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Game music of the day: Super Castlevania IV

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.


April 9, 2010

Game: Super Castlevania IV

Song: Prologue

Composer: Masanori Adachi and Taro Kudou

       
Above: "Prologue" from Super Castlevania IV

Last night Konami held its annual gamer's day even in San Francisco, the highlight of which was its extensive demonstration of the upcoming Castlevania reboot, Lords of Shadow. Why does Castlevania need a reboot? Because the series has lost some of its "oomph" over the years and desperately needs a modern take. Shadow looks to be that game that ushers the franchise into 3D, but how did Konami begin its presentation? With a two-minute montage of game footage set to a classic Super NES song from Castlevania IV.

This Prologue track plays while the game's brief story text scrolls across the screen. While it is slow and hardly a "catchy" song, it is entirely indicative of the game's atmospheric soundtrack. The fact that Konami saw fit to play a song  from 1991 over videogame footage taken in 2010 shows just how powerful the music really is. Put on some headphones and let this stuff wash over you. Picture a crumbling, haunted castle overrun with all manner of beasts, and you're in there all alone. Perfect.

Even though Castlevania has a storied history of tunes, like say Bloody Tears and Vampire Killer (which will be addressed later for sure), embedded above is another song specific to Super IV. I adore the depth of these songs, with several layers playing at once, each one memorable and impressive, but as a whole they make a soundtrack that was, at the time, almost unimaginable on a cartridge system. The game's available on Wii's Virtual Console, so if you're not familair with one of the best 16-bit games of all time, download it and see why I've been losing my shit over it for almost 20 years.

 


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13 comments

  • CH3BURASHKA - June 9, 2010 1:11 a.m.

    The ending of SC4 is featured as the closing music for Talkradar 27, one of my favorites.
  • Tenfey - April 28, 2010 10:57 p.m.

    When I was a kid, I genuinely found this game creepy, and I think the music was a big part of that. You know level 6 where this creepy opera-esc music plays and these zombie dudes chase after you. Yeah I got a serious case of the jebbies every time I played that level.
  • Checkitout - April 10, 2010 5:49 p.m.

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  • sixboxes - April 10, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    Oh man thanks for reminding me that SCIV had pretty much the best music of any SNES game ever. I'd be happy to fight anyone who says different.
  • philipshaw - April 10, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    Great songs, must check out this game on virual console
  • insidious420 - April 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

    @Aeshir: check out these awesome covers of Bloody Tears... guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvOR8ar-cNM&NR=1 piano: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MM_Q0nfaG0&feature=related
  • insidious420 - April 10, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    I finally registered on here after years of off/on reading, to say this: Super Castlevania IV is one of the greatest video games ever made, and the music is one huge reason for this. To anyone saying they're a fan of Castlevania and/or have never played this game: you owe it to yourself to play it now. It's awesome, and the music is insanely, impressively good.
  • RonaldRayGun - April 10, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    Great game. Great music too.
  • kefka5159 - April 10, 2010 2:40 a.m.

    Modroneman, you know, you're still a Castlevania fan (and an oldschool one at that), so I won't smack you for never having played SCIV......but I wanna. GO PLAY IT NOW! One of the best, most atmospheric games in the history of everything.
  • phoenix_wings - April 10, 2010 1:43 a.m.

    This was the first Castlevania game I ever played. I totally loved it.
  • KevlarTurban - April 10, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    OMG this is probably my favorite Castlevania of all time. I remember the swamp level when I was a kid and telling my friends that it was Dracula's dirty diaper and that was his crap you kept sinking into. AH - as I listen to the prologue of the game I can just picture the snippets of the different boss battles like I played it just yesterday, GOD I LOVE THIS GAME. Is there some way of procuring this games soundtrack legally? I would totally support it and pay moneys.
  • Modroneman - April 10, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    You know. I have this game still in the box and havn't played it. Maybe I should bring out the old SNES and give it a try. Tho my favorite Castlevania is still Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. I wish they would make another like it, had some truly great music!
  • Aeshir - April 9, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    I never played Super Castlevania (because I never had a SNES), but I did have Simon's Quest, so Bloody Tears will be forever burned into my mind. FOR-EV-ER.

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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