This week brings another episode of Retronauts Radio. You should know the drill by now. Lots of music, lots of musing about that music. With this latest episode, I’ve highlighted four different works.
- Snatcher (LP, Ship to Shore): Definitely the highlight of this episode — it comprises about half the total running time.
- BRA*BRA | Final Fantasy Brass de Bravo 3 (CD or MP3, iTunes): A collection of Final Fantasy soundtrack covers, loosely affiliated by the inclusion of brass instruments across a huge variety of styles. Not that the world needs yet another Final Fantasy cover set, but some of these are pretty fresh.
- HuCard Disc in Taito Vol. 1 (CD, CDJapan): A collection of classic Taito music… but not the original Zuntata arcade performances. Instead, these are taken from the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 ports of the games. Some of it is quite good, some… less good.
- Switched On: A Link to the Past (MP3, Bandcamp): Another entry in the expanding field of retro analog synthesizer covers of beloved classic game music.
MP3, 53.7 MB | 1:51:24
Retronauts on iTunes
Retronauts at PodcastOne
In other words, some great stuff this month, and some acquired tastes. Next month, I’ll look at some actual Zuntata arcade jams, another Konami adventure, and… who knows what else?
Hello! This is Kishi, from the Internet. Yes, just Kishi! Don’t worry too much about the details; we’re here to talk about your gaming history, not me. If you must know, I wrote for GameSpite way back when that referred to things other than Mr. Parish’s Twitter handle. Bob Mackey was there, too. Since then, I’ve mostly been admiring them from afar, and I can scarcely express how honored I am to be alongside them again with the progress they’ve made building Retronauts into a temple of ancient knowledge. I’ll do my best to make a suitable addition to the foundation they’ve laid down.
As you’ve hopefully read below, my fellow newcomer Kim Justice has the UK computer scene sorted. I’m more familiar with the Japanese PC-8801 and PC-9801 series of computers, so you can look forward to retrospectives on the influential yet overlooked output of companies such as Square, Falcom, and Telenet, who found purchase in a world apart from the arcade-dominated zeitgeist of gaming’s early history. My other pet topics include the MSX2, a less powerful computer platform where Konami and Compile ruled the scene by exploring what possibilities were there; the PC Engine, where NEC and Hudson pioneered the concepts of CD gaming and producing way too many hardware variations; and the achievements of an obscure arcade manufacturer known as “Sega.”
One of my hobbies is capturing and reproducing graphics from old games. I never planned on learning anything from it, but years of practice have inadvertently granted me some insight into how these graphics were created, presented, and made to account for technical limitations in their original context. This includes such techniques as palette-shifting, bank-switching, all the various ways to fake a transparency, and the allocation of background and object layers in complex images. I’d like to create demonstrations of what I’ve learned using these visual aids.
In between everything else, I’ll be helping to cover the latest news in the living, breathing world of retro games and drawing upon my knowledge to contextualize it with a sense of history. More than anything else, I want to write things that only I could write. I hope you’ll join me on this Retronauts journey.