May 272015


Unbelievably good tracks from two mid 90s brawlers. Buckle up!

Download now

0:00:00 – Eiji’s Theme (Toshinden 2)

0:13:13 – Duke (Toshinden 2)

0:16:12 – Ellis (Tohshinden 2)

0:19:25 – Chaos (Toshinden 2)

0:29:29 – Rungo (Toshinden 2)

0:32:46 – Sofia (Toshinden 2)

0:35:47 – Mondo (Toshinden 2)

0:40:40 – Tracy (Toshinden 2)

0:43:48 – Sofia 2 (Toshinden 2)

0:51:09 – Rungo (Toshinden 1 PS and GB)

0:54:16 – Sofia (Toshinden 1 PS and GB)

0:57:00 – Duke (Toshinden 1 PS and GB)

1:10:34 – Credit Roll (Toshinden 2)

  34 Responses to “VGMpire 94 – Toshinden Tunes”

  1. Wow. This one takes me back.

    So, I actually *liked* Battle Arena Toshinden 1 and 2. We played 2 so much and then stopped playing it… because our Playstation died. It was a launch day PS1, and it had the common problem where the moving laser parts would slowly wear out. We never got another Ps1 and instead moved onto N64 which probably still works to this day if I ever tracked it down.

    Great episode. Not sure if you intended it, but I was laughing my ASS off at the gameboy cross-fades. That poor little gameboy was trying so hard to bend those notes!

  2. A Hundred Beedle Thank You’s are not enough

  3. I never played the Toshindens outside of the in-store displays. This music is awesome! The one thing I could never figure out about BAT was how they were able to display a screen in the background that showed the action that was happening on-screen. That was an amazing trick that always impressed me.

    Brett, don’t be sad about the low numbers of comments on recent episodes. You’re a good person and people love you. 🙂 Seriously, the shows are as good as ever. Maybe people just don’t have anything interesting to say. Oh, wait, this is the internet. What was I thinking?

  4. Really glad to see this series got an episode, an incredible soundtrack that I still listen to. Sadly I don’t remember the 3rd one having any memorable tracks and seems like you agreed since it’s not represented here.

    Hope to see more episodes like this, awesome job!

  5. This music is fucking great!

  6. What better kind of breasts are there than jiggling breasts? None that I know of. The ones in the cover picture sure are rounder than the ones in the games.

    Without VGMpire I might have gone on thinking that game music turned crappy with the advent of discs. I forgot that through PS 2 most games were still Japanese, and lots had music that clearly belonged in games, not movies. There’s something so Japanese about this music, and so gamey. I think I may have rented the first game, but I don’t really remember it. I wasn’t a Playstation fan at first, I still wanted Sega to get its act together, but I got on board eventually, and I’ve owned all the Playstation systems since then.

    • What’s better than jiggling? Bouncing. My favorite example(I can’t believe I’m talking about this) is the original Dead or Alive for the Saturn. They look kind of like water ballons attached to a mechanical bull.

      I want to second your sentiment about VGMpire turning you on to Redbook Japanese audio. I was always a bit ambivalent towards a lot of CD-based music, mainly because I wasn’t into Satriani-style rock. I found Legacy Music Hour before I found VGMpire, and I think that combined with my nostalgia to form a bit of snootiness towards next-gen music(particularly the newer, movie-influenced stuff).

      In the end though, Brett was absolutely right. The Turbo-CD/Sega CD era through the Playstation/Saturn era was a very good time for game music because it still retains the intricate and complicated compositional style of classic games, but just uses better instruments. I’d still maintain that my favorite game music sound would be Neo-Geo or similar arcade games, which mix FM synthesis with good sampling(like a GeneSnes). But there are so many gems there that I am only now discovering through VGMpire and the like.

  7. YESSSSSS Battle Arena Toshinden 2 has god-tier music! My brother and I blasted the entire soundtrack on our way to MAGFest this past January. I also played Eiji’s Theme over the speakers as people were filing into our PAX East game music panel.

    BANG HEADS only actually did the “Opening” track to the game, the rest was Yasuhiro Nakano & Fumio Tanabe (which, according to VGMdb, haven’t done anything else game music-wise since the mid-90s. How sad!).

    I remember, oh boy it must’ve been ’95 or ’96 when I visited my cousins in North Jersey and they were playing Battle Arena Toshinden 2 on a PlayStation. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I played a PS1 game. All I remember is picking Duke and losing badly.

    Later on in ’99 my brother picked out Battle Arena Toshinden for Game Boy as his birthday present, and since we shared our Game Boy Pocket we had a lot of back and forth in playing it. That music stuck with me and I eventually ripped the soundtrack not too long ago. I love that you went right into the GB iterations from the original PS1 tracks, it was absolutely fascinating to hear the original PS1 versions for the first time after being all-too familiar with the chiptuney versions.

    I played BAT GB ad nauseam. I think there was a point where my Game Boy collection was depressingly sparse. I kept playing the same GB games over and over…Battle Arena, TMNT Fall of the Foot Clan, Pokemon Blue, Wario Land, Final Fantasy Legend III. That was pretty much my entire GB collection for a few years after getting one.

