I grew up with a SEGA MegaDrive (or a Genesis as it was called in the US). The first Nintendo console I owned was the N64, but before that, all my Zelda, Metroid, and Mario fixes I needed to go round various friends’ houses in order to play them. Thankfully it seemed that every other person but me owned one, so what I am getting at is that my childhood and my first introduction into the world of video games was told through that little 16bit MegaDrive 2 (my brother owned the original).
I still own it to this day, locked away in a big red box on top of a bed of a classic games, and every now and again I like to crack it out and have a blast. Friends love it, and a good night of Retro gaming always goes down a treat.
Anyway, the music that was featured in these games is perfection. I love 8bit and 16bit style music, even the New Wave Retro type of songs that you can find on YouTube and in CyberPunk films is amazing, and all of that spawned from playing hours upon hours of MegaDrive. I think my love for the music was never intentional, but it just grew the more I played them. Now when I hear this type of music, I can’t help but nod my head and tap my toes.
So, below are some of my most favourite MegaDrive tunes from a couple of games that I have played to death and absolutely love. As it is with me, it is hard to put these in any particular order, so I am just going to try and put them in a way that makes them flow. Think of them as a single game with song representing an individual stage, following the title screen of course.
- Title Sequence
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf – Main Theme
Such a great guitar solo. The image of the helicopter blasting across the desert is brought to mind the second you hear it.
- Stage One
Golden Axe – Wilderness
Kicking little thieving Imps, eating turkeys and luring skeletons to fall to their deaths… GOLDEN AXE!
- Stage Two
Road Rash – Grass Valley
This is one of the few racing games that I can actually play (I can’t play Mario Kart for shit)
- Stage Three
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker – Smooth Criminal
How good is this various of Smooth Criminal? Such an odd game, but the music was spot on.
- Stage Four
Toejam & Earl – Toejam Jammin’
The music of Toejam & Earl was unbelievably funky. The bass rift of this tune is so good.
- Stage Five
The Terminator – Holocaust
This song, I feel captures the style of futuristic war scenes from the original movie, but spices them up enough to make them fit in with the action platformer that is this game
- Stage Six
Streets of Rage 2 – Go Straight
Just hearing this song makes you want to go out into the streets and start fighting punks, smashing dustbins with metal poles, throw knives, and suplex fat blokes who breath fire… no? Just me then.
- Stage Seven
Earthworm Jim – New Junk City
A very underrated and mostly unheard of game. Everyone remembers the cartoon with the voice of Dan Castelaneta (Homer Simpson), but few people know that it was one of the few things that started its life as a video game before becoming something more.
- Stage Eight
Sonic – Chemical Plant Zone
Although many of the songs are fantastic (Sonic 2’s OST mainly), this is the single greatest piece of music in the entire Sonic series.
- Final Stage
Castlevania Bloodlines – Stage 4
The classic Castlevania games were a great mixture of platforming, action and horror, all complete with a well suited soundtrack.
- Bonus Stage
Cool Spot – Rave Dance Tune
Thanks for Listening/Reading