Cotton ~Fantastic Night Dreams – “Stage 1” (Kenichi Hirata)May 4, 2010
1989 saw the dawn of a pretty respectable cute ’em up series called Cotton, featuring a sweet little witch intent on destroying everything in her path to get to these tasty candies called “Willows”. She’s really just a sugar junkie. If this sounds crazy, there’s a hundred more tales like it in Japan. The original game, Cotton ~Fantastic Night Dreams, made by a small company with the ambitious name Success, found its way to the TG16 in 1993 with an enhanced soundtrack. Sadly, the tracks in Fantastic Night Dreams don’t exactly have titles to them, and are referred to on the 1991 album by stage number. This track is taken from the TG16 CD version, but the enhanced soundtrack was also used on the 1999 PS1 re-release.
“Stage 1” is taken from the Turbografx CD. It’s a nice rock piece with some nice anime-style trumpets, slide piano (which gets a nice feature in the middle section), and strings – FAR superior to the soft, bell-like original. Again, pretty standard action-packed first stage theme, but it’s a pretty catchy tune that’s also solid game music, with a nice call and response between the first and second parts of the song as well as in-between sections. Unfortunately, the track just loops three times. It’s one of my complaints against early CD titles that they would take an existing song and loop it three times to make one three-minute song (particularly for a game where levels have set lengths) instead of simply composing a three minute long original piece (or at least doing a traditional arrangement). Still, it’s one of the better soundtracks on the TG16 in terms of synths and composition. The rest of the soundtrack has a few good titles here and there (“Stage 2” is also fun), but most of the boss tracks can easily be skipped.
Kenichi Hirata (aka Mr. Ebisu) did both the original Cotton and the TG16 version. He seems to have done the entire series (or close to it). He’s also responsible for the puzzle game Crossroad Crisis (2000).