Game music of the day: Actraiser

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.

June 22, 2010

Game: Actraiser

Song: Bloodpool

Composer: Yuzo Koshiro

Above: Bloodpool from Actraiser

It's rare when a game can juggle more than one genre and still end up as a quality product. Usually you end up with a so-so game that's trying to do too many things at once instead of mastering just one. Actraiser, an SNES launch title from (pre Square) Enix, managed to expertly combine a slashy-jumpy side scroller with laid back, SimCity-style village building to make one of the most unique and long-lasting games of the generation. And, as you might suspect, it also had a powerfully strong soundtrack.

This song plays in the second area you visit, called Bloodpool for its blood-red lake. I went over this exact area in aTop 7over a year ago, but back then I didn't explain how rich and truly epic the music is. Compare this song, with its orchestra-caliber composition, to anything that came on the NES before and the difference is staggering. In short, this is where game music really grew up and no one could argue any differently.

Above: Birth of the People, the beautiful town-building tune (and also my ringtone for GR's own Charlie Barratt!)

Looking back, I can't believe I didn't include this in my17 soundtracks that were ahead of their timefeature. Composer Yuzo Koshiro has seen this work remixed and even wonderfully brought to life by afull orchestra, so I'm sure he's aware of how moving his music must be. Like what you hear? Then you need to check out his work on theStreets of Rage series.

Credits by Jun Ishikawa

Main title by Alex Brandon

Victory Lap by Kenta Nagata

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.