On today’s episode we’re joined by Rob aka Xerxes of Hardcore Gaming 101’s “Top 47k Games” podcast. We talk about his background, how the podcast is made, the excellent resource Hardcore Gaming 101, along with our usual jovial banter. Rob brings us a selection of fantastic deep cuts of early to mid 90s Japanese VGM used in the show, most of which are intro and ending tunes. It’s a really fun show and as always we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Shout out to our friend Norm aka @normallyretro for lending his voice to the HG101 Golf Remix and the main Top 47k Games theme song. Dogs Bower!
Also a big thanks to Dee Liteyears for providing the delightful episode artwork! Follow them on Twitter @DeeLiteyears. Dogs Bower (and Bubsy)!
Heart Heat Girls is a lightly adult-oriented Japanese adventure game released for the PC-98 in December of 1993 by the company Panda House under their Cat’s Pro label. Heart Heat Girls or H.H.G. is set in a futuristic world where humans and androids are at war. A specialized police force known as ACP (“Anti Criminal-cyborg Police”) is tasked with eliminating them. The game begins with two young police officers named Angelica and Apple receiving an S.O.S. about an attack from a mysterious cyborg and arrive to the crime scene to find no survivors. Joined by their friend and colleague detective Keith Bailey, they set out to investigate the case. Despite the name, the game focuses more heavily on the narrative and setting as opposed to lewd content. The gameplay is fairly conventional with light interactions like “Talk” or “Examine” to move the plot along.
The music of H.H.G. was written by Muse and the mysterious Panda, owner of the game development studio Panda House and its subsidiary labels Cat’s Pro and Melody, all companies largely associated with making adult games for the Japanese PC market. Little is known in the English speaking world about Panda and Muse, however they both worked on audio for the company Cocktail Soft, another adult games label.
A small correction: YouTube user Czarek7711 believes that Panda may be the alias of Yuki Nakayama. The VGMdb entry for the Cat’s Pro album lists him as executive producer so it does seem likely!
In any case, the music is full of lots of short but sweet tunes. Now leave playing the adult games to the professionals and enjoy this soundtrack guilt-free!
It’s been a while since our last expansion pack, and the first of 2021. It’s a relaxed show with a selection of 6 deep cuts but the music is great as always. Correction: The name of the writer was actually Miyazawa Kenji not Ihatovo.
Today we’re joined by guitarist Josh of the VGM band The Runaway Four. Together we talk about his band and their music, as well as Bonus Stage, a very important project that came into being last year in April right in the midst of lockdowns. Bonus Stage is a monthly online series of live video game music concerts that feature a wide range of bands and genres. As hard as 2020 was, Bonus Stage (formerly Virtual VGM Fest) has become a bright spot in the community for VGM lovers and performers alike.
Josh comes to us from Vancouver Canada and brings with him some fantastic and varied VGM from across the spectrum, all sourced from Bonus Stage performers. We even included a teaser track for the upcoming Bonus Stage X event on February 13 and we hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as we did.
In June of 2012, Cipher Prime Studios released Splice, a puzzle game about organizing cells into increasingly complex patterns. It’s a game that requires concentration and it’s also a bit about tampering with nature. Splice can be purchased on a number of platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, PS3 and PS4 but no matter where you purchase it, it’s a challenging and mentally rewarding game accompanied by a beautiful piano soundtrack composed by Dain Saint, who we have joining us on the show today.
Cipher Prime is a Philadelphia-based indie game and interactive art studio co-founded in 2008 by Dain Saint and Will Stallwood. With Dain as technical director and Will as creative director, the team has made more than 10 games including Pulse, Intake, Auditorium and Fractal. Cipher Prime has also been a driving force in the Philadelphia indie game scene for over a decade where they ran a co-working space and hosted numerous events for game developers over the years.