Latter day 8-bit soundtracks certainly did their part in squashing the stereotype that game music had to be a horrifying cacophony of bleeps and bloops, but the tech specs of the next generation ushered in a new era of polyphonic potential. Although, with 16-bit composition still in its infancy, it seemed aspiring maestros weren’t above borrowing the occasional tune. Especially in Japan.
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
Chrono Trigger – Robo Theme
“I’ll just rip off this one forgotten, one-hit-wonder from 1987… who’s gonna know?” Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger’s composer, probably thought. And he almost got away with it, were it not for a mammoth internet meme almost fifteen years later. Upon meeting Robo in 2008’s Chrono Trigger DS rerelease, it finally dawned on millions of gamers that they’ve been getting Rickroll’d as far back as 1995.
While we can’t really take credit for all the revelations in this feature, we certainly feel like we blew the lid off this one. It all started when we had Capcom Community EditorSeth Killianon our filthy, stupid podcast during the recentTalkRadar 45. Simply bringing up the innocuous Wii game Major Minor’s Majestic March, and its designer Masaya Matsuura, prompted Killian to say, “I have issues with that guy.”
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Turns out, Matsuura hadn’t accounted for our guest, the lone gamer who also happened to be into German experimentalist rock groups of the 1970s, when composing his immortal gas-brake ditty.
Can - Turtles Have Short Legs
Parappa the Rappa - Instructor Mooselini’s Rap
Oh, he almost got away with it! Obviously, we’ve never heard of Can, but the band is said to have influenced artists like The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and The Talking Heads. Go ahead and add Matsuura and Instructor Mooselini to that list, because after hearing Can’s 1971 song “Turtles Have Short Legs,” the similarities are undeniable.
If The Rock’s recent celluloid tribute taught us anything, it was just how synonymous Doom is with the nineties. In fact, try blaring Doom II over a television playing VH1 Classic mid 90’s metal meltdown. We’ll wait…
Alice in Chains - Them Bones
Doom II - Map 23 Barrels ‘O Fun
Alice in Chains is one of the more blatant jacks, but you’ll also find both Dooms had no problem pilfering riffs from Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and just about any other metal band infinitely worthy of accompanying battling the forces of hell.