Oct 012014


Rocktober returns with a barrage of Pokemusic from the Game Boy days, including Red, Blue, Gold and Silver.

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00:00 – Opening (RBY)

14:16 – Vermillion City (RBY)

15:14 – Slyph Co (RBY)

16:29 – Lavender Town (RBY)

28:15 – Battle vs Wild Pokemon (RBY)

29:39 – Battle vs Trainer (RBY)

31:18 – Battle vs Gym Leader (RBY)

40:44 – Violet City (Pokemon GSC)

41:33 – National Park (GSC)

42:56 – Route 26 (GSC)

49:30 – Battle vs Team Rocket (GSC)

50:43 – Battle vs Trainer (GSC)

52:40 – Battle vs Legendary Beast (GSC)

58:59 – Ending (RBY)

It’s also worth pointing out that many Pokemon soundtracks are available legit on iTunes, so hop on over for full OSTs to most of the series.

  29 Responses to “VGMpire 77 – Pokemonth GB”

  1. Neat! It’ll be cool to walk down memory lane regarding Pokemon music!

    A bit disappointed that the rival’s battle theme for GSC isn’t there… But then again, that song works best with the HG/SS arrangement, the GB version isn’t as powerful methinks.

  2. Woo! I wasn’t expecting Pokemon to be the Rocktober series. I really hope the gate theme is played when the X/Y episode around.

  3. We better hear the Pokerap this month, just saying…

    Look forward to another great Rocktober! Never disappoints

  4. For me, my favorite Pokemon songs are always the location songs. They fill me with the feeling of discovery and excitement almost simultaneously. It makes me want to just go into a forest and start collecting bugs. I am so psyched for the rest of Poketobor!

    PS: Greg, do kids in Japan still do beetle fights?

  5. What is that art??? Charizard only has one horn!?

  6. Ah, wasn’t expecting this. I guess cause there’s really only 6 soundtracks in the series at this point, I never really think of this as being a series that could support an entire month of music.

    Can’t believe you didn’t play the Cerulean City theme! You better be saving it for FireRed/LeafGreen or something!

    My favorite Pokemon from Gen 1 and 2 aren’t my favorites IN gen 1 and 2. They’re Megneton in 1 and Murkrow in 2, but only because in Gen 4, they can become Magnezone and Honchkrow, two of my legitimately favorite Pokemon overall.

  7. Lovely, lovely episode. A nice smattering of generations one and two.

    A couple tracks I loved in particular from gen 2 are the battle with Red, and the credits song. Believe it or not, Gold and Silver were basically considered the end of that Pokemon era, with Ruby and Sapphire being a reboot of sorts. That credits song definitely sounds like the end of a massive, massive journey.

  8. So excited for the rest of these. The gym leader battle theme is forever embedded in my memories. I’m really hoping my personal favorite pokemon song, the lake theme from diamond/pearl, makes it into the gen 4 episode. I love it so much!

  9. Aww, man, still no Rockmantober? There are so many opportunities for Meg Man shows.

    Several of these sound like Guardian Legend mixed with Dragon Warrior. The wandering legendary one sounds like the beginning of Life Force mixed with Dragon Warrior.

    • I know right. You could do an entier month on the classic Mega Man series alone.

      • Conflict of interest yo.

        Those we know Brett, know there is no such thing. But still, it might probably look bad both for his job, and with public that doesn’t know him to see him doing a show that’s supposedly separate from his work celebrating an entire month of a Capcom game.

        A megaman month is definitely a no brainer, and if Brett wasn’t working for Capcom, I betcha that would have been last year’s Rocktober already. But because of his affiliation, I’m guessing he’s waiting to either not work at capcom anymore, or as much as he can before touching the series.

        • How is doing a show on a series that’s had nothing worthwhile happen while Brett’s been at Capcom a conflict of interest? Mega Man (and X, and an awful lot of side games) is a classic, with classic music, that started not long after Brett would have been able to hold a controller, why would anyone care if Brett works at the maker’s company? Has anyone ever actually had a problem with what podcasters do? The issue seems to come up a lot on this network. How can acknowledging one of probably five companies that had a massive impact on real video game music be a problem for anyone?

          • It shouldn’t be, I agree. And again note that I said that probably most people that tune into this network wouldn’t take issue with it. But whether WE take issue or not doesn’t change the fact that there definitely seem to be some touchy legal restrictions going on surrounding stuff like this. Similar to how no one could really do a videogame-related podcast back when most of the podcast members were employed by different video game related companies.

            And again, I don’t think it might necessarily BE a problem. After, I do remember Brett showcasing music from Capcom’s Remember Me and Ghouls n’ Ghosts last year. But in neither case do said titles are the headline or main subject of the episode. So maybe it’s just Brett wanting to avoid bringing capcom related titles too much into attention.

