Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge – PA167

The hotly anticipated Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge is here for your listening pleasure! The game saw several releases between 1992-1994 on the SNES, Genesis, Game Boy and Game Gear. It was developed by UK games company Software Creations Ltd., published by LJN on Nintendo systems and by Acclaim subsidiary Flying Edge on Sega systems. It’s a bad game where you control 5 different characters: Spider-Man, Storm, Wolverine, Cyclops and Gambit in a gauntlet of tedious stages with great music (except Wolverine).

The soundtrack was originally composed by brothers Geoff Follin and Tim Follin, no strangers to writing amazing soundtracks for mediocre games, many of them for Software Creations throughout the 80s and 90s. The arrangements for other systems were done by “Sound Images” on Genesis, John Loose on Game Boy, and Alastair (Allister) Brimble on Game Gear. We’ve disliked the game for almost 30 years but we hope you enjoy the music!

Show notes and track list

LIVE: MAGWest 2022 with 8-bit Music Theory – PA166

Another year another MAGWest, we’re back in person this year exploring the depths of what makes ‘water music’ with a legend of VGM analysis, 8-bit Music Theory! We put him through the paces as we goof off in our usual Pixelated Audio style. First we ‘get to the bottom’ of what makes water music sound so wet with some examples and audience commentary, followed by a silly but fun quiz!

Check out 8-bit Music Theory’s YouTube channel. 8bmt is a music theory expert, drummer, pianist, and all around nice guy who was so kind to join us on the panel!

Thanks also to special audience appearances by friends and previous PA guests:

Apologies about the audio quality, but that’s live baby! We still hope you enjoy the show as much we did!

Show notes and track list

MIDI Spotlight: Mime – PA165

Trying out a new format today with MIDI Spotlight starting on a PC98 title called Mime, published and developed by Studio Twinkle and composed by Hiroaki Sano. For a while now, VGMRips stalwart ValleyBell has graciously streamed music to our Discord channel featuring somewhat less common MIDI versions of the soundtracks on authentic hardware. We wanted to share his work more broadly with our audience and we hope you enjoy it. Due to timing it’s Bryan solo today, but it’s a lightweight radio program style show, light on commentary and heavy on music. If you like the format let us know!

Mime was composed by Hiraoki Sano, an MVP of adult-oriented video games and anime. He’s composed some great soundtracks to Japanese PC games like Division Guardian: Twinkle Star, Mirage 2, and one of the earliest English translated adult themed games, Knights of Xentar (for you old school DOS afficionados)! He’s typically associated with FM soundtracks, but like many composers of the mid-90s wrote a number of MIDI compatible soundtracks like this one.

Dedicated listeners may also remember Studio Twinkle‘s most famous game Grounseed. The music in it is so good you owe it to yourself to listen. Today’s game Mime is a first person dungeon crawler released in September of 1995 for the PC-98. The story is a fairly straightforward tale of restoring the balance of the four elements, once guarded by four kingdoms. It features a handful of adult scenes, typical of Japanese PC games of the era.

More music by Hiroaki Sano, Studio Twinkle and many others is available at VGMRips. Thanks again ValleyBell for providing us with the stream.

Show notes and track list

Masters of VGM – PA164

Pixelated Audio joins the many podcasts participating in the Masters of VGM (@MastersofVGM) event organized by bedroth, host of Very Good Music and BGMania. Masters of VGM is a month long event of participating podcasts and their own take on who they think are the best of the best!

We picked 8 veteran VGM Masters and aimed for a good blend of well known and lesser known tracks to keep things interesting. As always we hope you enjoy!

Show notes and track list

30 Years of VGM with Jeff van Dyck – PA163

We’re joined today by another amazing and prolific guest; composer Jeff van Dyck. Instead of focusing on a specific game we take a tour through Jeff’s entire career from Skitchin’ all the way to recent games like Unpacking. Jeff began his career in 1992 with EA (Electronic Arts), working on games like the FIFA, NHL series, and Need for Speed 1 & 2. He went on to do music for many of the major games in the Total War series, starting with the original Shogun: Total War, and continuing with the Medieval and Rome Total War games. In recent years, Jeff has written music for a number of indie titles like Assault Android Cactus, Hand of Fate 1 & 2, Submerged, Forts, Paint the Town Red and Unpacking.

In this interview we talk about a great many things; working in a constantly shifting industry, evolving as a composer, writing music for AAA games as well as indies, a bit of light hardware discussion, and just life in general over the last three decades. 2022 marks 30 years for Jeff in the games industry, a landmark achievement for anyone, and he’s still going strong. We crammed in as much music as we possibly could, and we hope you enjoy listening to some lovely selections of music that Jeff has written over the course of his career.

Show notes and track list

LIVE: VGMTogether – Preserving Game Audio – PA162

We had a great time at VGMTogether presenting our talk on game audio logging and the dedicated communities around the world that have spent years archiving music as accurately as possible. It’s a commonly overlooked topic that nevertheless supports a lot of activities in the game music scene.

You may have heard it referred to as “VGM ripping”; logging is the process of accessing, capturing, organizing and ultimately archiving game music in more accessible ways. There are a few ways that game music is stored in data, and a few ways that game music is captured for easier access. It’s a time-consuming but rewarding process that requires some computer skills and a decent amount of patience.

In addition to the tracklist we’ve included a number of other resources: links to some of our past shows with a focus on logging and preservation, links to some of the more prominent game and computer music archives, and some other relevant talks. To all of those involved in VGM logging including our good friends ValleyBell and ctr, as well as the many folks we didn’t mention, we thank you for all of your hard work and for everything you’ve done for the VGM community over the years.

Show notes and track list