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Bionic Commando – “Main Theme” (Junko Tamiya)

February 9, 2010

The NES had quite a few memorable soundtracks. Nintendo, Konami, Sunsoft, and Capcom all made excellent soundtracks for the system. If you grew up playing the NES, then you should have many fond memories of this music! One classic theme is the “Main Theme” from Bionic Commando (1986) by Junko Tamiya (Gondamin).

Bionic Commando – “Main Theme” (Junko Tamiya)

While the “Main Theme” is a pretty basic military march, the tune is lively, capturing the sense of adventure you might recall from old war films and action novels like The Guns of Navarone. The drum line forms a nice foundation for the main melody and driving beat of the square channel. It’s got a nice, fun melody, but it may be more memorable because of the game – while it’s not exactly bad material, it doesn’t really stand out above most other vgm.

I think the game is very memorable for removing the ability to jump, but it’s also got a fun narrative with a guy with a bazooka and a bionic arm called Super Joe who gets to blow up Hitler’s face and most of the Nazi army. How that got past Nintendo’s censors we’ll never know!

There have been many remixes of this song, some better than others. I don’t particularly enjoy the techno mix from Bionic Commando Rearmed – the pacing makes it sound like the guy is falling asleep! The VGMixversion “Going Commando” by Gux is a fantastic orchestral remix that starts out with a great drum beat and has a kind of modern war game feel. Chris Kline has also done a fantastic rock mix of this song, so you should check it out on iTunes.

Junko Tamiya doesn’t seem to have composed much of interest outside of Bionic Commando, though he did do Gun.Smoke, Sweet Home (Capcom’s first ‘survival horror’ on the NES), and Little Nemo.

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