Posts Tagged ‘nes’

Puzzle Soundtracks: A Master Class

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you all been?

Scoring music for puzzle games is one of the trickiest tasks a composer can be up to. Music (and sound effects for that matter) in those cases can fail miserably in so many ways that succeeding can be considered an achievement for itself–and with “succeeding” I mean simply not to be switched off by the player. You can be annoying, you can get in the way of the player’s concentration, you can choose the wrong pace… Failure is just around the corner.

Well,  a parcel just arrived from Japan and aside ferociously eating my time it offered me a case study on puzzle game music. :P Dr. Mario (NES) is solid as a rock both gameplay and music wise.

Dr. Mario

Several jewels of wisdom are there for those who dig deeper: upbeat themes that keep players on their toes while being amusing and highly hummable; some computer noise interludes add a slight sci-fi feel without ever dropping the beat; skipping rhythm styles are “deviated” towards a common overall identity; completely diverse main themes to choose from before start playing… And so much more.

Give it a listen–or even better, play the game if you get the chance to–and you’ll feel it for yourself. :)

(Also, check this list out on more repetitive music)

See ya, take care!


Have a Nice Dream, Little Nemo. :)

March 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you been?

Further with my commented portfolio this time I want to share a track called “Have a Nice Dream, Little Nemo”. It’s based on the NES videogame from the 90s, which is based upon the strip comincs from the 10s. :P Both tell the story of a boy who lives the most exciting life in Dreamland just to discover in the end he was dreaming…

The piece here starts with a music box–a fitting choice for a slumber theme–but then develops towards a more sentimental path thanks to the powerful timbres of the oboe and a couple strings.

It’s more about… missing Dreamland when the dream ends, I guess.

I hope you like it, enjoy!

Electro-Chiptune-Remix. -.-

Hi there, how are you all doing?

This time I’m here to share something nobody (not even myself lol) would expect coming from me: an electro remix! o.o

But there was a good reason for that. The chiptune master Dj CUTMAN has opened a contest for a remix over a song from him (+ Benjamin Briggs) based upon an old lost NES game, MIG-29. And the prize was the very cartridge and a Power Glove! *-* I had to try, even being a novice in the matter.

Despite not having any chance against tougher guys I’m very pleased with the results. I think it ended being a nice theme to give a listen to and it has its fair share of personality as well.

Take a listen to both the original and my version of the theme and enjoy it! :)

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends. :)

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Hi there, how are you all doing?

Remember a little space-retro-theme I shared a couple weeks ago? Well, it was qualified for getting into a game music contest hosted by our Brazillian MTV! :) If you’re feeling particularly kind today–and if you believe the work is good, of course–I would like to ask you a precious vote for me to get past the first level of the competition… and at least be heard by the technical judges in whatever comes next. -.-

GMB (Game Music Brasil)

Here’s the theme (now properly looped). Use the “votar” button, complete the form w/ your e-mail address then use the validation link when it arrives at your inbox. Deeeeply thankful I will be. o.o

See ya next Monday!

Last Pending EP.

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi there, how are you all doing?

Some time ago (when I uploaded one of my game music EPs) I mentioned an older one that was lacking… Fine, now it comes the time to fill the gap! :)

“Night Dream” is a pair of completely diverse (as always) themes, one based upon the character Little Nemo (from a series of newspapers comic strips spanning from 1905 to 1914) and his NES game; and the other, more “suspicious”, taking advantage of the awesome Isaac Hayes soundtrack for Shaft (the blaxploitation 70s movie) and another obscure NES game, Nighshade: The Claws of Sutekh.

I hope you enjoy this one, have a nice week!

Sleep well... Bang! lol

Top 5 #2: Best Videogames Repetitive Battle Music

October 24, 2011 3 comments

Hi there, how are you doing?

Just to follow my previous post here is another top 5 list formerly published at Gamespot regarding videogame music. Enjoy!

