Hatsune Miku and friends have sung many songs throughout their history, but none are more exciting than the SEGA inspired tunes that are featured in the franchise’s games. The 2010 arcade game Project DIVA Arcade featured the MEIKO Vocaloid voice (a voice provided by the Japanese female singer Meiko Haigō) singing lyrics over the theme to After Burner – a SEGA arcade classic. The video above features Hatsune Miku, despite the MEIKO voice. But can you blame us? It’s Miku! But in fairness to Vocaloids everywhere, we’re featuring MEIKO after the break. Happy listening!
Entries in Tuesday Tunes Category
Like my previous Tuesday Tunes entry, which focused on the music of Ghostbusters, this week’s tune comes from another favorite SEGA Genesis game from my childhood: Dick Tracy. Like Ghostbusters, Dick Tracy has the unfortunate distinction of being one of those awful titles… for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The SEGA Genesis version is a completely different game developed in-house by SEGA, and bears several similarities to the popular Shinobi franchise, which leads me to believe that the game was developed by the same team. But enough about the gameplay, I’ll save that for my eventual review, let’s talk about the music.
Ghostbusters for the SEGA Genesis is a game that holds a very special place in my heart. During Christmas 1991 I received my Model 1 SEGA Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog bundled in, and from that point forward I was a SEGA fan. Owning a Genesis also meant that a whole world of games opened up to me, and since the console was a little over two years old, I spent much of 1992 buying up games I had missed out on. Buying games in the early ’90′s was tough. Nowadays we have instant access to the internet, so it’s easy to spot a game on the shelf, Google search reviews, and make the decision to purchase. Back in ’92 all I had to go by was the box art and the few screenshots provided on the back. Being a huge fan of both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters, it only made sense for me to seek out the Genesis titles those franchises provided, and boy did I strike gold.
As some of you may remember, we’ve covered Sakura Taisen on Tuesday Tunes before, featuring music from both the game itself and its stage show incarnations. As a musical theatre buff myself, I am extremely jealous of Japanese fans for the dozens of Sakura Taisen related stage shows they’ve had over the years. After all, the closest thing us westerners have gotten to a proper SEGA related stage show is that awful Sonic musical from Australia.
A Sakura Taisen stage show is rather fitting though, given that the game itself stars performers who actively sing and dance on stage. The above video is from the 2003 Shichifukujin show, which features all the voice actors from the Sakura Taisen video games and anime reprising their roles on stage. From what I’ve seen of the show it looks pretty cool, and the performers themselves are definitely talented.
The song “Kimi Yo Hana Yo” was originally composed by Kouhei Tanaka for the end credits of Sakura Wars 4. The stage version features all of the games voice actors reprising their roles as members of Flower Division, including Akio Suyama as Captain Ichirou Oogami and Chisa Yokoyama as titular character Sakura Shinguji.
Check below the fold for the version of the song featured in the game!
Planet Sonata is probably my favorite stage in Ristar. The first stage has you carrying metronomes to song birds and gradually activating the instruments for the stage’s background music. It all culminates in the stage’s boss fight, which attacks you to the rhythm of this theme! Planet Sonata is a perfect example of what makes Ristar special: it’s creative, unique, and introduces gimmicks and elements that are then discarded for the rest of the game in favor of other gimmicks.
If the early stages of Ristar don’t grab you, I would encourage you to at least try to stick around until Planet Sonata
I really wanted to feature a track from an Ecco game this week. I thought about featuring tracks from the Genesis or Dreamcast games, but I’d really like to save those for something else later in the year. So I’ve decided to go with something from the SEGA CD!
The Ecco series is renowned for its amazing, atmospheric soundtracks and the SEGA CD tracks from Spencer Nilsen are no exception. These tracks are absolutely beautiful and go so far as to sample sounds from actual aquatic animals to compliment the game’s atmosphere. The quality of this music should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Nilsen’s work on SEGA CD. He was the same man who produced Sonic CD’s spectacular soundtrack.
To make up for a few weeks of inactivity, I’ve decided to feature another track from the game below. It’s too short to warrant its own Tuesday Tune, but serves as a nice compliment to Motion E. It’s called “The Machine”. Check it out below the fold.
The onset of a new year will inevitably brings new experiences. Though a healthy amount of fear for new experiences never hurts, do not let it control you. Embrace the experiences of the coming year and embrace the challenges that you will face. Do not fear failure, because nothing is worse then simply refusing to try.
And if you are having an especially bad day, play a Dreamcast!
As we near Christmas day, I knew a festive Tuesday Tunes was in order. The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is filled with great wintery tunes, but I felt Sonic has been covered far too much on Tuesday Tunes (and for a good reason, Sonic music is awesome!). Christmas NiGHTS would be perfect, but it’s too obvious. Shenmue‘s Christmas tunes would be perfect, but we’ve aleady covered them. And that’s when it hit me, Sonic Team’s Ristar has an excellent winter tune. The game’s fifth stage, Planet Freon, is a planet made entirely of ice and snow. But you won’t find Imperial Walkers and Wampas on this ice planet, instead you’ll find downhill skiing and a bizarre alien enemy chucking snowballs. The music for the first portion of the stage begins almost as if you’re about to hear Jingle Bells, but what follows is a catchy tune with solid drum beats and a peppy tune perfectly suitable for a winter wonderland. So as the sun goes down on this Christmas eve, why not revisit this SEGA Genesis classic? It’s the best present you can give yourself.
The goal of any good video game soundtrack is to compliment the atmosphere and improve the immersion. As far as I’m concerned, few soundtracks accomplish this better then Panzer Dragoon Orta’s. Given that it’s Christmas time, it seems only fitting that we feature a track from a snow level, Orta’s lonely, beautiful Eternal Glacies. Much like the level itself, the track is beautiful, subdued and majestic.
Praising SEGA arcade games for their spectacular music is kind of like applauding a cat for being furry: it’s just something you come to expect. So really, the superb quality of Fantasy Zone’s soundtrack should not shock anybody. It’s happy, laid back and a joy to listen to.
The definitive Fantasy Zone soundtrack is probably the music from Super Fantasy Zone, the obscure Genesis-only sequel to the series. A lot of people tend to insult the Mega Drive’s sound capabilities, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the machine was capable of some sick tunes, SFZ being a prime example. Though not technically an arcade game, SFZ’s soundtrack has all the trappings of a classic SEGA arcade OST, making it worth a listen to any SEGA music connoisseur.