Truxton -Toaplan Game Music Scene-
Truxton -Toaplan Game Music Scene-
H24X-10005 (CD); X21X-3505 (Tape)
June 25, 1989
Buy Used Copy
The Tatsujin -Toaplan Game Music Scene One- soundtrack was the first official release dedicated to Toaplan’s arcade games and, contrary to its name, never received a sequel. It features the soundtracks to Wardner, Rally Bike, Truxton (aka Tatsujin), and Hell Fire, all of which vary in quality.
The Wardner soundtrack, composed by Ree Ohta, is fairly unsuccessful. “Mountain of Fire” has a bit of a mysterious vibe. Although simplistic overall, the rhythms help give off a sense of exploration and the melody itself is pretty serviceable. “In the Forest” incorporates some interesting percussion elements and some nice percussive layering, but the melody is a bit on the lackluster side. It does convey a slight sense of mystery though. “To the Underground” also incorporates some interesting rhythms and some nice atmospheric touches. I like how the melody, although a bit forgettable, changes tempos midway through changing the atmosphere from mysterious to tense. However, themes like “Factory Mark,” “In the Castle,” “Dwarf, “Nodoka,” “King,” and “Shop,” are ultimately forgettable due to very repetitive tones; while some may add some subtle additions here and there, they don’t help salvage the tracks as a whole.
The Rally Bike soundtrack, composed by the same composer, is also a mixed listen. “Macosa” opens up with some engine sound effects before moving into a funky, almost tropical sounding tune that is quite repetitive and overstays its welcome very quickly. “South Wind” incorporates more of a racing type sound, although it still manages to convey a bit of a tropical vibe, but unfortunately suffers from being a bit repetitive at times. “Dixie Line” definitely has a bit of a jazz groove to it, but I find it to be extremely poor in terms of actually incorporating those jazz rhythms. While it is meant to sound syncopated, it comes off quite tacky in the end.
“Sand Storm” has a bit of an exotic vibe to it that goes nicely with the groovy accompaniment, but I find the melody to be a bit plain. “Den” is one of the more successful themes on the soundtrack, incorporating a great driving rhythm and a melody that is quite catchy, despite simplistic. It’s a shame the rest of the soundtrack couldn’t adopt a similar sound. Themes like “Black Tea” and “Second Line” incorporate some of the elements mentioned in the tracks above, but don’t really manage to stand out in the long run.
The Truxton soundtrack, composed by Masahiro Yuge, is fairly successful in comparison. “Far Away” is a catchy theme with a melody that definitely gives off the feeling of adventure and flying. I like the contrast between the low and high pitched notes in the various sections of the melody. The boss theme, “Crisis,” is mildly successful. It definitely captures a bit of that sinister nature normally associated with boss themes, while at the same time giving off a heroic vibe in the melody. It just doesn’t really catchy my attention though. “Sally” has a darker, brooding mood compared to “Far Away.” The melody isn’t as successful, I don’t feel, but its B section is absolutely stunning with its extremely memorable and catchy qualities.
Unfortunately, “Hope” is one of the least successful themes on this soundtrack. Given its short length, it doesn’t really develop much and the aspects of the melody that are quite memorable are only present for a short amount of time. “Friend” is a theme that succeeds both in terms of providing a catchy melody and some nice rhythmic accompaniment. The melody itself has a very peppy, heroic, almost spacey vibe that really works well with the infectious rhythms. Lastly, “Unknown” has a very sinister tone to it, giving off that sense of the unknown. The melodic sections of the theme do give off an adventurous tone, but the more mysterious aspects of the tune are what make it stand out among the other stage themes.
The Hell Fire soundtrack, composed by Tatsuya Uemura, provides a lot of different soundscapes throughout its various stage themes. “Captain Lancer” is an invigorating chiptune that has a lot of atmosphere in it. The melody is quite strong, although not the most memorable, offering a variety of moods, some more tense while others are more motivating in sound. There is also a Type-B version of this theme that changes up the instrumentation slightly. “Egypt,” as one may suspect, has that Egyptian flair in terms of atmosphere, while focusing on intricate rhythms and darker chiptune sounds to convey a sense of darkness. The melody, particularly in the B section, has quite a heroic and adventurous vibe and is the highlight of the track.
“Jumping Roll” is one of the weaker themes on this soundtrack. The melody and accompaniment, while offering a darker tone, don’t really do anything that exciting. The B section is a bit better with its more chaotic soundscape, but doesn’t save the track in the long run. “Mystic Green” also has an exotic flair to it, thanks to its catchy rhythm and melody. Overall, it’s quite a strong theme that offers a pretty decent melodic hook, especially in the B section, where the melody takes on a bit of groove and follows up with a more adventurous tone before the loop. “In Side Drive” is an upbeat theme that has quite an exhilarating atmosphere. The melody has a fun, bubbly, adventurous tone that works well with the accompaniment. It’s not the best track on this soundtrack, but it is quite a good listen overall. “Last Chance,” the final stage theme, has both a heroic tone that works well with the rocking accompaniment, but at the same time, also has a bit of a mysterious tone to it during some portions of the melody. The B section, in particular, is noteworthy with its triumphant soundscape.
In the end, this compilation covers quite a lot of ground, but not all the music here is good. While I find the soundtracks by Tatsuya Uemura and Masahiro Yuge to be quite successful overall, the two composed by Ree Ohta are rather forgettable. I’d pass on this album and opt for the Toaplan Shooting Chronicle, if possible, as it contains a lot more music and higher quality overall.
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.