"Cloud Sailing Sky Robots"

Rygar (NES) Thumbnail
Rygar (NES)Composer: Michiharu Hasuya
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Ah, hello again Rygar! Man, I don't know why exactly but I love this game... I appreciate how every level feels different, there's a maze aspect to it, and once you really get the hang of it it's not all that difficult to beat... and yet it's still challenging. The game has enough tricky sections and boss fights to make it intimidating.

This game falls into the category of games that I owned, and beat (via the original format). I say that with confidence because there were a good many NES games that I owned, back in the day, but never actually beat until I had the ROM file via software and the ability to use save states, years later. Rygar was tough at first, but after much effort I figured it out.

That said, there's something about this level... Lapis. Yeah, the name sucks, but there was always a feeling when I got to this level, what I always referred to in my head as "the sky level" or "the cloud level" that felt like an accomplishment. I was far from finished, but at least I made it this far. To the level with clouds and falling robots. (Weirdly the whole game has organic bad guys, but this level features... robots...? Falling from the sky...? Doesn't make much sense.)

Anyways, on to the remix. I was recently revisiting the various tracker homages I had made over the years, assessing which of the early trackers (demoscene composers) had received an homage by me, and who hadn't. In the process I was surprised to see that some of my original role models in the world of tracking hadn't yet been honored in this bizarre sub-genre that seems to be my specialty. Specifically, Scirocco. He (Ian Lyman) was a shining example to me in my early days of tracking as to what was possible, and incidentally had a presence on both the local BBS systems and the early MOD days of AOL. Of his various tracks published there was one called "Full Sail" that I always enjoyed, merging the tracker vibe with a large oceanic presence that capture a very epic feel despite the technical limitations. (There were also several other iconic tracks, but Full Sail is the one I'm zooming in on for this particular write-up.)

Fast-forward thirty years, it's post-2020, I'm still writing music but I have a list of various "serious" tracks in my to-do list... and I need a break. I need to make a new game remix, in the style of an oldschool tracker that I admired as a teen. Here it is. "Cloud Sailing Sky Robots," an arrangement of the Lapis theme from one of my favorite childhood NES games, Rygar, arranged in the style of Full Sail by Scirocco. An obscure take on an obscure theme, but I hope you enjoy it!




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