Episode 86: Retronauts Radio for February 2017

Welcome to the second monthly Retronauts Radio! Last month’s trial episode went over quite marvelously, so it’s back for a return engagement and will become a regular feature unless there’s some sort of angry mass uprising against it.

I appreciate all the feedback that came in after the trial episode. For the most part, it really seems like everyone enjoyed the show. There were no real complaints of, “This is terrible and I hate it,” only minor suggestions for improvements that were balanced out by an equal number of people indicating their satisfaction with that particular aspect of the show as it was. As such, I’ve made only the most modest of tweaks to the format this time around.

First, I’ve tried to splice in a greater number of tracks for variety while giving each track more time to breathe. Hopefully you’ll find the balance between play time and monologue works more to your liking.

Secondly, I have made an effort to cover an equal mix of music releases that are available for pay and for free. This is not an ad or a paid sponsored podcast or anything, so I’m not obligated to cover any particular release. Instead, I hope to highlight recent retro game music releases for both collectors (in this case, the vinyl issues of Revenge of Shinobi and Castlevania II) as well as music available for free or for a modest fee (the Etrian Odyssey remixes, SEGA’s Spotify dump, and ZODIAC). My hope is that each episode will highlight something that will appeal to everyone, regardless of their tastes and budget.

Our second Retronauts Radio looks at notable retro-themed game music releases for February: Castlevania II, a Final Fantasy Tactics tribute, Revenge of Shinobi, Etrian Odyssey remixes, and a ton of SEGA jams! Art by Jon Stachewicz.

Libsyn (1:41:34, 70.8 MB) | MP3 Download | SoundCloud)

Here’s the time breakdown of the episode, and where you can find the included tunes for your own enjoyment.

  • 0:00:25: Introduction
  • 0:01:40: Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest [available via Mondo]
  • 0:11:22: SEGA on Spotify [freely available for streaming via Spotify]
    • 0:11:42: Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure
    • 0:12:32: Out Run
    • 0:17:39: Jet Set Radio
    • 0:19:38: Sonic Rush
    • 0:21:18: Rhythm Thief redux
  • 0:24:40: Revenge of Shinobi [available via Data Discs, $]
  • 0:34:01: Etrian Odyssey FM synth remixes [freely available via Yuzo Koshiro’s Twitter account]
  • 0:39:24: ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Remixed [available for purchase via Materia Collective or on Spotify]
  • 0:56:49: Skies of Arcadia [freely available for streaming via Spotify]
  • 1:07:05: Outro — Sonic Rush

So: I hope you enjoy this second Retronauts Radio episode. Please feel free to ping me on Twitter (or wherever) over the next couple of weeks to let me know about interesting new releases that would be relevant to next month’s episode. Thank you!


Filed under Music, Retronauts

25 Responses to Episode 86: Retronauts Radio for February 2017

  1. Adamocity64

    I need that Zodiac album inside me now.

  2. Dan

    Count me as one of the listeners who never thought I’d want to hear an episode with nothing but music and yet find it an absolutely perfect start to my Monday morning at work. Keep it up! Looking forward to many more of these in the future.

  3. Nathan Daniels

    I’m looking forward to listening to this. I’m eager to find out whether the vinyl of Revenge of Shinobi is from the Genesis/Mega Drive, or the original PC-88. The OST is available on iTunes, but keeping with Koshiro’s sensibilities, it’s from his original compositions on the PC-88. It sounds fine, but I prefer the Genesis version with which I’m more familiar.

    • Data Discs records from Genesis/Mega Drive hardware.

      • Nathan Daniels

        Regarding Castlevania II, what’s up with the stereo tracks? And was that reverb on the FDS version? Did that come from Konami’s masters, or was that Mondo’s addition?

        As for the Revenge of Shinobi Data Disc records, I could tell it was Genesis as soon as it started to play. I do have the iTunes PC-88 version, but you have me seriously considering purchasing that vinyl….in spite of the fact that I don’t currently own a turntable.

        I liked your attempts to categorize the Revenge of Shinobi score. I have too much nostalgia to judge it fairly, but I like the OST a fair amount more than the first Streets of Rage. While SOR may have better sounding instruments, it’s marred by its stylistic dateability. The relative variety of ROS’ styles and tones make it a more diverse and enjoyable sounding affair, at least to me.

        I also just downloaded Spotify on account of the Sega dump, something I had previously been opposed to on principle. Thank you for the heads-up. Thanks also for talking about the Skies of Arcadia OST. It was one of the last games I owned for the Dreamcast, and I loved the world in which it was set, but I couldn’t play it at the time on account of the game’s interminably long battles(to be fair, I was also heavily involved in Grandia II at the time).

