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Retronauts Episode 99: Snatcher LP, Final Fantasy Brass de Bravo, and more

Update: 2017-05-15
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The latest Retronauts Radio features an extended look at the new soundtrack release of Hideo Kojima's legendary SEGA CD adventure Snatcher, the latest Brass de Bravo Final Fantasy album, Taito on TG16, and more!

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this week into knots he may owe killed The Video Star the the Everyone Welcome to Episode ninety nine of retro nuts this is Jerry Parrish and this week I'm flying solo it's another retro not radio episode and I'm going to make good on a promise last time I spoke with Jackman horn we talked exclusively about game soundtracks have been released on vinyl and vinyl is kind of a premium marketing kind of a collector's market and I want reference radio to be more accessible going to look and one vinyl release which is a good one but also several retro game music releases that are freshly out and won't cost you an arm and leg in fact a few of them are available for just a few dollars online rather than believer the point I was going to jump right into the the uh the uh uh the the the the The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The start with let's look at by far the most impressive and most eagerly anticipated release for this month which is the soundtrack to snatch or from ship to shore media the the the stature of course was a graphical adventure released on several platforms to the Sega CD version the only person ever least in the US are released in English officially it's a pretty significant release in several senses for one thing as far as I know it's the first full album release of any studio cogent game on vinyl I know there was a single from Metal gear solid five released as a lease is a Record Store Day exclusive couple of years ago but this is a full album it's to appease thirty three rpm so you know it's about eighty minutes worth of music as far as I know it's also the first time stature soundtrack has been available as an official American release has seen several soundtrack releases three years on CD but only in Japan and those are hard to come by quite as expensive as the game but listening to the game's soundtrack has until now been a pretty pricey prospect shores release is not cheap because it's on vinyl but still much more affordable than actually buying the game which are pretty hot commodities given their nature and the fanaticism of code in the fan last I mention that stature had been released on several platforms to the years the game actually debuted as an IM SX computer game I believe it was a PC eighty and then finally ported to Sega CD I think that version was converted later Sega Saturn and PlayStation again only the Sega CD version came to the US and it stands as one of the high water marks not only of game design but also of localization for the sixteen and thirty two bit era and given its place in Keokuk him of repertoire really kind of the first game that showed off his designing creative sensibilities coming immediately after Metal gear the original Metal gear and so much more sophisticated advanced game because of that I think it's really become a huge collector's item you know given the importance of coaching in the videogame industry and the significance of his works in the medium stature holds a pretty important place and so therefore is highly coveted also doesn't help thinking about for Sega CD was released in very vanishing quantity is such a rare game that Holt a lot of imports and is very expensive these days it'll cost you two three four hundred dollars If you want the privilege of playing it which is a lot of money to spend just to listen to a soundtrack so having the double LP release for like thirty bucks is in my opinion a much better way to go about the the the the uh the the the Spurs I know the Snatchers soundtrack release here is not a direct adaptation of any existing soundtrack that can Army has released in Japan ship to Shore has converted some existing CD to LP for the US mother to particularly where that way but this I think combines several different soundtrack releases again this is all Sega CD music and because of Sega this base nature the soundtrack itself was kind of a hybrid there were a lot of chip tunes you know produced by the internal Sega CD Sega Genesis processor but they're also a lot of streaming tunes the streaming tunes the live performances basically were released as a separate soundtrack in Japan called Snatchers uhm tracks so basically you have the entirety of the snatch or Sega CD Original soundtrack and the Snatchers uhm tracks album in this one collection so in my opinion it's a great value the sound quality is excellent and the music itself is phenomenal it's all very much of its time an era you know in terms of kind of sophistication for video game soundtracks of the era really ranks way up there with quinoa like E's book one into four for turbo CD so the music holds up really well and I like the way that ship to Shore has kind of shuffled around the track listing so it's not just like a clump of zoom tracks and then a clump of chip tunes kind of a kind of shuffle things around mixed and matched so you get a variety and it doesn't sound too one point like you go with the tunes for a while and then it switches over to live performances on the whole really excellent soundtrack really is pretty reasonably priced for a game and soundtrack selection that is pretty hard to come by so a really worthwhile release image and stature was a graphical adventure you haven't played before which is pretty likely given its scarcity it's not like Metal gear an action game there are some very very brief action sequences but it really is a graphical adventure very much in the style of you know the sort of the sort of format that was really popular in Japan early after you she hurries part O P a serial case sort of blew the door open for graphical adventures and cons holes this is very much in that style where you have sort of a first person perspective when you look around and search different elements on the screen and look for clues it's very story driven very pretty linear I would say but the combination nice graphics great music excellent voice acting are written English language script and a derivative but enjoyable story make for a really great the the only action sequences it's been awhile since I played but the only action sequences I can remember are the occasional encounters with the eponymous Snatchers which are robots designed to look like humans that are gone does or can or causing incidents all over neo Kobe you occasionally have to get into shootouts in areas with them and that the game did support a light gun on Sega CD but you can also play without and just select with the controller a grid of the TV screen to fire on the enemy so those only times there's any fast action and stature otherwise it's very very a methodical game very deliberately paced very narrative focused very character driven you can really if you look at this in the context of coach his work you can really see a lot of his ideas and a lot of his thoughts about game design starting to emerge there's one particular part I won't spoil it but it also plays with the idea of sound and breaks the fourth wall and a very and sly way so it's it's a very code McKenna game if you haven't had the chance to play in the you ever do have the chance to check it out I strongly recommended I hope it's a re release someday but until then you least enjoy the soundtrack the so this first track is the first track on the album called bio hazard which is from the is in cuts on this album are all remakes of chip tunes from the original in the sex and PC eighty to one versions of the game to see Nini door but they've all been you know embellished and performed by sort of an inept leader that could make a k a club in house band for a kind of higher quality sound said there are much richer recordings and productions in arrangements that were version of the game by hazardous or the opening of the game and as you can hear there's a heavy guitar element that shares with a synthesizer and something unique about it is the the I feel the drum rhythm it kind of veers between a lion hot drum sound which is really sort of in common to the ladies were This was created you know does occasionally kind of with some of the Trump will switch over to them the sharper cleaner gated snare eighty sow that was more typical there is this kind of like element of some quite heavy rock not quite jazz but a little bit of fusion music which I guess was pretty common on in video game competitions and among video game composers of this period so again it really does feel like a product its time but it's great and the the live recording quality of this the streaming audio quality of this allowed the integration of eerie sound effects and things like that that word is only possible hardware so it kind of embellish is the sort of suspense in the other worldliness of this music it's really successful I think in sort of reinventing Snatchers audience the the uh the the uh the uh the the the uh uh second track on the album one night in neo Kobe city which has more of a typical late eighties sound lots of staccato synthesizers and tune synthesized percussion I like that there are these sparingly played electric piano looks in the background and that combined with live saxophone sound I mean if I were to me of any particular kind of music I would immediately point to the bubblegum Crisis soundtrack from the Autumn a bubblegum Crisis which maybe is not a coincidence because the bubblegum Crisis like stature much very heavily influenced by the movie blade Runner took place in the near future Japanese setting involve is the two games have a lot in common totally they're very different but I guess you probably shouldn't be surprised that some of the music kind of a lot of commonality between the soundtrack in the bubblegum Crisis soundtrack The The The The The The rather than go through this entire album in the order of the track listings I'm actually going to break it up the way the ship to shore did not talk mostly about the zoom tracks the the the the the actor won eight in New City the album actually switches over to several chip tune pieces and it's not until track six that you get to another live performance and others in track and its twilight of new Kobe city near Kobe City the location the look how where stature takes place and that's kind of importing usually Japanese monger may take place in Tokyo or sometimes Osaka but everything in stature takes place in near Kobe which is not probably not coincidentally work on Army's headquarters was located well in the original Kobe City I think they moved away after the Kobe earthquake but up until the point that was where a lot of their game development and production complex the the Kobe city has a piano melody and it sounds almost like casting nets as the percussion and it builds into a string arrangement is a really great read passage toward the end and occasionally get like these the intrusion of something sounds like bass pedals so there's a lot of different things happening in this track but it doesn't feel messy more like a typical video game loop theme but it's it's very lengthy it has several iterations of the loop and each time you hear an iteration of it but Governor iteration of the loop it sounds distinct from the previous time it has a different texture different character The The The The so it's kind of example of what game Rangers composers were able to do you know with the technology in the space afforded to them with the CD ROM format so this album really does kind of play up the nature of of the revolutionary that was CD ROM will be talking a lot about the rubs the next episode of retro dots but we really talk about stature that one but the soundtrack I think really kind of drives home what that meant for people who were creating games of the The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The B side has two notable live tracks and those are the most natural part one and the most natural part to these two pieces despite being having the know like a common title and being listed as Part one Part two are completely different from another part one very heavily focused on drum machines there's that kind of eighties dance synthesizer back the like think you know the FM or something the kind of plays out in sort of lays down the tone of the rhythm for the track before the primary melody kicks and Andy also have these kind