SEGA Tunes Vol.4 “Making Arcades Friendly”

Before we start playing the tunes we’ve prepped for you this week, here is a quote from the Suzuki Sama

“The bad kids would be hanging around the game center, playing games.

Video games were a mother’s enemy. That was the image then — “mother’s enemy” — because kids would stop studying.

I wanted to eradicate that.

 I wanted to change the dark, underground image of kids smoking and gathering in dark rooms playing games. I wanted to give it a lively image, bringing gaming to a brighter place — from inside to outside, darker to lighter place. But, you have to change the consumer. The people who play games in dark places will always play games in dark places.

So we had to attract people who would play games in bright places. In other words, I wanted to make games for a new market.

Here I thought Blue Skies in Games Started With Sonic.

So the first game Yu Suzuki made for his noble quest was Hang-On (running on the Space Harrier Hardware; surprisingly, his next game). For Hang-On you had to climb onto a motorcycle and play in front of everyone. That was a new experience, for a new market. He was told that people wouldn’t play the game because they’d be too shy. But it turned out that everyone, even girls in skirts, played that game. So that made the game centers a much more lively place.

Hang on wasn’t just the first of its kind cause it featured a bike, but it was the first game to feature music. An Epic Tune Composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi, in fact. While Hang-On doesn’t hold up all that well against the test of time, the catchy tune makes it a lot more enjoyable than it is today; that, and it’s a great way to pass time while searching for sailors in Shenmue.

YouTube Artist  has done a really fantastic job of the classic and he has got gameplay footage from it as well, check it out it is a must.

When it comes to covering classic tracks, no one does it as often as OC Remix, so is there really any surprise that they are on our playlist again? This one is done by Ryu7x, it is nice and all but I prefer Guidorch’s cover over this.

Next up on Suzuki’s noble quest was Space Harrier (running on hardware off the same name). Initially the game was supposed to feature the French Fighter Jet “Harrier”, however the graphics weren’t techincally advanced and play testing showed that people preferred it more with a human, as was revealed by Mark Cerny and Yu Suzuki at GDC this year.

This classic tune was composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi and Tokuhiko Uwabo.

This tune was performed live by SST Band, what is SST Band you ask?

The S.S.T.BAND (S.S.T.バンド- translated as S.S.T. bando, SST the acronym to Sega Sound Team(1988-1989) or Super Sonic Team(1989-1993)) was Sega’s official band from 1988 to 1993, specializing in rock versions of soundtracks of Sega’s arcade games, for collection albums and playing in festivals. Consisting of six members, the band featured keyboardist Kimitaka Matsumae and Hiroshi Miyauchi, guitarists Koichi Namiki and Jouji Iijima, bassist Shingo Komori, drummer Takehiko Tanabe. Miyauchi and Komori would leave the band in 1990 and be replaced by keyboardist Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, bassist Masato Saito. Tanabe would leave the band in 1991 and be replaced by drummer Hisanori Kumamaru.

The tune was also remixed for use in Platinum Games’ Bayonetta.

In my opinion this is the best cover of it though, as I am all for melodies.

Tune in next week for more Tunes from Yu Suzuki games.


6 responses to “SEGA Tunes Vol.4 “Making Arcades Friendly”

  1. Centrale says:

    I'm not sure what you mean by Hang-On being the first game to feature music…? Hang-On does have great music but there were lots of games before it with memorable music too.

    Also, to me, the quintessential blue sky is the one in the first stage of Outrun.

  2. "Here I thought Blue Skies in Games Started With Sonic."

    Seriously? You didn't play SEGA games before Sonic?

  3. cube_b3 says:

    @ Emmett: It was a joke.

    @ Centrale: Yu Suzuki said that at GDC this year.

  4. "@ Emmett: It was a joke"

    I don't get it.

  5. cube_b3 says:

    I was joking that "Blue Skies" didn't exist prior to Sonic.

  6. cube_b3 says:

    fixed some editing issues.

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