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!
When you pull that plunger you have no idea the kind of Hell that's coming down on you. This is Devil's Crush, the sequel to the 1988 arcade hit Alien Crush. In this TurboGrafx-16 pinball classic, players use their ball to take out the Devil's forces and rack up high scores. This is done by slamming into chanting monks, destroying dragon eggs before they hatch and waking up the lizard women in the center of the table. Also, it has this haunting theme song ...
Forget Splatterhouse, because Devil's Crush has the spookiest theme on the TurboGrafx-16. If you strip away the limited hardware, this mesmerizing theme sounds like it was lifted from a cheesy movie about exorcisms. We're given the creepy sounds of a faux-theremin, an instrument not utilized enough in video game soundtracks. All the while we have the keys staggering their way up and down the scale. Even when it becomes repetitive, this Devil's Crush intro remains haunting. You can almost hear the priest yelling at the demon and throwing holy water. The whole thing is even more unnerving when you realize that the only thing standing between you and salvation is a round, metal pinball. Suddenly I'm in the mood for pea soup.
Pinball is definitely not what I expect when you tell me a game is called Devil's Crush. Creepy music, on the other hand, is exactly what I expect, and this theme song delivers. The melody of this song is a moderately busy, yet slow piece of organ music, with the bass notes as a left hand part. What's rather unusual here is the tone harmonizing with the organ; they seem to have borrowed the theremin used for old alien movies. I really love the weird instrument combination, but as usual I find the simple backing notes disappointing. Simply giving the bass part chords instead of single notes would have been nice. I also find the theremin a little misleading, as this game definitely has no aliens. I suppose my mind has typecast the instrument. Regardless, it's a good theme song, and the soundtrack gets even better from here.
Top Secret: He's a super spy on an incredibly sensitive mission. It's very hush-hush; not the kind of thing we can talk about here. What I can tell you is that he has a number in his name and sometimes goes by Duke. I've said too much and now I have to kill you.