Feb 262014


Celebrating Episode 64 with a look at two terrific gems from Rare.

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0:00:00 – Title (Jet Force Gemini)

0:12:18 – Character Select (Jet Force Gemini)

0:14:02 – Asteroid (Jet Force Gemini)

0:18:01 – Goldwood (Jet Force Gemini)

0:30:40 – Title (Blast Corps)

0:33:06 – Angel City (Blast Corps)

0:36:04 – Sleek Streets (Blast Corps)

0:41:47 – Replay Tune 1 (Blast Corps)

0:44:17 – Carrick Point (Blast Corps)

0:47:29 – Simian Acres (Blast Corps)

0:57:38 – Obsidian Mile (Blast Corps)

1:00:42 – Time to Get Moving (Blast Corps)

1:07:15 – Ending (Blast Corps)

  28 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 64 – Blast Corps Gemini”

  1. Oh fuck yeah! I never finished Blast Crops, but i did play it, and the music was indeed pretty fantastic, can’t wait to listen!

  2. Never played either, but it’s on my to-do emulator list ever since I heard Simian Acres on TDar so long ago. After playing around with SNES emulation, I got a N64 controller off of Amazon and tried some games. Anything Nintendo holds up, anything not doesn’t.

  3. I’ve played both these games but never sure I competed either. Since I have been a Nintendo fanboy my whole life I’ve pretty much loved all of the rare games that have come out for snes and n64.

    I really like how in these two games you can hear elements of goldeneye, donkey kong, banjo and so on. It’s great hearing the same musicians with practically the same midi instruments create different moods for all of these different games.

    Thanks for putting together the show as always!!! Keep up the good work

  4. Never got around to jet force, but man did I play some blast corps in the early days of the n64

  5. I played tons of Jet Force Gemini when it first came out, so much so it held a great deal of nostalgic love in my heart. So obviously, one night when I was drinking heavily, I decided to break it back out and, boy, how I hated every moment of it. I’m sure my inebriation was the biggest part of the distaste, but I forgot how absolutely wonky the controls were in those days. Games like Halo and Gears of War really did wonders for 1st/3rd person shooters, control-wise.

    Also–been meaning to suggest an OST on this board for a long time. Check out Ultima: Exodus for the NES. The opening music when you first meet Lord British is a sweeping, proggy epic of a song, while the town them is a total cooldown jam. I don’t know where it would fit into a show, but it’s definitely great music.

    Thanks for all you guys do with the show! I never miss it.

  6. Nice header image!

    Jet Force Gemini is a game I got so hyped for (I recall getting a cassette tape from Nintendo a la their DKC and Banjo-Kazooie tapes) and while I initially had a lot of fun playing it, I realized that to progress in anything you had to collect those annoying tribals, which could die so easily within a level. I got so fed up with that mechanic that I stopped playing the game. Revisiting it nearly a decade ago, I couldn’t stand the game’s poor framerate. It’s one of those games that could really benefit from an HD facelift a la Banjo Kazooie HD and Perfect Dark HD.

    That Goldwood music stuck out the most for me, with its ambiance and “du-dun-dun,” which weirdly played in time to Juno’s awkward running animation. I’m happy you played the Character Select music, as it’s been AGES since I heard that and it reminded me of how awesome it was. I’m pretty sure I let that music play for a while before I would even select a character.

    I can hear so much of the Banjo-Kazooie and Goldeneye soundfonts in Jet Force Gemini and Blast Corps. Blast Corps is a game my brother played a lot more of whenever we rented it from the video store. I’d sometimes watch him but for whatever reason I wasn’t as interested in it. I actually picked up a used copy of the game the same day I picked up The Last of Us last summer after coming back from E3. I still haven’t even put it in my N64 to see if it works >_>

    “Time to Get Moving” is the only song that stuck with me from Blast Corps all of these years. “Time to Get Moving! …Time…..Time….” Glad to hear that the rest of it is really cool, too.

    As an aside (but sorta Rare-related)…has anyone been reveling in the sheer bliss that is the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze soundtrack? David Wise and Kenji Yamamoto…perfect combo.


    • Thanks for putting that out there; I’ll have to give these a listen.

    • I have given a listen to most of the soundtrack yes, It’s pretty awesome indeed! Specially compared to the soulessness the soundtrack of Donkey Kong Country Returns had.

  7. Holy shiiiiiit I loved these games as a kid! To this day I still wish they’d do an HD remake or something. Ah, well, such memories those tracks bring back. I always liked the SS Anubis track from JFG.

    Thanks for putting this one together and keep this show going!

  8. I think it was the second Blast Corps song that sounded like the Six Flags commercials with that dancing bald guy. And one of them sounded like it could be in a Mystical Ninja game.

  9. Holy crap. I’m listening to this ep now and its bringing back zo many memories of playing blast corps. I forgot how much I loved that sound track. I had that n64 sampler cd you talked about and listened to it on repeat for weeks. It also reminded me about that press error where all copies of the cd had a skip in the star fox 64 track.

    This episode was a blast *cough cough*

    Bad puns aside, thanks for this show!

  10. You’re mostly correct about your assessment of what NOA was like during the Jet Force Gemini era except that I have one contention: You said NOA was being pressured to be more “edgy” and mature, this is correct, but you then said that the source of that pressure came from SEGA marketing. No. Incorrect. By that point in time, the Saturn was a lameduck console and the Dreamcast either wasn’t out yet or wasn’t part of the conversation.

    The true “identity crisis” that NOA was having was a result of the Playstation and it’s large library of *really* mature games (Reloaded, Twisted Metal, etc) and the runaway success that brought with it.

