Jul 092014


Movie games used to suck, but their soundtracks sure didn’t! We take a look at NES and SNES tie ins that defied the odds.

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0:00:00 – Main Theme (Super Star Wars)

0:06:56 – Imperial March (Super Empire Strikes Back)

0:09:03 – Theme of the Jedi (Super Return of the Jedi)

0:15:46 – Truck Stop (Terminator 2)

0:19:13 – The Hospital (Terminator 2)

0:28:08 – Stage 1 (Batman)

0:30:27 – Stage 2 (Batman)

0:32:12 – Stage 4 (Batman)

0:34:12 – Stage 1 (Gremlins 2)

0:36:06 – Stage 3 (Gremlins 2)

0:37:50 – Stage 5 (Gremlins 2)

0:43:20 – Level 1-2 (Darkman)

0:46:04 – Title Screen (Darkman)

0:47:21 – Upper Area (Goones II)

0:48:59 – Sub Area (Goonies II)

0:57:56 – Stage 1 (The Rocketeer)

0:59:16 – Stage 2 (The Rocketeer)

1:01:24 – Boss Theme (The Rocketeer)

1:02:28 – Anthem (Top Gun)

1:03:53 – Attract Mode (Top Gun)

1:06:17 – Mission 1 (Lethal Weapon)

1:10:55 – Mission 2 (Lethal Weapon)

1:17:39 – CSM 101 Level 1 (Kevin Sisk via OverClocked)

  24 Responses to “VGMpire 72 – Movie Mania”

  1. That is all surprising great music! The Terminator 2 music sounds like 8 bit versions of the music from Justice’s album Cross or any other French Electronica

    Would not expect that from movie based video games

  2. Sweet episode! the rocketeer music reminded me of MegaMan music a lot, which is a great thing, methinks 😛

    A bit of a shame you didn’t include music from the NES Rambo game, the intro specially, is friggin’ fantastic:

  3. I am conflicted on this because while I think that all the music you played is wonderful, it all kind of blends together to me. Mostly because I haven’t played a single one of the games you talked about, and half these movies I never saw. So it comes down to music that I really enjoy hearing, but I forget once the show is over. Which is a darn shame.

    One other note, if you are starting to think about “Rocktober as Henry hinted to, while you can do a strait persona series, I would suggest a full Shin Megami Tensei month of music. You can go to many places, like the boss theme of Devil Survivor Overclocked with its great organ and chorus.

    Or in SMT IV the Infernal Tokyo Theme, where humans are fodder for Demons and there is a cool electrical beat.

    Shin Megami Tensei needs love man, these demons aren’t going to summon themselves!

    • I’m finally back playing SMT4 again, and goddamn I love these tunes. the Tokyo Map is so gorgeous, maybe the best piece of VGM from 2013. have you heard the piano rendition from the SMT tribute album?

    • How can this October be anything but Rockmantober? How could there already be two Octobers that weren’t Rockmantober?

      • Agreed…..plus I never played SMT in any iteration.

        • I know that neither Brett nor Henry or Chirs are extensively familiar with the series. Maybe they have a friend who can do most of the talking for this kind of episode. This music is too good to be passed up on.

          PS: Feel free to prove me wrong Brett!

  4. really enjoying this one. almost like a taste of the Sunsoft episode I’ve been hoping for.

  5. […] Movie games used to suck, but their soundtracks sure didn’t! We take a look at NES and SNES tie ins that defied the odds. LISTEN NOW! […]

  6. OH MAN! I need to play Gremlins again and actually finish it!! should of never returned my copy to blockbuster… Great tunes all around!

    and with your talk about TOP GUN I have to share with you Maverick by Teenage Bottlerocket! A 90’s Skate Punk style song all about TOP GUN –> http://youtu.be/-8FzZwyM6R0

  7. Batman and Gremlins 2. Two of the first games where I was like “Man, video game music is actually pretty great”. Thanks Brett!

