Snatcher Zoom Tracks
Snatcher Zoom Tracks
KICA-7610 (1st Edition); KICA-7906 (2nd Edition)
November 21, 1992; September 23, 1998
Buy Used Copy
It really amazes me that there are so many albums dedicated to Snatcher/Policenauts. For such an obscure franchise, in the West at least, I really only expected there to be two or three albums at the most. Snatcher Zoom Tracks is yet another remix album dedicated to the cyberpunk game, produced by Kazuo Hashi and Yuzo Hayashi. All of the songs here are newly arranged, and some were later used for the Sega CD release in 1994. Note that there were actually two prints of this album, one released in 1992 and one released in 1998. The content to each release is identical. The only difference is that the cover to the 1992 version reads The Syberpunk Adventure and the 1998 version repairs the typo. Should you “snatch” this one up or leave it in the “junk?” Let’s find out.
“June 6, 1996. A mysterious explosion destroys the Chernolton research facility near Moscow…” Those lines set up the opening introduction to Snatcher. Accompanying the eerie narration is the piece “Bio Hazard,” which is the first track on this album. Utilizing creeping synth and electric guitar, it”s a chilling and effective opener. Towards the latter part of this track, the electric guitar takes a more prominent role giving the piece a hard rock edge.
We now have the standout track on this album, “One Night in Neo Kobe City.” Simply put, this is one of the best opening themes in a video game. With the swinging saxophone solos and the excellent background synth, it’s one of my favorite video game pieces of all time. Definitely a must-listen. The similarly titled “Twilight of Neo Kobe City” served as the original opening piece in the MSX version. Unlike the former, “Twilight” utilizes a more lounge type of jazz. The piece utilizes piano, bass, and synth orchestra in a way that reminds me of the blues. That being said, it still gives off some happy jives. To quote Bruce Campbell, I’d say “Groovy.”
“Theme of Snatcher (Part 1)” opens with some ridiculously cheesy vocals and synth. While some may be turned off at first, the main theme shines through at the thirty second mark. While the remix featured on the Black Disc was more serious and depressing, this version is much jazzier. Along with its jazz style, it also incorporates techno, rock, and even disco. “Theme of Snatcher (Part 2)” is more serene and laid-back. The main theme comes in at the forty-five second mark, though it’s much slower than its Part 1 counterpart.
Jaime, protagonist Gillian Seed’s estranged wife, is given her own theme. Much like previous tracks, “Theme of Jaime” is an upbeat remix that utilizes techno/jazz flavorings. Although it does have its moments with the melody, it’s really nothing special outside of being a good background piece. And listeners get yet another remix of track “Pleasure of Tension.” Or should I say “Pressure of Tention” as it’s called on the back cover. Engrish problems aside, I found this piece to be pretty disturbing to say the least. With its robotic voices, electronics noises, and techno synth variation of the main theme, I really don’t know where to begin with this piece. On one hand, it’s a much better remix than the Black Disc one, but I still can’t decide whether I truly like it or not. Don’t get me wrong, the whole composition is very inspired, but it still doesn’t match the greatness of the original. This track definitely deserves a look, if not just for the strange listening experience.
“Faded Memories” begins with an odd intro, using synth violin and flute. It then jarringly cuts to maniacal laughter followed by bass and bongos. The style of the piece is very disco-like. The main melody of the piece is played with techno synth. The synth orchestra, bass, and electronic blips effectively carry the track to its end. “Eternal Promise (Good-bye Randam)”, which I believe is a character theme for bounty hunter Randam Hajile, is another lounge-type piece. While the guitar and synth play the main theme, the piano and percussion provide backing. “Beyond Sorrows” is very laid-back, reminding me of something that I’d here at a café or bar.
“All controversy begins with doubt. Throughout history suspicion has always bred conflict. The real conflict, though, resides in people’s hearts. This conflict has just begun.” We end appropriately with Snatcher‘s ending theme, “Tears Stained Eyes.” Ending one of the greatest games of all time, “Tears Stained Eyes” is a touching piece that uses sad guitars and harmonica. As the credits roll, we are given images of various characters. As the piece draws to a close, it sort of reminds me of the Snatcher 2 that never happened.
Snatcher Zoom Tracks utilizes a wide variety of musical genres like jazz, techno, and disco. It has its moments, with each track affecting me in some meaningful way. However, I do wish that more live instruments were used, rather than synth. Even still, there’s a lot to enjoy here with “One Night in Neo Kobe City” and “Twilight of Neo Kobe City” being highlights. With this album being an older release, it can be difficult to find no matter which printing you’re looking for. Although it doesn’t reach the same levels of enjoyment like the Black Disc, Snatcher Zoom Tracks should still meet your needs of remixed video game music.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Oliver Jia. Last modified on August 1, 2012.