One of the best arcade soundtracks of the 1980s has to be Taito’s Rastan (Arcade, 1987). The original chiptunes probably don’t sound like much by today’s standards, but they were pretty amazing at the time, especially for their orchestral quality, which was something new to game music. With the release of Metroid (Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka) and The Legend of Zelda (Koji Kondo) in 1986, vgm was completely redefined by a move away from pop music and more towards atmospheric and orchestral music that would match the on-screen action and help emotion ooze from every screen. Here is a remix revisiting some of those first early flowerings of the art form:
“Rastan” (arr. Glyn R. Brown)
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. While it doesn’t have the pulse-pounding beat of the original, Glyn R. Brown’s mix of Masahiko Takaki‘s (Darius II, The Ninja Warriors) “Aggressive World” is a more sweepingly epic rendering of Rastan‘s Frazetta-esque barbarian vs lizard man action. Ok, the theme also evokes wide open country, hero-land with mountains and forest and desert, the kind of place a warrior can jump on a horse and ride through and seek his fortune. It’s a place ruled by sword and fang where stereotypical/archetypal supermen do what they’re designed to do and all the rest of the normal girly-men can imagine being in Conan’s shoes. Or leggings. I’m sure the woman singing the vocals is doing a great job telling us about Rastan’s mighty deeds, and some prophecy or somesuch. In any event, the drums, strings, and war horns are the “Blood and Trumpets” so fitting of an action game of this caliber. Read the rest of this entry ?