




Data Selection/Credits
This track plays during both the initial Save Selection screen and final Credits segment. It's one of the games most notable themes for those two reasons, and really captivated players from before they even begun their adventure.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 292


Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness (NES)

vgm292

Tracks:
Assaulted Etruria, Desert Sittem, Breager's Castle, Living Legend

Composer(s):
Yuki Iwai


Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness is in fact a prequel to the Game Boy title, Gargoyle's Quest. The NES game released in 1992, with a Game Boy version of the game releasing in Japan only.



Assaulted Etruria
The games soundtrack is immediately more melody-focused than its predecessor. The previous games soundtrack excels at delivering a very dark and despair-filled atmosphere, while the games NES prequel delivers a more varied selection of tracks.
Assaulted Etruria is a fast, action track that still contains some of the atmospheric elements found in the original Gargoyle's Quest.




Desert Sittem
Desert Sittem is one of the games notable locations. The track features a really cool melody with an almost hazy element to its background sound that helps in creating the desert theming.




Breager's Castle
Gargoyle's Quest features a track titled Breager's Castle, but this version of the song found in Gargoyle's Quest II is an entirely different song with an entirely different sound. This track is yet another fast theme, with its constant melody play and creative bass riff.




Living Legend
Living Legend is the games final ending theme. The upbeat track is very different to the other songs found in the game, which is an almost consistent characteristic of NES ending themes.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 291


Gargoyle's Quest (Game Boy)

vgm291

Tracks:
Intro, King Palace, Hell Field, Breager's Castle

Composer(s):
Harumi Fujita
Yoko Shimomura


Gargoyle's Quest released on the Game Boy in 1990. The game is an action-platformer that was followed by an NES prequel. Yoko Shimomura did some minor work on the games soundtrack, who is now the lead composer of the Kingdom Hearts series and was also recently the lead composer on Final Fantasy XV.



Intro
The introductory song to
Gargoyle's Quest shows the games dark theming quite well with its limited 8-bit sound.




King Palace
This track is a very melody focused theme. In fact, the melody itself is quite varied, changing from section to section slightly.




Hell Field
This slow and almost disheartening song is the games overworld theme. It's an odd choice in some respects, but is an important element in the games unique delivery and lasting appeal.




Breager's Castle
This stage theme begins immediately before a quick change into the songs main melody. There is a classical style element to it that solidifies the games particular setting.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 290


Metal Slug 4 (Arcade)

vgm290

Tracks:
Let's Run Through!, Secret Place, The Scene Of A Hard Battle, Furiously

Composer(s):
Toshikazu Tanaka


Metal Slug 4 features much of the same general gameplay as its predecessors, but with the inclusion of new vehicles, weapons and a bonus combo system. The game released in 2002, two years after the previous entry.



Let's Run Through!
This is the first stage theme in Metal Slug 4. The 'Rock' style remains a very major part of the series' music, with the games soundtrack maintaining this sound. The track also features some minor electronic sounds.




Secret Place
This is the final stage theme track. The song itself is a very intense theme, that feels like it's constantly building up to something important.




The Scene Of A Hard Battle
This is the games standard Boss Theme. It's another rock theme, with a funky bass line and a very notable guitar riff. It also features a violin melody near the middle of the track and some creative percussions.




Furiously
This is another of the games Boss Themes. This version is slightly more intense and darker. The track features a both a chilling and funky piano melody that helps to define the songs character.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 289


Metal Slug 3 (Arcade)

vgm289

Tracks:
Marine Diver, Hard Water, Desert, Into The Cosmos

Composer(s):
Takushi Hiyamuta
Yoshihiko Wada
Rich Horiuchi
Q_Jirou
Maitaro


Metal Slug 3 released in 2000 and follows the same general traditions introduced in the previous two games. It introduced branching paths to the series.



Marine Diver
This track plays when the player makes it to the secret submarine path of the first mission. The bass introduces the heavy, yet slow theme, but its the tracks guitar riffs that make it stand out.




Hard Water
This track is yet another theme that plays during a secret submarine area, this time for the third mission. It also had a very heavy, yet slow style to it.




Desert
This track is the main theme to mission four. It has a very heavy metal opening guitar rhythm that remains throughout most of the song. It also features Arabian style elements in combination with the heavy sound.




Into The Cosmos
Of all the games heavy themes, this one has an immediate sense of raw power with its rapid power chords and overall intense speed.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 288


Mario Kart 8 (Wii U, Switch)

vgm288

Tracks:
Main Title, Toad Harbor, Final Results, Dolphin Shoals, Shy Guy Falls

Composer(s):
Atsuko Asahi
Shiho Fujii
Ryo Nagamatsu
Yasuaki Iwata


Mario Kart 8 released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2014 and has recently released on the Nintendo Switch as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The game is the best-selling Wii U game to date and features the most tracks and playable characters thanks to its inclusion of downloadable content.



