Video Game Music of the Week - 282

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


Islands, The Jungle, Name Entry, Shooter Stage

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.

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’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 281

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


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

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’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 280

Final Fantasy XV (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)


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

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 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’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 279

The Last Guardian (PlayStation 4)


Overture: Lore, Victorious, Forest

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 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.

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’.