    I remember having the Toshinden 2 Soundtrack on my computer for a while, but never really gave it much thought. Then one day a year or two back I decided to just put it on and I was blown away by how good the music was. The energy and sax from Eiji’s Theme is unmatched. That climactic part 43 seconds into Rungo’s Theme gives me chills every time I listen to it. Parts of Sofia’s Theme sound like Queensryche if you cheesed them up with more synths.

    Sofia’s Theme in Toshinden 1 really cracked me up, it’s the most 90s house & Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch-sounding thing on this podcast, what with the techno beat and random piano samples.

    While I’m sure the games haven’t aged well at all, I still wish they were available on PSN. I just want to own that piece of mid-90s history.

  8. This style of music is just completely lost to time. It reminds me (and don’t feel like I’m crapping on the soundtrack) elevator or on-hold music…but, y’know, good. It’s like the terrible music that Comcast uses to soothe you when you’re on hold for 40 minutes got injected with Surge, and became awesome. Especially those GameBoy tracks. Those were a complete surprise and delight.

  9. I’m leaving a comment, solely because Brett pleaded for one. I paused the podcast to do it now so I wouldn’t forget later; therefore I don’t have anything to say about Battle Arena Toshinden.

    Please don’t take lack of comments episode-by-episode as a lack of engagement or popularity. It might be that a lot of your audience is like me, and simply have no impetus to engage with our content creators.

    I first came across your podcast via facebook around Christmas 2013 (I think?), when someone posted a link to the Jetzones hardtimes/Sonic 3 Ice cap zone connection, and cited your podcast as their source. I downloaded that episode and immediately loved the format. I have since listened to every vgmpire straight through in chronological order. I don’t think the early episodes where you were just talking by yourself were as bad as you say.

    The two highest compliments I can pay your show are:
    (1) If you release an episode while I had an iPod full of unlistened-to podcasts, I’ll delete something else to immediately make space for you. It’s one of only three podcasts I’ll do this for
    (2) You are the only “Music->Talking->Music” format podcast where I DON’T skip to talking part. In fact in some episodes, the talking part greatly enhances the educational experience, such as your Plok episode. I feel like the on-topic banter sets the quality level of VGMpire above other similar podcasts I listen to.

    When I’m recommending podcasts to people, I single out your “RPG battle themes” and “DK tropical freeze AOTY” episodes as particularly good VGMpire shows, that should give them a fair indication if they’ll like the podcast in general.

    It took me a ridiculously long time to realise that you (and many guests) also work for Capcom. I think it actually wasn’t until the 24 hour Monster Hunter Livestream when I identified your voice and said in the chat “Hey you’re the VGMpire guy right?” to which your response was “Yeah, but this is a MH event, so I won’t be plugging that now.”

    I dunno do you intentionally try to avoid Capcom games so as to not seem biased, and I don’t know what you plan to do with episode 100. Very interested to see though.

    Looking over your archive, I’m not sure I really have any recommendations for future episodes. Monster Hunter has some pretty excellent music, and I could definitely recommend specific tracks across the series I feel are notable, but I feel like you’re more than well equipped in your professional capacity to do that.

    Ultimately though, I look to you to highlight music to me I haven’t heard before, not ape my own favourite musics back at me. So while a MH episode would be cool, for me personally, since I’m such a superfan (I was the “Meet the Deviljho” guy) it would probably be the most boring, haha.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to the next episode.

    • Thankya 🙂

      yeah that’s my day job, has been for some time now, but I keep things separate just so the distinction is clear. I’m the only one who’s there at this time though – Chris was for a while but not since early 2014.

      Appreciate the comment!

      • Brett,
        Is your decision to keep your job and VGMpire separate for our benefit, or your employer’s, or your own? I totally respect your choice! I just wanted to mention that since I’ve started listening to VGMpire, I’ve never once thought that you might let your employment at Capcom cause you to favor certain franchises or composers that have worked there….and I think pretty much any other listener who’s had anything to say about it has agreed. On the contrary, it is a shame that certain series won’t see coverage on your show because of where you work.

        Again, this isn’t a complaint, I totally love the show and I’d take a Capcom-less VGMpire over a VGMpire-less world any day of my life. 🙂

  10. I feel like going and playing Far Cry: Blood Dragon or Ace Combat after listening to this music, it just screams 80s/90s action, definitely wants to make me go indulge in some nostalgia. Riffing guitars and jazzy back up music? Definitely makes you want to dogfight some planes. Has Top Gun ruined us all?

  11. Never played or even knew Toshinden existed, but man that music is awesome.

    As the music played in this episode it kept making me think of other great soundtracks. I immediately was reminded of two of my favorite PS1 games. First Ehrgeiz, the 3D fighter with a bunch of Final Fantasy VII characters and Einhänder the shooter that I only enjoy with invincible cheat codes. Both had great music… well Einhänder did but I might be mis-remembering the other.

    Also some of the Toshinden music brought back memories of the Tenchi Muyo credit roll. Good times.

    Oh and the Bloody Roar series. Loved that series and wish it would get a revamp. I imagine it’s lost to the mists at this point.