Main Title
The introductory track to
Mario Kart 8 features an extremely diverse array of instruments and various sounds. The song also features a new version of the melody from the original Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo.




Toad Harbor
Toad Harbor is the second race track from the second cup, the Flower Cup. It has a sunny, waterside town theming to the stage and the background music features a very breezy and clean guitar melody.




Final Results
This track plays at the end of each race, when the rankings are displayed and when the player has placed in the top 6. It has a very funky and lively backing with its jump piano notes, slap bass and slick percussions.




Dolphin Shoals
This track is another water themed stage. The background music's most notable aspect is easily the saxophone solo that plays throughout the theme.




Shy Guy Falls
Shy Guy Falls features an almost old-Western style feel to it that plays at a fairly fast pace. The stage itself is a wild race track that takes you over large ravines and down rapid waterfalls.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 287


Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo 3DS)

vgm287

Tracks:
Title Theme, Toad Circuit, Rock Rock Mountain, Sherbet Rink

Composer(s):
Kenta Nagata
Satomi Terui


Mario Kart 7 released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2011 and was the first game to feature the Hang Glider mechanic, Underwater driving, customisable vehicles and a first-person driving mode.



Title Theme
All
Mario Kart games feature a rather extravagant title theme or main theme that often follow a similar big-band style. The horns are easily the most prominent part of the track, with the piano section being a close second.




Toad Circuit
This chilled theme is a perfect accompaniment to both the first race track in the game and the simplified setting of this same race track.




Rock Rock Mountain
This theme, as you can surmise, is the games most rock-centric theme, working as a pun for the rocky mountain area. The distorted guitar shines in this theme, with its minor heavier elements.




Sherbet Rink
This theme song is such a fun and quirky theme that plays during one of the battle mode stages. The battle mode stages all feature a similar melody, but with unique flourishes that set them apart from each other.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 286


Thunder Blade (Arcade)

vgm286

Tracks:
Thunder Blade, Burning Point, Type II

Composer(s):
Koichi Namiki


Thunder Blade is a third-person rail shooter that was released for arcade systems in 1987. The game received numerous ports for various systems, with a 3D version releasing on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.



Thunder Blade
The
Thunder Blade soundtrack features a very unique selection of music. The titular track, Thunder Blade, is one of the two main background music tracks. The theme contains many different melodies and sounds that only loop rarely.




Burning Point
This track is the games Boss Theme. Boss Themes in games are often fast, heavy and/or frantic. However, what this theme lacks in raw power, it makes up for in pure funk bass lines, clever-free flowing melodies and diverse percussions.




Type II
This is the games second of two main background themes. This theme in particular is quite different to the previous two and features a more slow and methodical delivery. The bass guitar is yet another stand out instrument in the theme, offering one of the songs most interesting elements.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 285


Galaxy Force II (Arcade, Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis)

vgm285

Tracks:
Beyond The Galaxy, Defeat, Take Back, Alone Fighter

Composer(s):
Koichi Namiki
Katsuhiro Hayashi


Galaxy Force II is a Sega arcade game that originally released in 1988 under the name of Galaxy Force. Galaxy Force II is more so an updated version of the original game, as opposed to a sequel.



Beyond The Galaxy
The
Galaxy Force II soundtrack features five true stage themes, and this is the first of those, making it the games most well-known theme. While this theme is relatively slow in comparison to the action style of the game, it is the songs intricate progression of it's theming that allows it to stand out.




Defeat
The slap bass that plays throughout Defeat is the songs greatest asset. It delivers the funk sound that many 80's and 90's Sega games produced during the important era of the medium.




Take Back
Take Back is yet another stage theme in Galaxy Force II. The song features more wilder and sporadic elements than some of the other tracks found in the game.




Alone Fighter
This song plays towards the end of the game, showing a more intense side to the soundtrack. It is more of a melody focused theme that feels a bit more meaningful in its delivery.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 284


Age Of Empires II: The Conquerors (PC)

vgm284

Tracks:
Pork Parts, The Bovinian Derivative, Pudding Pie

Composer(s):
Stephen Rippy
Kevin McMullan


Age Of Empires 2: The Conquerors is an expansion to one of the most beloved Real-Time Strategy games every released on the PC. The expansion was the only addition to the game until 2013, when the HD version of Age Of Empires II received another expansion. Two more expansions have also been released since then.



