Feb 062013

Journey with The Master as he saves a ruined world, then jam to spiritual spin-offs Soulblazer and Illusion of Gaia.

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  12 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 40 – Actraiser and Friends”

  1. Big fan of any Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack! Great episode thanks Brelston

  2. It’s great that you’ve now done an Actraiser episode, as I had the great pleasure of meeting Yuzo Koshiro this past MAGfest. It was pretty amazing to have him sign my Actraiser SNES cart (he was really fascinated by it, I’m guessing it’s not often a composer sees the North American version of a SNES game he’s composed for).

    I recorded Koshiro’s entire live set where he DJ’ed tunes from several games he’s worked on (including Actraiser, Streets of Rage, Revenge of Shinobi, Wangnan Midnight, etc.). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1I0TyoCIU

    During Koshiro’s MAGfest Q&A panel, a fan asked him to perform an Actraiser track on his keyboard. He ended up playing a bit from “Sacrifices.” It was magical. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdiAVaiuJoc

    I really wish the Actraiser Symphonic Suite wasn’t so impossible to find, it’s really good.

    I enjoyed the slight against Actraiser 2. I still can’t get through the first level. What is with that game’s difficulty?!

    Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma and the PS1’s Granstream Saga are all considered as part of an unofficial quadrilogy that was developed by Quintet. Like Actraiser, they all carry themes of death and reincarnation and a bunch of them share similar text fonts and sounds (like the Actraiser “grunt.”). Hardcore Gaming 101 did a great retrospective on them, it’s worth a read: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/quintet/quintet.htm

    Soul Blazer’s soundtrack was pretty good, Seinfeld-inspired SNES bass and all (I’m actually in the early stages of making an article about that SNES bass guitar). For the upbeat bassy tunes, I recommend “The Mine,” “Lostside March,” and “Solitary Island.” “Leo’s Laboratory” is pretty neat too for it’s craziness.

    Illusion of Gaia has a very special place in my heart because I got so invested in the game’s story and characters. There are some genuinely emotional moments in it. The gameplay was fantastic too. I loved how Will could transform into a badass knight (Freedan) and later on this blue glowing creature named Shadow. I still remember watching the Toys R’ US SNES kiosk’s video preview of the game over and over (I was immediately sold by the comparisons to Zelda). I had my dad buy it for me around September/October 1996 at Toys ‘R Us (I think it was the same day I got to try out the Nintendo 64 for the first time in-store). I had just started the 2nd grade. It was interesting — the game’s dungeons were biblical/historical structures, like the Incan Ruins, The Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, The Pyramids. I got to learn about that stuff way before I ever learned about it in elementary school.

    Great soundtrack picks for Illusion of Gaia even though you’ve never played it (every SNES fan should check it out). “In the Earthen Womb” reeaaaally takes me back. So beautiful (even though Chris just HAD to ruin it by comparing it to that Home Alone song, lmao).

    Some other great Gaia tracks: “Start a Journey ~Map of the World~,” “Danger Abounds,” “Larai Cliff ~Where the Wind Doesn’t Reach~,” “Sky Garden,” “The Ocean Palace of Mu,” “The Great Wall of China,” and “Clash of Light and Shadow.”

    Here’s your answer regarding the MAGfest Illusion of Gaia t-shirt tweet: https://twitter.com/PatrickKul/status/289384525623087104 I was genuinely surprised by the amount of IoG shirts I saw there, haha. By the way, everyone who listens to this podcast owes it to themselves to go to MAGfest someday. It’s a VGM nerd’s Mecca.

    It would’ve been great to hear some Terranigma tracks too. I still think it’s quite unfair that North America never got the game, even though Europe got it in ’96. Enix had shut its U.S. operations down by that point, but Nintendo took up publishing duties in Europe. Why there are no Virtual Console releases for anything mentioned here other than Actraiser still astounds me. Here’s one of my favorite tracks from Terranigma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTrtafl7epc

    • I would like to take the chance to thank you for your awesome comment/comments! they are always such a joy to read : ) Id love to go MAGfest one day but its kinda on the other side of the world for me!

      • Thanks man! Glad my essay-size comments are being read by somebody 😛

        Videogame music is just a huge part of my enjoyment of music in general, and it fuels my nostalgia as well.

    • Agree with Patrick K. The inclusion of Terranigma would have great and would have fit within the context of this episode. As of Feb 2016, I don’t think there have been a Terranigma focused episode. Maybe it will show up as VGMini episode.

  3. ah! finally, the podcast i have been waiting for! brelston you handsome bastard good work.

  4. I actually bought Soulblazer and Illusion of Gaia in a box of snes games at an auction. Illusion of Gaia was actually in its box with the manual and the guide/map. Pretty cool stuff. I ended up selling both of them on ebay though. Not much interest.

  5. So glad I found this podcast! I love video game music so much that I used to record Actraiser on Cassette back in the day. Such an amazing score.
    Keep up the great work guys, really amazing stuff!

  6. Thanks for this awesome episode! I played Soul Blazer as a kid and forgot the name of it until now! I need to find a way to play these games

  7. Hey guys! No one ever talks about Soulblazer, but I loved that game for a whole weekend. Thanks for the show!

    Are there plans for a Panzer Dragoon focus in the future?

  8. Good choice.

  9. Soul Blazer OST is sick as fuuuck. The Seinfeld bass is ON POINT! That was one of those games I taped on cassette as a wee child

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