    • I so totally agree. And BRELSTON, I humbly request you consider doing a Sunsoft episode. Legacy Music Hour did one and it ended up being one of my favorite podcasts; In my opinion Sunsoft was the best overall producer of NES music. Batman definitely used samples for those tom-toms, which was a rarity. And your comment about doing their sound programming differently was right on; that AMAZING bass tone from Gremlins 2 was not done by any other programming house, AFIK.

      One thing to note: As the NES aged, companies included chips in their cartridges to help out a bit. Konami and especially Sunsoft used chips to augment their sound. That partly explains their superior music.

    • Oh, and Wryce, how is it that your avatar looks like a pair of teats hanging out of a t-shirt? Mine only looks like a shit-faced drunk Antista(is that being redundant?)

  8. Duuude this was great!

    I loved the Super Star Wars SNES orchestrations. Good memories playing this games. I was somehow better at Super Star Wars as a kid than I am now. All of those games are freaking impossible.

    Batman and Gremlins 2 alone could have carried this episode. I remember having a conversation with someone on Twitter and we agreed that the three best third-party publishers music-wise on the NES had to be Capcom, Konami and Sunsoft. Naoki Kodaka is an underrated genius VGM composer.

    I too heard Goonies II’s version of the Cyndi Lauper song before the original. The NES version is better 😛 This episode also sparked my memory of the Rocketeer NES soundtrack. I remember that first level theme being the only reason why I kept playing.

    Oh, and Lethal Weapon SNES? Amazing soundtrack, especially that Level 1 theme. That game has no business having such a great OST. It’s a poor platformer with maddening jumps and pitfalls and abornally difficult enemies. With a time limit. Oh and Danny Glover fights sharks in sewers. Yeah. Dat bass groove though!

    Waterworld (SNES) also had incredible music too, perhaps one of the best SNES tracks EVER. It only came out in EU though so I can understand missing out on that one.

    Mission: Impossible on N64/PS1 also had some rad tracks too:

    • I’ve just figured it out that the composer for Waterworld was Dean Evans aka the man responsible for a lot of great Ocean music (Jurassic Park 2, Lethal Weapon). Just listen to that:

      It’s funny. I had already subscribed to his channel and forgot about it.

      Waterworld does have that trademark european Amiga/C64-type sound to it (is there a VGMpire episode dedicated to this type of thing? It should, it’s really, really underrated in the US aka the internet) and Ocean Software is originally British so there that.

      Here are some of my favs:

      Lost World Genesis:

      JP2 SNES:

      Too awesome 😛

    • You guys are right about the Cyndi Lauper/Goonies thing, although the first song that popped into my head was the Kidd Video intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YzChZTqxDU ……….they’re both from the same time period, so it makes sense.

      Patrick, I’m with you on the Star Wars SNES stuff, although contrary to what was said on the podcast, I didn’t feel it had that stereotypical “All the trumpets” SNES sound. It was a really weird and cool approximation, kind of like those guys who can beatbox “Billie Jean”. As far as greatest NES composers, I’d put Tecmo in there too, and Nintendo did some stuff(especially with SMB3) that was phenomenal.

      Lastly, it seems the European dev scene had the greatest number of absolutely terrible games with phenomenal soundtracks. I think the main reason Tim Follin isn’t doing game soundtracks anymore is because his luck with working for quality developers wasn’t the best.

  9. Tommy Tallarico did some good Terminator music, for Sega CD and Genesis. It’s on the Virgin greatest game music CD. I still want a whole Tommy Tallarico show.

    • Played some of the Sega CD stuff back in 2012! http://www.vgmpire.com/2012/11/07/vgmpire-episode-34-sega-cdelight/

      • Brett, this is one of my favorite episodes yet…..yet it also makes me wish you had more experience with Sega Master System and Genesis games. Every track you picked was phucking excellent, and I heard a bunch of stuff I hadn’t heard before(I relied heavily on EGM and Gamefan to keep me from spending money on shitty games). Those Gremlins 2 tracks made me so happy.