Pork Parts
This track delivers a very steady melody that creates a relatively tense feeling. It expresses notions of the unknown and is a really great introductory theme to the ideas presented in the game and the series.




The Bovinian Derivative
This song is yet another slow-moving theme that focuses on atmosphere building. The string instrument that appears just before the halfway mark plays the songs most ominous section of music, also being the songs only true core melody.




Pudding Pie
This song begins with another mysterious section of music that introduces the themes slow melody. This melody itself repeats a few times, managing to deliver a feeling of being surrounded by the unfamiliar.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 283


Age Of Empires: The Rise Of Rome (PC)

vgm283

Tracks:
Tangon Alpha Brava, Polyester Jammy, Medieval Melody Mix, Mean

Composer(s):
David Rippy
Stephen Rippy


Age Of Empires: The Rise Of Rome is an expansion to the smash PC game Age Of Empires. The add-on featured a completely brand new soundtrack, that then replaced the games original music, making it feel entirely fresh at the time of its release.



Tangon Alpha Bravo
There is a unique diversity and authenticity in the
Age Of Empires: The Rise Of Rome soundtrack. Although this is present in most of the series itself, its diversity truly shines in this specific soundtrack, and song.




Polyester Jammy
The guitar and wind instrument are the two shining sounds found in this track. There are some unique percussions and other various instruments and sounds that assist in delivering a very distinct track.




Medieval Melody Mix
This track is very much a percussion based theme that features a notable plucked string instrument, standard string instrument sound and a consistent xylophone progression.




Mean
After the songs intro, an authentic string instrument delivers an almost chilling opening melody. The song features various different moments of music, making it one of the soundtracks most diverse themes.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 282


Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Arcade, Sega Mega-Drive, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-CD)

vgm.282

Tracks:
Islands, The Jungle, Name Entry, Shooter Stage

Composer(s):
Shinichi Sakamoto


Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair was released in Japan as an Arcade game and PC Engine game, Europe and Australia as Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair on the Sega Mega-Drive and in North America on the TurboGrafx-CD simply as Monster Lair. These are the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-CD versions of the tracks, which feature a superior audio sound.



Islands
The music found in the
Wonder Boy series always gears towards the more cheery side of video game music. The track Islands is the games first stage theme and towards the end of the track, a very clear recorded guitar solo is played, showcasing the advantages of a CD medium in terms of a games soundtrack.




The Jungle
In this track, the diverse instrumentation helps to show the funky side of the games music. The slightly warped opening helps in creating this specific funk-feel, and the entire track as a whole has a very 80's pop sound to it




Name Entry
There's an almost soothing sound in this theme with its serene backing and echo-like string melody. The varied percussion and faint guitar riffs also help in delivering the soundtracks most versatile theme, that also requires multiple listens to truly appreciate.




Shooter Stage
This track is yet another lively tune. There are some unique sounds in the song, including pitchy strings, a bubble-popping percussion sound and frantic, almost distorted clapping.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 281


Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (Master System)

vgm.281

Tracks:
The Last Dungeon, The Danger Zone, The Monster's Lair, The Dragon's Trap

Composer(s):
Shinichi Sakamoto


This week's VGM of the Week was requested by listener Daniel Petersen.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
is a Sega Master-System game that released in 1989. It was developed and released in Japan as a sequel to Monster World, and considered the fourth entry in the Wonder Boy series, however, in the West, it was released as a third Wonder Boy game.


The Last Dungeon
The Last Dungeon is a prime example of how well composers utilised the Sega Master System to produce cleverly crafted music tracks. Its captivating melody and bluesy riffs create a very charming theme.




The Danger Zone
The Danger Zone conveys a heavy 'action theme' quality. It's pulsating opening melody and electrifying core verse-style sections help to create a very engaging piece of music.




The Monster's Lair
This dark and almost distressing theme has multiple surprisingly catchy melodies after the initial opening. It invokes a sense of heavy danger in its instrumentation, but still allows for a very endearing theme.



The Dragon's Trap
This track is another action-piece that focuses on a core riff throughout most of the theme, allowing for a more rewarding sound once the theme flips out of it into various more dynamic melodies.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 280


Final Fantasy XV (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

vgm280

Tracks:
Somnus (Instrumental), Hammerhead, Valse Di Fantastica, Omnis Lacrima

Composer(s):
Yoko Shimomura
Yoshitaka Suzuki
Tetsuya Shibata
Shota Nakama
Yoshino Aoki


Final Fantasy XV released in 2016 after a long, rollercoaster development period. The game was initially revealed in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, an off-shoot from the last main Final Fantasy title, Final Fantasy XIII.



