The Big Other Platform Versions of MSX Soundtracks Thread

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By JohnHassink

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31-08-2017, 17:04

Here we can dump all the alternate versions of the soundtrack to our childhood that we may have found.

In some cases we may still prefer the MSX version, whether it's because of nostalgia, but also because it may simply just sound better on the MSX sound capabilities.
Even then, it can still be interesting how those songs that are practically branded in our brain sound on different hardware, and/or a different approach in arrangement.

As the topic starter, I really tried to contain myself and not give like a hundred suggestions.
I'll avoid mentioning for instance NES versions - apart from certain VRC6 versions which can be quite interesting. Even if the NES has an advantage on MSX PSG music for having independent white noise, those versions don't grant enough of a difference (at least to me, but feel free ofcourse).
Especially with Konami game soundtracks that MSX and NES share, which use the SCC on MSX, it's not really a debate which version is better. ;)

I'll kick off with just these five in alphabetical order (along with some sneaked-in bonuses):


Barunba on Turbo GFX
This is a fun and well made shmup by Namco, which was surprisingly only released on MSX1 and Turbo GFX (I always assumed it was an arcade port, but it's not the case).
If you haven't played it yet and you like shooters, play it NAO. ;) No, seriously. Try it if you didn't know it yet.
Anyway, if you happen to know the MSX version of the soundtrack, this one is pretty cool to hear.


Dragon Slayer 6 - The Legend of Heroes on Megadrive (Sega Genesis)
The PC-88 version is allright and the SNES version is subpar, but this one is worth to give a listen.
Even if some songs have entire parts missing (most notably "Dungeon" and "The Voice of God"), it can be interesting to hear this music on "16-Bit" Sega sound hardware.
Without getting too technical, the set-up of 16-bit Sega is quite similar to MSX OPLL+PSG, but with some important differences.
I think this Hirofumi Matsuoka was drafted to re-arrange Mieko Ishikawa's songs and wrote some additional music (such as cutscenes, a dedicated boss battle song and a new final battle theme).
Even if you wouldn't want to listen to the entire thing, at least check out the "Title Theme" (link with timestamp) which has a really cool re-interpretation of that recurring theme in the soundtrack.

There's also a PC Engine version which I don't care much for, but maybe some of you will.
Also, there's an IBM PC version for Adlib (OPL2) which sounds surprisingly listenable (even if still not very good).


Fire Hawk on PC-88 (OPNA version)
This one may be 'controversial' in that most MSX fans will probably still prefer the MSX2 soundtrack version over this one.
Even then, the OPNA version can be interesting for comparison, especially because it uses some additional samples (most notably a little orchestra hit) which adds to the music in my opinion.


Hydlide 3 on PC-98
Unfortunately, the Sega Megadrive/Genesis version of this soundtrack is abysmal for the most part, while these PC-98 renditions sound more like slightly upgraded versions of how we know it on MSX.
The Famicon version may be interesting as well. Also note that the description of this video has links to recordings of many other versions of the soundtrack.

(speaking of T&E Soft, here is the Super Laydock soundtrack on Sharp X1 as a bonus)


Testament on PC-88
There are many PC-88 versions of soundtracks that used PSG only on MSX(2) (a lot of them are present in the Telenet Music Box which I'm hereby sneaking into this entry anyway).
Of all of those, I selected this one for my opening message, because I love this soundtrack so much.
If you listen closely, you can notice that the PC-88 versions of these songs were written before the MSX2 versions. In the latter version, the compositions are somewhat more refined.


Ofcourse I know of many, many more, but it's certainly more fun if I yield the floor to other people now to come up with nice suggestions. :)

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By tfh

Prophet (3429)

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31-08-2017, 17:11

Well, not exactly the same thing of course, but for our FDD#2 promo I was quite inspired by this demo & music:

FDD #2 Promo:

By JohnHassink

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31-08-2017, 17:15

Not exactly the same indeed, but still interesting. Smile
I instantly recognized the FDD#2 promo, but never knew about its origins.
Also, nice detail that the creators of that Amiga demo were Dutchies as well.

