Oh the many themes of Tengu Man … This lucky Robot Master is the only one from the classic Mega Man series to have three official stage themes! On Mega Man 8 Tengu Man was given two separate themes, one appeared in the 1996 PlayStation version of the game while the other would later be heard in the 1997 Sega Saturn version. If that wasn’t enough, a third completely different theme appeared in Japan’s 1998 Super Famicom game Rockman & Forte. Sadly, it wouldn’t be until 2002 that the U.S. would get to officially enjoy this theme when the game was re-release on the Game Boy Advance as Mega Man & Bass. This third theme, composed by Akari Kaida, is considered by many (including myself) to be the undisputed best of all three!
I remember going to the Sony Store in Manhattan every day after school just to listen to Eiji’s Theme while playing the demo they had on display. Sony’s message was loud and clear, disc-based video game music had finally arrived! Interestingly enough, this song in the game was about 3-4 minute long and played in the background during matches that latest for less than a minute. It was rare to hear the song (composed by Yasuhiro Nakano, Makoto Mukai, Fumio Tanabe) in it’s entirely especially when you have a timer working against you, not to mention the fact that the song resets after each round. Maybe that’s why I wanted to keep listening to these tracks over and over during game-play.
Namco’s original Time Crisis for me was the first time a video game soundtrack truly made you feel you were in an action movie. What I found most interested about the music composed by Kazuhiro Nakamura is that it had a facilitating way of looping until you reach the next checkpoint. A new arrangement of the same theme would trigger once you reached a new area in the level. Sometimes when I reach a street corner I fantasize leaning against the wall and taking cover. ACTION!
Back in 2010, I never expected Nintendo to release a sequel to this specific Mario series. Over the years Super Mario was known for taking place in a new setting with each new game; Super Mario World was different from Super Mario 64 which in turn was different from Sunshine and so on. Fluffy Bluff Galaxy, by composer Mahito Yokota, was the song featured on the official trailer to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and caused quite an impact in the process. To this day the Fluffy Bluff theme forces me to restrain myself from getting emotional…. Oh geez here we go again! *holds back tears*
This amazing theme was brought up to me recently by a friend; we were recalling wrestling themes from games and ended up talking about this song. I decided to do a little bit of research on it and it’s impossible to find out who composed it. The closest credit I could find was The Man Breeze the company who developed WCW vs. the World (Virtual Pro-Wrestling in Japan.) To further add to the confusion, this company later became AKI Corporation and after that was renamed syn Sophia, Inc. Simply referred to asMatch BGM 1, some people have pointed out it’s similarity to Ryu’s Theme from Street Fighter II. What do you think?
Every time I drive on the upper level of the George Washington Bridge the song “Blue Sky” from Daytona USA comes to my mind. For years I’ve wondered if the bridge that appears in the Seaside Street Galaxy course was inspired by aspects of the GWB since they both lead into roads that go underneath tall buildings. My favorite version of this song comes from the Sega Saturn, composer Takenobu Mitsuyoshi rerecorded all the tracks with real instruments and re-sung all the lyrics for the Sega Saturn version of the soundtrack. Nothing like a good ol’ Rolling Staaaaaart!
What is it about the music in Punch-Out!! that makes you want to just go out and train? It’s similar in effect to how the various Rocky themes can instantly get you all hyped up. The Punch-Out!! theme composed by Yukio Kaneoka and Kenji Yamamoto injects you with a baseline that motivates the need to drop the controller and grab a jump rope. It must be what the song represents, it’s message…the journey of overcoming the impossible. We all have our own version of it’s final boss Mr. Dream (Mike Tyson) in our lives… so crank up the theme, press select repeatably —to rebuilt your health— and set out to TKO all your fears, problems, doubts and limitations!
There are certain songs that don’t have to last very long to leave a lasting impression. Then there are memorable songs that are encountered in the least obvious of places. This humble little tune simply known as “Round Clear” from the NES version of Wario’s Woods manages to do both. It’s co-composer Soyo Oka is known for her catchy melodies in the Super Mario Kart series, Pilotwings, Sim City as well as Super Smash Bros. Brawl. While co-composer Shinobu Amayake is known for her hooks on Stunt Race FX. Who would have thought you’d come across a song like this in a puzzle game? Especially at the end of a round and not even during actual game play? Who placed it here, like a hidden Rupee from Legend of Zelda or a Coin Block in Super Mario Bros? This song always stood out in Wario’s Woods and now we all know why.
If my most pleasant dreams had a soundtrack than I would definitely want it to be the music from the SNES classic Pilotwings. The music from Pilotwings was so beautiful, relaxing and always filled my imagination with happy thoughts. The heavenly themes composed by Soyo Oka always had me up in those Mode 7-style rendered clouds, either just flying my plane, hang gliding, skydiving, or piloting a rocket belt. Her music truly deserves the Golden Pilot’s Wings!
1992’s X-Men, the side-scrolling beat ‘em up arcade game produced by Konami, is perhaps most memorable for its cabinet that featured a total of 6 controllers! That means 6 simultaneous players each controlling their own X-Men! I recall most players wanting to reach Level 2 just to hear the song “Junk Factory” (composed by the team of Seiichi Fukami, Yuji Takenouchi, Junya Nakano and A. Hashimoto.) This was that catchy song that went “eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-X-MEN!” Everyone has their favorite X-Men but over the years its Colossus’ power up yell that has become a crowd favorite. It been replicated in unison at live video game music events and it’s just epic when you hear it! …Now, let me hear that Colossus roar “AAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!”