    Love the show and it was the gateway drug to all the other laser time shows which I now can’t get enough of.

  12. Great episode. I have never played any of these games. But the music was great. I would definitely put these on while riding in an 88′ IROC Z.

    Thanks Brett, Chris, Dave and Henry

  13. At my high school (Lindenhurst, Long Island) there were large paintings on many of the walls in the hallways that former students could paint after school. One that always grabbed my eye was from Battle Arena Toshinden, and was a picture of Eiji.

    This was also one of the first games I bought for the PS1 at launch. Looking back, not such a great game. Should have gone with Last Bronx on the Saturn 🙂

  14. […] Unbelievably good tracks from two mid 90s brawlers. Buckle up! LISTEN NOW […]

  15. Most of the time your shows are the first introduction I’ve had to this music. Its great coding music so I’ll run your podcasts over my headphones at work until someone has to bug me of course.

    I always appreciate the discussion and introduction to the music as well. Otherwise I’d just listen to a stream which isn’t curated and isn’t as interesting.

    Now I think I need pizza.

  16. My only experience with Toshinden was on a PS1 demo disc. Sad that I missed out on such rad music. Thanks for another great episode!

  17. Oh my god this was an absolute treat! This seems like the kind of thing you would want to blast if you needed to drive white-knuckled through the night to punch your rival in the face.

  18. Great episode, I remember enjoying Toshinden 1 and immediately disliking 2 so I never even explored the music. Also, I would say “toshinden” translates into “legend of the fighting god” (or gods, Japanese nouns don’t pluralize)

  19. Sorry for the lack of comments, Brett. Doin’ my duty to please that Brett booty… wait.

    BAT 1 was huge for me as a teenager. It and Tekken were my first two games when my parents bought me a PS1 at launch. Tekken didn’t work, so the PS1 demo disk and BAT 1 were played for hours upon hours in my house. I distinctly remember loving the music above all else and I’ll never forget the day my dad watched me play it and I saw his head bobbing up and down to Rungo’s theme. I thought, “My hardass dad actually likes something with these video games!” The PS1 became the system we bonded over thanks to BAT 1 and Tekken.

    Also, my absolute favorite track was Ellis’. Damn I loved that song.

  20. Damn. Feel like I just had memories locked away by the CIA reawaken. I owned Toshinden 3 and GB, because I’m a trash monster, and I can’t forgive myself for forgetting these amazing songs. Thanks for the great work, Brett and crew!

  21. I guess I haven’t been commenting because I haven’t played almost any of the games you cover. I just love the music.

    I grew up playing PC games and I hope you get a chance to cover some of that some day. The stuff scored by Robert Holmes (Sierra Point and Click Adventures like GK1, 2 and 3) is great. He worked with his daughter for the OST of Grey Matter (Charlie Barratt gave me a feelie from it when I visited you guys back in 2010!) and it was fantastic. Sample below for anyone interested..

  22. Love the musik!! keep these awesome mix tapes coming!

    You mentioned Tobal No.1 again!… saw a copy at the local retro gaming store today.. I’ve never actually played it but looks like I’m going back for it now!

  23. I actually imported a playstation a while before it launched in the US and played the japanese version. I think some of the songs were different. I loved this game. I can remember playing it on my 55 inch rear projection television and as I recall it looked awesome for the time. I also remember wowing my friends with it when they came over. I owned the import Tekken too for more of a technical fighter but I think Toshinden stood up even then as a flashy as well as easy fighter. Thanks for another great show VGMpire.

  24. I’m commenting to state that I do listen to the podcast every time it comes out, and I look forward to hearing it every two weeks or so. Toshinden was one of the games that actually kinda got me back in to my retro-gaming mindset after I purchased it for my PS1 back in 2010. Though I totally agree it isn’t that good of a game, and the Saturn “Remix” is genuinely bad, I have some fond memories for Toshinden even as a person born the year it was released.

  25. Great music and commentary this week. I hitched my wagon to the N64 that generation, so Toshinden is a series I’ve never touched, along with many other PS1 games I would jealously browse at Blockbuster every week. It’s a shame because I loved picking up 3D fighters, and the N64 was fairly scarce with them (well, with every genre really).

    Oh and Brett, a couple weekends ago I was in Traverse City, MI and had a goal to find some cheap lil souvenir keychain or bottle opener to send you, ala your Traverse Town connection. I’ve lived in this state for 30-some years and never connected those two places. Anyway, sadly it was a group trip, and I never made it to any kitchy tourist shops to grab one. The thought was there.

  26. Hey Bret,

    Is it possible to hear the older episodes on iTunes? I so badly want to hear the earlier stuff you talk about in ep. 50, best of the best!

    Cheers from Norway, your show is awesome!

  27. Ellis them is so gooooooooooood

  28. […] back on a Toshinden-centric episode of VGMpire (yes we’re thorough) Dave brought up a funny and rather unique aspect of the bygone […]

  29. oh god i listened to this the other day and it is BY FAR my favorite episode, the music to Toshinden 2 brought back so many memories, thank you brett.
    where can i get hold of the OST??

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.