Today marks the 15th anniversary of SEGA’s Dreamcast console in Europe, and seeing as we’re in the midst of Halloween season, what better way to celebrate both than with some creepy music from a UK developed Dreamcast classic! Wacky Races is a kart racer based on the late 60s Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the same name. Developed by Infogrames Sheffield House, formerly known as Gremlin Interactive, Wacky Races could be seen as a precursor to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Sumo Digital, developer of the All-Stars Racing titles, was formed in 2003 by the former management of Infogrames Sheffield following its closure. Sumo Digital even used lessons learned in Wacky Races when developing their SEGA racing titles as revealed in a 2012 interview held by Sonic Retro with Executive Producer at Sumo Digital Steve Lycett:
Sonic Retro: The announcer is an element that people really loved or hated. I personally felt it was a welcome element to give the game some personality. What was the decision to include the announcer?
Steve Lycett: Wacky Races also featured an announcer type system that would call out for each specific character. The announcer came about for two reasons. Trav had seen SEGA Race TV and loved the concept of an announcer who commented the race, plus we wanted to make the player feel like there was more going off than they could see.
So you get this chatter that someone at the back is making a move up the field, or someone just had a really bad crash, and although it was happening and you couldn’t see it, it made it feel like it mattered. Plus… we’d done a similar thing a long time before making Wacky Races on the Dreamcast and PS2 in our previous guise as Gremlin/Infogrames Sheffield House. So we knew it could be made to work…!
It’s only fitting that the final Tuesday Tunes for Dreamcast month be about one of the Dreamcast’s legendary rhythm titles. Tonight’s track? A bombastic, jazzy little tune from Space Channel 5,You got to love when that awesome saxophone solo at the 2:55 mark, too. This is a real swinging, sexy piece of jazz that’d be absolutely great to dance to even outside of the game. Spaceport: Introducing Ulala. You got to love when that saxophone solo starts playing at the minute mark, too. This is a real swinging, sexy piece of jazz that’d be absolutely great to dance to even outside of the game. Definitely a great song to introduce one of the coolest rhythm game characters out there.
What many of you might not know is that one of Space Channel 5’s most iconic tunes wasn’t even made for the game! It’s actually a remix of an awesome song from the 1966 spy thriller movie “The Thriller Memorandum” called Mexican Flyer. The song itself is performed by Ken Woodman & His Piccadilly Brass, and the version Space Channel 5 uses seem to be ripped straight from the movie.
I don’t know what possessed Tetsuya Mizuguchi and the good people from United Game Artists to go with this as one of their game’s headline songs, but I’m glad they did. We can always use more jazz in gaming soundtracks, especially these days! Check out the original Mexican Flyer, which was also in Space Channel 5, below the fold.
When Shenmue was being hyped by SEGA as the next big step in gaming immersion, Yu Suzuki often liked to classify the game in its own genre, “Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment” or FREE. These days we tend to either call it an RPG or an adventure game, but even back then the phrase didn’t really work because it ignored one of Shenmue’s best qualities: its utterly marvelous, epic, emotional, cinematic, beautiful soundtrack. For Shenmue Week Tuesday Tunes will be doing something new: instead of posting one or two tracks, we’re posting the entire soundtrack.
The above video was put together by Shenmue Dojo. Aside from being a marvelous way to listen to the entire Shenmue soundtrack, this video was also the first request Tuesday Tunes ever received. Someone from Shenmue Dojo really wanted us to highlight it, but I knew we couldn’t just do it for any occasion. It may have taken awhile, dude, but you finally got your wish. Now please, join us as we take a musical journey through part one of Yu Suzuki’s magnum opus!
Today we’re focusing on two songs represent both ends of Adventure’s soundtrack: cheery and Genesis-esque instrumentals of “Emerald Coast” and the corny rock tunes of “It Doesn’t Matter” that would go on to become more prevalent in many later Sonic OSTs.
Emerald Coast will probably always hold a special place in my iPad for one simple reason: it was the first song I ever heard on a Dreamcast. Seeing Emerald Coast on a Target Dreamcast kiosk is what ultimately made me buy the system, and the graphics and sound played a large part in that decision. I imagine many Dreamcast owners will feel nostalgic over this track for this very same reason.
It Doesn’t Matter was my introduction to Crush40 and its brand of cheese rock. I loved this stuff when I was a teen. Even today, this song always give me a warm feeling because it’s so goddamned optimistic! As cheesy as its lyrics may be, I love the sound, and it continues to be one of my favorite Sonic vocal tracks. Back then I would listen to this a lot whenever I was feeling down, and to my surprise it still has the same effect on me today.
For me, this song is in many ways the theme song of the Dreamcast. This was SEGA’s last shot and they put everything into it. The system’s short lifespan had the greatest concentration of legendary titles in the history of gaming, at least since the onset of 3D consoles. SEGA may have given up the fight, but in many ways the Dreamcast never did. It continues to enjoy one of the most prosperous afterlifes of any console on the market.