    • True, Sega was p much done by that point. But Sony basically took what Sega did and twisted it into their own “cool” campaign. Nintendo was still caught up in being “fun for everyone” when Sony/Sega were still going for teens / young adults (Dreamcast was def targeted at ‘cooler’ folks for the one year it was relevant).

      So when something like JFG came around it was like… what? Is this for kids or Mario fans or is this cool like PlayStation or…?

  11. Strange enough, I recently went back and tried to play some Blast Corps. Controls about as well as I remember, and even then you can see the collectathon that Rare games would become between finding those beacons and activating satellite dishes. Using that damn dumptruck was hard as balls.

    Jet Force Gemini though, oh man. Loved the shit out of that game. I’d say it is clearly the inspiration for the Ratchet and Clank games. Also was pretty fun in coop, after you fixed that robot that would hover over your shoulder and could be controlled by player 2. And that moment after you beat Mizar the first time, and you guys all get the suits (or turned into a fucking TANK in Lupus’ case)? Proof that jetpacks make everything better.

  12. Great stuff as usual, Brelephant. I loved that JFG soundtrack; I wanted to play it until I heard the comments above. Anyway, it SOUNDS good.

  13. Great episode. I would love to see an episode based on Shadowrun in the future. Some of my fondest memories are of playing Shadowrun for SNES and the music was amazing for both versions (SNES, Genesis)

  14. Man… I’ll never get tired of listening to “Simian Acres”, and I don’t even normally like that style of music, but that song is so damn full of energy, it’s friggin’ infectious!

  15. The N64 era was right around the time I was finishing college/starting my career. I kind of fell off the console scene for awhile, so its cool to hear about the games/music I missed.

  16. I still feel guilty that I never gave blast corps an honest shot. After hearing you guys rave about it in the tdar days and hearing simian acres a bajillion times, I thought id try it out. So I found that and star fox 54 at a flea market and excitedly came home with them. But for some reason I couldn’t figure out the controls and I gave up in like 5 minutes. Given that I was about 15 when I tried it…I guess I should go back to it at this point.

  17. Long time listener, first time commenter.

    I missed Blast Corps but seems like something I would have been in to.

    Always love the old RPG episodes. PC RPGS back in the mid-nineties were my jam.

  18. Never played either of these games, though I’ve heard the name “Jet Force Gemini”. Nice to see what the game actually was and hear some tunes from it and Blast Corps (which I never heard of). One thing I really enjoy about VGMpire is how in between talking about the games and songs themselves, I get little bits and pieces of gaming history. I wasn’t really into gaming news during the N64 period. I had a sega genesis, skipped a generation, then bought a dreamcast. I’ve kept up with gaming since then, but pretty much skipped the N64/Playstation period. It’s interesting to me to hear about how Nintendo was trying to make their system appear “cool” and be like Sega for a while.

  19. Oh man, Jet Force Gemini is my absolute favorite soundtrack from the Nintendo 64 era (followed closely by Banjo-Kazooie). It’s pretty amazing how it sounds so epic/orchestral considering how limited the N64’s audio hardware was. In addition to the widescreen support, JFG also had Dolby Surround sound (simulated rear channels from just the red/white RCA cables). There’s many more tracks that stand out, all of which I think are way better than the Goldwood theme. It’s a shame that the first level (Goldwood) didn’t have such grandiose music, and rather quiet/tribal music, as I think it would have helped keeping gamers’ interest in the game early on. A few favorite include: S.S. Anubis, Mizar’s Palace, Sekhmet, Cerulean, Ichor, Rith Essa, and Eschebone.

    I didn’t realize until just a few years ago that Conker’s Bad Fur Day’s composer, Robin Beanland, also composed most of JFG’s tracks. Another neat tidbit is if you look at beta videos of Conker’s Bad Fur Day (then called Twelve Tales: Conker 64), the original music for the Colosseum level ended up being used for the Jet Force Gemini Main Theme. Keep up the great work VGMpire!

  20. Another great episode Brett! Rare could do no wrong in the late 90’s. Grant Kirkhope is pretty active on twitter and will generally respond to you. Nice guy. Also, its always fun to learn yet another T-dar inside joke.

    I know you were a Nintendo kid. I was a SEGA kid. I am ever gonna hear a Panzer Dragoon, Space Channel 5, Phantasy Star, Golden Axe, et. al., episode? I know we play what we know. I know SEGA music and would be more than willing to provide some files and knowledge for you if needed. Let me know.

    In the mean time, keep up the great work!

  21. I played a crazy amount of Jet Force Gemini when I was a kid even though I had no clue what was going on…. and I still don’t! Great episode, I never realized how well done the music was.

  22. I played both of these games to completion. For JFG – that meant reaching a point in the game where you couldn’t progress further without collecting all of the ewoks. Until that point, ewok collecting (and not shooting in the head in the process) was assumed to be not required for seeing the credits, but it was. I think a lot of gamers didn’t go past this point (assuming you guys were in that group). Rare stopped my progress in Donkey Kong Land 2 for GB with a similar coin collecting tactic. I ended up actually appreciating this requirement for JFG, and really loving what Rare could do with the soundtrack and the look/feel. I thought “slightly edgy cartoon space” was what they hit – worked for me.

    Blast corps was eye-opening. I remember bringing exact change with my stack of hard-earned 20’s and 1’s to walmart to get it on launch day. Ended up playing it on and off for the next 5 years until I had all platinum medals. Definitely one of my prouder gaming accomplishments. Thanks for sharing a great soundtrack!

  23. Awesome show featuring fun music from games I unfortunately never played. Your description of Blast Corps sounds fantastic.

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