Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Midweek Music Box: The Battle of Olympus (NES)

Image result for battle of olympus nes

Beware the Ides of March! Or rather, games that are really fun but may-or-may-not be similar to a second installment of a beloved series. No, I'm not here to talk about the similarities/out-and-out clone-type nature of The Battle of Olympus and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. I will probably do so when I cover The Battle of Olympus for a Friday Night Rentals. For now, lets talk a little bit about the music from the game.

"Title Theme"

For a little bit, I did consider covering the music for God of War, but I honestly have little experience with the game and even if I did, I am more in the mood for something slightly more old school. And nothing quite says old school gaming music to me like the sounds made by those guys and gals over at Broderbund. (Not pronounced Broaderbound, as I used to do when I was a kid.) Anywho lets get into things by looking a few tunes:

World Map Music:

"World Map"
I like the way they tried to do trumpets and a sort-of army march drum beat in this one. It not only suits the game well, but I think it reflects the music choices made at the time. It seemed like classic films from the golden age of Hollywood had the notion that all things Greek or Roman should have continual trumpet flare and drums in order to impress upon you the...well, impressiveness and grand scale of what you were seeing. There was a certain spectacle nature to films, and I think that it is reflected in game music, in particular with this track. It suits the game well for while you are exploring and adds a subtle layer of classic feeling without being overbearing.

Temple of the Gods:

Something about this music feels more suited to a game about the Phantom of the Opera. Perhaps it's the big, dramatic pipe organ that intros the music. It drives the whole selection and makes the game feel more epic, but in a way that doesn't quite suit the game. I mean, it's great and all, but tonally doesn't seem to work. I get that's a classical piece, but it doesn't feel like the right classical piece as most audiences who recognize it will instantly think of the silent film version of Phantom of the Opera. It's odd to have music in a game that sounds well done, but jars you out of the game just as much as if it were bad.

Boss Battle:

Now this music is more like it. The low snare drum constantly in the background, the drumming, thrumming sounds. A few bleeps and bloops here and there to add atmosphere and setting and you are there for a boss battle. I love it when the old NES games make battle either sound epic or intimidating and I think this does a great job on the latter.

There's so much more I want to cover with this game, but most of it false under the purview of my Friday Night Rentals blog. SO...I guess that offers a big hint as to what a future one might be about. 

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