        • If you do want to play Skies of Arcadia, I highly suggest the GameCube version. The load times are faster, the encounter rate has been reduced, and the experience levels adjusted accordingly.

  4. Spotify has really been coming into its own as a repository of amazing video game soundtracks. I was overjoyed to find out that Nihon Falcom’s complete discography, including almost every arrange album, has made its way to the service

    • nuclear vomit

      Yes. Spotify has some good stuff now. Check out Vomitron’s rocking take our favorite 8 bit classics. There’s Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Double Dragon… and more. Holy crap.., it’s too good.

  5. Nathan Daniels

    The nexus of your trip to Japan to interview these composers and this entry involving Sega music inspires a request: Please consider looking into the possibility of attempting to interview Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Although his name isn’t as popular or immediately recognizable as Kondo, Shimomura, or Koshiro, his musical contributions to gaming are every bit as important. Out Run, Afterburner, Hang On, Daytona USA, Space Harrier…..all from “Hiro”. It may be presumptuous of me to ask, and I’m sure it may be unbelievably difficult to secure such a thing, but I have to ask anyway.

  6. Lane

    I like the concept, but is it going to be all Japanese composers?

  7. Jay

    Great episode, love that PC-88 sound. Also, this episode reminded me how great Sega used to be…. *sigh*

  8. Bloody Tears is such a great song. I personally love the Bloodlines version of it the best.

    That rhythm thief song was really nice. I wasn’t aware of it before.

    Sega and Yuzo rarely disappoint. Great episode.

  9. Happy you enjoyed my chicken puppet ensemble “The Bwak Choir” and our track! This was our fourth arrangement with members of The Materia Collective (our first track was from the first album, Final Fantasy VII Remixed, where we covered “Waltz De Chocobo”) and we just keep.. .making… weird stuff, from Sonic the Hedgehog to Ocarina of Time:)
    Also if you want to see a music video featuring the chickens, enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMgmtCbSuvE

  10. Jeremiah Jones

    Just a question from the last radio episode: Any chance of you guys revisiting the episode in which you were attempting to do music for Mitsuda? I think you guys ran out of time in the Umeatsu episode.

    I loved it though. Sorry for posting late.

  11. Classic

    I am hoping we find time for a more ancient round up, so that others may hear the Good Notes of Chronicles of Time and Spectrum of Mana, even though as compilations they come with the same caveats as ZODIAC.

  12. econmara

    This is an awesome podcast!! I bought the metroid resynthesized after the last one, my late night walks with the dog have taken on an epic quality since. Also the format is perfect.

  13. Great episode! I went and checked out the Jet Set Radio soundtracks after listening to this. Man, that’s some damn fine music, although hearing “Sneakman,” the music that comes on when the police are after you in the game, brought on anxiety. Even though I haven’t played that gamed for nearly sixteen years now, my brain still goes into panic mode when I hear that music. It’s a weird aspect of game soundtracks that you don’t get with other mediums.

  14. dc12

    Running the Shinobi record at 33rpm vs 45 rpm creates a more badass experience? Hmm… Now if there was an enterprising modder who could do that. I don’t know anything about lps, and the only records I see are only 33rpm.

  15. Lars

    Loved the episode, this one I won’t delete. Really interested in the Zodiac songs.

    Out Run and Super Shinobi, great selection.

  16. Ryan Gavigan

    I’d also recommend for groups taking soundtracks and doing excellent ‘tributes’ to them, The Megas. Their concept albums for Mega Man 2 (Get Eqipped) (and their double album for MM3, History Repeating: Red and Blue) are amazing compositions in how they write the music and lyrics to compose their own ‘story behind the story’. Perfect pop/rock goodness. Some of my favorite tracks are:
    I Want to be the One
    Metal Dance/Metalman
    Can’t Stop the Top
    Blue Like You/Flashman
    Man on Fire/Heat man
    I Refuse (to Believe)
    To Watch You Die
    The Annihilation of Monsteropolis/ Airman

  17. Necrochaos

    Thank you so much for mentioning Skies of Arcadia! This is one of my favorite RPG’s of all time. I remember playing it on the Dreamcast in college. I was amazed at the music and felt that it added so much to the gameplay. I bought it again on Gamecube to play the additional content and here that fantastic music again.

    This game gets passed over too many times in RPG conversations that I’m excited to hear you talk about it. Thanks for reminding me to listen to this music again!