            Of course, I don’t really know, probably only Brett and those close to him knows. The best us listeners can do is speculate, and if this isn’t really the main issue and reason why we haven’t seen any Mega Man (Or for that matter, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, what have you) centric episodes… Then feel free to offer an alternate explanation, cause I can’t really think of anything else.

          • I think it’s worth mentioning that there already was an entire podcast episode earlier this year that was dedicated to a Capcom series: Breath of Fire 🙂 http://www.vgmpire.com/2014/06/25/vgmpire-71-20-years-of-breath-of-fire/

          • *Watches in despair as his whole argument crumbles and falls apart in front of him*

            Nooo! my precious speculation!

          • It seems very odd not to represent one of the two greatest and most distinctive 8-bit music makers (the other being Konami,) and the only reason I can think of for so little Capcom on this show would be that Brett works there. I can’t see how that would make any difference, but it comes up a lot in pretty much every show on the network, not saying anything about major releases from Capcom or Ubisoft. I wonder how much might be legal, and how much is just the guys trying to please everyone by fearing that someone will claim they’re in cahoots with the major players in our hobby? I’d guess we’ll never know.

  10. Oh damn, listening to Vermilion City immediately brought to mind the them for S.S. Anne, which is melody-wise one of my favorite tracks of the entire series.


    I can definitely understand why it didn’t made the episode though, because it’s actually a short loop, and can become repetitive easily.

  11. Pokemon’s a good choice for Rocktober, there’s so much ground to cover! I must say that game publishers’ tendency to add reverb to Game Boy tunes on their respective CD soundtracks makes them sound even more epic.

    I think a good way to describe the “braaaaahhhh” intros to the Pokemon battle themes is by calling them “rolling intros.” It’s something Motoi Sakuraba does for nearly EVERY battle theme he’s ever done. See: Golden Sun, Star Ocean, Tales of Destiny, Beyond the Beyond, etc.

    In the case of the Pokemon games, these rolling intros tend to be super frenetic, and I love every single one of them.

    Listening to all that music again really, REALLY hit me in the feels. My brother and I were among the first in our elementary school to discover Pokemon in late ’98 and it just got HUGE afterwards. I remember the day we got our blue Game Boy Pocket and Pokemon Blue. It was an absolute addiction.

    Funny enough, after about a year or so after that I felt like I had “grown out of” Pokemon, not even caring for the release of Gold or Silver. I remember dabbling in Pokemon Blue again in about 8th grade, playing it on my Super Game Boy. It wouldn’t be until college when I played a tiny bit of Pokemon Diamond and later Pokemon HeartGold when I went “okay, I remember why this was awesome again.” I wish I had the time to dedicate to the games, but nevertheless I really appreciate the series’ impact.

    You touched upon a good portion of my fave Pokemon tunes from RBY & GSC. Lavender Town is a given. It’s interesting how creepy that song is, and I’m glad you all touched upon that Japanese urban legend about the theme. I also love the subtle reference in Pokemon Tower to the fact that the main character’s Pokemon had actually KILLED the rival’s Rattata in the previous battle with him, hence why Rattata is missing from the Rival’s roster from that point and WHY he’s even at Pokemon Tower – to bury/pay his respects to his murdered Pokemon.

    Red, you monster.

    What say you to a badass dubstep remix of Lavender Town? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDw5NJrgufg

    Pokemon has a lot of surprisingly dark moments in it, and the music really enhances those. Take “Team Rocket Hideout,” it’s so sinister-sounding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kiKM2f2j_o

    The same goes for the Sylph Company music. I REALLY, REALLY love that change-up in the tempo of the song 19 seconds in.

    BTW, here’s a great electronic remix of the Red/Blue Title Screen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j07VNN3AYJk

    I really love the ridiculously fast arpeggio synths in the Pokemon battle themes, especially in the Gym Leader battle theme (gives me chills every time). It makes covering them extremely difficult. You need someone like keyboardist Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater to do those, haha.

    I recently attended the Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions show in Philadelphia (I encourage you to read my review on Game Music Online here: http://www.vgmonline.net/pokemonreport/ ) and that’s also got my interest in Pokemon reinvigorated, to the point where I’m tempt to finish my Pokemon Blue save that I restarted in college. I’m SUPER CLOSE to getting all 151. I actually remember borrowing a friend’s copy of Pokemon Red and rushing through it to get to the Safari Zone to get all those Red-only Pokemon to transfer to my Blue cartridge. And of course, the whole Missingo glitch to get Mew. Good times.

    Despite never getting far in Pokemon Silver and Gold, I do love that soundtrack. So much so that I covered the Trainer Battle music at MAGFest! Such a ridiculously fun song to drum to, even though it has no drums in the original track! 😛 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkDfd9uN7QE

    By the way, Greg, your obsessive-compulsive backwards talking was freaking hilarious. I’m afraid it’s going to turn into a habit for me, too.

