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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:22 am 
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bregalad wrote:
That's just your opinion


Literally the whole thread is just opinions :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:33 am 
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Well after 3 masterpieces of games with excellent music had been released, Megaman 4 was a huge disappointment for everyone. First time I played I thought everything sucked about the game (except the very cool intro). But since that I've noticed that Skullman's stage music is excellent, I certainly underestimated that game for a long time. Now I believe Megaman 5 is the worst Rockman game (although it's not bad graphic wise).

tokumaru wrote:
FrankenGraphics appears to be the really skilled one, with talent for both graphics and sound!
And programming! Multi-talent!

Bregalad wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
In other words, the chip was made for the game, rather than the game for the chip.

That's a very quick conclusion. This statement on WP should be taken with distance, you should look at the source, the context in which this was said, etc... Also it does not mean the CV3 soundtrack was composed for VRC6 first. Maybe it was still composted for plain 2A03 first and then they decided to test having extra audio and designed the chip.

They also had experience in CV2 where the jap version uses FDS sounds while the NES version had one less channel, and they did it well (the NES version actually sounds a little bit better).
For Gimmick! this is confirmed in interviews though. It was a project that tried to focus on perfecting the action game genre and it was decided that the composer needed more channels for chords, so the 5B was designed for the game (hmm can't find the links to the interviews at the moment).

Zelda II is an example of a game where the NES version has arguably better music than the FDS version. The battle theme is much better in the NES version. Although it doesn't really sound like a battle theme anymore, which also probably is the purpose as it's not only used in encounter screens.
But the FDS sounds are only used for the title screen music (which is great in both versions) and sound effects, so it isn't really the FDS' fault.

Another game with excellent music that I don't think has been mentioned yet is Ai Senshi Nicol. The first stage BGM is great.


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:55 am 
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pokun wrote:
For Gimmick! this is confirmed in interviews though
That's cool to know, thanks for sharing!

I guess you could split hairs and say that the AY-3 / YM2149 was an off the shelf part used just about everywhere in arcade games, computers and other electronic devices, but there's some design work involved in just including it on a NES cartridge, or even just deciding on that particular part, so the point stands.

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And programming

well what takes someone with a programmers' background probably half an hour takes me a nights' spare time to figure out. Still learning a lot from everyone here!

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:44 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Can you point out a track where this stands out?

Sure I can. The most glaring is in Strange Memory of Death, Aporia (Boss theme), Sophia (stage 7), and "Long Tomorrow" - some parts of the main melody were entierely taken off.

The absolute worst I think is that the soundtrack of Mr.Gimmick was dumbed down as if there was only one single square channel instead of making proper usage of the 2 square channels.


Last edited by Bregalad on Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:10 am 
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Comparing aporia now... yeah, it's evident. in the call and response section, they do use both channels for a thicker sound in the "responses", but it seems they didn't think to merge the expansion sound into the vacant "calls" despite it not being occupied by anything else. It does kind of work for the first half of it where the call is mostly a percussive layer to the bass (it sounds kind of cool solo), but the rythmically different melody of the second half of this part really feels like it is missing when having both fresh in mind. So yeah, that was a bit unnecessarily cheap. It's just a few 50% duty plucks with different release envelopes for the two parts of this section; wouldn't have been a big deal to transcribe.

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
For Gimmick! this is confirmed in interviews though. It was a project that tried to focus on perfecting the action game genre and it was decided that the composer needed more channels for chords, so the 5B was designed for the game (hmm can't find the links to the interviews at the moment).
OK here is an article series of the history of Sunsoft with several interviews. All the links can be found in this forum thread (six parts), but they have decayed. They still work with Google cache though.

Also I translated the Gimmick! manuals (both Japanese and Swedish manuals) to English some time ago but we have not yet released it. There are worries about this kind of thing are used in scamming schemes involving fake repros of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:14 pm 
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I have an almost irrational love of the dreaded licensed Film&Television Nes titles. There is something magical about the context that is lost in translation in an NES port.
I especially adore the music from licensed games that take the source material and approximate it on the NES.

I made a quick list of some of my favorite 8 bit adaptations of film and TV scores:

    Goonies 2
    Gilligan's island
    Airwolf
    Top Gun
    The Last Starfighter
    Robocop
    Hollywood Squares
    Star trek the next generation
    Indiana jones and the last crusade
    Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back (these two have surprisingly faithful renditions of soundtrack)

Some of the sound design on these "covers" might be a little lacking, but simply hearing the 8 bit counterpart of real world music gives me the feels. There is something very charming and sincere about reducing music to it's simplest components. When the developers either payed the extra royalties to license the music and/or take the time to work out the composition, the results are some of my favorite in the NES catalog no matter how bad the games were (goonies 2 excluded).

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Space Raft wrote:
Top Gun

Enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:00 am 
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Continuing with licensed titles, Thunderbirds.

Though the game is just an average shooter (or a below average one, depending on who you ask, that it's published by Pack in Video didn't help) it's soundtracks are quite good (those lifted from the show were quite nicely arranged, and the original ones were nice too) and its cutscenses were superb.

*May need to confirm by playing the games again, but I seem to remember for unknown reasons the English version was shortened by removing the number of stages (no big deal, as stuff were being reused frequently) and some of the cutscenes were removed too (very big deal, as I think the awesome TB2 container docker scene was taken out), so the Japanese version was better.


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:00 am 
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If they license the movie but not its theme song, you get the garbage that is the soundtrack of Mindscape's The Terminator.

If only...


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:35 am 
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Gilbert wrote:
Continuing with licensed titles, Thunderbirds.


Ahh yes, good thought! I continually overlook that title. In some ways it seems like an average shooter, but the cut scenes really make it feel like a love letter to the source material. Pretty amazing in hindsight that they bothered developing a game for a 30 year old television series (at that point = 1989). In many ways it was a very forward thinking game in that they were soaking up those throw-back vibes, almost like the original "retro-tainment"...

If only someone had thought to make a Monkees title when they were being rerun in the late 80's *sigh*

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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:17 am 
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Ah, the debate over Mega Man 4 music. I personally love it, I just think that 3 is better. I really love the first 4 though. I never really got into 5 or 6 though.
Another game that I don't think gets enough love is Bayou Billy. the track from the beat-em-up levels is really catchy. if they had kept the original Mad City difficulty but made the graphical improvements they did for the NES version, it would have been considered a classic. They made it too hard for kids to enjoy, and that killed it.


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 Post subject: Re: Best soundtrack?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:09 am 
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Megaman 6 is really great actually. It's not quite the level of the first three games but the second time I played it I realized that it's much better than 4 and 5. For music, I only remember Tomahawkman's stage music to be memorable.

Mad City is too easy, I beat it first time I played (probably because I played the NES version too much as a kid trying to beat it), but I think they managed to increase the frustration level as much as the difficulty level in Bayou Billy. Increasing the enemies' hit points to ridiculous amounts mostly makes it more time consuming than difficult once you learn the pattern. Same thing can be said about the mandatory alligator fights (in Mad City you can mostly ignore alligators). Bayou Billy also did something weird with the car levels that makes them more difficult, besides the fact that you die from one hit unlike in Mad City. As a kid I wondered what happened with the palm trees and street lamps that I could see in the car level screenshots in the manual, in Bayou Billy they are replaced by simple wooden posts. And car levels are just more ridiculous to play due to different logic or something. Driving feels more natural in Mad City.

I still haven't beaten Bayou Billy because I always died at the final boss body guards and it takes forever to get there due to the above-mentioned changes.


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