fz senki axis

Oops I forgot my own three-year anniversary.


Here are the musics from this past year that I liked the most:

100 Yen Disk No. 7 - Music No 1 [HIR]
CHEMOOL - Emotional Flame ver. γ
Rusty - Shooting Star [Kenichi Arakawa]
Vimana - Back To The Earth [Toshiaki Tomizawa]
Green Crystal - Opening 1/Opening 2 [Dr.G, O-YA]
zinger & Lunchquake - Shuffle On
Time Trax - Title [Tim Follin]
Devil Force - Staff Roll [Tsuyoshi Matsushima]
FZ Senki Axis - Caution [Masaaki Uno, Motoi Sakuraba, Yasunori Shiono]
Sol-Feace - Cosmic Illusion [Motoi Sakuraba]
Dynamite Headdy - Mystery Spot (FM technique explanation)
Fantasy Zone II: The Tears Of Opa-Opa - Flow My Tears [Manabu Namiki, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Takashi Toyoshima, Akira Saitoh]

This is the last time I’m gonna do this. So. I’m sorry I wasn’t prepared.

Thanks for listening ♥

Masaaki Uno, Motoi Sakuraba, Yasunori Shiono

FZ Senki Axis (Mega Drive), 1990
Masaaki Uno, Motoi Sakuraba, Yasunori Shiono

Wolf Team released two Mega Drive games in 1990, but this almost certainly has to be the first one their sound team worked on. Even compared to Granada, FZ Senki Axis is remarkably primitive, owing to its relatively early release on the console.

The first thing I noticed about it is how low the drums are in the mix, and how wimpy they sound. That is not a mixing mistake, they actually used the PSG for the entire drum track. That’s pretty audacious. I have never heard a Mega Drive game attempt to get away with that. The arrangement is also quite sparse. These are both perhaps due to the sound team’s greater familiarity with the monaural, three-channel (+ SSG) YM2203. That, the sloppy programming, overuse of instruments and ill-advised hard panning of lead instruments lend this soundtrack a clumsy sort of charm. Mr. Sakuraba certainly improved quickly as a sound designer after this. Those chunky tom rolls in Granada almost read like an apology!

It’s easy to dump on Wolf Team for their questionable game design, but their sound team were early pioneers of cool FM music for the home market, especially for Western audiences in the early 1990′s. Wolf Team’s parent company, Telenet Japan, owned the North American publishing company Renovation Products, who brought over great music from composers and sound designers like Toshiharu Yamanishi and Hitoshi Sakimoto, in addition to the majority of Wolf Team’s Mega Drive catalog.