Thursday, September 14, 2017


Thought you knew all your local radio stations? Think again! You've just stumbled into an encounter with KBOS, the channel that thrives off the power of the fiercest VGM. In this so-called "Boss Block," the mysteriously reverberating MC promises to lead you through tune groups of progressive intensity until you've survived each "forme." Are you the kind of hero who can withstand such an ordeal? Well, it's too late to back out now -- the moment of truth is upon you! BEGIN!

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This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
Contra: Hard Corps Locked & Loaded Hiroshi Kobayashi, Akira Souji, Kenji Miyaoka, Michiru Yamane, Akira Yamaoka, Hirofumi Taniguchi
WCW World Championship Wrestling Final Match Kenji Yoshita
The Lost Vikings Space Craft Charles Deenan, Matt Furniss
Sonic 3D Blast The Final Fight Jun Senoue, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Masaru Setsumaru, Seiroh Okamoto
Kirby's Dream Land Mt. DeDeDe Jun Ishikawa
Alcahest Alcahest (First Form) Jun Ishikawa
Dangerous Seed Stage 3 Boss - Roller Snail Yoshinori Nagumo
Magical Chase Variations on a Ra Melody (Stage 6: Sanctuary) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Rocket Knight Adventures Stage Boss Masanori Oouchi, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Masanori Adachi, Aki Hata, Michiru Yamane
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters Krang's Stage 2 Miki Higashino
The Ninja Warriors Last Boss Hiroyuki Iwatsuki

...and adventurers like YOU.


  1. Masaru Setsumaru is the composer and arranger behind Sonic 3D Blast's "The Final Fight"



    1. 1 OUT!!

      Someone at Sega must have known after Sonic 3 how hard it would be to track down who composed what, so they put this track listing deep within the ROM code. How nice of them!


  2. Yeah, this has been a fun mix to listen to! With boss themes, I always figured that many of them ooze in that sense of seriousness and pressure to the player, warning that if he or she messes up, it could be game over! Musically imo, it's where the sound most wacky and eclectic of terms of instrumentation and the like.

    I noticed that this mix is pretty Genesis-heavy. I wonder if it's because the brash FM and PSG sounds tend to work best for themes like this or maybe a personal bias?

    Emily, you do seem to be channeling a little bit of Lynne Thigpen's The Chief from that Carmen Sandiego game show in this episode! It might be just me imagining that.

    Anyways, It's been a fun little ride this week! I wonder if you'll be dialing into undiscovered shortwave radio territory next time?


  3. Whoa.

    Whoa. Nearly every one of those tracks called out to me.

    I have had the early days of Blizzard in mind since last week. And there was Lost Vikings waving at me from the track list. Space Craft may be an auspicious name but I don’t have Time to wax lyrical about links to the future here because-

    Sonic 3D Blast is legit my favorite Sonic soundtrack. I have listened to that final boss theme for hours upon hours.

    And I could not tell you how much time I have spent over the years hearing King DeDeDe’s theme in its various incarnations. I could not quite express, either, the degree of connection I feel to that big, fat, regal cartoon-penguin; but there is something there. I can say, for sure, that the Game Boy original is hard to beat.

    The Ishikawa ferry then brought us to Alcahest.
    Alcahest is special. The soundtrack conjures memories; and I haven’t played the game. I think about the track Friendship from time to time. In a place like this Alcahest is a potent soundtrack.

    Dangerous Seed is a new one to me. Here is one way I assess boss music: does is inspire the following feeling?
    The world is ending. Matter and meaning both are falling apart. The only glimmer of hope standing the way of oblivion is your ephemeral body and your ardent, unwavering sense of purpose.
    Stage 3 Boss - Roller Snail passed.

    Sakimoto really knows how to write a piece of music. Another new one to me. But my words here are running short.

    Because, following the one-

    two punch of Konamic greatness...

    The Ninja Warriors. Also new to me. In the SNES version anyway.
    “Defend Yourself!”
    Here is what happened when the Last Boss started. I felt my back straighten in my chair, my eyes close, my palms turn towards the heavens, and my breathing slow. I listened. I listened...
    That piece is powerful and beautiful.
    These words are tumbling out of my mouth because I’m very tired and slightly dizzy, but the description I shall give is that it feels as though I am more real as I listen to that piece than I am at any other time.
    And -- I’m being influenced by Gannondorf’s Theme as well as by being me -- close to the end of the loop, at the piece’s highest peak, it’s most transcendent moment, I hear that phrase. Some notes are added to it’s latter half, it gets transposed, but I would know it anywhere: Zelda’s Lullaby. It’s calling out to me.

    1. I'm so glad this resonated with you so much, Spritz. You were definitely vibing on the dark energy... perhaps you are a nascent boss yourself?!

      The Ninja Warriors track was new to me too, and it actually brought tears to my eyes, it was so good. It's become one of my favorite VGM tracks of all time.

    2. I'm glad you're glad, DJ Boss Key.

      My ardor for the Ninja Warriors track has not subsided. I am sure it has a permanent spot among my favorites, too.

  4. Not bad, mortals! But your game demands a sequel, and that sequel demands the Bravoo Man track from Gunstar Heroes, which I would gallingly posit as the single most intense first level midboss music EVER. Consider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_hg8HBu9fQ&index=5&list=PL3CF1FF7532421C40

  5. This episode rocked it. Like a boss.

  6. Whoah, I forgot how awesome this episode is! Those tracks are SO good! After the episode was over, I went right back and listened to it again!

    And I didn’t notice this when the episode initially aired, but the track order was perfectly selected to have that steady increase in intensity. I was in the groove from the get-go, but man, it just kept getting more serious! I also loved the attention to detail, like how Key’s voice got progressively more sinister as the boss forms progressed, or how the echoing laugh at the end repeated in beats of two(like earlier 8 or 16-bit laugh samples), instead of beats of three. That was so funny! Keyglyph, have you considered doing a boss rush on Sound Test Roulette?

    It’s also interesting to note how my familiarity of games, styles, and composers has grown since the first time I listened to this episode. Without referencing the track listing, I found myself thinking, “Oh, that’s a Lost Vikings sample”, or “that’s Sakimoto on the PCE for SURE”, or, “Miki Higashino on TMNT:TF without a doubt”. Hear that? It’s the sound of my own horn tooting in the ether.