        But there was so much non-(s)NES stuff that also would have been awesome:

        Rambo 2 for SMS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIgUWqTrxZM)
        Rambo III for Genesis (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha1Dx0tfCCg)
        Batman Returns for Sega CD (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRAmp4uCrWA&list=PLEAC96B9F8BAD9562)
        Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Sega CD(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAp525mRvoE&index=2&list=PLd1gqlR3gG5e-Y-fNWtKect_iQPp7KzDR)

        ………But the one I REALLY wish got a mention was Batman for Genesis, also by Sunsoft. The soundtrack was made by Kodaka, just like the NES version. Ultimately, the NES game was more fun, primarily because of the wall jump. But the Genesis version has a damned fine soundtrack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJZgBTXiweY&list=PL6743702967064603&index=4) and it would have been awesome to hear it get its due.

        Anyway, I hate to complain, because as I said, this was one hell of an episode. Thanks to you and your guests, who go through all the trouble to bring this stuff to us!

      • BTW, every time you mention EGM, it brings up happy thoughts. I bought my first EGM in the winter of ’88/’89(actually the annual buyer’s guide), which had in it the first Mega Drive pictures I’d seen, including screenshots of Altered Beast, and especially the Super Shinobi(Revenge of Shinobi here). I think issue 8 was the first one I bought.

        I didn’t get a subscription for a few years; I had a ritual that I’d start visiting the mall bookstores and game shops a lot around the time a new issue came out so I’d get it before anybody else. I still remember walking into Waldenbooks and seeing issue 13 with Strider for Genesis on the cover and getting all giddy. So thanks for the memories. 🙂

  10. I wanted to say that this episode was quite excellent. I was glad to hear “The Rocketeer” get the respect it deserved. I was stoked to hear SunSoft’s “Batman” in the mix. The cinematic pre-level screen’s really showed how far the system had come as well (you can actually identify Michael Keaton & Jack Nicholson with ease)… one of the funnest movie-based games on the system! I remember “T2″ being tricky bc of how many damn hits each enemy took in the first level (you can only puch until you get the shotgun at the bar)… and I rage-quit after the motorcycle level bc I couldn’t figure out how to pass the semi. Thanks LJN. I had no idea how awesome the rest of the music in that game was tho (bc of its difficulty), so thanks for sharing!

    I also felt bad for not commenting as regularly as I tried to in the past. As always, you do a great job. Keep it up Sir-Brelston. You make 3rd-shift airline factory-work fly.

    Also, I actually made a SunSoft “Batman” jam-along track a couple yrs ago. It’s just a quick GarageBand recording I did over one of the level-tracks, but you may enjoy it. If you, Chris or the LaserTime network would like it… I’d b more than happy to email it to you. Anywho… thanks again and keep up the great work.

  11. How come my comment wasn’t approved? I really like the podcast have pretty much all of them downloaded so i thought i’d give you a shout finally and nothing =[

  12. I’m way behind on these episodes, but trying to catch up. I’m always thinking of comments when listening, so hopefully I can make this more of a habit.

    All of this stuff is pretty darn good, but as soon as I saw what the episode was about, all I could think of was NES Batman. Every track from that game is just amazing. I think Antista mentions that each tune could end up in a Castlevania game, I agree and also feel like they could be Ninja Gaiden tracks as well.

    Aside from my general approval, I just wanted to add that I’m fairly certain your second Top Gun selection(which is most definitely an 8-bit version of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”) appears in-game as the music that plays when you’re attempting to refuel midair, in addition to being the attract mode audio that you mention in the episode.

    Keep up the good work Brett, I’ll try to feed you more comments!

  13. I didn’t catch it the first time I heard this episode but Brett mentioned Wing Commander. I know that PC games are rarely mentioned, so I was surprised to hear it. Having said this, Wing Commander had some really good tunes. An episode of VGMpire should be dedicated to Wing Commander.

    Fir those that aren’t aware of Wing Commander, it was not an obscure PC game from the early 90’s. It was kind of a big a deal at the time. It was successful enough to spawn numerous sequels, a novel line, and a mediocre live action movie. There’s enough tunes and discussion to dedicate an episode of VGMpire to Wing Commander.

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