DonPachi / DoDonPachi / DoDonPachi II Soundtrack

DonPachi / DoDonPachi / DoDonPachi II Soundtrack Album Title:
DonPachi / DoDonPachi / DoDonPachi II Soundtrack
Record Label:
Sweep Record
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
November 2, 2012
Buy at Sweep Record


SuperSweep re-released the soundtrack for several of Cave’s earliest releases in 2012. The DonPachi / DoDonPachi / DoDonPachi II Soundtrack features the original music from three arcade games. They’re presented in both their original sound sources on one disc and their remastered forms in another. Find out what’s inside below.


The music for DonPachi is definitely orchestral in nature. “Silent Outpost Stage” offers a sweeping brass melody, but the overwhelming percussion does tend to take away from the focus. “Gale Force” and “Advance Through the Distant Sky” feature good melodies, the latter especially good for its time. However, the accompaniment in both of these pieces gets very repetitive after a while and the military stylings are very generic. “The God of Destruction Comes” is also half-decent melodically, but does nothing really interesting as the piece progresses.

Moving towards the climax of the soundtrack, “In the Midst of an Intensifying Battle” is very ominous in tone, featuring plenty of militaristic percussion, but comes off sounding generic. “A Worthy Rival Appears” and “Pressure” are also quite lackluster. The last boss theme hardly develops and, despite its short play time, ends up dragging on for too long. While little from this soundtrack was built upon in subsequent DoDonPachi games, it is interesting that some of the motifs featured here were later used in DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu.

Rock is the focus on the DoDonPachi soundtrack. For the most part, every piece on this soundtrack is really nice. “1 & 4 Scene BGM” is an excellent first and fourth stage theme. Intense and exhilarating, this is definitely a piece to rock out too. The electric guitar just sets the entire tone of the piece and the synth accompaniment makes an excellent addition. “2 & 5 Scene BGM” is a much slower piece than the last piece. It’s got a nice guitar melody and a catchy bass line. However, at the same time, the guitar solo just helps meld together the melody and is a nice point for looping. It’s a very flowing piece.

Continuing with DoDonPachi, “3 & 6 Scene BGM” offers a nice blend of electronica and rock. The electric guitar work here is mellower and doesn’t offer anything flashy, but it definitely helps to define the track. The boss theme, “Boss,” is awesome. The ominous opening and interludes, the wailing guitar line, and the intense bass line percussion make this one of the best shmup boss themes, at least in my opinion. They definitely did a great job with that one!

The big focus on the DoDonPachi II soundtrack is definitely techno. Unfortunately much of it sounds generic, even if it does offer an interesting soundscape. The few pieces I enjoy would be “Unknown (Stage 7 Boss – Secret Bee)” and “Dragnet (Stage 3 Boss – Hex Comb),” both for very different reasons. “Unknown” has a very ominous sound, even if it is rather repetitive, and the industrial sound effects combine with the synth in an enjoyable and tension building manner.

DoDonPachi II‘s “Dragnet,” on the other hand, sounds almost verbatim to Final Fantasy IX‘s “Battle 1.” That’s the reason I like it so much. It’s almost like an industrial techno doujin remix of that battle theme, to be honest. It scores no points for originality, but at the same time, it’s oddly enjoyable. The rest of music left very little impression on me, lacking good melodies or interesting stylings. Overall, a fairly disappointing soundtrack…


To summarise, this well-presented compilation features some of Cave’s earlier works, long before Manabu Namiki emerged as their most stable and reliable composer. The compilation features a multitude of sounds, ranging from orchestral to rock to electronic. But, in the end, the music is quite lackluster with the exception of DoDonPachi. Avid CAVE collectors will find this is the easiest and most economical way to obtain three of the company’s earliest works. But be warned that the quality doesn’t match their other scores.

DonPachi / DoDonPachi / DoDonPachi II Soundtrack Don Kotowski

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

Currently residing in Philadelphia. I spend my days working in vaccine characterization and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.

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