Friday, September 09, 2016

Soundtrack September: Salamander / Life Force

Game: Salamander / Life Force (1986)
Platforms: numerous
Composers: Higashino Miki, Maezawa Hidenori, et al

Best known to Western kids as Life Force on the NES, Salamander (an offshoot of the Gradius series) helped popularize Konami as a giant of the belt-scrolling shooter genre – and the motivational rock music that goes along with that genre. My sister and I used to play Life Force's two-player cooperative mode and ad-lib lyrics to the soundtrack.

Salamander was originally an arcade title, but was eventually ported to just about every console that ever existed. Most of those ports saw an improvement over the original arcade version in the music department. Arcade music in the mid-80s just didn't sound very good most of the time. Still, the music is distinctly Konami, thanks in part to the involvement of Maezawa Hidenori, whose name you might recognize from credits in Contra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Goonies II.

I'm most familiar with the NES version, as that's what I grew up with, but get a load of the music from the MSX port. I think that just might be the best this game's soundtrack has ever sounded.

Oh yeah, and there's a medley of songs from Life Force on Space Pirate Collection I, just sayin'.

No comments: