Search This Blog

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Favorite Tunes #22: SNES Music

The SNES, what is widely viewed as the greatest Nintendo console of all time is 21 years old today. To celebrate, I'm featuring nothing but SNES music in this installment of Favorite Tunes. On top of having a library of fantastic-looking and playing games, the SNES had some out of this word audio capabilities.

Mega Man 7 takes a lot of heat. It's sprites a huge, which makes some of the precision platforming from the 8-bit games more difficult. But even so, this one is still one of my favorite Mega Mans. The Robot Museum stage is an arrangement of three robot master stage themes, Snake Man, Guts Man and Heat Man. The track starts out with Snake Man's theme, quickly moves into Guts Man's theme, transfers to Heat Man and finally goes back to Snake Man's intro before it loops. 

This isn't my favorite Final Fantasy, but it is one of my favorites. It has my favorite Main Theme/World Map theme of any Final Fantasy game. Final Fantasy IV was originally released as Final Fantasy II in America in 1992 but this has since been corrected to it's original numbering. I didn't play this one until early 1998 and even then, it's story and especially the music mesmerized me. Since the random encounter rate is quite high in this game, I had to stay still a number of times to hear this beautiful theme in it's entirety.

Beware the Forest Mushrooms - Super Mario RPG

Before Square jumped ship to swim over to the side of Sony in the late 1990s, they gave the SNES one final RPG sendoff, Mario-style. All enemies can be seen on the field, meaning some battles can be avoided. But battles were more than just button mashing affairs. The use of timed hits let you deal out more damage or take less damage if you pressed the buttons at the right moments. Throw in a catchy musical score by the brilliant minds of Yoko Shimomura, Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu and you have an RPG that even those that aren't fans of the genre can get into. The name of this track, actually carries quite a literal meaning to it. Some of the mushrooms come alive and attack. You can pick up some of the mushrooms that you see in the forest, and while some of theme are good, some are poisonous.

Sand Ocean - F-Zero

A thrilling sensation of speed thanks to superb mode-7 effects made F-Zero a racing game to remember. It might seem bare bones compared to the sequels, but this one still plays quite well. You may be wondering why Sand Ocean is here instead of Mute City. Mute City is an awesome track. In many ways, it's the theme of the F-Zero series. But Sand Ocean never seems to get enough love.

Thunder - Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen

Years ago I made the bonehead decision to trade int he PlayStation version of Ogre Battle. So when I saw it was available on the Wii's Virtual Console service, I thought that would be the best way to pick it up without having to fork over an insane amount of cash for a single cart. Annnnd I still haven't gotten around to playing it. But the brief time I spent with the PSone version was enough to get Thunder stuck in my head. The PSone version sounds more fleshed out, but I can still dig the SNES version.

Metropolis - SimCity

One of the reasons the SNES version of SimCity is such a standout game is the music. Soyo Oka put together a score that made each evolutionary stage of the city you're building and managing feel very unique. When you begin breaking ground on your city, you're given a very humble, almost lonely tune. Once you get a sizable amount of people living in your city, you get Metropolis, a track that perfectly demonstrates the busy, on the go nature of city life.

Factory - Sonic Blast Man

Originally an arcade beat 'em up, Sonic Blast Man was ported to the SNES in 1992. While I can appreciate Sonic Blast Man's Super Sentai homages, this isn't my first choice for a SNES beat 'em up game. The levels tend to drag on and on. And seriously, what kinda super hero wears boxing gloves? It isn't a terrible game, but it really isn't a good one either. But I will defend the game's soundtrack to the death.

Remains of a Factory - Chrono Trigger

Yasunori Matsuda proved he was a music composing genius with Chrono Trigger's soundtrack. There are dozens of memorable tracks in the game so I thought I'd go with one that seems to go under the radar. Your trip to the future takes you to the year 2300 A.D. 300 years after Lavos wreaked havoc on the world. As you can guess, the world is very bleak and the remaining survivors are just barely surviving.

Sanctuary Dungeon - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

It isn't hard to see why the third entry in the Zelda series (going by release, not the convoluted timeline) is such a fan favorite. The story is more involving than the previous games, the set of weapons and items you collect (Hookshot!) are extremely useful and the despite not having nearly as many tracks as later entries, the soundtrack is still held in high regard. Sanctuary Dungeon makes me wish there were more dungeons in the Light World. A mere three compared to the Dark World's seven.

Stickerbrush Symphony - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Called Super Kong Kong 2 in Japan, the second game in the Donkey Kong Country SNES trilogy is considered to be the peak of the series by many. David Wise wrote the entire score this time around and like the previous game, it does not disappoint. How do you help a player relax when they are surrounded by thorns for an entire level? Play the relaxing tune known as Stickerbush Symphony. 


Adam said...

I love all of CT's music

Tom Badguy said...

Same here. Chrono Trigger had one of the best OSTs.

Chris Clash said...

The bass in Metropolis is so cool.