Sound Test

 

Here you’ll find information on and files for various video game soundtracks, with a likely heavy emphasis on those soundtracks that I’ve recorded and edited directly from games or other sources.

Astal Unofficial OST (2011 Release)

Download this soundtrack in a ZIP file (129 MB) – Link Here.

It’s only fitting I start off with one of the first soundtracks I seriously recorded. Astal and I go way back to the days shortly after the release of the Sega Saturn. As a platforming game, Astal was average, with straightforward and easy gameplay. But from a video and audio perspective, it was outstanding, with colorful sprite-based graphics and beautiful music, a harbinger of what the 32-bit era had in store for gamers everywhere (that is, until the industry abandoned sprites in favor of polygons, but that’s a tale for another time.)

This is the third (and final) version of this soundtrack to be released. The first was done in 1997 with a basic Soundblaster card and an unfiltered audio-in line. Seven years later in 2004 I decided to re-do the effort with the various improvements I had learned over the years. I also spent time trying to digitally extract the music from the disk, even going so far as to find the sound files, but was unable to make anything useful out of them–at that point. Others even tried the same thing years later without success.

Then at some point in the past year or so a breakthrough occurred and someone else was able to decipher the files because I received an e-mail from a fellow gamer (wishing to remain anonymous) who shared with me playable FLAC versions of the raw music files from both the Japanese and English versions of the game. Considerable audio editing later and I had digitally-perfect versions of most of the game’s music. One piece not present in the files was the music which plays when Astal first rescues the Leda-bird, so I recorded that directly through the computer with a Saturn emulator.

What’s still missing? The music which plays during intermissions during the game. In all versions of the game, this is actually stored on disc with dialogue overlaying it, so I’ve left it out and unless Sega ever comes out with a (16+ years overdue) official soundtrack, the music behind those scenes will never be cleanly available. Nevertheless, the game’s playing soundtrack can now be heard at its absolute quality, straight off the disc and encoded in a much higher rate than the 128kbs and 192kbs of the prior releases.

Epic Pinball ~ Silverball Complete Soundtracks

Download this soundtrack in a ZIP file (141 MB) – Link Here.

A computer pinball game may seem like an odd choice of soundtrack to record or release, but not if you actually played this gem. While not up to the majesty of Devil’s Crush, Epic Pinball was pretty, well, epic for its day. It was released in 1993, at a time where BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems for the younger among you) played a big part in software distribution and Shareware was an industry standard amongst independent and smaller software houses, and most people who will recognize it here probably saw it first as Shareware, with the demo table Android possibly being the only one they ever played. The game sported decent physics and colorful graphics (in a for-then respectable resolution of 320×200.)

The game’s music was composed and stored in the Amiga ModTracker format, which allowed multiple sampled voices at a small filesize, which was important when trying to distribute four tables on a 1.2MB floppy disk and don’t want to settle for crappy-or-great-depending-on-your-sound-card MIDI music. Each table had its own distinct music and, while not all of them matched perfectly (Enigma’s short, jaunty theme particularly sticks out), they make for quite an enjoyable journey back through time. Note the two versions of Android; many demo versions of the game featured a different version of this table than what was ultimately released, which also included two different musical scores.

After the success of Epic Pinball, Silverball was released via conventional commercial distribution. This is especially interesting because by all accounts Silverball was actually created before Epic Pinball (it reportedly plays worse as a result, though I have never tried it.) The music quality of Silverball, however, is certainly on par with its predecessor-descendant, especially Warbot, with its mournful tune reminiscent in parts of what would be put out by a Commodore 64 SID chip; and Duel, which while relatively short is an amazingly upbeat tune (with an only slightly off-key synth guitar solo.)

These tracks were recorded through a PC MOD player, using no interpolation or resampling, so you hear it exactly as it would have been commonly heard on a PC at the time. This also means occasional bits of fuzz or sizzle-sounding music, but that’s part of the charm of this classic. The resulting sound was edited in order to piece together those songs where the built-in hard stop was awkward (such as Excalibur and Enigma.) If you’re looking to burn a traditional CD for listening, all of these will (snugly) fit onto an 80-minute CD.

Sailor Moon Drops Unofficial OST

Download this soundtrack in a ZIP file (53 MB) – Link Here.

This is a recording of all the tracks available in the English version of the Bandai Namco mobile game Sailor Moon Drops, as of September 1st, 2016. I may update this soundtrack at a future point when and if more tracks become available in the game due to new seasons being covered.

Overall, though I enjoy the game for what it is, the music of Sailor Moon Drops is somewhat uninspired. It doesn’t really capture the feel of the anime on which it is based, nor does it really establish its own personality. Only a couple of tracks–namely those related to the boss fights–stand out at all. The sound synthesis reminds me much of what was seen on the Sega Saturn and in the early days of the first Playstation, which is appropriate considering these consoles were in the prime of their popularity when the anime was airing twenty years ago.

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