of slightly out of tune female vocal samples being thrown in it's kind of high a little bit unsettling tracking the The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The but then you get to the nest after part two which plays a kind of bookends these two tracks bookends that the side of the album and stature part two is a completely different piece of music even though it has some some thematic elements in common with team of stature and also with the the opening theme has a very languid pace first there's this slowed deep drum line and piano melody they set up a sort jazz synthesizer rhythm guitar these elements growing forces new elements into the mix eventually you get more that live drum sound you get these stains strings or pseudo sustain synthesizers that sound like strings this piece really reminds me of outcomes GK band and music in particular a created for the game Brand ish which is a soundtrack that I love so don't get me wrong it's a great thing but it feels that this track feels completely different team of stature part was the hung the the uh another sort zoom Track Edition is a toward the end of the D side of the album readily into the record which is called Beyond that accompanies a character's death I want to spoil anything but a statement to be a sad theme sort of toward the end of the game as a key character passes away and it's a kind of a quintessential late eighties emotion instrumental it's a slow paced in a common ties trying really hard to sound a little bit like an electric guitar after a kind of you know does that emotional plucking at your heartstrings staying eventually kicks into a faster tempo as it reaches its climax the and then finally the last last of the notables in tracks is tear stained eyes the very upbeat sounding name for the credits team the the The The The The The The The and this is not actually asserted sad as beyond sorrows more like adult oriented pop and it's maybe just a smidge on the cheese the uh it's not as bad as I am the wind from Castle be a symphony the night but it's definitely kind of plowing that same for overall the album feels a little bit like it has kind of a split personality thanks to all the different kinds of incidental music was the zoom tracks I think all kind of feel like they are of the piece even there's a lot and the sound of these pieces but Side be inside see have a lot of incidental music inside e also that probably could have been left out like if you want to pare this down to a single record there is sort of incidental music and sort of environmental music that's not all that exciting to listen to I think it works pretty well in the context of this album because of the way the track listing is shuffled around so you get sort of like the more contemplative tracks and the slower atmospheric tracks mixed around with some of the more energetic pieces melodic character themes and really I would say very little of it is truly and there's only one track that feels jarring or out of place and that cited the track too and called Mary X Miss neo Kobe City The The The The The The The Eye The basically needs version of tune version of jingle bells and I probably would put this someplace on the album like at the end of aside because it's very like having jingle bells the melody him and missed all those other kind of distracting it feels a lil it's not like a cheesy version of jingle bells or anything but it's very recognizable as a holiday jingle and it's very it was alot of place and in this particular soundtrack settings so I'm not crazy about where it's placed you can just skip past the track and honoring the the if I were to divide up to categorize the music in snatch or I'd probably break it down by a few different categories addition to the zoom tracks they're sort of scenic themes at exploring and doing the graphical adventure type stuff exploring a scene there the character themes and or the action themes and all of these kind of how of their own kind of vibe like they all kind of again kind of feel of the piece with one another the first chip to track you hear is one of the atmospheric pieces it's called junk reach you jokers being sort of like the blade runner's of staffers world Snatchers are the cyborg jokers are the detectives who are assigned to cases involving stature crime Junker HQ is the first chip to track on the album it does a good job of carrying forward the general atmosphere of the first two tracks even though those are live to zoom tracks it doesn't really have there is a dominant bass effect and but it's very atmospheric and I will you know if you stop and listen to these chip two tracks remember that they are on Sega Genesis which is Sega Genesis same same hardware and that the sound chip on the Sega Genesis I think is always a little bit controversial but as we've seen with data discs in their second Genesis releases the Sega Genesis was capable of producing some excellent sound some excellent music and I think they add that the compositions in snatch or do a great job of building up atmospheres that don't really sound like anything else that you hear on Sega Genesis it's not nearly as cold as you tend to associate with weapons and the sound so you have to be really impressed with the quality and the tone of the music in this album even when it's not the live compositions the zoom tracks instilled like they're still great quality to it and again this shows that as with anything the quality of a Sega Genesis Sega CD soundtrack really rested in the hands of the composers and the programmers and depended on their ability to make the most of the soundtrack and the hardware the The The The The the the the music in this third the atmospheric tracks work a lot better in the context of a game like those cavern is an electronic music pretty subdued it has version called decadence be a little more of a drum element it The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The but it's still pretty subdued still kind of like stuff that sort of fades into the background likewise the interest outer Heaven that track club in in the first of the references and he'll coach his work there's a nightclub called outer Heaven based duo named after the the enemy base the
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Retronauts Episode 99: Snatcher LP, Final Fantasy Brass de Bravo, and more