Oct 102012

Onward to the 90s with Castlevania IV, Bloodlines, Dracula X and Symphony of the Night.

An impossibly good episode awaits

  24 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 31 – CastleMania Vol 2”

  1. Dracula’s curses! I knew I waited too long to comment on the last ep! But the second part of your Castlemaniextravaganza has arrived, so here’s what I wanted to tell you guys last time…

    Brett, Chris, Henry: While it might be enriching to everyone’s experience for you guys to take a class in music theory so you can use the fancy lingo of people getting paid much more money than any of us, let me make a case against. See, we already have Minnesota Public Radio’s Top Score with Emily Reese, whose host has degrees in both music edcuation and theory (she’s also the on-air host of Classical Minnesota Public Radio). They interview game music composers themselves and get pretty heavy into talking about structure, though Emily is usually careful to not get so deep that she alienates the less learned in the audience. The show centers mainly on modern game soundtracks so, although she did a one-off episode about the 8- and 16-bit eras (with a guest host from another show you should know about, more on that shortly) and no passion is spared for game music in general, there’s no room for the kind of love you guys show for the larger body you cover.

    Speaking of 8- and 16-bit game music, if you aren’t already familiar with The Legacy Music Hour with Brent Weinbach and Rob F. “Switch” , you outta check ’em out. Their specialty is music from that very specific era, and Brent’s pretty well versed in music theory in his own right. Thing is, these guys aren’t always familiar with the games they’re playing music from and there’s no discussion about what the state of the industry or even just average gamers was when those games were released. It’s not a knock on the show, as it lets them consider the music alone without the cloud of nostalgia. On the other hand, I always felt like there was room for a show that was hosted by guys who have seen the best and the worst of the industry for as long as I have, and want to share their love of video game music old and new (see where I’m going with this?)…

    See, in the small sphere of video game music podcasts, we have pure music shows like those in the KNGI network , shows with a spotlight on music from an era like The Legacy Music Hour, and a whole host of others. But there’s no one out there doing quite what you guys are, looking at the whole of game music with a healthy dose of nostalgia, reverence, hosted from the perspective of Guys Who Were There. That has value, gents.

    TL;DR, you guys are exactly where you should be, making exactly the shows you should. Unless you aren’t happy without terms like harmony, dissonance, and aria in the show. Hey, wait a minute…

    P.S. The Legacy Music Hour did a show exclusively on Castlevania music, and even got Kinuyo Yamashita to do an interview for it. Check it out!

  2. I don’t know why, VGMpire takes forever to download. Other podcasts I listen take seconds.

    Regardless, awesome show. Keep up the amazing work!

  3. I always lose my shit as soon as I Am the Wind starts playing. I never beat Symphony of the Nizzle (as I call it every single time) when I played it last year, but I’m still really sad that the 360 version apparently doesn’t have that song at the end.

  4. I love this podcast but why does it take so damn long to download an episode? is there a faster way to do this?

  5. Can’t wait to listen to this tomorrow at work. Symphony was one of absolute favorite PS1 games.

    Also…I wish there was more of this show/podcast, cause FUCK it’s awesome.

  6. Didn’t reply immediately because I wasn’t able to finish listening to the episode till this morning >>;

    Anyway, pretty damn good episode, although I would have preferred to hear 3 songs from both bloodlines and Rondo of Blood instead of just 2. (mainly because I’m disappointed that “Iron Blue intention” and “Slash” didn’t make the cut.) And i wouldn’t have dedicated 3 whole segments to SotN. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and it’s music, but I feel some of the songs up there aren’t AS great as some of the songs skipped in the other games. (Mainly crystal drops… I j find that one just boring.)

    Still, overall I can’t really complain, most of the chosen tracks were really good and representative of the best the games had to offer, and I knew that there were bound to be some songs that would be missed XD Such is the thing with a series with so damn much great music!

    • Oh! and i forgot to give you guys kudos for playing the SotN intro Dialog! That right there is pure videogame history!

      Likewise, loved when Chris started to sing “Happy little trees” using lost painting as background music, that had me in stitches XD

    • Maybe he’s saving Slash and Iron Blue Intention for when he gets to Castlevania: Judgement since he seems to want to avoid repeating songs, and that game is nothing but remakes of old songs.

      • Unless he ignores Castlevania Judgment altogether…

        I mean, he already heavily hinted that the next episode is gonna be all about the 6 GBA/DS games of the franchise, so that leaves them with only one more episode to tackle all the 3D consoles CVs…

  7. […] Onward to the 90s with Castlevania IV, Bloodlines, Dracula X and Symphony of the Night.LISTEN NOW! […]

  8. I have to say, there’s something very calming to me about old game music. maybe it’s psychological and has something to do with my nostalgic side or maybe it’s just the actual sounds being made electronically.
    either way… i’m very relaxed when listening to this stuff. and very happy.
    all of it fro 8bit to that 90s synth ps1 era sound.
    that 90s era sound always makes me think of arcades and SF2 again…. very happy.

    • wait… i just realised these episodes don’t have track lists. D:
      i guess i’ll download all the OSTs and dig through them aaaaaaaall.

  9. Only seen this now, SOTN takes me back to my childhood. That and MGS are the only games that I have strong nostalgia for

  10. I’d pretty much discussed my opinions of CV4 and Dracula X’s soundtracked to death on the forums already, so I won’t bother to repeat them here.

  11. This is the only podcast I know of that gets exponentially more awesome with each episode.

  12. Super Castlevania IV: Easily one of my favorite SNES soundtracks. I went in-depth talking about it: http://www.pixelitis.net/features/liner-notes-the-brilliantly-moody-tones-of-super-castlevania-iv

    Glad I’m not the only one who moonwalks up stairs EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    Good picks from the game, obviously if time wasn’t a concern I would’ve liked to hear “Limestone Cavern” and “Waterfall,” (that last one was referenced in Lords of Shadow, such a moving piece). “The Trick Manor” is another favorite of mine because of those proggy odd-time signature moments. Also love the atmospheric feel of “Dracula’s Room.”

    Never finished Bloodlines, but those two tracks are stellar. It was great to hear “Sinking Old Sanctuary” in it after being familiar with the remix in Circle of the Moon. I wish they’d release the game on the Virtual Console :/ Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth has a great remix of “Reincarnated Soul” with more Konami orchestral hits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43VRUZrP2OQ

    You pretty much picked my two favorite tracks from Rondo of Blood. “Cemetary,” “Den” and “Illusionary Dance” are also equally awesome. I played Dracula X prior to Rondo of Blood and while I think the SNES’ renditions are fine, I think I’m more likely to flock to the PC Engine soundtrack. Super Otakus can buzz off though, I agree.

    And Symphony of the Night? One of the best game soundtracks ever, but that should be clear to anyone who played it! Your picks for the podcast were perfect. “I am the Wind” was…*barf* but I still don’t think it’s right to omit it in the MP3 soundtrack on Amazon.

  13. Thought you guys might appreciate that I bought Symphony of the Night on XBox Live after listening to this episode. Never played any installment in the Castlevania series before, but I’m loving the game so far! Good job on introducing me to great music and great games, guys!

  14. […] 1:33:20 – Young Nobleman of Sadness (SOTN, Yamane) […]

  15. I know it’s years after the fact, but I noticed on re-listening to this episode that the Bloodlines tracks have a reverb added to them. Hhhmmmm.

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