Nov 212012

Ever heard of Lunar, Popful Mail and Vay? Well, you need to listen anyway!

Three Sega CD classics await your virgin ears


0:00:00 – Intro Theme (Lunar)

0:10:15 – Caldor Isle 1 (Lunar)

0:11:25 – Caldor Isle 2 (Lunar)

0:12:47 – Burg (Lunar)


  19 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 35 – The Wonders of Working Designs”

  1. So, what happened to Lunar 2? It was missing from both the battle sampler and this… And is the only point where Working Designs did their own in-house composition. (Star Dragon Tower)

    Also, now I have to go dust off my SegaCD and play some Popful Mail. Darn you. 😉

  2. […] Ever heard of Lunar, Popful Mail and Vay? Well, you need to listen anyway! INFORM YOUR EARS NOW! […]

  3. Working Designs had soooooooooooooooo many good games in the 90s.

    Even their Lunar SST port to iOS was great.

    This show gets better by the week!

  4. I really liked Lunar: Silver Star Story but other than that one I can’t remember playing anything else by Working Designs.

  5. hully shizz dude! my eyes got big as dinner plates when that first song kicked in XD
    total tdar flash backs X3

    this was a good solid episode.
    i really enjoyed the discussion segments in between.
    like the kind i can listen to a good couple times in a day.
    i’m loving the music, i gotta go out and find these.

  6. I saw Popful Mail in one of those independant game stores that used to exist in the 90’s, and it’s one of the few games that I really should have bought and didn’t for some reason. I know I held the game in my hands for at least a few minutes, and balanced this and that in my head, and must have decided my budget just wouldn’t allow for it. I’ve been sad about it ever since, I only ever saw it that one time.

    I bought Vay very late in the Sega CD life cycle, and it was very disappointing for a Working Designs release. After so many great games they put out it just wasn’t as interesting as the others.

    I studied Japanese, with the hopes of translating video games into much better English than we were getting in the 90’s. I always wanted to work for Working Designs after I graduated. I’m not sure what kind of industry there is in translating Japanese games any more, the few that I’ve played recently, like the Yakuza games, have had good translations, but there are so few Japanese games coming this way any more.

    • Lunar is the first game I remember having music that had a definite start and end, since it was redbook, and the CD had to load up the music again after it hit the end. Cartridges would just loop over and over and you wouldn’t notice, but Sega CD games’ songs were kind of jarring in the way they’d go back to the beginning of a song, that didn’t connect to where it ended.

    • There’s still a job out there for translation, but it’s harder to nail down. People that have ’em tend to keep ’em. But there’s always manga, subtitles etc… keep an eye on Viz Media, they post openings every so often. (also yeah popful mail!!)

  7. Only listening to this now, great reading music

  8. Love seeing this episode, one of my favorite companies for doing the Lunar games, was a sad day when I heard they were no more. Thanks for the memories Brelston.

  9. I love Lunar SSH! I would listen to Light of the Blue Star over and over. Great episode!

  10. As with Ridge Racer, you could take The Next Tetris out of the PS1 and put in any music disc to listen to while you played. Love the podcast by the way.

  11. I didn’t know how different the Sega CD version of Lunar’s soundtrack was to the PS1’s Silver Star Story. I guess I must be missing out by not playing the original. I really need to get back into it though. Should I just move on to the PSP remake?

    Funny though, I didn’t want to be spoiled anything since I haven’t played Lunar 1 or 2 to completion, I somehow tuned out whenever the spoiler track title was mentioned, so all is ok!

    Popful Mail has some awesome music. I need to further delve into all of these quirky disc-based titles. Oh and that voice acting should be featured on

    • IMO the Sega CD version is tops, but the PS1 version is still the best way to play the “re-imagined” version. Next would be GBA (which is fairly solid) but PSP, not so much.

    • The soundtrack for Lunar 1 had some sort of weird copyright issue surrounding it. Both SegaCD and PSX are both Iwadare, but it is a 100% different soundtrack between the two versions.

  12. I’ve been listening since you guys started doing this, and I have to say that you are all awesome. I run the Music section at, and as someone who really values and is trying to further the appreciation of VGM, I really appreciate what you’re doing with VGMPire. You guys are funny, have a great rapport with one another, and your anecdotes about growing up playing the games remind me of my own experiences– and most importantly, you guys prove that you don’t have to be an expert in music theory to help others appreciate this awesome music.

    Please, keep doing this!

  13. Aaaaaaand, I’m a kid again. I love love love the Sega CD Lunar soundtrack. The opening song blew me away when I was young and I adore it today. Even though it is silly. Great show, thank you for this.

    Oh also, I remember my friend who had Sega CD Lunar had his system hooked up to his parents amazing stereo. He would get into a battle and not do anything, crank it up and just let the music play.

  14. Brelston,

    Nazukashii!(roughly a warm feeling of nostalgia about being a kid) This whole episode brought me back to the days when I’d read EGM and later GameFan, giddily soaking up that unabashed excitement about games.
    This is going to sound like a non-sequitir, but it isn’t…..I like that you stick up for the Genesis sound chip every now and then. Chris and Hank bag on it a heck of a lot, and hey–I was a die-hard Sega kid, but even I hated that thing sometimes(American Genesis games mostly sounded terrible).

    But it gets a bad rap, and I think it’s mostly due to its sh*tty sampler. Case in point: Popful Mail…..take away the drums and maybe a synth line and you’re listening to pure, unadulterated Genesis sound chip. And it’s brilliant. The drums come from the Sega CD’s extra chip, and that’s all it takes to make the Genesis shine. Here’s a great conversation about the innovative way some companies paired the two chips:

    Oh, and as an aside, I followed Working Designs’ projects from the beginning, but the only WD game I ever owned was Iron Storm. I was very impressed by the care they put into every thing they did.

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