Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MIDI Week Singles: "Stage 2: Lightning Speed" - Bad Dudes (NES)

"Stage 2: Lightning Speed" from Bad Dudes on the Nintendo Entertainment System (1989)
Album: No Official Album Release
Publisher: Data East USA
Developer: Data East

You know, there is a fair amount going on in this song, and in each section, the melody is memorable enough that they could stand on their own.

However, even with how great the music is, how it is used in the game might seem a bit odd.  In the second stage, Blade/Striker ride atop a moving semi-truck down the highway as enemy ninjas attack from all sides.  On paper, this music does seem like it would work perfectly, even the name of the track fits in with the concept of the stage.  How the stage actually plays on the NES though is the complete opposite.  In the arcade, the same song is used, although the sound quality is a lot "tinnier" and more in the background, which makes sense when you consider that arcades are not typically where you would go to to listen to video game music, what with all of the competing sounds.  Even the level is nearly identical in its speed, with the screen slowly creeping from the right to the left.

Or maybe that was the original point of this song moving faster than the level?  With how slow the stage moves from right to left, revealing more of the truck a chunk of pixels at a time, that this music was used to instill a sense of speed that the level design either did not or could not do?  This is of course all just speculation.

I would recommend just sitting back, turning up the volume, play this song with a fan blowing in your face and you are all set to be a bad enough dude!


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