It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeks straight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
Flashback: The Quest for Identity
[ Company: Delphine | Year: 1993 | Console: Genesis ]
Taking inspiration from Prince of Persia and Out of this World, Flashback: The Quest for Identity is a futuristic adventure game using the type of fluid animation you can only get from rotoscope technology. Our forgetful hero spends much of his time dodging enemies in the jungle, doing odd jobs in town and going on a reality TV show. This Genesis cart was way ahead of its time. But does the theme song still hold up? Find out now ...
This Flashback theme sounds like the kind of thing I would be into. It's dark and moody, which is how I like a lot of my music. I'm a fan of atmosphere, and this puts me in a cyberpunk kind of mood. But after I get past my initial love of the low-energy style, I'm left with a song that doesn't go anywhere. The whole thing is barely kept together by what sounds like a heartbeat. Occasionally you'll hear the sound of a baseball card stuck in the bicycle spokes. There isn't much beyond that. You can feel the weight of the song every time it loops back around to the start. I get the feeling that even the game wants this theme to stop. For the love of God, PUSH THE START BUTTON!!
Flashback's theme takes a very minimalist approach. It wants to set an ominous tone, and it does that fairly well. Much of the theme seems to be ambiance, with the only constant instrument being a very spaced out kick drum. The kicks to me seem like a slowed heart beat, as if the theme is making you think in slow motion. It makes me feel as if this is a stealth or horror game rather than the unforgiving action game that it is. The ambiance itself is a bit hard to describe. The strange noise in the third repetition makes me think of a thick liquid substance dripping onto metal. What could that possibly be? It's creepy, which seems to be what they're going for. I don't think the theme fits the gameplay, but it definitely fits some of the settings.
There will come a point when you'll realize that this isn't actually the final game in the series. You can choose to escape when it's your turn again, but I would just stay and fight it out.