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Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.
Composer: Yuzo Koshiro
Above: Bloodpool from Actraiser
It's rare when a game can juggle more than one genre and still end up as a quality product. Usually you end up with a so-so game that's trying to do too many things at once instead of mastering just one. Actraiser, an SNES launch title from (pre Square) Enix, managed to expertly combine a slashy-jumpy side scroller with laid back, SimCity-style village building to make one of the most unique and long-lasting games of the generation. And, as you might suspect, it also had a powerfully strong soundtrack.
This song plays in the second area you visit, called Bloodpool for its blood-red lake. I went over this exact area in a Top 7 over a year ago, but back then I didn't explain how rich and truly epic the music is. Compare this song, with its orchestra-caliber composition, to anything that came on the NES before and the difference is staggering. In short, this is where game music really grew up and no one could argue any differently.
Above: Birth of the People, the beautiful town-building tune (and also my ringtone for GR's own Charlie Barratt!)
Looking back, I can't believe I didn't include this in my 17 soundtracks that were ahead of their time feature. Composer Yuzo Koshiro has seen this work remixed and even wonderfully brought to life by a full orchestra, so I'm sure he's aware of how moving his music must be. Like what you hear? Then you need to check out his work on the Streets of Rage series.
Game music of the day: Kirby's Dream Land
Credits by Jun Ishikawa
Game music of the day: Deus Ex
Main title by Alex Brandon
Game music of the day: Mario Kart 64
Victory Lap by Kenta Nagata