Is it VGM? Salamander OVA 3 – “Last Battle” (Tatsumi Umegaki)

January 16, 2010

So far, we’ve looked at original and licensed music used in games as well as music about games. What about other media that use vgm, such as the soundtrack to a film or tv show based on a game? For this example, we have the Salamander OVA (1988-9), a three-part anime loosely based on Gradius 2: Gofer’s Ambition (1988). This series contains remixed music from the Salamander and Gradius 2 games to fit with the theme of the series. “Last Battle” from Salamander OVA 3: Gofer no Yabou Original Soundtrack contains arrangements of several themes from Gradius 2, including “Tabidaichi” (“Depart”) and “Salamander ~Boss Theme~”.

Salamander OVA 3: Gofer no Yabou Original Soundtrack – “Last Battle” (Tatsumi Umegaki)

In this instance, I think we can approach it the same way we would any arranged vgm: even though the piece is part of a film/tv show soundtrack, because it is arranged music from a videogame, this particular track can be considered vgm while simultaneously being thought of as an anime soundtrack. Note that a lot of the music in Salamander OVA sounds original, so even though they use a few arrangements, the albums themselves are anime rather than vgm. The distinction is that they contain vgm arrangements.

Incidentally, many videogame adaptations make generous use of arranged game music, particularly works like the Super Mario Bros. cartoons. Sadly, some completely miss the opportunity, such as the Doom movie, which contained no homage to “E1M1”.

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