Friday, June 16, 2017

Ep. 71: Sugar and Wheat

Josh and Emily forgot to mention that this week would be a special episode, so... surprise! Welcome to Josh's VGM (Video Game Media) Room, a place where he likes to enjoy pop culture gaming items that aren't the games themselves. Jump on this nostalgia train and take a tour of commercials, foods, and television themes starring some of your favorite electronic franchises. There might not be a lot of furniture in front of the flat screen yet, but grab a carpet square, pour yourself some garbage cereal, and settle in for this experimental VGMJB adventure.

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This episode was made possible by:
Product Media Composer(s)
Nintendo Cereal System TV Commercial Koji Kondo, Unknown
Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) "Fastest Thing Alive" TV Theme Noisy Neighbors
TurboGrafx-16 TV Commercial Unknown
Sega Genesis "Genesis Does" TV Commercial Unknown
Kirby: Right Back At Ya! "Kirby Kirby Kirby!" TV Theme Ralph Schuckett, Manny Corallo, Wayne Sharpe, John VanTongeren, Louis Cortelezzi, Rusty Andrews, Peter Scaturro, Norman J. Grossfeld, Anne Pope, Liz Magro, John Sands, John Siegler, Jonathan Lattif
Mortal Kombat "Mortal Kombat" Theme The Immortals
Super Mario Brothers Super Show "Do the Mario" TV Credits Theme Koji Kondo, Haim Saban, Shuki Levy
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture Yoake no Legend Kazukiyo Nishikiori
Nickelodeon Arcade TV Theme Dan Vitco, Mark Schultz

...and listeners like YOU.


  1. Here's a rundown of my thoughts from this episode...

    I actually saw Adventures and Underground way before I knew of Sonic SatAM existence. I'm glad I was able to get the DVD set from Shout Factory before they went out of print. It's one of those show I wish they were able to make more of though.

    I did watch Kirby: Right Back At Ya! when I was a kid and I was a fun romp for 30 mins. The English version (where this theme song is from) premiered in 2002, right around the time Nightmare in Dreamland, the GBA Kirby's Adventure remake came out. It would have been well past the 90s Swing revival. Oddly enough, I wouldn't play a Kirby game until long after that.

    It's funny you guys posted The Immortals' Mortal Kombat song (It's called Techno Syndrome BTW) as I popped in the Mortal Kombat movie Blu-ray the day before. I'm planning on getting the Sega CD version of the first game as it has Techno Syndrome and Hypnotic House as bonus tracks.

    Emily, I'm pretty sure the version of Techno Syndrome you're thinking of with the extra characters was the remix from the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation film (that movie was a total dreck compared to the first one).

    I did get the Blu-ray set for the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist last summer before that also went out of print. I've haven't gotten around to watch the whole thing yet, might as well. Back when that was on Adult Swim, I didn't have a DVR at the time so I never watched the whole thing there either.

    Nick Arcade is a show dear to my heart as when it was running on the now defunct Nick GAS, it introduced me to several games that I haven't heard of before,like Actraiser, Sol-Deace and Vapor Trail. It kind of solidified my love of both games from the 16-bit era and to a lesser extent, game shows in general. There was a Nickelodeon reunion panel that happened a few years ago that had the Phil Moore and the Nick Arcade creators there. That whole video is an interesting watch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfrq7ZDy6co).

    I'm really enjoy the wacky banter between you guys this episode and hope to hear some more new songs in the next episode!


  2. I recommend checking out Segata Sanshiro for future similar episodes. A hilarious and bizarre series of commercials for the Sega Saturn. Compete with a super great jingle!

  3. Also of note: the Pac-Man cartoon, The Power Team(https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ObAtbH5rTS4), Captain N, (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_k43xdmAc3A).

    But most importantly, Pole Position: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fdTaYCU3V9Y
    Man, that theme is as good as I remember it.

