I like the sound of… classic Mega Drive

Ok, I may not actually have the Mega Drive greatest pop hits on my iPod, but every now and then when I hear a bit on telly, someone’s ring-tone, or am actually playing an early Mega Drive game, it’s the music that brings it all flooding back. The beautiful, oblivious childhood when I had absolutely zero worries about anything, the feeling that everything will work out fine and I haven’t got to do a thing about it, just go with it… Yes that doesn’t happen in real life, but it was a nice feeling while it lasted.

It occurs to me that my childhood of climbing trees and playing computer games may not have been a complete loss. It’s somehow brilliant that I can be whisked back to a period in my life by just listening to a soundtrack from a game of that time. It hasn’t escaped my attention that this is pretty much what I said last time regarding Shenmue and how that experience was so easily accessed when I heard the theme. With that in mind I think I may have to cut this series of articles short, as all I really have to say is, “remember how good this was”, which is no help to anyone. Alternatively, I could just post soundtracks that I genuinely deem to be good, but it would only be opinion pieces and you’re not that bothered about my biased opinions on things. If I have anything constructive to bang on about, regarding game soundtracks in the future, I will. For now though, I’m calling an end to this filler provoking series and I’ll leave you back in the 90’s with some Mega Drive classics!


1] Sonic 1 – Green Hill Zone
2] Streets of Rage – Level 1
3] Columns – Main Game
4] Xenon 2 – Main Game
5] Space Harrier – Main Game

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Although I think that this pair of articles clearly say something about how important a game soundtrack is, most indie games I’ve played never give much consideration to it, they are usually just some tunes lifted from another soundtrack. It’s a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression with the player and even our own Dome and Hydris themes (yes I am blowing my own trumpet) still take me back to the time when they were being made. It might just be that I am extra sensitive to the old sensory triggered memories (smell gets me to those places quite rapidly too), but don’t pass up the opportunity to create something unique that could possibly stay with the player for a long time. It might even bring them back for another go! If, unlike us, you have no aspiring musicians to create wonderfully catchy tunes, look online and there will be thousands of budding musicians looking for projects to work on, get to it!

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Now go and play Dome.


    Ahhhhh dude, memories… memories are flooding back, the amount of games i’ve played in the past couple of months or so that I fondly remember playing to death and the music being so damn catchy. The best of which has been on the MegaDrive, by far. To this day i’d randomly have, for example, the 1st Sonic game theme tune in my head (“SE-GAAAA”) for no apparent reason, it’s just always there in the back of my head, niggling away. And Columns… ah man Columns, used to play that so much… and i’d been trying to remember how the music went even though subconsciously i knew but as soon as i played it, it clicked.

    Other ace tuneage from MegaDrive games i’ve loved to play back in t’ day:

    - The 16-bit version of ‘Megablast’ by Bomb The Bass on ‘Xenon 2: Megablast’ (by the UK’s finest, Bitmap Brothers);

    - The ‘Chaos Engine’ theme tune (damn the catchiness);

    - The music from ‘Bio-Hazard Battle’ (awesome ‘R-Type’-esque shooter);

    - Tuneage from ‘Space Harrier’;

    - And finally, the damned funkyness of ‘Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron’, one of my all-time favourites, especially music-wise!

    So I wholeheartedly agree with what you’re saying, the emotions that erupt from within (ooh-er) when I hear these tunes, takes me back to a more innocent time of my childhood.

    Ahhhh… now where’s that MegaDrive emulator got to?…

  • How the bloody hell did I forget xenon 2 ??? I had that for the master system, same song, better than the real one it based on I say!

    Something I discovered yesterday by chance, there was a Space harrier 3D game for master system with 3D shutter glasses that plugged into the card slot on the master system 1! I never knew… They are on ebay for about £60, if I was a more frivolous chap I’d be all over that!

    I’ll try and add the tunes you speak of to the playlist if I can find them.

  • Haha here we go again, I never had Space harrier but when I listened to the tune, guess where I was taken? yep, 1980’s Hong Kong, ah Shenmue where the hell is he 3rd one??? See that someone mentioned the dreaded ‘S’ and look, never happened! Space Harrier does have a cracking theme though!

  • i remember playing space harrier on shenmue.. memories. whatever happened to shenmue 3…. i would literally kill a man for that game to be released, anyone, just give me a name…. i actually thought shenmue 2 was better than the first. we should win the lottery and fun the original developers/staff to finish off the series for us :)

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