Daytona and Crazy Taxi music… on the Master System!

I jumped onto YouTube to look up some Master System music and came across these three examples of awesomeness from otobeya.

From the description and listening to them, it looks like he’s used the Master System’s PSG audio chipset to play back some amazingly good approximations of “King of Speed” and “Sky High” from Daytona (the tracks from the Beginner and Advanced tracks respectively):

King of Speed

Sky High

It was actually this cover of The Offsrping’s “All I Want” (infamous in nerd circles for being the first track that fires up for Crazy Taxi’s attract mode and the starting track for getting into the game proper) that I first found when hunting for compilations:

All I Want

I absolutely love these instances of retroactively dialing back more modern tracks and running them on old hardware 🙂 If you enjoyed the above, be sure to check out his channel – plenty of good stuff in there 🙂

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Chucking a beachie in Whyalla while listening to chiptunes

whyalla

There’s nothing more country and masculine than chucking a beachie in Whyalla. Especially when listening to chiptunes. Specifically the PSG chiptunes from Wonderboy 3 on the Master System.

I can’t say I’ve done a lot of that in the past, though when I was a kid I remember hooking up my parent’s trusty woodgrain TV to the audio-input of my mini hifi to grab the audio off my consoles, which were hooked up to the TV via RF. Sure the quality was all sorts of awful and a bit hit and miss if the game didn’t have a soundtest, but hey – chiptunes on the run 🙂 These tapes would then be used for killing time in the car for family holidays. My younger brother Tank also appreciated these 😀

As the generations moved on, redbook audio meant it was a little easier to get your video game music on the fly, and of course we’re now in a world where we have direct access to imported OSTs from Japan and my phone doubles as a media player.

So, it was a wonderful mix of old and new last weekend – listening to Wonderboy 3 via an iPhone in a car whilst doing laps of the local haunts. All for no reason.

Thanks to Tank for the local tour 🙂

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Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” in SID form

I’m quite comfortable admitting that I love Journey in all their cheesy arena rock spectacularity, so I’m understandably chuffed that someone hooked up two SID chips and brought Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” to life, C64-style.

Isn’t that all sorts of awesome? You can indulge in more 80s covers at kevinleerose’s channel. It’s okay, you’re allowed to admit to enjoying 80s arena rock.

And while we’re at it (on the topic of SID covers), I should also post this one up – it’s “Title Theme (Subsong 2)” from the C64 port of Turrican:

Yes, for those playing at home, that is an amazing SID track by the great Chris Hülsbeck… but it is actually a cover of the epic “The Escape” by Vince DiCola, from the animated spectacular of 1986 – Transformers: The Movie.

Fun fact – for our first X-mas, Wifey bought me the OST of Transformers: The Movie. Yes, she’s that awesome.

Oh, and if the name Chris Hülsbeck sounds familiar, its because he was a master of the SID. His original title track for R-Type on the C64 was also the inspiration for the first (and only :P) remix I’ve put together, which I posted up two years ago. I should get around to making a video for that with me failing horribly on R-Type or something and post it on YouTube. If nothing else, it’ll be funny 🙂

This post has turned into a gushing love-fest for the SID. This is a good thing. I blame it on Frank for getting me started on thinking about SID music after my previous post. But it’s the good kind of blame, because every time you listen to a SID, the world becomes a better place.

Truly.

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Driving home to the sounds of Outrun Online Arcade

outrun-online-arcade

The other day I hopped in the car to head home from work and had a conundrum – I’d finished catching up on the last round of Retronauts podcasts and wasn’t sure what to listen to on the way home. So before turning the key I took a quick look through my playlist, saw Outrun Online Arcade, and thought, “Why not?”.

Turns out it was a great choice. There’s more than a hint of spring in the air, so I wound down my windows to let some fresh air in and listened to the golden, joyous remixes and original tracks from Outrun Online Arcade (which is basically Outrun 2/2006 but in HD with online play [that nobody plays anymore :(]).

So, inspired by this, I went through my Saturn games over the weekend just passed to add some redbook audio from a few games to the playlist – Daytona USA, Sega Touring Car and Sonic R (with that Richard Jacques magic) made the cut, then to mix it up I added in a few others, including Asuka 120% Limited – Burning Fest. Limited, Virtua Fighter Kids and (don’t laugh!) Keio Yugekitai – Katsugeki Hen.

