Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blips: Bloody Good Tune

Source: All You Need Is Blood
Author: Derrick Sanskrit
Site: The Gameological Society

Yes, this is pretty much just an excuse to embed one of my favorite video game tunes of all time: Kenichi Matsubara's "Bloody Tears," which was originally part of the background music for Castlevania II: Simon's Quest on the NES. I even had a ridiculous remix of the track as my ringtone for several years. "Bloody Tears" has appeared in just about every Castlevania game that has come since, solidifying it as a series icon almost as much as having the Belmonts perpetually hunting Dracula. What's maybe most surprising is that my favorite arrangement of the track is the original 8-bit one. Simple yet effective, I suppose.

As Derrick Sanskrit says in his post, "Bloody Tears" is perfect adventuring music. It has a propulsive beat and a dramatic orchestral flair to it, that is common in a lot of video game scores, but not usually done this well. I think the chiptune nature of the song actually helps it here, keeping it from becoming to overwrought with excessive production. While I love some of the wicked guitar shredding that has become a part of more recent Castlevania music, and am aware that you can't use chiptune music in your game without looking nostalgic, I think the limited palette actually makes the arrangement more impressive. Hmm, now I'm sort of in the mood for some good ol' vampire whippin'!

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