Archive for December 1st, 2009

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8-Bit Mondays: Metroid – Title BGM (Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka)

December 1, 2009

This song is probably one of the most important game tunes ever written. I’ve gone on and on about how vgm really first demonstrated its capacity as an art form in the mid-80s, and Metroid was one of the ones that truly demonstrated this. Hip Tanaka’s score was simply unmatched at the time, and the title theme is a perfect introduction to this new type of game soundtrack. The Famicom version of the soundtrack was available through the Game Sound Museum Volume 12 as well as the Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Soundtracks Vol. 1.

Metroid – “Title BGM” (Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka)

The “Title BGM” is progressive. Unlike most vgm, it doesn’t have looping sections, but merely moves from one section to the next, developing the few central notes of the theme. Its harsh intonations and use of a more minor scale rather than the major scale common to most games at the time was a dramatic break and firmly established Metroid‘s musical aesthetic of descending into darkness and amelody and finally revealing the light and song at the very end in a catharsis of melody. It really set the stage for soundtracks that were more atmospheric, dynamic, and expressive rather than simply pop songs used to fill the background.

The track begins with a very harsh triangle wave like a trumpet Read the rest of this entry ?