  4. Josh, the Atari 2600 wasn't 4-bit, it was 8. There were no 4-bit consoles. I used to think the same thing! I think that's a product of Sega marketing: I was commenting yesterday on the Turbografx-16 vs. the Genesis over on The Diad's blog, and we talked about this same thing. No kid knew that the NES or SMS was 8-bit until the Genesis came out and HEAVILY touted its 16-bittedness. I mean, in the 'Genesis Does' commercial you played, Deep Voice Man says "16-bit" four times in 30 seconds. Incidentally, it was a nice sideways dig at NEC, since everybody knew early on that the TG-16 wasn't actually 16-bit(even though the Turbo was better in some respects to the Genesis, and close in most).

    Regarding the TG-16 commercial not playing game music, you have to keep in mind that game music had no place in American public consciousness until later. Folks like us may have noticed, but it wasn't important for the average person. I Also think it's the way commercials work. Many movie trailers don't even use the score from the film unless it's a major selling point.

    I'm glad you played the PSII track in this episode. It brought a smile to my face.

  5. I believe the "chick-chick-ah" song you guys were talking about is from the song Oh Yeah by Yello which did feature prominently in Ferris Bueler's Day Off.

    My kids watch the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! now and again on Netflix. They usually skip over the live action parts. I don't blame them, but the animated sequences aren't that much better. I never watched the show as a kid myself (I don't think we had cable at the time) so I have zero nostalgia for it. For me it falls into that so-bad-it's-good category.

  6. Wet dough, of course! ...er, is sticky without sugar. Oh, wrong week? Oops. Your linear time still trips me up occasionally.

    Anyway, "I need a monster to clobber that there Kirby!" I enjoyed that song. It's going to stick to me for a while.

  7. Have I mentioned recently how much I enjoy your intros? They're these fun little vignettes that pull me into the episode. Listening to them, I'm reminded of the webcomic/book Copper, by Kazu Kibuishi. If you're not familiar, it's a bunch of mostly single page, self-contained stories about a boy and his talking dog. They're always on their way somewhere, traveling through some beautiful, strange landscapes. http://www.boltcity.com/copper/

    1. Wow! What a great comic. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wow, I never knew that Praga Kahn did the Mortal Kombat song. I thought he was best known for his raunchy club music with Lords of Acid, but maybe Mortal Kombat is his best known stuff.

    Here's the biggest hit song from Lords of Acid (Parental Advisory Explicit Content):

    I prefered his solo acid tracks though:

  9. Judging by the voice, I think the singer from the Kirby song is probably the lead singer of the Atomic Fireballs:

  10. I am by no means an expert, but I did take Marketing 1 when I was in business school, so I am, of course, grossly overqualified to comment on this.

    As far as I know, no company is legally prohibited from mentioning their competitors' names, nor do they have to pay the other company to mention them in any advertisements. I think this mindset stems from the myth that no one is allowed to mention the phrase "Super Bowl" in any ads because it's a trademarked phrase. In actuality, any advertiser would be free to say the name "Super Bowl" because that is what that event is called. No one would get sued by the NFL, or if they would, it wouldn't go very far.

    But yes, I did also think it was strange to hear Burger King commercials call out McDonald's as a kid. I always thought to myself, "Wait can they actually do that?"

  11. That was a nice collection of tunes and songs from the media of yesteryear's video games. There were a few songs I thought of that weren't covered in the episode. Here are a few Atari commercials made toward the tail end of its run. Atari wanted to make you think "the fun is back," but the song was more of requiem sadly.



    And this is the commercial for Mario Brothers on the Atari 2600. I know there's some talking in the middle, but I still love this song. It may just be a cover for the TV show "Car 54," but still I can't help muttering "Mario, where are you?" every now and again.


  12. There are a ton of Atari commercials out there that are worth checking out, and a few have great music:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED9xg8pE5Ec (needlessly racy but good tune, and the composer actually posted in the comments section of the video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhRIneQFmHA (hilarious Pole Position ad)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHik5ZAq8Io (a great 5200 commercial)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeGBf5lnhhY (another 5200 commercial. This one is typical for its time and shows that Sega's potshot style of ads weren't as revolutionary as one might have expected)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp2VvopJNNg (Atari 7800--prepare to be blown away)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoajWK2WS3s (The Atari commercial that is probably the most well known)