Detana Twinbee! – “Gift of the Wind” (Michiru Yamane)January 4, 2010
I really love “Gift of the Wind” – it’s yet another song you would define as a ‘Perfect Stage 1 Theme’ with an explosion of a simple, hummable melody to lift off into play. There is some weird whistling in the background, suggesting wind swirling through cloudy skies. The whole song captures the feel of flying through the air high above the cities below, mimicking the motion of dancing in the wind. This version of the song is a PSF rip from Detana Twinbee! (1991) on the Twinbee Deluxe Pack for PS1.
While Twinbee doesn’t seem to be as popular or well-known as some of Konami’s other franchises (it is admittedly a bit too Japanese), it does have some interesting gameplay. This is an overhead shooter where you shoot enemies flying above and drop bombs on enemies below (there is a target lock for these similar to Rayforce series). When enemies are destroyed, they drop bells that change color when shot at. The color of the bell determines the power-up you’ll get. These were added to wonderful effect in Parodius, but for some reason in Twinbee, the system felt very confusing (actually the whole game seems kind of confusing and strange!). Detana Twinbee! is also notable as being the first notable soundtrack Michiru Yamane composed (with the cute nickname “Chiruchiru”, which I think refers to tinkling bells :). The game was also composed by Michael Maezawa, Motoaki Furukawa, Prophet Fukami, and Suzuki Katsuhiko. You can read more about the game here.
There have been a few remixes of “Gift of the Wind” on various Konami albums, but most of them I don’t feel have quite the same impact as the original. One notable remix that stays true to the pacing of the original is from Twinbee Paradise Sound Fantasia (1995; arr. Neko Saitou) and has a fine drum section and blazing guitar solo. Winbee’s Neo Cinema ~Evergreen Side~ has another fine remix, this time done in a slower, four-piece band style with live instruments and keyboard capturing the calm windy quality of the song that isn’t present in the main version. It’s a perfect track to end the album on and is arranged and performed by Kenichi Suda and the Winbee Neo Cinema Club Band, another of Konami’s in-house arrange groups made of Kukeiha Club members. There’s another one on the actual Detana Twinbee! soundtrack, but I haven’t heard that one.