Turbografx-16 Game Music

For my last post regarding video game music, I delved into the wondrous Red Book audio emanating from the Sega CD console. I’m going to take a couple steps back to highlight some of my favorite music coming from the Turbografx-16 video game console from the late 80s and early 90s. I will not be discussing any of the Turbo CD add-on games as they were able to take advantage of CD-ROM technologies and more closely resemble the Sega CD game music. I gushed over the music found on Ys Books I & II when I reviewed that game last year. I will only be discussing the HuCard titles for this post, however.

Blazing Lazers – Any post about Turbografx-16 game music that doesn’t mention this stellar shooter is missing the point. The title screen music alone is worth the price of admission and then to get all of the in-game level music to jam out to while you (mostly) avoid the onslaught of enemies and enemy fire, is a win for our ears. Thank you Masatomo Miyamoto for a wonderful soundtrack.

Bonk’s Adventure – The music for this popular platformer has a Pacific Island sort of sound to it and the synth lines seem to have a bit of an echo which gives the tracks a unique feel. I could never mistake the music in “Bonk’s Adventure” for anything else, with the exception of maybe “Bonk’s Revenge”!

Devil’s Crush – I really love the soundtrack to this most gnarly occult themed pinball title. It’s creepy, upbeat, catchy, and perfect for a fast-paced pinball simulator.

The Legendary Axe II – The music for this excellent sequel is like a gothic industrial EDM mash up with science fiction score and the result is insane but so damn good!

Military Madness – An underrated soundtrack to an underrated Turbografx-16 game. All tense build-up, suspense and atmosphere.

Neutopia – I give “Neutopia” a hard time for being derivative of “The Legend of Zelda” even though I genuinely like this game. The labyrinth music is probably the most familiar sounding of any of the music found in this game, although the entire soundtrack has its moments. Just like the game itself, “Neutopia’s” music is good, but doesn’t stand out from the rest.

Ninja Spirit – The Turbografx-16 answer to “Ninja Gaiden” is a frenetic action platformer with a soundtrack, inspired by traditional Japanese culture, that matches the gameplay.

Splatterhouse – No discussion of Turbografx-16 music would be complete without mentioning my all time favorite TG-16 title, “Splatterhouse”. Horror themed and creepy (just like the game), the music is intended to enhance the mood of the gameplay in whatever way is needed at the time. The music in this game is essentially like the score to a horror film filled with suspense, ambiance, tension and release…..glorious, glorious release. Then the somber ending music for a somber ending. Perfection.

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