Posts Tagged ‘Mega Drive’

Lava Reef Zone (Sonic & Knuckles)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of my favorite games of all time. In the top three. I’m sure it rates pretty high for the other guys, too. When joined together, that is honest-to-god the best 2D platform game of all time. It also has some god damn amazing music by Jun Senoue, Howard Drossin and Tomonori Sawada.

I don’t know what one of them is responsible for the fantastic music to Lava Reef Zone, so we’ll give all three of them the credit on our cover – they all deserve it anyway. This point in the game is right when the plot is starting to hot up, and the game does a great job of drawing you in without any text or voice acting – just 2D graphics to explain what’s going on.

While a cover of Lava Reef, this track also touches on the Hidden Palace Zone music, which also features a little in Lava Reef. There’s a fair bit of synth here and we took a very different approach to recording the rhythm guitar as we arranged it to be such high notes. Overall we’re very pleased, and we’re definitely gonna revisit Sonic more.

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Did You Know?
Lava Reef is actually the longest level in any of the Mega Drive/Genesis Sonic games. In terms of raw size and number of different paths characters can take the level is larger than any other, and really stretches the Mega Drive’s RAM to its limit.

The Red Wings on LOSER: A Sega Genesis Tribute

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Hello all!

First of all, thanks to everyone who has been messaging us on our MySpace, YouTube and Official Website pages. We read every damn comment and we really appreciate it.

We’re very happy to announce to everyone that we’re featured on LOSER: A Sega Genesis Tribute Album, released by the awesome guys at Game Music 4 All.

We’ve contributed two tracks to the album, “The Genius of Doctor Robotnik” from the Sonic Series and “Wilderness” from Golden Axe. Head on over to the website and grab the album’s 39 tracks of Sega goodness.

As far as our own album goes, we’re not quite done – we’re all so busy that it’s difficult to make things happen – but we’re still shooting for the end of this year.

The Genius of Doctor Robotnik (Sonic Series)

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Sonic the Hedgehog is was awesome. Back in the day, his games were undoubtedly the best around, and one in particular, the epic “Sonic 3 & Knuckles” – two games combined into one – remains my favorite platform game of all time. ever. Even over juggernauts like Mario 3 & Mario 64. The music is fantastic too, with a wide variety of composers working on games throughout the series. This track features a few pieces from a few different composers.

The original idea for this mix has to be credited to a guy named Jay Reichard. He’s a musician who likes to mess around with game music in a midi format, and he came up with a medley piece called The Genius of Doctor Robotnik. It’s a medley of the boss themes from Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles all in one. I found it on his website and fell in love with it, and asked him if we could record it. He agreed, and a great little partnership was formed. Jay’s working with us on a new track right now – he’s a genius musician.

This track was really pretty straightforward to record. I took Jay’s midi and changed it around to fit our style better, adding, removing, expanding and slimming down several parts. And then the three of us went to it, recording the live instruments. The Robotnik tunes are some of the most memorable from Sonic, and this medley covers the best tracks from Sonic’s golden age.

Did You Know?
Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were originally meant to be one game, but when Sonic 3 was going to slip from a Christmas release, Sega decided to make use of the Lock-On technology and shipped half of the game as Sonic 3 with the latter half to ship later as Sonic & Knuckles.

Wilderness (Golden Axe)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Another suggestion of Lloyd’s, Wilderness came to exist after several hours playing the Xbox 360 Arcade re-release of Golden Axe, originally released in Arcades, later ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. After growing up in the Mega Drive loving UK, memories of games like Golden Axe and Streets of Rage (more from that one later) are very much burned into the minds of all three of us.

Wilderness, being the first level in the game, is particularly memorable. Another heavy piece, this one is very strange in that it features no synthesised parts whatsoever. Which meant I only had to drum, so I’m quite happy. It was a chance to get in some heavy sounding distortion, and double bass pedal action on the drums.

Later on, the piece moves into slightly different territory, with a small poke at one of the most memorable pieces in the game, “Thief,” a tune to kick little creatures with sacks to. The original composers of this game are somewhat hazy, but our research suggests it is either Naofumi Hataya (幡谷尚史) or Tatsuyuki Maeda (前田龍之). Or both.


Did you know?
None of the members of The Red Wings own an actual Golden Axe cart – all three own it, but on one of Sega’s “Mega Games” compilation carts.

Ken’s Theme (Street Fighter II)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Ken’s Theme is yet another very important track to us as a band, as it represents several firsts. Ken’s Theme was the first time the band ventured outside of the comfort zone of the Final Fantasy series. Despite being inspired by The Black Mages, we couldn’t let ourselves be contained in one series. It was time to break out, and one of Lloyd’s favourite games of all time beckoned!

Suggested and persistantly suggested until my prototype midi was complete for the track, Lloyd wanted to do a heavy rock version of Ken’s Theme. This, too, was another first – all of our previous tracks were of a melodic rock style, while this piece took a distinctly heavy stance. I can say this midi was a pain in the ass to sequence, but it paid off in the end, giving The Red Wings their first heavy arrangement and their first outright guitar solo.

Taken from Alph Lyla and Yoko Shimomura‘s famous Street Fighter II soundtrack, after a significantly difficult arrangement period, recording came together rather easily, with the totally accidental addition of a saxophone to the background of the track adding the finishing touches. Sometimes accidents are a blessing!


Did you know?
Nobody in our circle of friends can play Street Fighter II properly, and most just choose E-Honda and spam that fast punch move. Lloyd, however, can actually play properly. Give me Smash Bros any day.