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Author Topic: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series  (Read 1242 times)

PresidentLeever

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Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« on: October 29, 2020, 11:37:40 am »
Hey everybody. Doing these (one year at a time) over at gamefaqs right now, and will cover sega and nintendo systems separately up until and including the 5th gen probably. Join us!

We're now moving into the 16-bit era for the Sega series (the SMS polls are still going on that system's board in case you missed them):
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/916377-genesis/79068774

Nintendo one is currently at 1987:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/916386-nes/79070941

If you just want to post about your fave OSTs for each system you can do that here too.
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Jorpho

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 12:00:56 pm »
Do you get a lot of people questioning the point of trying to slice these things up into such narrow categories?
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PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 01:33:11 pm »
Only you so far, why?

And I didn't try, I did! ;) The maint point is to highlight more hidden gems per year and show more of the diversity in how a particular sound chip was used, which I couldn't really do in the general poll over at the Classic Gaming board as people wanted it to be about the most popular games and/or ones that they grew up playing.
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FAST6191

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 01:52:30 pm »
Is Streets of Rage not featured to give some others a chance?

PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 03:23:32 pm »
Streets of Rage is from 1991, that particular poll is for 1988.
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FAST6191

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 05:07:33 pm »
My bad. Should pay more attention.

Anyway not sure I could whistle any of those despite playing most of them in one form or another, some quite extensively.

PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 05:27:33 pm »
These all have some catchy tunes and most are popular on YT. The links might help you there.
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Spooniest

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2020, 01:07:57 pm »
I would say Final Fantasy, for the sheer depth and breadth of its compositional variety. Mega Man and Metal Gear tend to stay well within the limits of their respective ideas (Techno Beats for Robots, Marching Band stuff for Military), while Legacy of the Wizard, Zelda II, Doki Doki Panic and Ultima III are interestingly done but do not have that many different tracks to assess.

Final Fantasy I has 21 separate tracks, in total. That is kind of a lot for a NES game of 1987, and it never seems to waste a track. Each song is specifically used for a purpose, throughout the game, and the songs that it does reuse are clear as to why they are being reused. The Castle Of Ordeals and the Northwest Castle may have battles to fight in them, but they are in fact, Castles. Matoya's Cave, the Dwarf Cave, the Waterfall Cave and the Ice Cavern are all caves which don't necessarily have any kind of oppressive strategic placement or weather condition in them.

The Marsh Cave, in particular, is never reused from when you encounter it at said location, until very late in the game at the Mirage Tower, and its focus on a somersaulting and very sinister sequential pattern makes the same point both times; you're in danger of getting lost in here. Watch where you're going.

It's got variety of themes, and uses them well. That's really all you could ask from a soundtrack, and the fact that it was done in 1987 is just impressive on the face of it. Even JRPGs of the time (Dragon Quest, Phantasy Star) really didn't have quite so much variety to their themes. It tends to make FF1's world seem a bit more vibrant and alive.
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PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2020, 02:25:59 pm »
You make a pretty good case for it. I haven't played through most of the games from 1987 so I can mainly judge the music on its own, not how well it fits each area or the game as a whole.

MM1 is certainly more than techno though, I mean only Fire Man qualify's as sort of techno-ish to me and it has more of a latin (salsa?) flavor. Cut Man sounds kind of russian and like old anime music, and Guts Man like an old spy movie or something. Select, Bomb Man and Ice Man sound new wave-ish and Elec Man like the Journey song and Space Harrier theme (the latter being mostly synth pop). Wily 1 sounds like 80s hard rock/metal.

For me it was between Robo Warrior/Bomber King (mainly for the fantastic theme song but I also like one of the boss themes and the ending), and Ultima III and I went with RW.