Somnus (Instrumental)
This track is the games title screen theme which has a very different feel to it then all previous
Final Fantasy opening tracks. The song is slow, purposeful and has a very heavy emotional punch to it.




Hammerhead
Hammerhead is an early game location that offers players a safe hub area in which they can span out from and travel to numerous different points in the fairly large open world. While many Final Fantasy games follow a similar style or progression in their gameplay and story, the soundtracks from Final Fantasy VI to XV, in particular, are all extremely unique and different, often creating an entirely new sound and atmosphere with their music. This track shows some of the more offbeat and distinct sounds found in this specific entry, bringing a sense of our own mundane world into the fantasy-ridden series.




Valse Di Fantastica
Most modern Final Fantasy titles don't feature a singular world map or travel theme. This track is one of the games many, and can be heard while simply traversing around the unique world. The song is a rich orchestral piece that has some tremendous highs with its amazing string work.




Omnis Lacrima
This song is a Boss Theme found in numerous extremely high-tense and difficult battles. Yoko Shimomura is the games composer, which you will know from her previous work as she is the long standing composer of the Kingdom Hearts series, currently working on Kingdom Hearts III. Her intense orchestral style is very noticible in her compositions and this piece has major similarities to many of the themes found in the Kingdom Hearts series.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 279


The Last Guardian (PlayStation 4)

vgm279

Tracks:
Overture: Lore, Victorious, Forest

Composer(s):
Takeshi Furukawa


The Last Guardian is a 2016 PlayStation 4 exclusive game that is known for its great cinematic nature, unique story telling and its long development period. It's the third game made by Team Ico, following their PlayStation 2 titles Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus.



Overture: Lore
This track features the games most notable theme, a theme which encompasses many of the games ideas. It expresses the cryptic, mysterious and curious aspects that the game dives into with its complete artistic approach.




Victorious
Victorious is very much an action piece that builds upon the ideas presented in the previous track. The pulsing strings keep at it to present a theme that creates a surprising amount of tension.




Forest
The sound of tranquility is expressed in such a vibrant way with the track Forest. The games motif is heard again in this theme, but it's the songs progression from its piano opening to the familiar motif that creates a unique dynamic in the track.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 278


Street Fighter IV (Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

vgm278

Tracks:
Beautiful Bay Stage, Inland Jungle Stage, Volcanic Rim Stage, Street Fighter IV (Orchestra)

Composer(s):
Hideyuki Fukasawa


Street Fighter IV released in 2008 in Japan, and 2009 elsewhere around the world. It was responsible for an important revitalisation of the series and this momentum was carried throughout the games following updated releases, until yet another successful sequel was released years after.



Beautiful Bay Stage
This is the theme track to the stage Vietnam. It blends a tribal style percussion with a melodic techno sound. In fact, the soundtrack itself gears more towards this electric/techno theming, showing that there is yet again an obvious shift in the style of music found in the
Street Fighter series.




Inland Jungle Stage
The track Inland Jungle Stage is another stage theme, this time for the level Brazil. The song features various synthesised sounds and extremely heavy bass notes. The bass pulses at a constant frequency as the melody dances around this prominent sound.




Volcanic Rim Stage
This theme is a very energetic and fast track that provides an intensity to its partnered stage. It's melody is the charging force that is empowered by the songs hectic rhythm and bass sounds.




Street Fighter IV (Orchestra)
Apart from the opening theme that features vocals, this track is the standard main theme to the game. However, this orchestral version, specifically, is the most unique and unexpected sound found in the Street Fighter IV soundtrack. It's a great cinematic theme for a game that is fairly light on story.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 277


Street Fighter III: New Generation (Arcade)

vgm277

Tracks:
Jazzy NYC, Crowded Street, Good Fighter, Beginning Of The Next

Composer(s):
Hideki Okugawa
Yuki Iwai


Street Fighter III: New Generation released on Arcade in 1997 and featured a whole new cast of fighters, apart from both Ryu and Ken. The game was later updated through two seperate releases with Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, released in 1997, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, released in 1999.



Jazzy NYC
This track immediately shows the stark differences between the
Street Fighter II soundtrack and the Street Fighter III soundtrack. The musical style of the series featured a complete overhaul with this release. This style and sound was later featured in other Street Fighter games and spin-offs in the series such as Marvel vs. Capcom and X-Men vs. Street Fighter.




Crowded Street
This track is the theme song to the stage Hong Kong. It's pacing is swift and its melody is sporadic, making it a very noticeable stage theme.




Good Fighter
The soundtrack features a more Funk style as opposed to Rock, which was definitely one of the more noticeable genres of music found in the previous Street Fighter II. This theme in particular shows the composer really diversifying the series musically with the tracks Funk vibe.