The latter definitely put a smile on my face on the way in to the office. It reminds me I should fire it up some time soon for another round, it’s such an amazing little gem of a title.

Actually, this whole rant suggests I should do a dedicated post (or perhaps a couple of dedicated posts) on the joys of redbook audio in the 16-bit and 32-bit eras. Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll get around to it at some stage!

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Unofficial piano nocturne – themes from Streets of Rage or Street Fighter on the piano

A while ago I grabbed the piece of awesome that is Sega Piano Nocturne – as the world’s worst piano player despite loving the instrument dearly, I absolutely loved hearing a lot of my favourite Sega tracks rolled into the piano and bring out some really interesting melodies from some great tunes. I think there should be more piano renditions of classic chiptunes and game themes, I absolute love a good arranged version of a classic song from a game. Because I’m a tragic nerd 😀

Anywho, after checking out some footage of Yuzo Koshiro doing his thing in a Tokyo night club, I did the usual click-click-click-click YouTube thing you normally do to see what other Streets of Rage stuff was on there, and I stumbled across the following – it’s from the third stage in Streets of Rage 2:

Awesome, huh? The same user (Yuzoboy) has an upload playing the ending theme to Streets of Rage 2 which was really cool… but again, YouTube/Web2.0 strikes again, and I found the following interpretation of the ending theme from Streets of Rage 2:

This one’s from mymorningjackets, and is an amazing, bittersweet piece of awesome, lead by piano with a bit of classical guitar thrown in for good measure. There are also a couple of other great interpretations in his list, so might have to come back to him in a later post after I’ve had a chance to check out his blog.

So, with all things “street” on my mind, I started seeing results for Street Fighter 2 gear on the piano! Here are a handful of videos I found that I thought were worth a look into!

First up we have Ken’s theme from SF2 – this one’s a pretty “standard” interpretation of the song without too much embellishment, but you know what? It’s still played beautifully and with more skill than I can ever dream of having when I sit down at my piano 😀 Plus, given how awesome Ken is (yes, I’m a Ken scrub!), it’s all good 🙂

The day my mate McAdam and I accidentally unlocked the vocal theme of Sakura’s song (in Japanese at that!) on the PAL version of Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo on the Saturn was a glorious day, because she has such an amazing theme song (I got goosebumps playing through Sakura’s story in SF4 with her theme recurring throughout!), and this one’s a great version of her theme. Nothing’s embellished, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember, Sakura is awesome. Very important fact.

If Ryu’s theme doesn’t go down in the history of awesome of chiptunage, there’s something wrong with the world. If need be we can get rid of Sephiroth’s theme, as that’s starting to annoy me, but that’s because I’m an irrational fan of Phantasy Star and have yet to play through a Final Fantasy game based purely on principle. The exception to this is Final Fantasy III on the DS, which I really enjoyed (thanks Hamez!), and Final Fantasy IX always looked fun, as did FFVI. Anywho, enough of that – Rastapulse is responsible for the above, and I’ll be referencing him again too, as his interpretation of Ryu’s theme is brilliant. There’s a deliberate slowing of the tempo and some great phrasing in there – very expressive, and the little intro/outro he’s added is cool!

Fun fact – I used the melody of Cammy’s theme in an early megamix I made when I was first learning how to program stuff in a MIDI-sequencer. It was actually completely rubbish, but good fun at the time. MIDI sequencing programs confuse me now, I was quite happy with Evolution MIDI back in the day, it was choice. Now, if I was able to program something akin to the above on the aforementioned program, I would have been much more proud of myself. Akin to the Ryu theme that Rastapulse was responsible for above, this one’s slowed the tempo and emphasised the melody really nicely – again, great phrasing and execution. I haven’t checked out the rest of the material in his YouTube channel yet, so might have to get onto that later.

Last one – Guile’s theme, and I left this until last as it has elements from each of the styles I’ve linked to, with some of it emphasising 1:1 phrasing compared to the original with lotsa piano-passion, and then there are other moments where the melody’s been played around with a bit of artistic license and takes on the languishing character of the themes Rastapulse did above with just the right amount of melodrama to make things interesting.

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