We are now at 1989 for Nintendo (1990 for Sega):
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/916386-nes/79082824
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Spooniest

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2020, 08:08:29 pm »
MM1 is certainly more than techno though, I mean only Fire Man qualify's as sort of techno-ish to me and it has more of a latin (salsa?) flavor. Cut Man sounds kind of russian and like old anime music, and Guts Man like an old spy movie or something. Select, Bomb Man and Ice Man sound new wave-ish and Elec Man like the Journey song and Space Harrier theme (the latter being mostly synth pop). Wily 1 sounds like 80s hard rock/metal.

You and I might be talking about two different kinds of Techno. It isn't exactly a narrow genre, but it used to be a lot more specific, particularly at the time MM1 came out. All I mean is that it tends towards using an extremely insistent backbeat that never cuts to halftime or changes time signatures and is almost exclusively in 4/4, (Wily Stages 3-4 break this, and have an irregular beat), and has lots of electronic-sounding effects (which is actually quite an achievement, in a game where everything is literally electronic effects). I'm specifically thinking of that bzzt-bzzt-bzzt sound from Fire Man's stage, and the contrapuntal wailing synth that plays over the main pattern during the 2nd section of Dr. Wily's 1st Castle Theme.

If I had to take a guess, I'm thinking of Acid House. Edit: ...Or maybe Industrial.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 08:16:44 pm by Spooniest »
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PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2020, 07:11:40 am »
Yeah I don't think that makes something techno unless you ignore everything else like what kind of beat, other rhythmic elements, harmony and song structure. Most of the MM1 music doesn't even have a strong beat, lacking a kick drum. But technically it all falls under electronic since it's chiptune and early techno is a bit more vague, more like a mix of electro funk, breakbeats and synth pop. I don't see how "electronic sounding effects" are an achievement when it's the default sound though.

That buzzing sound from Fire Man's stage seems like it's meant to simulate some acoustic percussion used in latin music using the upper notes of the noise channel on the NES which are more tonal. I think the other notes are sometimes making it sound like there's some slight modulation effect on it though which is more common in electronic music.
The backing harmony in that part of Wily 1 sounds like it was meant to be a string pattern except the instrument envelope is pretty stiff, you tend to hear things like that in classical/orchestral style music with a more ominous and intense tone. The main structure is very much hard rock/metal though.

For comparison, here are two earlier chiptunes that I do think count as techno, from 1988 and 1990 respectively:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDdDpqxMurM
https://vgmrips.net/packs/pack/misty-blue-nec-pc-8801#15-battle-enix-quest
One segment in this song from 1988 also sounds very techno-like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_rH87kPEqI&t=28s

Industrial is perhaps more vague than techno and the early stuff is very different from the late 80s-90s music and crossover styles, more like a dissolving of structured music itself much like the no wave movement. In a sense it applies since it's a lo-fi electornic aesthetic and a lot of people find it grating, but that's about as far as the similarities go I think.

---

We're now at 1991 for Sega systems:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/916377-genesis/79087059
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 07:35:12 am by PresidentLeever »
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Bregalad

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2020, 07:25:25 am »
Final Fantasy I has 21 separate tracks, in total. That is kind of a lot for a NES game of 1987, and it never seems to waste a track. Each song is specifically used for a purpose, throughout the game, and the songs that it does reuse are clear as to why they are being reused. The Castle Of Ordeals and the Northwest Castle may have battles to fight in them, but they are in fact, Castles. Matoya's Cave, the Dwarf Cave, the Waterfall Cave and the Ice Cavern are all caves which don't necessarily have any kind of oppressive strategic placement or weather condition in them.
You're overthinking this. FF1 plays music based on the graphic assets it loads. Whenever graphical assets are re-used, the music is re-used as well. You can see this in the disassembly.

PresidentLeever

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2020, 05:36:05 pm »
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Spooniest

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Re: Best Music on Classic Sega and Nintendo Systems Poll Series
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2020, 02:45:40 am »
You're overthinking this. FF1 plays music based on the graphic assets it loads. Whenever graphical assets are re-used, the music is re-used as well. You can see this in the disassembly.

 :huh: Fascinating! Yeah I guess I am overthinking it, but without foreknowledge such as you have, I guess I was presuming too much.
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PresidentLeever

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