By Grauw

Ascended (10821)

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31-08-2017, 18:09

I like the music of Ys for the X1 Turbo (OPM) / PC-98 (OPNA, identical).

Side note, Sega Megadrive and NEC PC-88/98 OPN* chipa are very similar to the YM2151 OPM in the Yamaha SFG-05 module! Quite different from the OPL series though.

By ren

Paragon (1947)

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01-09-2017, 16:04

Alright, I'm not consuming your OP in one piece btw ;-)

Ys III for X68000 (YouTube) (VMGRips) is one of my favorite soundtracks (ATM anyway). It's sounding rather excellent and features some (more or less) exclusive tracks, among which the excellent Theme of Chester (to be found on the SNES & Mega Drive (+others?) soundtracks as well), Chop!! and Believe in My Heart. All composed by Masaaki Kawai (who did DS6 together with Mieko Ishikawa, who in turn did the original selection of tunes for YS III (as you, the reader, might know already ;-)) Chop!! is simply an amazing piece, big, big fan of that tune.. Whoop whoop!

Not sure btw if the game itself has been extended (compared to the MSX2/PC-88/98 version) to fit the new tunes?

(@todo: listen to this ;-))

By ricbit

Champion (438)

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01-09-2017, 16:41

I listened to the PC version of FireHawk (using Roland MT-32), and omfg that thing is horrendous! Our poor OPLL is much better than that MT-32 monstrosity.

Another curious soundtrack is MSX1 Outrun, which is PSG-only and much better than MSX2 Outrun.

By Manuel

Ascended (19678)

Manuel's picture

01-09-2017, 21:02

Well I invite you MSX hackers out there to implement the music of the MSX1 version of Outrun into the MSX2 version! Smile

By ren

Paragon (1947)

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02-09-2017, 02:22

Supplement to my previous post regarding Ys III for X68000.

Some better quality YT recordings with track indices: [MSX PSG] [X68000 OPM+MSM]

Interesting thingy is that Beasts as Black as Night (which is an awesome tune as well) (PC-88 version is sounding sweet as well) isn't present in any of the unofficial/fan/from-game recordings, nor the VGM pack it seems. It is available however on various official OST albums.

On the Ys III J.D.K. Special VGMdb page (YouTube) the titles state Medium Boss, and New Medium Boss for Black Beasts and Chop!! respectively, so I get the idea that Chop!! replaces Black Beasts in the game (but Beasts has apparently still been arranged for X68000. Could be present/hidden in sound-test perhaps?)

Or could there be an extra/new medium boss in the game..? (I actually never played the game, not even on MSX.. :x)

According to the same page the X68000 soundtrack is arranged ('converted') by Masaaki Kawai (so he was totally on this one ;-))

By JohnHassink

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02-09-2017, 14:52

@ ren: Ys III on the X68 plays out exactly like all the other original versions. There are no additional boss battles in it. So indeed "Beasts as Black as Night" is simply replaced by "Chop!!" at every mid-boss.
If you plan on playing it some time (which I'd recommend); while the MSX2 version is technically impressive and quite fun, if you're going to emulate anyway, the Sega Genesis version is the best choice.

By ren

Paragon (1947)

ren's picture

03-09-2017, 11:32

Thanks for the pointers @JB Wink

Thanks for the Hydlide 3 reminder, never properly listened to that soundtrack, has some nice tunes.
No mention of the X1/X68000 OPM soundtracks though? They're more 'synthy'. Seems like they're identical, except for the extra S.V. tunes the latter version has.

Listening on YT (those user6681 vids) it seems the PC-88 OPNA version doesn't surpass the PC-98 OPN version, listening in hoot though reveals that it's a lousy recording: the FM part is barely audible. (I've notice issues with other of his uploads as well btw (So don't trust stinkin' YouTube too much.. Wink))

Anyway, it doesn't seem the OPNA version uses the extra FM channels available, just seems to play/fool around with the stereo abilities.

By popolon33

Expert (85)

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03-09-2017, 17:33

Super Laydock - Mission striker on Sharp X1 (OPM)
already mentionned in first post :P

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