Check out “It Doesn’t Matter” below the fold.
I thought it would be best to start out the month with something many of you may have never heard, at least not in a SEGA game. The above track is a little gem from the canceled (and subsequently leaked) SEGA Dreamcast game, Propeller Arena. We’ll be covering the game in more detail later this month, but for now I’d like to talk about the game’s soundtrack.
Propeller Arena’s soundtrack is filled to the brim of punk rock, including nine tracks from five different guest bands. I have to admit that I don’t really care for a lot of it (including many of the AM2 produced tracks), but there are definitely some gems in it that I absolutely love. The above track was composed by a “Mad Caddies”, a band I definitely intend to check out after this. Whenever I’m blasting through the game I usually try to keep it on this and one or two other tracks because it does a great job getting your blood pumping while you’re dogfighting seven other planes over cityscapes, volcanic islands and castle.
Below I’ve included another track that I discovered when I downloaded the game’s OST. I suspect it’s something I need to unlock since I can’t currently find it in the game’s options menu. I also can’t find any info of it online, so I have no idea who made it. Should I ever find out I’ll be sure to give it its own Tuesday Tune, since it is my favorite track in the OST bar none.
Please check out “Welcome to the Promised Land” below the fold.
Kolibri is a neat little cute-em up shooter from the Ecco development team Novotrade. It’s probably best described as a mix between Ecco the Dolphin and Fantasy Zone. In some levels the goal is to fly around a level to seek out and destroy enemies. In others, you need to solve an environmental puzzle to progress to the stage goal. Finally, some stages are just straight up, left-to-right scrolling shooter stages. It’s an interesting and unique game with a soundtrack to match.
The soundtrack was composed by Zsolt Dvornik, a Hungarian Jazz guitarist. It sounds reminiscent of Ecco’s soundtrack: atmospheric and subdued. Infestation has a very primal sound that goes extremely well with the game’s realistic art style and wilderness setting. Compared to the bombastic soundtrack of most other side scrolling shooters, Kolibri is a unique and wholly different beast.
There is nothing I love more in Genesis music than cheesy vocal samples, and the 32X shoot ‘em up Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 is full of them. This week on Tuesday Tunes, we’re shining the spotlight on the kickass Stage 1 music from the 32X sequel to SEGA’s arcade classic Zaxxon. While the original Zaxxon was devoid of music, like many arcade space shooters of the early 80’s the game relied solely on sound effects, select home releases of the game introduced catchy stage music. The SEGA Master System’s Zaxxon 3D, a console exclusive, was the games first true sequel (Super Zaxxon was more of an upgrade to the original game) and featured a full soundtrack of exciting music. But it was the SEGA Genesis 32X exclusive Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 that truly brought the series’ music to – as SEGA would say – the next level. Utilizing the 32X’s enhanced sound capabilities, Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 features hectic, driving stage music filled with vocal samples like “GO!”, “WOO!” and unintelligible shouting. For a game as difficult as Zaxxon for the 32X, good music goes a long way in keeping the adrenaline pumping.
After the break, jam out to Stage 2’s music.
This week on Tuesday Tunes we have a look at Virtua Racing Deluxe‘s song ‘Replay‘. Not only is this 32x port one of the best ports of the game to a console, it also has a pretty catchy soundtrack to boot.
Here we have an epic build up to a nearly nine minute song that is filled with nice dancing beats and epic saxophones that will put your ears’ in a 90’s nostalgia mood.
This is one of my favorite Virtua Racing tracks. Have you got a favorite of your own? Let us know in the comments!
Knuckles Chaotix was the black sheep Sonic game of its era. Standing as one of the few major releases for an infamous peripheral, Chaotix had strange team based game play that played with Sonic physics in a way no game has done before or since, it featured an eclectic cast of characters that stand out even by modern Sonic standards, and it didn’t even feature Sonic or Tails among them. Even so, Knuckles Chaotix does contain one element that would be very familiar to any classic Sonic fan: a spectacular soundtrack.
Speed Slider is quintessential Sonic sound, chaotic and fast. It perfectly captures the speedy nature of its stage and the colorful, cheerful atmosphere of the game itself. Despite how infamous the 32X’s sound capabilities are, Knuckles Chaotix proves what the hardware was capable of in the right hands. In the hands of the Chaotix development team, the 32X sang.
Stick with us throughout the month as we examine some other great soundtracks from the 32X!
It’s no secret that Comix Zone‘s Sketch Turner was design around a grunge rock musician. Grunge music started in the mid-1980’s in Seattle and slowly spread thanks to labels like Sub Pop. It didn’t become commercially successful until the first half of the 90’s thanks to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and of course Stone Temple Pilots.
Howard Drossin, the composer behind the soundtrack for Comix Zone put a band together called ‘Road Kill’ (named after Turner’s pet rat and humble side kick).