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Game: Journey to Silius
Song: Level 2
Composer: Nobuyuki, Marumo, N. Kodaka, About SS, MaboChan
Above: Level 2 from Journey to Silius
Never heard of Journey to Silius? Not surprised. It wasn't a hit when it first released on the NES, and publisher/developer Sunsoft did little to keep it in the minds of gamers beyond that initial launch period. Bit of a shame, really, as it boasts some unusually rockin' music that utilizes the NES' meager capabilites to great effect. This isn't unusual for Sunsoft though - the previously featured Blaster Master and Gremlins 2 were equally badass.
But this song, taken from the game's second level, really gets the point across. It's less beepy game music and more like an 8-bit lament playing over a dreary, rainswept street. The crunchy beat makes way for a soaring lead guitar-ish sound, as if yelling out in protest over some kind of wrongdoing. In this case, the hero's father has been killed, and it's up to him to run through a very Contra-like game to make the bad guys pay.
Slowing things down is the credits music, which ranks quite high on my personal list of NES ending songs (a thrilling list, believe me). So somber, so final. Perfect ending music in every way. Listen to this and really soak up the image up top. Once you're done with that, really take note of the names rolling through the credits. It was pretty common back then for credits to be filled with nonsense names, but Silius has some of the best - Sleepy K, North-River and About. SS really came together on this one.
Fun fact! Journey to Silius began its life as a Terminator game, but somewhere between the 1989 reveal in Nintendo Power (above) and the game's 1990 release, Sunsoft lost the rights and had to re-think the entire game. Interesting to some, perhaps, but the larger point is how rampantly Japanese developers were making games based on R-Rated US films. Robocop, Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Friday the 13th and plenty more all had games aimed at 10-year-olds, years before the ESRB was even a drop of thought-sperm in someone's brain-balls. Won't someone think of the children? They did - and made a ton of money off 'em.
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