Previously in The Listening Chamber, we looked at the early
work of Minibosses, one of the first VGM cover bands to release an album that
was widely received.This time, we’ll
look at one of the first VGM bands to release an album that included original
vocals to go along with their rendition of the music from various video games. The band is Game Over, and the album is Nintendo Metal, self-released in 2002 by
Game Over.Game Over are based out of
Sweden, and currently consist of a vocalist, a guitar player, a bass player,
and a drummer.The musical style is
metal covers of the music from classic games on the Nintendo Entertainment
System, with original lyrics created by the band for most songs that tell a
story pertaining to the particular game that is being covered.All of the lyrics on this album are dark in
nature, with themes of hopelessness, despair, and failure being prevalent.
Game Over - Nintendo Metal (2002)
consists of 5 tracks – 4 with vocals and 1 instrumental – and has a run-time of
Desserts: they’re what’s for
dinner.Only, they’re for after you eat
your dinner, so they’re for dessert. And
who doesn’t love a nice cold dessert during the winter, especially that American
classic, the milkshake?Well, some people
like malts, but that begs the question: just what exactly is a malt?And actually, if you’re from somewhere other
than the USA, you might be asking “what’s a milkshake?” like a friend of mine
from Mexico once did.And since we’re
trying to figure out what to have for dessert, what really is the difference
between frozen yogurt and frozen custard?And just what the hell are sorbet and gelato, and how do they figure
into this picture?Loosen your belts,
unbutton your pants, and let’s find out in this discussion in The Test Kitchen.
In this installment of The Screening Room, we’ll take a look
at an anime movie from 1989, The Venus
Wars.The anime was adapted from a
manga series of the same name that was created by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko – more known for
his work with titles Combattler and Mobile Suit Gundam – and published by Gakken Co., Ltd. in Nora Comics in serial form.The manga ran from 1987 to 1990, and was
adapted to film in 1989.The film was directed
by Yasuhiko, produced by Bandai Visual and distributed by Shochiku Co., Ltd. in
The story goes that an ice comet struck Venus in 2003,
stripping the atmosphere from the planet and forming acidic oceans.Humans then begin terraforming the planet in
2007 and colonizing in 2012.By 2089,
the planet has two rival nations, Ishtar and Aphrodia, and war is looming.A reporter from Earth for the Independent
Press, Susan Sommers, travels to Venus to cover the story of the impending
conflict.She arrives in the capital
city of Aphrodia, Io, and while she is meeting with her contact and informant an
invasion force from Ishtar pushes into Io and rolls over the resistance.
At the same time, a roller-biking match between the Killer
Commandos and the Venus Barbarians is interrupted by the invasion.The members of the Killer Commandos,
including the hotshot mono-biker Hiro Sano, evacuate the stadium and head to
their garage to wait out the invasion.Susan Sommers is picked up by one of Hiro’s teammates, Will, and brought
to the garage as well.The rest of the
story revolves around Hiro and the members of the Killer Commandos, Susan
Sommers attempt to cover the war, and the efforts of the Aphrodian Freedom
Force to repel the Ishtar invasion force.
In North America, the film was released on VHS and LaserDisc
in 1993 by Central Park Media and their publishing arm U.S. Manga Corps.It was released on DVD in 1998 and again in
2003 by U.S. Manga Corps.The rights
were purchased by Discotek, and the film was re-released on DVD in 2012 with
improved video from an improved source.
games, as an immersive form of media, tie in graphics, cinematics, sound
effects, music, and player input in an attempt to create an environment that
absorbs the player in the action and environment of a game.In the early years of the gaming industry,
technological limitations with respect to both audio and video capabilities of
systems allowed for only minimalistic approaches to the type of sounds and graphics
that a game could contain.As processing
power and storage space increased over time, game developers were able to
expand upon what they could offer.Competition for sales led companies to seek out, train, and develop
talented sound programmers and composers to create expansive aural themes and memorable
music that would help to attract consumers to their games.
memorable tunes were created in video games spanning all types of genres over
the course of many years; indeed, fans of video game music are still listening
to the soundtracks of games that were released well over two decades ago from
the original writing of this post.Musically
talented fans of video game music learned to recreate the songs and jingles that
they enjoyed listening to while playing games.Some of these video game music enthusiasts grouped together and formed
bands with a focus on playing the covers of video game music that they enjoyed.With the open community structure of the
internet, these bands were able to reach a broader audience around the world
than they would otherwise have had access to, and fans of game music were able
to experience what otherwise would only have been available in local markets.
this inaugural writing for The Listening Chamber, we’ll take a look at the first
album from one of the earlier VGM bands to establish themselves.The band is Minibosses, and the album is
their self-titled Minibosses, self-released
in 2000 on Kraid Records.The group
plays instrumental rock covers of the music from now classic games, at this
time mostly from games released on the Nintendo Entertainment System.On their earlier albums, including Minibosses, the band also included
original songs that they had written which are not, interestingly enough, about
video games.Minibosses also includes a cover of the theme song to a 1980s
Minibosses - Minibosses (2000)
Minibosses contains 11 tracks – 7 covers
and 4 original songs – and runs for roughly 41:45.
You may be asking yourself, “What is Nerd Up?”Strangely enough, we have the answer that you
are looking for! Probably not the
Up is a discussion of some topics that might be considered to be marginally
nerdy by the general populace.At the
core, we’ll be looking at music, movies, games, food, and technology.That’s not so extraordinary; after all, lots
of people like to play video games, many people watch movies, most people enjoy
listening to music, and almost everyone likes to eat.
not everyone listens to video game music with fan created lyrics and story,
watches a Japanese comedian playing video games from 30 years ago, or breaks
down complex questions of science and technology into understandable terms for
those people who may only have a passing knowledge of the subject.Here, we do.
Up will be broken down into multiple compartmentalized divisions to discern
between the different topics. Sometimes
topics will overlap, so we will attempt to use a tag system to make finding
specific types of content easier.The
goal is to have at least one new topic of discussion per week.The preliminary divisions are as follows:
The Control Room - This is a space for announcements about Nerd Up.
The Lecture Hall - Discussion of science, technology, and history.
The Test Kitchen - Food, spirits, and cooking discussion.
The Screening Room - Discussion of videos, anime, and movies.
The Listening Chamber - Discussion of songs, albums, and all things aural.
The Viewing Stand - Discussion of conferences, seminars, and festivals.
The Observation Deck - Observations and discussion of random things.
The Peer Review - Input from our peers as well as Comments on posts.
That about covers the introduction to the blog. We'll see you soon with some more interesting things to talk about.
Welcome to Nerd Up. We'll use this space to take a look at video game music, emulation, gaming history, science, movies, food, technology, and any other topics that might tickle our fancy. Actual content to follow shortly. Enjoy the meal.