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Game music of the day: Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Game: Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Song: Level One

Composer: Junko Tamiya

       
Above: Level One from Little Nemo

I spout no small amount of Capcom love on GR every week. From game music to hands-on to interviews, I don't hide my fandom for a second. And while I don't think the company is infallible by any means, my eternal devotion stems from a time when many gamers - myself included - felt Capcom could do no wrong. From Mega Man to Ducktales to today's entry, Little Nemo, the publisher kicked out a string of hits faster than our 10-year-old minds could fathom. And in usual NES-Capcom fashion, each had a memorable, highly catchy soundtrack that made an already great game truly remarkable.

Almost all the music in Nemo is good, but nothing tops the first stage. The bass beat and main melody combine to form one of the toe-tappingest tunes on the NES, which also contains an adventuresome pep one would expect from a game about a boy running loose in his dreams.


Above: YESSSS TAKE ME WITH YOU


Above: The final level, where you face down the Nightmare King, is another strong track

But what is Little Nemo? Put on your Boring Pants for a minute, 'cause we're gonna hafta dive into a little bit o' history for this one. It originally began as a comic strip in - are you ready for this? - 1871. Nemo was a boy who would become lost in his increasingly bizarre and occasionally violent dreams, usually waking by the end of each comic. Over a HUNDRED YEARS LATER a Japanese animated film was released, which Capcom licensed for use on the NES. Sadly, the movie bombed in Japan and didn't fare too well in the US either, so as kids most of us had no idea that Little Nemo was based on anything- we just knew his animal friends were super cool and the game kicked ass.

Today, Nemo's still a fairly fun game, though not quite as immortal as some of the other NES offerings of the day. Not like you can find out for yourself though, as it's still not available on the Wii's Virtual Console. Guess that's due to some legal obnoxiousness on the Nemo side - turns out SOME of the ancient Nemo stuff is public domain, but some isn't. Best to just give up than attempt to handle a few lawyers, eh?

 

Game music of the day: Toejam & Earl
Highly funky beats from John Baker

 

 

Game music of the day: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Dracula's Tears by Yamane and Kimura

 

 

Game music of the day: BioShock
Welcome to Rapture by Gary Schyman

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15 comments

  • jakab11 - October 11, 2010 10:19 p.m.

    Oh man I love this game, so hard though! anyway this is definitely on my list of awesome game songs. I tried to let's play this game, it didn't go well last boss took probably about 50 tries but otherwise awesome
  • Gorillaman23 - October 11, 2010 7 p.m.

    That movie was fucking amazing. I can't remember if I sold that VHS, but I sure hope I didn't as I now need to go watch it. Thanks for the nostalgia for the, what is this, a hundredth time?
  • CoktorBloktopus - October 10, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    Brett these daily game music articles never fail to touch the nastalgia that my heart holds for NES and SNES games. Thank you for your tirelss love of video game music.
  • ajcich - October 10, 2010 12:48 p.m.

    Nicely done Brett, this is one of the best you have picked so far! I ADORE this game, always have.
  • JohnnyApplesperm - October 10, 2010 9:57 a.m.

    Oldschool Capcom music kicks so much ass! It angers me that I've never gotten to play any of the major Capcom classics, like Ducktales, Little Nemo, Street Fighter or even *GASP* Megaman. For some reason I just never crossed paths with these games, but I wants them so bad. Great pick Brett!
  • punkduck2064 - October 10, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    I fucking love this game, I still play it at least once a week. Great pick!
  • Austin_SJ - October 9, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    6 out of 15 responses are these stupid sales links. That's funny. I approve of the songs.
  • philipshaw - October 9, 2010 12:32 p.m.

    I heard this song on the podcast and always wondered where it came from,such a great melody. Thanks for sharing it Brett
  • shyfonzie - October 9, 2010 3:46 a.m.

    I love this game so much.
  • Randomwordcombination - October 9, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    Nice choice!!!
  • paganpoet - October 9, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    The chord progression and pedal bass line of this tune are totally lifted from the end of Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen" Great tune, one of my faves from the NES era!
  • garnsr - October 9, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    No mention of the Genesis song from 1978 about Nemo, Scenes from a Night's Dream? I remember seeing the movie as a kid, sometime around the time I played the game. It may have been about the first anime I saw.
  • Redeater - October 9, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    This game was so freakin hard! I could never beat the last boss.
  • JohnDagger - October 9, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    HOLY CRAP! I just remembered the movie from my childhood yesterday and dug out my old VHS today! I think Mr. Elston found a portal into my head and is digging through my childhood memories in order to further his career. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
  • batmanboy11 - October 9, 2010 midnight

    Good stuff.

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