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Ape Escape 2

Ape Escape 2 was released exclusively for PlayStation 2 in Japan July 18th, 2002 and a year later it made it's way to the EU and US. It was later ported to the PlayStation 4 in August of 2016 with updated visuals and trophy support. The soundtrack is composed by Koji Hayama. I been wanting to work on uploading this soundtrack for some time, I use to rent the first and second Ape Escape all the time back in the day and though the first game has an official soundtrack release—Ape Escape Originape Soundtrack—from 2011(over a decade after it's release) the second game has never received the same treatment.  I never played the third installment but it has an official soundtrack as well; Ape Escape 3 Originape Soundtrack. I labeled and number the tracks according to how they are placed on the in-game music menu, since they are the official title.

The music is similar to other platformers of it's time such as Banjo-Kazooie or Mario 64 because of it's focus on melody, with it's cheery/upbeat tracks. I haven't really listened to any of the music since I played Ape Escape 2 on the PS2 years ago but just like other chipper soundtracks of that time, I instantly remembered when I heard them again. I also picked up the upscaled version for PS4 about three weeks ago and I've already finished the darn thing. It helped that I remembered where most of the monkeys are but there were still a couple that are well hidden and drove me a little nuts. The controls are also a bit clunky and there are times when your clearly next to a ledge and Hikaru just won't grab on..  but it's still a fun, challenging game overall and there are tons of unlockables to keep you busy.  A few of my favorite tracks from the album are: Land of the Apes, Skyscaper City, Enter the Monkey, Monkey Chorus  and lastly Staff Credits.  Whenever I hear the Staff Credits song now, I think of my almost 20 year old cat. Over the years, no matter where I was gaming around my house, he'd always be there watching the screen, tracking the various things moving around and this PS4 port was the last game I finished with him by my side before he passed. It's hard to believe 20 years flying by like that but at least we all have good memories of him and he had a good life. The soundtrack is uploaded in both FLAC and MP3(320kbps) and you'll find it in the archive.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Soundtrack(YouTube)

We just uploaded our The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Soundtrack with 273 tracks onto our YouTube channel, as we continue to slowly upload our Video Game Music Extractions. The entire video is 6 hours and 20 minutes long and it took me about 7 hours to process the whole thing and another couple hours to upload it; I'd rather have it as one video compared to uploading 273 seperate ones. Not to mention it took weeks of chipping away at the track titles, composers and syncing images of where the tracks play during the game. I normally only place a handful of images from a given area or event throughout our music videos but I just ended up placing a matched screenshot here or there and then..  I was determined to do the while thing that way, heh. Can't say I'll ever do that again—at least for a musical score of this size—but it is nice in a way because much like how the Symphony of the Goddess concert would sync video clips to the music, it allows you to quickly identify when the track is played if you're not familiar with the score and it also gives you something to look at. You know, It's personally not my favorite Zelda soundtrack but it does contain some very good tracks(Old Woman's Theme, The Goddess's Mission, Thousand-Year Arachnid,  just to name a few) that I still listen to today, so it's worth checking out. Anyway, it's uploaded and I hope you enjoy it.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit Version)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit Version) was released for the SEGA Master System and SEGA Game Gear in 1992; a month before the 16-bit version for the SEGA Genesis was released; and it's soundtrack is composed by both Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata.  It's interesting because prior to this, I had no idea that there was a 8-bit version of Sonic 1 or 2 for the Master System. Then I noticed it was released for the Game Gear as well, I started watching some gameplay videos online and something clicked.. I remember this game. It must have been around the time Sonic 2 was released, 1992-93 but I had completely forgotten that I had the game at one point. I watched somebody play through the game online and every level and boss came back to me. I'm sure there are plenty of games from years ago I forgot playing but It's just weird how just by seeing a little gameplay, those memories come rushing back to you. Anyway, to the soundtrack!

The music for both the Master System and the Game Gear are virtually identicle, with the exception of a handful of tracks that are exclusive to each platform—such as a different Boss Theme, Ending Theme, Power Sneakers Music and an Unused Track for the Master System. So what I did is blend both versions, that way there won't be two separate soundtracks that very closely resemble each other.

The "Bad Ending (Game Gear) is the same track as both endings for the Master System but the Game Gear version is 2:20 mins long and the Master System version is 2:05, so I only included the Game Gear version to avoid duplicate tracks. Oddly, the Master System version does contain the other Ending track from the Game Gear version in the ROM but it isn't ever used for either ending scene. I also placed the short jingles(Act Complete, Game Over, ect.) at the end of the soundtrack.

You'll find Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit Version) uploaded to the archive in both FLAC and MP3.

NHL '99(PC)

The soundtrack for NHL '99 is composed by Jeff van Dyck, along with a trimmed down version of Noise Therapy's song "Down" for the Menu Track #5.  I obtain the tracks from a CD of the PC version of the game and there are seven tracks, five are Menu Themes and the other two are Qualify and Awards Themes. Out of curiosity, I downloaded the Nintendo 64 version of NHL '99 ROM to see if the music was the same and found it has a different Introduction Theme—the PC version has a David Bowie song, which I omitted—and an extra Menu Theme so I included both of those. There isn't much to the titles, I pretty much just left them as they were labeled "Menu Tracks 1-5."  From what I've read, a couple of the tracks were also used in later installments of the series(NHL '06 and NHL '09).  I was surprised that the music is actually pretty darn good(I mean, an old NHL game having good original music?). I'm really diggin' the Menu Track 4, it has some catchy riffs, and the Main Menu Track for the N64 version is also a really good song.

And there we have it, both FLAC and MP3 versions are uploaded so enjoy!

 

AFTER BURNER/SEGA S.S.T. Band

The After Burner/SEGA S.S.T Band album was made by Pony Canyon, published by Scitron and released back in June 21, 1990. It contains 6 original tracks from After Burner II for the Genesis that are slightly remastered, along with two arranged tracks that are written by the SEGA Sound Team(S.S.T.)—with Hiroshi Kawaguchi(the composer of After Burner II) playing the keyboard. It's been out-of-print for some time but you can still find used copies floating around ebay.

The remastered tracks are not too different from the original, I would describe them as being cleaner and the various sounds are more equalized. For instance, with original "FINAL TAKE OFF" from After Burner II the synthesizer is buried in the backround of the bass progression and you can just barely recognize it. With the remastered version of "FINAL TAKE OFF" the sound effects are leveled so the synth sound can easily be heard and the same goes for the other original tracks on the album. The two arranged tracks certainly have a late 80's/early 90's feel to them, with the guitars working power chords, synth rhythms and the orch punches. S.S.T.  put together some catchy remixes. The final track on the album is a collection of sound effects from After Burner II(SE COLLECTION) such as voice commands and the plane taking off and landing. I played this game so much back in the day and it's about time for SEGA to release an upscaled or remastered versions for PC or current gen systems.  The album's uploaded in both MP3 and FLAC.