    And if I was going to pick a favorite Pokemon, I’d go with Gyarados (and Squirtle as my starter). I just love the fact that he starts as this Magikarp weakling and evolves into something really badass.

    Some other faves from RBY & GSC:

    Viridian Forest
    To Bill’s Origin – From Cerulean
    Codename St. Anne
    Cycling (a bike theme, and go figure, some of the devs from Earthbound worked on Pokemon)

    Union Cave
    Ecruteak City
    Kimono Dance Theater (really sounds like something out of Mystical Ninja)
    Burned Tower (Jake “virt” Kaufman did an arrangement of this for the Pokemon Symphony that gives it a Jewish folky vibe, it’s really neat)
    Dragon’s Den
    Battle! Champion (the Pokemon Symphony’s lead-up to this track, and the video footage showing GSC’s trainer meeting the original Red trainer was really, really epic)

  12. […] Rocktober returns with a barrage of Pokemusic from the Game Boy days, including Red, Blue, Gold and Silver.. LISTEN NOW! […]

  13. I have been waiting for you to do a pokemon vgmpire, and I’m so hyped it is a whole month event

  14. Awesome episode. I’m super excited for a month of Pokemon. 🙂 Thank you.

  15. So much time spent playing these games, (r/b/y) hearing the music i remember what area its from and whats in it.I remember playing pokemon Crystal and letting someone borrow it only to save over my 150+ hours with a new game, was trying to get a Kingdra at the time, then i immediately started a new game. fun times. Surprised to see there hadn’t been a pokemon episode yet. What a way to start rocktober.

  16. Thank you for finally doing Pokemon! The Pokemon series has the best music. My favorite song is the Gym theme from red/blue and the dark cave music from silver/gold. Another great tune is the Azalea town music also from silver/gold, the soul silver version is really good to. God, so much good music!




  17. Man, that track for Gym Leader Battle almost made me choke up a little at work.
    So many memories with this series..

  18. I have never played any of the pokemon games so almost all this music is new to me. i always feel a little wiser after hearing vgmpire. keep up the good work 😀

  19. Wow, I seem to be the only one here so far that hasn’t played the series. In fact, I’ve never had anything to do with Pokemon, ever…….outside of watching a YouTube video once called “Squirtle”, where the entire thing was a series of clips wherein what I presume to be Squirtles schemed while saying nothing but “Squirtle”.

    I have heard about the Lavender Town music suicides. Since I found out about it via Wikipedia, I’d just assumed it were true. 🙂 At any rate, I was driving through rush hour traffic when that track came on, and I swear to you I started crying. That is some freaky, despondent, angry-ass music.

    Brelston, you are to be commended. I really had no interest in a Pokemon Rocktober; I had already begun thinking up snarky comments like “Ah, Pokemon….can’t wait ’till November!” before I started listening. Plus half of the podcast was everybody calling out Pokemon numbers and saying why they liked the capabilities of that monster. EVEN SO, I still enjoyed vicariously living out everybody’s Pocket Monster salad days. Good tracks and I can’t wait ’till next week.

    Lastly, a few production questions: 1)What was your source for the tracks? I ask because not only the last track, but every track you played had some sort of reverb after-effect…..definitely beyond the Gameboy’s abilities. It sounded fine enough, it was just a surprise.
    2) Do you use an audio compressor/normalizer when you record vocals? I ask because at times it’s really hard to hear your guest’s voices, ESPECIALLY Carolyn(sp?). She might need to sit closer to the mic because she is often very, very quiet in the mix. But if you don’t already use an audio compressor, you can get software versions for next to nothing. When used judiciously, they’ll balance out the quiet and loud passages so all the hosts can be heard better(just don’t use it for the game tracks).
    3) You might consider listing the guests at the bottom of the episode description. Hey, your episode descriptions are already rad, but a guest list would add radness to radness. Just sayin’.

  20. I speculated it’d be pokemon but then quickly dismissed it cause I didn’t think it totally lent itself to an entire month. But I’m glad I was right! This whole episode took me on a huge nostalgia trip. Makes me feel super young but I was around 4 or 5 when I played these games and I still consider them my childhood. Anything that wasn’t pokemon I have a hard time remembering

    Anyway Brett I’m sure you already recorded the next episode but I’d be stoked if you added the champion themE from fire red and leaf green. So much crazy goodness in that song

  21. On your next episode, be sure to mention the Pokemon game music that’s been added to iTunes over the last year. All the 3rd, 4th, and 5th gen main games are there, as well as the XY soundtrack.

  22. Man, I forgot how much of Blue that I’d played back in the day! Music still holds up!

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