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Duck Tales – “Duck Blur” (Star Salzman)

March 6, 2010

Disney licensed games aren’t exactly titles that spring to mind when people think ‘good vgm’. After all, licensed titles are notoriously bad because they are made cheaply – the publisher knows they will sell through name alone. However, Capcom made a slew of excellently composed Disney games, including Duck Tales for the NES (1990) (which earned an 86 on Mobygames, which is excellent for both an NES title AND a licensed product at that!). Star Salzman (aka StarBLaSt on VGMix 2) created a fun dance mix of the moon theme, height “Duck Blur” (2003) that just breathes the Capcom sound you expect to hear from a Mega Man title (particularly the instrument selection from Mega Man 7 and 8). That jazzy dance-style is pretty common of the classic Capcom sound and a testament to how the series’ sidescrolling titles established a unique feel thanks to the studio’s strong internal composers.

Duck Tales – “Duck Blur” (Star Salzman)

“Duck Blur” is a remix of the Moon level theme. The intro is great, like walking out of a spaceport into a low-G paradise. The piano and synth lines are very spacey to match, but it’s also got a great magical feel – a sense of adventure and treasure hunting (basically what you’d expect a waterfowl with the name ‘Scrooge McDuck’ to be doing). The beats sound like a cross between plucked strings and beatdrop and are punctuated by that oh-so-lovely piano. The track is a little long at 5:15, but the theme is definitely a fun listen and the high quality synths, dance style, and string highlights keep the toes tapping the whole way through. The song also loops smoothly, and Star Salzman’s variations on the theme keep it interesting through the three loops. He also adds a nice break at 3:03 with a good 50 seconds of original material inspired by the Duck Tales theme. So yes, this piece also follows the A-A’-B-A” format common to game mixes, but nothing wrong with that!

Star Salzman has composed many excellent remixes for VGMix and OCR, all of which are available on his website. He’s remixed several interesting songs to other games, including “Pillar of Salt” from Xenogears. Sadly, I don’t know who composed the Duck Tales, but there’s plenty of good Capcom sound team members to choose from (looks like someone needs to clear the title and update Mobygames!).

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