Despite being incredibly difficult and occasionally confusing, Rare's Wizards & Warriors series was one of my favorite NES franchises. I'd often find myself wandering in circles for hours, attempting to land a jump that wasn't even part of the playable level, but at each Game Over screen I'd hop right back in, ready to lead knight Kuros to victory. And while no one gameplay aspect of Ironsword really stood out, its music remains one of my favorite 8-bit soundtracks.
The title screen sets a serious tone - its heavy, droning beats mix with a fantasy-minded melody that make it sound like a funeral dirge in the Shire. The song plays as the game's meager plot scrolls by in text, which is basically summed up as "the bad guy from the first game is back, you must stop him again." Even though it's as basic as can be, the opening music makes it seem impossibly important.
Above: The Clouds area theme is similarly ominous, but a bit more toe-tappingly fun. And yes that's Fabio
Above: Icefire Mountain is the opposite - just typical game music, done exceptionally well by Mr Wise
Back in the NES days, this was a fairly popular series. I've always been a little surprised at how thoroughly it disappeared after the NES faded away; Rare hasn't uttered a peep about it since. Now, I wouldn't even necessarily want remakes of the original games, but something new might be cool - so long as it doesn't morph into a needlessly M-rated gorefest that tries to out-gruff God of War.
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