Speaking of Xenogears.
It’s early morning on a Sunday, and I’ve risen from my bed in order to tackle an almost insurmountable stack of evaluations to write for my students. There’s no one else up in my house, so I decide to put on some OC Remixes and get to work.
The first track that comes on is this one, from the community’s “Humans + Gears” project, a two-disc album of Xenogears remixes. Though the whole thing is a bit hit-or-miss, there are a handful of truly exceptional tracks, including this take on “Faraway Promise” by remixers Avaris and Level 99. I highly recommend you check it out.
Xenogears ramps up its religious allegory/giant mechas theme pretty early on, so the game doesn’t often stray into the pastoral (not in the same way that, say, Legend of Mana does), but there are a couple of locales in the game that utilize Mitsuda’s brilliant score to convey that setting quite nicely. I think the acoustic piece that these fine remixers have put together only adds to this mood, and hearing it in the kitchen of my house early on a Sunday morning definitely makes me wistful for the farmhouse in which I grew up.
I’m trying to get into the Halloween spirit, here, and Zombies Ate My Neighbors seems like as good a place as any to start.
Wow, is this game ever all over the place, musically speaking. Some of it can get quite annoying, but it all really nails the “haunted house” vibe, if by “haunted house” we’re talking about the kind of attraction that is terrifying to children and disturbing on an entirely different level to their adult relatives. It’s chirpy, cutesy, and grotesque in a way that isn’t violent or bloody, but rather, just… weird.
Take a look at this advertisement from when the game was released in 1993:
Can you even tell what’s going on there? It’s a little hard.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is one of those nineties games with ‘tude. On a scale of ‘tude, in fact, it’s probably somewhere below Battletoads and ToeJam and Earl, but definitely higher than, say, Tomba! Tomba wasn’t exactly known for his ‘tude, I guess.
I’m getting off topic. The point is that Zombies Ate My Neighbors is radical to the max, and if it’s a little rough around the edges, we forgive it, because we didn’t have Left 4 Dead when it was released, and it was just about the only place to go to for zombie-slayin’ co-op for about fifteen years. It still holds up pretty well, as a matter of fact, and if you’ve got a means of playing it with a pal, I’d highly recommend it. It advertises 55 levels, but I never saw anywhere close to that. I kept getting killed by that giant baby.
If the original track by Joe McDermott up above, “Chainsaw Hedgemaze Mayhem,” isn’t spooky enough for you, have a listen to the jam below: Protricity’s “Neighburgers” remix takes the original and puts a little polish on it, making it a suitable soundtrack for any Halloween party to which you’d like to bring some funk. Just keep some exploding sodas and holy water squirt guns on hand… just in case.