TURBO-POWERED 16-BIT ENTRANCE THEME, EXTREMELY HIGH-DEFINITION NPC’S!
LIFE! AMAZING GRAPHICS, TERRIBLE GAMEPLAY.
MICROTRANSATIONS OUT THE ASS.
And therein lies where we shall jaunt collectively today. ‘Member having to go to the arcade to play a game because it wasn’t available anywhere else? Cracking those tiny little circle buttons with a desperate flurry of “One of these has to be a combo”, and then binding the machine as you shove so many quarters down it’s single-track throat that you should probably have bought it dinner first? Somehow, I was personally lucky enough to spend some of the twilight years of my childhood travelling back and forth to visit my best friends who moved away to the coast when we were in grade three or four. Vancouver is a huge city with absolutely no shortage of things to do, from the multitude of art galleries to street performances, or even just standing on a roof in East Hastings and watching the magic that is “neglected city districts”, you’d be hard pressed to be bored. What really took the eyes of three young hyperactive boys (my friends and I) was hidden away in a mall not far from their house, and it was called Playdium. It was essentially the “arcade next to the laundromat” on steroids. Multiple stories with multiple copies of each game, all accessed with a “points card” which allowed you to play whatever you wanted for a predetermined amount of time, and then your card would cease to work. Beyond brilliant business move, ‘cause then as a parent you can tell your child that the rude man at the counter said it was time to go, blamed = assigned.
“Why all this backstory just about the cub version of you, Bear?”
IT’S CALLED A SEQUE, AUDIENCE. IT’S SO I CAN SHOW EVERYONE HOW TO SPELL IT RIGHT, AND NOT SPELL IT LIKE THE FUCKING HOVERBOARD WITH BIKE HANDLES.
POWER GLOVE – BIRTH OF A GOD
Yeah, starting it off with one that will either bring those in remembrance to their knees in mourning of time-spent, or introduce someone who has never played the game before to just how excruciatingly long a boss fight should be expected to take in Final Fantasy. This piece is from Final Fantasy VII (probably the most critically acclaimed game in the entire franchise), fighting easily the most memorable villain in the series, Sephiroth. Now, I’m not gonna get that deep into the endless pit of assumption and back-lore that is the Final Fantasy series, as this piece would go on for about a billion years, but the important things to note about both this track, band, and game series as a group is that there is soooooo much to draw from musically. Each Final Fantasy game has individually crafted versions of the original themes written by Nobuo Uematsu (each with minor changes or variations), but suffice it to say that the dude molded he entire sound behind what Square Enix is today. Rigby wouldn’t be playing a Yakuza mafia member, Scotty likely wouldn’t be trying to cook bread in space, and I wouldn’t be killing multi-headed cows so I can loot them, if it hadn’t all been for the forefront success of games like Final Fantasy. Props to you Nobuo Uematsu, and to you Power Glove, for understanding that fact and keeping beautiful compositions like this alive.
KOJI KONDO – SONG OF HEALING
On the other side of the “You’re welcome for video games” wheel is Koji Kondo. You may have heard his pieces in little things like:
MARIO, STAR FOX, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, JUST TO NAME A FEW.
Yeah, do has game, and thusly we have games. The importance of a soundtrack gets lost on almost every new video game that comes out for modern consoles, but still killing it with original franchises like Splatoon and ARMS, is good old Nintendo. Placing unforgettable ditties like “Termina Field” in my head was a solid avenue to building a target audience. You could sing “Great Fairy Fountain” to my 9-year-old nephew and he would know what it was, each composition is immaculately crafted to suffer the buffeting winds of time and technology. Primal in it’s simplicity, eliciting the same emotional effect within the listener. Additionally, Kondo definitely had his mitts on the Mario Party games as well, so not only can you blame him for all the hours you spent in a basement pressing six different buttons and a D-Pad, but also for any friends lost due to said Party De Mario. While not as refined on many aspects, Koji certainly makes you listen to catch all of the nuances in a piece, and you should expect to hear counter-harmonies through-out; a defining character of any Kondo piece.
GARY SCHYMAN – STORMS OF LUST
Gary here likes to go big on the other hand, adapting more a taste for the theatrical to what was (before his pieces) re-skinned God Of War. Though 90% of the pieces from Dante’s Inferno (the game) are just tortured souls screaming for release, within that clustertruck is on of my favorites. I can never remember if this is when you have to fight Cleopatra, or all the scary hookers before her, either way, that chick has titty-mouths and its whack AF. Great game though. Schyman’s “I’ma make it sound like I have 9000 horns” motif is not a one trick pony either. He also composed the majority of the tracks for Shadow Of Mordor, Destroy All Humans!, and Bioshock, but that’s solely video game work. You don’t get those kinds of chances unless you’ve already worked on something that really took off, like, I don’t know, say. . .
THE A- TEAM, or MAGNUM P.I.
I wanna be the A-Team.
The WHOLE A-TEAM.
Uhhh, no real “Lesson” in there sooooo. . . Tell someone you love them today? Cool. Hyper gay. Love you. BYYYYYYEEEEEE.
~BEAR (@blairsphemy on instagram)