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[VGM Pack] The Smurfs (GG)Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:00 pm
From way back in mid June. I had this pack pretty much ready to go, all I needed to do was rename the files and generate the extras. This was one of the last games I worked on in my sound engine hacking attempts, and as such had a music engine different than the usual.
This game features a sound engine that works similarly to Codemasters, as far as having some similar features but implementation is different. Possibly there was some study of the Codemasters engine by the sound engineers at Infogrames. One of the songs (Death) is exactly the same as the Fantatic Dizzy death theme. I have not found evidence of the composer working with Codemasters or their composers, so this might be an example of plagiarism or some shared base of material (all other themes are original).
There was just enough material to avoid any repetition of themes across the levels. Three tracks are reused for the later levels while three are unused (and of good quality). One wonders if the codemasters engine was used as a basis of study and if the allocation of tracks was left up to programmers rather than the composer. Was the death theme intended to be included? Gaps in communication between composer and programmer occur in several instances, particularly in games based on franchise. Baldwin and Cooksey come to mind. On the other hand, the composer was contracted for almost all Bitmanager titles, and has programming experience on the spectrum zx.
It would be nice to hear some insider wisdom on the music. Alberto José González Pedraza claims as his inspiration other video game composers.
This pack is based on the GG version, which I spent a good amount of time hacking. I chose it over the sms in order to avoid any theoretical problems with pal release timing and how they should work on a normal machine. SMS at 50hz and GG at 60Hz pretty much line up timewise with minor differences. There is a greater difference between a trimmed track and an untrimmed one as they become unsynced over time, not unusual for many vgms. It's been a while since I worked on this so I do not remember much about that aspect of the process.
When you finish the game, it is supposed to give you access to a practice mode where you can try all but the last level. However a silly mistake on the part of the programmers has the system reset the game instead, obliterating the benefit. You can access it by code however.
I played through normally and used the practice mode to check work.
I have no idea how music is used in the SMS version, but it is likely the same. However, for all I know there may be variations and possibly the three unused themes are otherwise in this version. So this is tagged a single system release although you would not notice the differences on the tracks I tested.
Finally released Now at 1.00.