Rabbits Full of Magic

05 September 2013

 

Saturn Bomberman


Saturn Bomberman is one of the best games I have played recently. It was released by Hudson for Sega's Saturn game console in 1996 and features one of the coolest game soundtracks of all time, composed by Jun Chikuma, who's career writing music for Bomberman games stretches way back to the first title in the late 80's. She has a Soundcloud with a number of selections from this title, and her music has been issued on dozens of CDs and supposedly there is a Japanese LP with Hudson game soundtracks that came out in the late 80s. So effing cool!

Anyways I'm going to do a track-by-track review of the game soundtrack, as it appears on the game disc itself.


01 game data
02 cool intro music! has a kid announce "Saturn Bomberman!" with a cool auto-double-tracking voice filter that reminds me of old arcade games.
03 super rad 90's techno. I am going to write that phrase a LOT. basically some really sick drum-and-bass loops and dance piano underneath the occasional sound effect. these levels in the game have trains in them, so you hear something that is sort of like a train, but more futuristic sounding.
04 really sick ambient dance music. has a kind of New Age feel to some of these samples. starts off in a waterfall/massage music spot. then about a minute in, there are some supremely cool clipped guitar samples that remind me of Dick Dale or something. maybe this beat was ripped from an unreleased Madonna song or something.
05 YES YES YES that loop is so cool. a really nice synth loop winding back and forth in atonal harmonies, with little clipped guitar flourishes popping in and out of the stereo channels. a low portameno comes in and lays down a counter to the beat, which is mostly 4-on-the-floor 808-style kick drum and hi hats. the second time around there are synth sounds like sweep in and out that sound like crickets or something. someone needs to sample the main loop in this, it is too good to pass up.
06 starts out supremely strange and abstract before settling into a Lost Horizon-style ambient jungle forest dance music, with some wandering flutes, backwards guitars and minimalist piano
07 nice uptempo dance track with some of the most intricate and badass drum programming ever, with some portamento synth winding in and out. two-note 4-on-the-floor bass line comes in before some airy pads. another loop that is just begging to get sampled
08 BOSS MUSIC!!! sick, fast, death techno. sort of like Mortal Kombat mixed with that one Justin Timberlake song, except instrumental and featuring the most killer jungle loops ever
09 this may be boss music as well, I'm not sure. it has a Silver Apples drum loop and the second half features some psychedelic mixing effects. not entirely sure what all these sounds are! it's incredibly experimental for video game music!
10 a nice 15-second 'continue' screen cue. sounds like they used an old analog drum machine for this.
11 smooth bossa nova, with acoustic guitars, real percussion, and some nice tasteful synth. take me away, Bomberman. take me to Hawaii
12 that one really sick late-80's rap drum sample that everyone used to use, with pizzicato synth stabs that go with the beat. video game music that makes you feel like a badass
13 more sample-infused fast-tempo dance music. this is for the 10-player wide-screen battle to the death, so you usually hear this with a million bombs constantly going off.
14 WIN MUSIC oh yay! it sounds like a super happy japanese game show, complete with crowd noises. i like the bouncing synth that goes from one speaker to the next. stereo separation on this whole soundtrack is fucking spectacular
15 is this a videogame, or a 70s cop show remade as a Cinemax movie?
16 kind of a medley of a few different previous songs. amazing synth sounds here. every hip hop song of the past 20 years has used these drum sounds
17 HARD HARD HARD techno. RAVE LAND. Hack the Planet
18 just some country & western guitar dueling against squiggly synths and an uptempo drum-and-bass loop
19 plastic trip-hop
20 8 second amusement park game-style musical cue
21 8 seconds of Mikey Mouse's first time doing acid
22 some sick drum machine loop, run through delay & phaser. music they need to play on the Space Elevator
23 slowed down drum loop w phaser
24 this is either a drum loop slowed down A LOT and run through a lot of delays or just a really stuttering beat
25 some drum loop fun. all these are less than a minute long, so hearing them back-to-back is a fun experience.
26 last of the drum loop fun. very metallic feeling here!
27 7-second musical cue featuring guitar from the solo in Bill & Ted's Excellent Rock Ballad
28 8-second musical cue. a Hollywood movie intro scored by a robot
29 the western music! this plays on the levels when you are in the Old West, and has some great chicken-pickin' guitar melodies and Morricone-aping synth lines. this may be the only video game soundtrack with a tremelo guitar part!
30 a mascot announcing "By Hudson!"


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