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Old 03-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kid Icarus' Soundtrack is Better than You Think

Judging the reputation of the original Kid Icarus has always been tricky. Is it a forgotten classic? A mish-mash of incompatible ideas? Or is this early Nintendo effort only remembered due to its lead character's bizarre depiction on the enormously popular children's infomercial Captain N: The Game Master? Whatever the case, gamers have been unable to come to a consensus on Kid Icarus, outside of agreeing about its shrill, often ear-splitting soundtrack.

But don't blame composer Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka for your shattered eardrums; nearly a year before hitting the NES, the original version of Kid Icarus landed on the Famicom Disk System, which offered an addition sound channel for the purposes of wavetable synthesis. If these technical terms sound confusing, hearing the difference between FDS and NES soundtracks should explain everything. As much as I am loath to use the word "robust" in games writing, there's no better way to describe the difference between the two; the "instruments" definitely sound much richer than their NES approximations. Go ahead and check it out for yourself:

Famicom Disk SystemNintendo Entertainment System If you check out any NES game that had a previous FDS edition, odds are the soundtrack sounds significantly better. And, thanks to YouTube, you can go ahead and check out the comparisons for yourself. Other notable selections include Metroid and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the latter of which no longer sounds like a warbly old cassette tape you've left sitting on the dashboard for too long.



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Old 03-24-2012, 02:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Kid Icarus' Soundtrack is Better than You Think

For the biggest difference skip to 6:10 on the Metroid video to hear the revisted
ending.

Maybe I'm used to the USA version, but the Zelda 2 intro just sounds really odd to me, I don't like it.

Even with the user-defined sound data, the NES music is still too dependent on the accursed triangle channel (deep low beep sound), that sound is just too loud.

Nintendo did the right thing scrapping that crap out of the Gameboy, and replacing it with the user-defined wave pattern, which was put to much better use.

For more jealousy, listen to the VRC6 chip instead (go straight to 17:52 if short on time).

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9HPaNIok6I"]TAS HD: NES Castlevania 3 - Dracula's Curse (JPN) '"Alucard path" in 25:17.73 by Samhain-Grim - YouTube[/ame]

How about some NES VRC7 FM-synthesis instead?

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRQAG_jODy0"]? Lagrange Point (Famicom, 1991) - YouTube[/ame]

This also happened with the Master System, Sega removed the FM synthesis expansion from USA/EU machines.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ6kAVaRUPg"]Ys -Ancient Ys Vanished Omen- (Sega Master System[FM]) JAP - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgCvLkT6AS0"]Sega Master System vs Mark III Sound comparison - YouTube[/ame]

It sucks that the west always got cost-reduced consoles back then.
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