Video Game Music of the Week - 302


Arrow Flash (Genesis/Mega-Drive)

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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’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 301


Gunstar Heroes (Genesis/Mega-Drive)

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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’.

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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’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 282


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

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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’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 269


Sunset Riders (Arcade, SNES, Sega Mega-Drive)

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Tracks:
The Magnificent Four, Gunfight At The Sunset Corral, Butch Cassidy And Sunset Riders, Adios, Amigo!

Composer(s):
Motoaki Furukawa


Sunset Riders, developed by Konami, released in 1991 for Arcade systems. The 'Run and gun' game later came to Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems in the following years. These tracks are from the Arcade version of Sunset Riders.



The Magnificent Four
The
Sunset Riders soundtrack is littered with 'Wild West' themes and ideas. The opening track, The Magnificent Four features what is the most classic 'Western' style theme in the game.




Gunfight At The Sunder Corral
This track is the first stage theme in the game and also plays during stages 5 and 8. The theme has an immediate start, thrusting players into the Wild West setting of Sunset Riders. The powerful, almost unpredictable flashes of sound are a great touch to the theme.



Butch Cassidy And Sunset Riders
Another stage theme track, Butch Cassidy and Sunset Riders begins with a more light-hearted melody than the previous theme. It's a very upbeat song, that succeeds in maintaining an action style.




Adios, Amigo!
This extremely wild and frantic track takes a musical slice from the opening theme to the game but delivers a ferocious theme to suit the on-screen boss battle.






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

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Video Game Music of the Week - 254


Golden Axe II (Sega Mega-Drive)

vgm254

Tracks:
Intro Theme, Ravaged Village, Castle Gates, Credits

Composer(s):
Naofumi Hataya


Golden Axe II released in 1992 and was a sequel to the original. However, this version was only released on Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive, while the arcade game received its own seperate sequel that never released on home consoles, titled Golden Axe: The Revenge Of Death Adder.



Intro Theme.
This track is the opening theme to
Golden Axe II, playing during the opening title screen and following menu. The song features a similar opening to the song Castle Gates, before heading into the main part of the theme.




Ravaged Village
This theme belongs to the first stage in Golden Axe II. It has a very similar sound to that of the previous game, also being heavily melody focused as many of the songs in the series are.




Castle Gates
Castle Gates features a pounding opening that then continues to build upon this. There is a theme that plays over this percussion, but the heavy pulsing beat is the songs major driving force.




Credits
This theme shows the differences between the original Golden Axe soundtrack and the second game. It features a level of funkiness, which is rarely present in the first game in the series.





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

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Video Game Music of the Week - 253


Golden Axe (Sega Mega-Drive)

vgm253

Tracks:
Wilderness, Fiend’s Path, Battle Field, Death Adder

Composer(s):
Tohru Nakabayashi


Golden Axe released on Arcade systems in early 1989, and later came to home consoles with a Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive release. The game spawned many sequels and spin-offs and is one of the most well-known side-scrolling beat em up’s of the 80’s.



Wilderness
The track Wilderness is a very melody focused theme. It plays during the first stage in the game, being the major musical introduction to the series.




Fiend’s Path
This track is a very intense theme with a clear sense of forward momentum, matching the overall style of the game and its gameplay objective.




Battle Field
This track begins with a simple bass line. The songs beat is played with an emphasis on the first, fourth and seventh notes, which can be easily heard in the opening moments.




Death Adder
Death Adder begins with a very menacing opening, but it’s not until just after the 35-second mark that the theme truly comes into its own. It’s a fairly progressive theme that jolts from moment to moment, always leaving a sense of unpredictability.






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

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Video Game Music of the Week - 246


Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega Mega-Drive)

vgm246

Tracks:
Emerald Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Aquatic Ruin, Emerald Hill Zone 2P

Composer(s):
Masato Nakamura


Sonic The Hedgehog 2 released worldwide in 1992, just a year after the original. The game is the second best selling Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis game ever, with the number one spot going to the original Sonic The Hedgehog.


Note*
We featured Sonic The Hedgehog 2 in our 6th VGM of the Week article. As the podcast didn’t exist at this point in time, we lost the chance to feature the game on the show as the podcast is directly influenced by the VGM of the Week articles. We are featuring the game yet again, to showcase the games music in our Video Game Music podcast, which will happen with other similar games in the future.




Emerald Hill Zone
The first theme track in
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 brings back memories of the first stage in Sonic The Hedgehog. In a sense, it’s a play on that original theme song that stuck in players minds for years.




Chemical Plant Zone
The theme track to the second set of stages in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is easily one of the series’ most unique and distinguished. It has a very tense feel to it during certain moments, which work extremely well with the stressful underwater segments in the zone.




Aquatic Ruin
These water and ruin themed levels have a very ancient feel to them, and as such, the stages music solidifies this concept with its infectious melody.




Emerald Hill Zone 2P
Unlike the first Sonic The Hedgehog, the second game allowed players to share the experience with someone else in the form of a two-player mode. The game is slightly altered when playing this way, and the games music is also changed. The first set of stages feature a totally different sound that is a lot more peaceful and relaxed compared to the original version of this theme.





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

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Video Game Music of the Week - 245


Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega Mega-Drive)

vgm.Sonic1

Tracks:
Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, Spring Yard Zone, Special Stage

Composer(s):
Masato Nakamura


Sonic The Hedgehog released on June 23, 1991 in North America, Europe and Australia. Not only is Sonic The Hedgehog one of the most well known video game series of all time, but Sonic himself is easily one of the most recognisable characters of all time.



Green Hill Zone
Green Hill Zone has a very whimsical feel to it. composer Masato Nakamura created the game music by treating the game more as a Movie, as opposed to a Video Game, in a time when Video Games were still developing their narrative styles.




Marble Zone
Masato Nakamura composed the games music based on a few still images, taking inspiration from the minor details he could see. He has specifically spoken about how seeing images of fire or ice would directly influence his music. There is a lot of lava in the Marble Zone stages that directly guided his composition for those.




Spring Yard Zone
This track has a very funky melody with some very clever use of the systems sound, especially the diverse Bass instrumentation.




Special Stage
The Special Stage theme is very dreamy, creating a unique otherworldly sound. It is a very straightforward theme with a consistently gentle melody.





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

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Video Game Music of the Week - 29

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Video Game Music of the Week - 26

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