Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soundtrack September: Fester's Quest

Game: Fester's Quest (1989)
Platform: NES
Composers: Kodaka Naoki

The internet has destroyed the reputations of many games. This is one of them.

The argument over whether or not Fester's Quest was as bad as popular opinion would dictate will not take place here. People generally agree the game was too difficult (although I finished it, along with a lot of other games that people found difficult), that it was a clone of Blaster Master (I finished that one, too), that it had very little to do with the Addams Family (it was the Nintendo age...how faithful did you expect a game to be to its source material?), et cetera, et cetera.

Nobody, however, dare say anything critical of the game's music.

This goofy top-down maze shooter starring a supporting character in a show that no child of the 80s ever watched was blessed with one of the best NES soundtracks around, mainly thanks to Kodaka's deft use of the hardware to trick the ear of the listener. Rather than rely solely on the triangle wave channel for the bass track as most NES games did, this game made extensive use of a PCM sample of a slap bass sound, adding power normally absent from the low end of NES music. On top of that, Kodaka used one of his favorite tricks: "borrowing" one of the melody channels to add punch to every snare drum hit.

I don't think I'd have finished this game if the music wasn't so great.

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