Gigandes – PA186

Gigandes (ギガンデス) is an arcade game developed by East Technology in 1989 and released in February of 1990. It is a horizontal shmup in the style of R-Type featuring all of the bio-mechanical tropes of the era. It was designed for the Taito X System hardware that used a YM2610, the same audio configuration used in the Neo Geo, and was composed by Akira Inoue and Takaro Nozaki.

East Technology was a small developer based in Shinjuku that mostly worked on arcade games. The company was founded in 1987 and operated until around the mid 1990s. East Technology only produced around 10 games. Their most notable games were Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone published by Technos, and the games Operation Wolf 3 and Silent Dragon published by Taito.

The soundtrack to Gigandes is eccentric, and in some ways ahead of its time. Full of weird and off-putting samples, the tonal whiplash is at times abrasive and at times catchy, but always compelling. Relative unknowns Akira Inoue and Takaro Nozaki put together a one-of-a-kind soundtrack that is worth the time to explore and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did.

Show notes and track list

Plus Alpha – PA185

We’ve got a really fun soundtrack to dive into in this episode from a Jaleco arcade title released in 1989 called Plus Alpha, composed by Tsukasa Tawada

It’s an overhead shooter similar to Twinbee, Raiden, or 1942/43 and was released on the Nintendo Switch in 2020 under the Arcade Archives series published by HAMSTER Corporation. Tsukasa Tawada brings lots of variety in this soundtrack, which is a ton of fun and also hits all the marks for an awesome arcade experience.

 

Show notes and track list

Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos – PA184

In this latest mini episode we’re talking about Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos, a childhood favorite on the NES composed by Tim Follin.

Solstice released on the NES in the US and UK in mid 1990. It was developed by Software Creations and published by various companies in different regions. It’s a challenging isometric puzzle platformer in the vein of games like Knight Lore and Lumo. Solstice only released on NES, but it did have a sequel on the SNES called Equinox.

Tim Follin is a VGM composer that hardly needs an introduction. Master of VGM folk and prog rock and putting way more effort into game soundtracks than they usually deserved, Tim worked on games like Bionic Commando and Ghouls’n Ghosts for C64, Plok for SNES, Ecco the Dolphin for Dreamcast and a tons more games. More recently he’s moved into game development with games like Contradiction: Spot the Liar.

For more info about the illustrator of the box art, check out Michael Winterbauer’s website.

Show notes and track list

Bomb Jack (GameBoy) – PA183

In this bite-sized installment we’re exploring the soundtrack from Bomb Jack on the Nintendo GameBoy composed by the legendary DMG DJ, Alberto José González.

Bomb Jack released on the Game Boy in the UK in 1992 and Sweden in 1993. Adapted to the handheld  by Bit Managers and New Frontier; published by Infogrames. Bomb Jack has had dozens of ports derived from the Tehkan Arcade game from 1984. CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 16, 64, Amiga, PC88, SG1000, ZX Spectrum, and even things like Java ME.

Alberto José González is a Spanish video game graphic artist, music composer, designer, and pretty much everything else. Notable games from French publisher Infogrames helped shed light on his early career and eventually helped found Bit Managers and later Abylight.

TwitterYouTube | SoundCloud

Show notes and track list

LIVE: MAGWest 2023 with George Sanger – PA182

Another titan of the game industry, George “The Fat Man” Sanger, joins us live at MAGWest! George has done so much to shape the course of game audio in America that the best we can hope for is scratching the surface with this post. During his career he’s worked on numerous games, alongside his legendary group of cowboy composers under the moniker “Team Fat” which consisted of himself, Dave Govett, Joe McDermott and K. Weston Phelan.

A short list of projects that George and Team Fat worked on: Thin Ice for Intellivision, Maniac Mansion and Rad Gravity for NES, Zombies Ate My Neighbors on SNES, a litany of computer games including Loom, The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour, Wing Commander I and II, Ultima Underworld, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Pajama Sam 3, and many other games. He’s done work for so many companies it’ll be faster to just link to his Wikipedia or Mobygames pages.

His influence in PC game music is especially strong. He’s created think tanks and collaborated with audio companies which led to the adoption of hardware like the MT-32, General MIDI, and even redbook audio as data on CD-ROM games like the 7th Guest. In the 1990s, he was also one of the first to bring American VGM composers together through “Project Barbecue”, an early precursor to events like GameSoundCon, MAGWest and others.

We loved every minute of talking with George and hearing his hilarious stories; from his humble beginnings, to his lengthy career and accomplishments, to his work with Team Fat. He is a larger than life character in a suit and cowboy hat and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you haven’t got your fill of George yet, check out a few more things:

And a few plugs from George for good measure

Show notes and track list

Castle in the Clouds with g3ntlebreeze – PA181

Today we’re joined by composer g3ntlebreeze for a unique behind the scenes look at his work on Castle in the Clouds, a Castlevania-inspired hentai game (NSFW – not safe for work). The game was developed by Libra Heart and pixel-teishoku and published by Critical Bliss. Castle in the Clouds is a 2D pixel art platformer released on Steam in 2021 with lovingly crafted art and an incredible soundtrack. This “hornyvania” puts you in control of bounty hunter Lily on her quest to defeat hordes of monsters and maybe get a little something extra.

Critical Bliss is a rapidly growing developer/publisher that focuses on international releases of raunchy, fun, and unique erotic games that started around 2016. Libra Heart is a developer best known for their work on this game as well as the “Succubus” series, with additional help on Castle in the Clouds from pixel-teishoku.

g3ntlebreeze mixes together sultry sounds, nostalgic chiptune vibes, jazz and some truly wicked solos in this and other erotic games. He’s worked on Tower & Sword of Succubus, Midnight Castle Succubus, Avaria: Chains of Lust and many other games that are best looked up with safe search on. We had a great time chatting about his musical background, composing for h-games, and some of the games and VGM composers that continue to inspire us. As always, we hope you enjoy the show!

Show notes and track list