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

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

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 manygamers - 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 acomic stripin - 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?


Highly funky beats from John Baker


Dracula's Tears by Yamane and Kimura


Welcome to Rapture by Gary Schyman

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