Monday, September 25, 2017

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - "Game On, Game Boy" Edition

After last week's themed Mario Kart edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs, I wanted to do one more special edition before returning to this weekly, recurring SPC segment of articles' standard format.

This week, it's all about the Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy Color, which threw a new dimension of visual prowess into games with its addition of color.

Since this is a themed week, every game featured must be on the Game Boy or Game Boy Color. That's exactly what I accomplished with the tailoring of this edition, starting off with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Donkey Kong Land, and Pokemon Red / Blue. Then, we dive into less well known, less produced games in the form of Dragon Warrior Monsters and Trip World. (Don't feel bad if you're a North American who has never heard of the latter. There's a good reason for that.)

Click on the VGM name to hear a given song in YouTube form, and as always, the VGM Database houses every last, past VGM volume showcased on this weekly fixture of SuperPhillip Central's posts. Now, let's get on to the music!

v1476. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GB) - Face Shrine (Level 6)

One of my favorite games in The Legend of Zelda series is Link's Awakening, the first Zelda game to appear on a Nintendo handheld. It blew my mind, along with many other players at the time, that the size of a world compared to the original Zelda and A Link to the Past could fit inside a smaller cartridge and be played on the tiny Game Boy of all things. Every notable feature from past Zelda games was tucked away within Link's Awakening, like the dense overworld, intricate dungeons, and repertoire of items. Link's Awakening is truly a fantastic entry from the past and will continue to be one for future players, too.

v1477. Donkey Kong Land (GB) - Ancient Beaver Bop

Rareware was never a slouch on any hardware the company worked with and designed games around. This is no truer than with the amazing work the studio put into Donkey Kong Land, a take on Donkey Kong Country in visuals but a completely different game otherwise. The visuals are crazy in how Rare managed to create prerendered models on the Game Boy hardware (how ever hard to see compared to the background and oncoming enemies notwithstanding) and the music from Dave Wise is just as sensational now as it was back then.

v1478. Pokemon Red / Blue (GB) - Cerulean City

My middle school self was so enamored with Pokemon back when the games first debuted in North America. From playing the games, watching the anime, collecting the trading card game cards, buying up as many figures I could find, and even drawing my own comic, Pokemon fully enveloped a young SuperPhillip in its charm. Nowadays, Pokemon Red and Blue are way too slow in gameplay and archaic in design compared to future entries, but the games will always be nostalgic for me. It helps when you have simple but catchy tunes like this one, for the second Gym Badge city in Kanto that you encounter, Cerulean City.

v1479. Dragon Warrior Monsters (GBC) - Beautiful Starlit Night

Fresh off the success of Pokemon, which just so happened to be the game featured before this one, a whole ton of monster-raising games followed, whether having already been in development or not before Pokemon. One of these was Dragon Warrior Monsters, a charming and engaging monster-finding, capturing, and battling game for the Game Boy Color. Several sequels would arrive on both the Game Boy Color and later on the Nintendo DS.

v1480. Trip World (GB) - World 1

1992's Trip World from Natsume is our final game featured in this all Game Boy edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs. Trip World is an interesting case as the game never officially released in North America. Instead, the game only released in Japan and Europe, even on the Nintendo 3DS' Virtual Console it remained exclusive to those territories. Regardless, if you're looking for peppy music, Trip World has you covered as evident by this happy-go-lucky first world theme.

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