Just in time for All Hallows Eve, it's another Negative World Euphonic episode!
What's creepier than a good ol' Town theme? What's more pleasant than a Spooky theme? What a sec... Swap that. In this episode Joe and Stephen explore the comforting nature of Town Themes and the tension-filled aspect of Spooky themes in video games.
What do you think of the songs picked for this episode? Let us know. There are particularly some subjects we'd love your thoughts on, so please listen and please comment!
Negative World does not own the rights to any of the songs featured on the podcast. This is a non-profit appreciation podcast and the rights belong to their respective owners.
There were some verbal errors regarding who submitted the second and third songs in each category. Some of these were caught before posting and others not. My apologies to those who were swapped and to the listeners who might be confused while listening. Below are the correct results for the swapped results.
02 - Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal's Viridian/Pewter/Cerulean/Saffron City/Cinnabar Island by Mop It Up 03 - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest's The Silence of Daylight (Town Theme) by TheOldManFromZelda
02 - Resident Evil REmake's Safe Haven by Zero 03 - Super Mario World's Ghost House by GameDadGrant
I'll be making the 005 thread shortly as we did decide on themes for that, but do you have any themes you'd like to suggest? I have a running list I pull from but I'm always open to more! Surely there are better ones than what I thought up so far.
No, let me think. You could break it down by platform. Like, have a Genesis episode consisting entirely of digitized fart noises. Or have a specific franchise theme. Like Zelda or Mario. Or a publisher. Or a genre, like Fighting Games. Songs with vocals. Happy songs. Jake Kaufman songs. Remixes. Maybe something abstract like songs that pump you up and propel you through a game.
Oh, I see why you said that. I actually meant "We're running out of themes relevant to Ashley."
I wanted to share my thoughts on Shadow Man, as someone who played and thoroughly enjoyed the game when it released on the N64. The music you picked is indeed quite disturbing, but in the context of the game is makes absolutely perfect sense and does an excellent job of setting the mood and atmosphere for the area you're in: it is a place that should be utterly disturbing.
A quick look at a story synopsis online (you guys could have at least done that! :P Well, I know you guys pour a lot of tme and work already in getting these podcats done in the first place, so I'm not complaining) reveals the game's story is based on the Shadowman comic book series published by Valiant Comics. The world consists of Liveside (our everyday world) and Deadside (land of the dead), where the main villain (named Legion, "for we are many," this is actually in reference to a demon confronted by Jesus as told in the Bible) plans to usher in the Apocalypse by using five serial killers known as 'the Five' as his heralds and claiming the Dark Souls, the immortal souls of damned warriors, to create an immortal army and send it into Liveside. And it all starts in 1888 with Legion confronting Jack the Ripper.
The hero, Michael, unwillingly becomes the Shadow Man due having the Mask of Shadows forcefully implanted within his chest by the voodoo priestess Mama Nettie. (By the way, I also appreciated the game for its New Orleans setting and the fact the hero was one of few strong black main characters in video games).
Suffice it to say the game has very dark and serious undertones throughout, and the superb voice acting (this was rare on the N64 at the time) and wonderfully crafted cut scenes did an excellent job of making this game one of the few 'true' mature games for its time (ie it didn't simply rely on copious amounts of profanity and violence/ gore to earn its 'mature'label).
Plus, the gameplay was nothing to sneeze at. The levels are large and begging for exploration, and as you progress you earn new abilities that let you explore more as well as becoming even more powerful (somewhat like a Metroid game).
The game was an impressive addition to the N64 library. And its soundtrack is actually very memorable, not just due to the song picked for this episode: it is in fact on my list of Top Ten N64 Soundtracks.
Eric, thanks for that synopsis of Shadow Man. Had I read that before the show I still don't think I'd have known how to do it justice like you just did. You've clearly and concisely clarified why Shadow Man does have an apparently strong following. I feel better knowing that. It makes me appreciate even more that creepy-friggin' music I put in the show. What kind of imagery exists during that part of the game? I tried to investigate that part before the show but it's pretty challenging without sitting through Let's Play videos or something and unfortunately I don't have that kind of time.
What kind of imagery exists during that part of the game? I tried to investigate that part before the show but it's pretty challenging without sitting through Let's Play videos or something and unfortunately I don't have that kind of time.
I only have a vague recollection, so I looked up some video.
Note: In the first and third videos, I've embedded the videos so they will direct you to the start time I am talking about.
First of all, I found Shadow Man's opening monologue when he enters Asylum: Playrooms. Good stuff:
I remember the playroom imagery from the start of this video (about 18 seconds in):
but this is youtube video part 5 of the Asylum: Playrooms walkthough, which means that playroom imagery is actually a very small part of the whole area.
Much of the other parts are more dreary and blood-soaked like this one: