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!
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode
[ Company: Vic Tokai | Year: 1988 | Console: NES ]
What you're about to read is top secret! What I'm about to tell you is for your eyes only and this computer will self-destruct in a matter of minutes. Or maybe hours. Our tech guys seemed a little unclear on just how long the fuse is. Either way, this is the story of international super spy Duke Togo. He's come to the United States to figure out who shot down the CIA helicopter. It's a crime only the best of the best can crack.
Much like yesterday's Devil's Crush theme, this music from Golgo 13 feels influenced by popular media. In this case it's spy movies and TV shows of the era. The song opens with a riff that is ripped straight out of the Inspector Gadget opening, and it only becomes more derivative from there. But just when I'm about to write the theme off, suddenly it breaks into a playful melody. You hear quick staccato notes chirping back and forth and a chorus that is surprisingly moving. None of this makes the song feel less derivative, but I definitely liked the back half more than the intro. When I close my eyes I can see Ethan Hunt and the rest of the Mission: Impossible crew hatching a plan. Sadly, when I open them again I'm left with Golgo 13.
It feels like I've complained many times about these theme songs having bland bass lines. Golgo 13 will have none of my griping in that regard. After a five note lead intro, the bass kicks in at breakneck speed. The lead doesn't stop, and the drums join in at the same time with a matching disco beat, but the busy bass is the first thing I notice. It's not just a momentary thing either, it lasts through the entire theme. The lead, despite being fairly sustain heavy, is still quite clearly carrying the melody despite the bass being so active. The two parts work together very tastefully, while feeling as if anyone playing those parts is going to be having a blast. Unfortunately, the drums are still left in the cold holding down the beat. I get the feeling the NES couldn't handle more input from them.
It's time for ANOTHER Ninja game. But don't worry, this one is good. No, scratch that; this one is excellent. Perhaps the best game on the system. What could it be? All I know is that it might have something to do with the return of a ninja master.