I’ve been into a lot of research on how to make loop music without being annoying (oh Hotel Dusk, I love you so much…) and that led me to another Top 5, another one that’s (game)music related. I just can’t help myself… :P

#5: Summon Night: Swordcraft Story (GBA)

This game deserves a place in this list because… It managed to stuck the battle theme to my head even if I DIDN’T really played the game. I just listened to it while my (ex)wife was playing and still I’m not able to forget it.

#4: Yie Ar Kung-Fu (NES)

Yie Ar Kung-Fu is a quite simple arcade port from the NES early days with a single battle music for all levels – which are infinite since the game will start over again after you beat it just with different colors for the backgrounds. What can I say about this theme? The Xmas night my mother gave me a Dynavision II (a Brazillian NES which came with Yie Ar Kung Fu) I played the entire night until the score exploded into 999,999. And I STILL like the in-game music. It’s a little too much cliche using those eastern melodic modes but it worked quite well anyways.

#3: Final Fantasy (NES)

Grinding… in… the desert. Oh my. The music is great though despite of the weird (due to arrangement technical limitations at the time) gap between parts A and B in the theme.

#2: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

The game that almost made me cry. I’m ashamed to say that even after 20 years I can’t beat the last freaking boss. And the fact that the game is not an RPG or a fighting game shows well how many times I’ve listened to that theme.

#1: Chrono Trigger (SNES)

There’s not much to talk about this one, it’s just plain awesome. I still catch myself whistling this while walking the streets every now and then. And the timbres are perfectly choosen as well.

Have a nice week, see ya next time!

Top 5 #1: Favorite Videogames Soundtracks Ever!

October 17, 2011 2 comments

Hi there guys, how are you doing?

Sorry for the delay (despite being into my “Sunday-through-Monday” schedule yet lol), my last three days barely left me time to sleep/eat properly. :)

This time I’m here to share an old article I wrote at Gamespot on my favorite soundtracks in Video Games.  Sorry for the bad quality on some videos but at least the sound is decent… :P

#5: de Blob (Wii)

de Blob is an outstanding game artistically speaking in every way and the soundtrack is not different. The energy of a real band playing some funky/relaxing tunes is something you simply can’t let pass while playing this game. Aside that–and even more important–there’s the way the music is merged with the gameplay: painting the city in different colors will work as a sound mixer since each color ‘opens’ a different instrument in the soundtrack. Brilliant.

Composer: John Guscott

#4: Soul Star (Sega CD)

Sega CD was the first system I played which was able to run REAL music recorded as audio during a gameplay section. Of course there were strange limitations–in Soul Star for example the music had to be the same lenght of the actual level (it was a shooter with auto screen progression)–but that didn’t keep Soul Star’s soundtrack from being absolutely superb. Muted trumpets and timpani never sounded so clear in a game before – and the composition work can easily walk on its own legs with or without technology at its side.

Composer: Nathan McCree

#3: ActRaiser 2 (SNES)

ActRaiser 2 has some spotless presentation overall and its orchestrated soundtrack is the highest point of it. As strong as Soul Star’s soundtrack, this one deserves a higher place in the list because of its wider variety of themes and for being accomplished under much tighter technical limitations.

Composer: Yuzo Koshiro

#2: Castlevania (NES)

Castlevania’s soundtrack had some serious competition at the time because there were so many excellent action series/soundtracks around: Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, Contra… But James Banana (nickname of Kinuyo Yamashita) made this one so unique by implementing some needed terror touches through specific melodic scales and chords progressions. Even after more than 20 years it remains influencial.

Composer: James Banana (Kinuyo Yamashita)

#1: Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Some may say this is the cliche choice. Well, it can be; but there’s nothing like that out there even nowadays. Period! Before this there were almost no soundtracks in video games–most of them were made of a single music and a couple blips here and there. But that’s not the only value of this work. Koji Kondo’s creativity for the many different approaches used in each world, mood or environment here–plus the absurd freedom regarding tempo on the compositions–is still unmatched. If all that wasn’t enough there’s the good taste on cutting the right sound channel for the sound effects. An absolute winner.

Composer: Koji Kondo

I hope you liked this one, see ya next time!

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