Game music of the day: Ironsword

Game: Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II

Song: Title Screen

Composer: David Wise

Above: Title Screen from Ironsword

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.

February 23, 2010


Game music of the day: Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
Release of the Far West Ocean by Falcom Sound Team



Game music of the day: Mega Man X
Spark Mandrill by Tomozawa, Yamamoto, Horiyama, Iwai and Takehara



Game music of the day: Wizards & Warriors
Title Screen by David Wise


  • Sensationo - February 25, 2011 2:46 a.m.

    The second song reminds me of WWF wrestlemania on the nes
  • Aeshir - February 24, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    GAME MIZZLE OF THE DIZZLE IS BIZZLESNACK! Time to swing a fat bat into some fat ass!
  • therawski - February 24, 2011 5 p.m.

    @Brelston FTW! Thanks for the new game music!!!
  • philipshaw - February 24, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    I hope this means that GMOTD is back for good
  • TrentSteel - February 24, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    I still have this and remember playing it around 1992 on Sunday nights, followed by One Foot in the Grave and Spitting Image before bed. It's not held up particularly well, in fact it may not have been very good even then, but brings back the memories...
  • Redeater - February 24, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Does anyone know the Wizards and Warriors song that just peters out towards the end? I can't remember it but it cracked me up as a kid. I think it went Da..Da.....Da........Da..............Da (Not super helpful I know but the musical bar would resemble something like that)
  • IamNOTatalkingpony - February 24, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    YESSSSS! God bless David Wise.
  • Sinosaur - February 24, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    You know, I was longing for a good old dose of 8-bit beautiful to fill my ears. As always glad to see the good old game music introducing me to awesome stuff I never even would have known about if it weren't here. Man, I wish I'd had an NES when I was a kid, 8-bit game music just gives me a thrill.
  • CancerMan - February 24, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    Was just about to start bitching about GMotD being gone and now it's back!
  • Modroneman - February 24, 2011 5:57 a.m.

    Okay, I thought I was the only one that noticed that Game Music was back. Awesome to see it again! I probably have this game stashed away in my NES collection, I'm just too lazy to go check. :)
  • PessimisticHappyThoughts - February 24, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    How about Faxanadu? I have know idea how or why I had it growing up seriosly no idea where it came from but, man I played the hell out of it. Always untell the same part which I could never seem to get past. no idea how far into the game it was. Seemed to take a while when I was a kid. Shortly after the second town with the doctor and nurse in it.(guess I sucked watching a play through on youtube and dudes there in under 25 minutes about half way throught the play through. Had to use the winged boots more. Damn )The Soundtrack I still remember to this day. Theres a real good playlist on youtube everybody should check out. Nothing makes me think of my childhood like this and Legand of Zelda. Can't believe I've never looked this up before until now. My brains gonna explode from the rush of retro memories. Good times!
  • G0D - February 24, 2011 4:08 a.m.

  • Crabhand - February 24, 2011 3:05 a.m.

    It's kind of amazing how great the stuff David Wise made with such limited technology. Retro music will forever be the one of the greatest contributions from video games.
  • CaptainHead - February 24, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    Wow right around the 46 second mark of the title screen track SCREAMS Donkey Kong Country! That is so cool.
  • CaptainHead - February 24, 2011 2:54 a.m.

    This was a few years before my time, but it's amazing that a little 8-bit piece like that still immediately makes me think of Rare/Wise!
  • Tenfey - February 24, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    Commenting so Brett feels better. Also whats up Kuros' googly eyes?
  • Yaro - February 24, 2011 2:35 a.m.

    Another great addition! Love this feature!
  • JuliePeesgood - February 24, 2011 2:33 a.m.

    Cool story bro
  • Yaro - February 24, 2011 2:32 a.m.

    Another great addition! Love GMOTD!
  • batmanboy11 - February 24, 2011 2:23 a.m.

    Oh GMOTD, how I have missed you.

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000