Beginning To The Next
This song is the games final Staff Roll/Credits theme. It's wildly different from the other tunes found in the game in terms of its more calm approach. This concept of featuring a different style song for a Credits Theme is something that is so consistently present in Video Game Music.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 276


Dragon Quest II / Dragon Warrior II (NES)

vgm276

Tracks:
Joyous Song, All Hope Is Lost, A Lonely Youth

Composer(s):
Koichi Sugiyama


Dragon Quest II is the follow-up to the 1986 RPG Dragon Quest. Like the previous title, Dragon Quest II was branded as Dragon Warrior II for it's North American release.



Joyous Song
As the name suggests, Joyous Song features a very pleasant and lively melody. It's energetic theme brings out the light-hearted aspects found in the
Dragon Quest series.




All Hope Is Lost
Dragon Quest II released in a time when games were still figuring out how to deliver purposeful narratives. The music in a game has always been one of the driving forces in assisting to create a mature and direct story when the limitations of the medium didn't allow for the same processes as a film or tv show. In this track you can really feel a level of despair and its this delivery of a specific feeling during a specific moment that absolutely confirms the importance that music had during the early days of story-based gaming.




A Lonely Youth
This track is the games overworld theme and has some minor similarities to that of the overworld theme in the original Dragon Quest. It contains fantasy elements that help bring character to the world, while also maintaining a memorable core melody.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 275


Dragon Quest / Dragon Warrior (NES)

vgm275

Tracks:
Overture, Tantegel Castle, Kingdom Of Alefgard

Composer(s):
Koichi Sugiyama


Dragon Quest, renamed Dragon Warrior for its North American release is the first game in the long-running Dragon Quest series. The NES game originally released in 1986 and came to North America three years later in 1989.



Overture
The
Overture theme has become synonymous with the series over its 30 year lifespan and has been featured in numerous titles in the series.




Tantegel Castle
This castle area in the original Dragon Quest is a very important location in the game. The music features a very regal sound, but there is certainly a lingering darkness or uneasiness in the tune.





Kingdom Of Alefgard
This is the games overworld theme and while it is relatively simple, it's melody is very musically connected to the notion of adventure and exploration. The unique song brings a certain charm to the games intriguing world.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 274


Dragon Force (Sega Saturn)

vgm274

Tracks:
Main Theme, Teiris' Theme, Leon's Theme, Junon's Theme

Composer(s):
Tatsuyuki Maeda


Dragon Force released on the Sega Saturn in 1996 and is a real-time strategy game. The game received a sequel in 1998, however it never made its way outside of Japan.



Main Theme
The Main Theme is a fairly standard introduction track that hits all the usual musical beats for an RPG centrepiece theme. It offers a telling insight into the musical style and overall theming of the game.




Teiris' Theme
This theme track begins with a very weighty opening. The track is centred around a notable bass, semi-piano-like melody and various string instruments.




Leon's Theme
Leon's Theme has a very punchy melody with a noticeable bass track yet again. This theme has a particularly uplifting flow with a great deal of momentum.




Junon's Theme
This track is definitely one of the games more emotive themes. The track continuously builds upon its melody to help create this specific feeling and to help define certain story moments, which help in creating a more poignant narrative.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments

Video Game Music of the Week - 273


Grandia (Sega Saturn, PlayStation)

vgm273

Tracks:
Town Of Parm, Battle 1, At Dinner, Stand And Rise Justin

Composer(s):
Noriyuki Iwadare


Grandia originally released on the Sega Saturn in Japan 1997, but it wasn't until 1999 until the game came to English markets with a PlayStation release. The game is the first in a series of RPG titles that all share a relatively similar Battle Mechanic revolving around characters placement on a moving time bar.



Town Of Parm
The first location of the game features a very bustling and busy theme. It's slightly mechanical sound and accordion-like melody begin to reveal to the player that this particular world features a fusion of Fantasy and emerging technology.




Battle 1
The Grandia series as a whole often features multiple great battle themes. This particular version is the standard battle theme and begins with a very punchy opening that leads into various different instruments and different melodies. This diversity is essential when it comes to themes such as this that are heard often throughout an entire game.




At Dinner
This song is unbelievably catchy. The fun melody plays during moments of respite and ties certain story threads together as mild stop gaps in the games narrative. This song makes an appearance in Grandia II also.




Stand And Rise Justin
There is a certain style that composer Noriyuki Iwadare showcases through many of his RPG soundtracks. This particular song shows this extremely fun style that is found throughout this game, other games in the series, and other games in his remarkable list of compositions





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

Comments