8-Bit Mondays: Rygar – “Sagila’s Cave” (Tecmo)July 12, 2010
Here is an old game that I never really got into (though I did dabble when the PS2 remake came out about eight years ago). Anyway, Rygar is an NES game by Tecmo that takes place in a fantasy world modeled after Classical Greece. Rygar, our intrepid Grecian hero, battles hordes of enemies with his Diskarmor, a combination shield and spiky disc attached to a chain. Defend with the shield and then chuck it at your foes to reduce them to so much monster slop. Rygar was a pretty unique character design, but the remake didn’t make that big a splash thanks to the superior Devil May Cry. Anyway, “Sagila’s Cave” is my favorite piece from the soundtrack (I actually didn’t like most of the others as readily). Sagila is a giant spider.
“Sagila’s Cave” is an awesome piece of atmospheric music. The mellow timbre on the long notes of the melody creates a cool, somewhat sombre mood, but it also has that element of pop rock with the drums, and it’s a combination that I really enjoy in vgm. The opening is kind of a rondo in form, with the same melody repeated twice with variation, the second giving quite a bit of build in intensity that maxes out in the next sequence (0:40). The track has a good combination of long, pleasant notes with an underlying base. The repetition and layering of this is what makes it a memorable piece, and by far the best one in the game. At 1:16, it’s a pretty good length for an NES song as well.
The Rygar soundtrack (I believe from the arcade version) was released in Tecmo Game Music (1986). I haven’t heard this version, but I think it may just be an arrangement of a few tracks from the arcade game (if that). Though the composer’s name is unknown, the album lists four possible names: Michiharu Hasutani, Shinichi Sakamoto, Mikio Saito, and Tsukasa Masuko.
OCRemix has an arrange by K. Praslowicz from 2001. It’s a distorted rock mix whose hollowness recalls the NES drum set. However, the remix I remember the most is “Pestilence” by Quinn Fox from VGMix 2.0. Though the track is midi-heavy, I feel the drums (oh man, the drums) and harpsichord draw out the melody more than Prasclowicz’s version. It has a lot more variation as well, making it my favorite arrange. There’s even a synth koto solo. The Swedish band Killed by Koopa also did a “Sagila’s Cave” remix with Motherpluckin’ B on guitar. It’s got a nice mellow, loungy quality. Check out the video below. Awesome jamming.