Friday, February 12, 2016

B5: Master of Unlocking

Josh and Emily head down to the dungeon once again and spend an unusually long time unlocking a whole bunch of stuff: traumatic video game memories, commentary from Emily's mom -- even a concept for the next smash hit sitcom! Also unveiled is The VGM Jukebox official Twitter feed, @VGMJB. The hosts don't know exactly what they're going to do with it yet, but cram it into your inventory anyway. You never know when these things might come in handy!

Click above to listen or subscribe.  Click below for the usual direct download.

This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
Ecco the Dolphin:
The Tides of Time
Moray Abyss Attila Dobos, AndrĂ¡s Magyari,
Andy Armer
Sword World SFC Aboard Yumi Kinoshita
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Exercise Mode David Javelosa, Masayuki Nagao, Masanobu Tsukamoto
Ninja Gaiden (SMS) Staff Roll Takashi Horiguchi


  1. Sadly, I'm one of those people who never made it past the first stage in either Ecco the Dolphin game. If I had known there was a totally rad machine level waiting for me at the end, I might've been able stick with it.

    1. It's weird that a game where I would have been happy to coast through had such an inscrutable first level.

    2. You guys should try Ecco Jr. It's aimed at very young kids and is what everyone was expecting when they bought the original Ecco.

      Ecco Jr. was deliberately made to be a shared experience between grown-ups and children, too, which is really interesting. The text in the manual is written directly at parents, for example, and on other pages it includes coloring and connect-the-dot activities!

      It won't challenge you, as it's just a relaxing, cute experience -- but if you can share it with a son/daughter/nephew/niece/etc., it could be the focal point for some wonderful memories.

  2. I'm inspired to play Ecco the Dolphin now! I had no idea it got so weird.

    Right on for that Mean Bean Machine track. I have really fond memories of playing that game much later in life when my brother got me the Sonic Mega Collection for Christmas. He gave it to me early so we could play it over Christmas break (I was in high school when it was released on Gamecube). I had never even heard of MBM, but gave it a shot as I was playing through all the games. I fell in love, and that soundtrack quickly got buried in my brain.

    I made a ton of progress in it, but it wasn't until I was just out of grad school, unemployed, living alone, and terribly depressed that I devoted my days to it (and trying to beat my friend's middle school Starfox64 scores), and finally crushed it like so many Puyo.

    Then as I got into VGM more, I discovered the genius of the Puyo Puyo Tsuu soundtrack. The first one is great too, though. Preaching to the choir, though, I know.

    1. Aw, Quality. I'm glad Has Bean could help you through some hard times. Thanks for sharing with us. <3

  3. I, like a lot of people, were in the same situation with Ecco the Dolphin. I was unable to get past the first level and only knew what the game was really about, roughly a year or two ago during an Awesome Games Done Quick speedrun of the game. I could totally see how you would be frightened by how quickly the visuals change and it reminds of one of those cheesy horror fan fictions found on Creepypasta.

    As for the TV series/Anime/Manga about women working on composing music for a video game, I wouldn't put it past people as there have been more generic settings that anime have been based on like an agricultural college. Regardless, I'm on board and will watch it!

    Also, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine was such a mind blowing game for me. I actually enjoyed the experimental sonic stage where they putting him in everything, be it puzzle games to pinball machines. I also was thinking of this. Does Sonic ever show up in Mean Bean Machine? From what I remember, no.

    ...weird. Anyways, loved the show guys and keep it up!

  4. I find it interesting that the only time I've ever heard a glowing review of Ecco The Dolphin, it's from a female, and it's usually on some kind of deep emotional level.

    Most guys who try it end up saying, "eh, it's just not my kinda thing". It's not like it's girly, or anything like that, it just seems to rarely resonate with guys.

    I'ts in my eternal backlog. I've tried it before, it has stunning graphics, and sound, but I always seem to have something else that's distracting me to play instead. I'm going to play that Sega CD version someday, I keep telling myself.

    1. What an interesting observation! Perhaps there's something to the explorative aspect that contributes to this? I know that I personally get stressed out by timers, and sometimes competition, so the comparative open-ended-ness of Ecco appealed to me -- but of course I am not representative of my entire gender, and there may not even be a connection here. So take me only as one tiny little data point among billions as you form your own hypothesis.

      And yes, play the Sega CD version. It has checkpoints. You will want those.

      I of course am more attached to the Genesis soundtrack, but most people love the Sega CD score and regard it as a work of genius, so you're in for an enjoyable time either way!

    2. I had no idea about the checkpoints! I mentioned the CD version due to the improved sound fx, and redbook audio, which I prefer over the Genesis game.

      It's not the compositions that I dislike, its the sound driver. It sounds a bit harsh on the cartridge version. It's a shame too, because the Genesis can sound so amazing in the right hands.