Jump to content
Awoo.

Alternate Sonic Soundtracks


Tornado

Recommended Posts

I honestly searched, and I didn't actually find anything (I was truly surprised about that), so yeah.

So, for those not in the know, Sonic CD was a game for the Sega CD in 1993. An inspired, original take on the series with a cool time-travel idea and yadda yadda yadda. We all know that.

So, as it turns out, SoA was feeling particularly defiant in 1993, probably because of the whole "Sonic 2 was made at S.T.I. so bite me SoJ" thing, and when the game was making its way across the pond they threw out the original soundtrack and commissioned Spencer Nilsen to make another one. The new soundtrack was considerably different from the original, leading to much DRAMA for the next 16 years and a little bit of RUINED FOREVER from more extreme parts of the fanbase. We all know that to.

What I'm curious about is: Why is it such a big deal (barring those who had the normal soundtrack and then had it revoked a la Gems Collection, which is kind of a dick move)?

Now don't get me wrong: I bought into the hype full force. The first version of the game I played on a console was the 9/20 Beta, and for years I thought that it was the only way to play Sonic CD like some kind of elitist genuinely not-nice person. Recently, though (or rather, a year or so ago), I've started judging the soundtrack on its own merits rather than that of the original release, and I don't actually think its really that bad. In fact, a lot of things on the NTSC soundtrack actually sound quite fantastic (though the PCM tracks screw up a couple of them). So, I guess I'm just wondering: Which side of the fence do you stand on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 110
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

That sort of thing used to be a big deal for me when I was younger, but localizations have gotten much better over time and I've mellowed out considerably. By the time I became aware of the Sonic CD controversy, I'd pretty much given up on that kind of elitism.

I like elements of both soundtracks; the wacky boss music, Collision Chaos, Metallic Madness and a few other tracks from the Japanese version are some of my favourite songs in the series, but the American songs lend the game a dark, unearthly tone... I like 'em both, really, and from the position of someone who's able to listen to both soundtracks online thanks to modern technology, I'm kind of glad it happened. It's a pity most (all?) rereleases don't provide both, though.

Edited by Octarine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up playing with the US soundtrack via a PC copy my dad brought home from Singapore, so that soundtrack''s may favorite.

Regardless of how it was meant to be originally, I will prefer the US one. Both soundtracks are good, but I just think the American one is better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up playing with the US soundtrack via a PC copy my dad brought home from Singapore, so that soundtrack''s may favorite.

Regardless of how it was meant to be originally, I will prefer the US one. Both soundtracks are good, but I just think the American one is better.

See, one thing I absolutely love about the Sonic CD soundtrack debate is that I'm very much a special case in the matter than disproves the argument "You prefer the one you grew up/ heard first". When I say I prefer the Japanese/ European soundtrack, people usually try to jump down my throat with "You're just biased because that's the one you grew up with". Truth is, I grew up with the US soundtrack (PC version), so there's no bias. ;P

Okay, I'll admit I'm heavily biased against the US version 'Sonic Boom' songs, because I did actually hear the JP/ EU versions of those first (saw the opening and end animations on Sonic Jam and fell in love with them, was totally gutted when I heard Sonic Boom when I finally got the PC version D= )

But yeah, aside from the song replacements which I obviously noticed, I actually had no idea that they'd replaced most of the BGM until about four years ago. So it can't be any kind of inherent bias that I thought that the majority of the games' soundtrack was rather bland, samey and unmemorable. I just assumed the composers must have been having an off-day when they did the music for Sonic CD.

Yes, the US one has a few standout tunes, but I'd personally not say they're on par with the JP/EU ones. Okay, the JP/EU tracks have a few somewhat forgettable ones too, but the hit to miss ratio is much, much better than the US one. I found that a lot of the US soundtrack seems almost like random ambience at times, as opposed to actual music. And one thing that really got me was how the tunes they had for the Present and Futures was either completely different (whereas in the JP/EU tracks all time zones were clearly remixes of the same base level tune), or almost identical.

That said, I by no means hate the US soundtrack, I just... don't like it. In my opinion, it doesn't really sound like Sonic music. I do however think it's practically a crime with how they handled the BGM during the Metal Sonic race and final boss, though. Japanese version: Metal Sonic race plays the badass Bad Future mix, regardless of whether you have a good or bad future at that point. US version... plays whichever time zone tune you're in. So if you have a good future, you get to race Metal Sonic to calm, pedestrian ambience! So dramatic! =D Similar for the last boss, where the JP version has a special boss tune, the US version just uses the regular boss music, as far as I can remember.

It's a real shame they put the US tracks on Sonic Gems collection, because the game may as well not be there for me as it stands. I really should try and sort out emulating Sonic CD again, actually.

Edited by Mahzes
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand the dislike for the US soundtrack. The JP/EU one is much more wacky, fun and actiony. I must say the boss music from the US version is silly and not Eggman-like at all (unless of course you were raised on SatAM and therefore thing Eggman must be the evilest thing since the uneven ratio between hot dog buns and hot dog sausages).

But there are a few tracks I prefer in the US:

I find Tidal Tempest Present to have a very nice sad melody to it in US. The "laa laa loo" vocals kind of take that a way a little bit when they start up, but behind them there's a really nice sombre tune. JP/EU was great and atmospheric, but then we get Bad Future. In JP/EU, it's absoloutely mad, and very intense, but the US one far gives me a better atmosphere of a run-down, flooded factory.

I think overall Metallic Madness and Palmtree Panic are the most controversial in the US. Both of those got seriously mellowed out. The Present tunes were okay, but in the future, they barely sound different in tone. Bad Future in particular had a completely different tone for Palmtree Panic, and Good Future for Metallic Madness lacked any sort of final "yeah we're gonna win!" epicness.

Edited by JezMM
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the demo-version of Sonic CD that i played as a kid on my Windows 95 didnt have any music at all (i still dont know what was up with that...), i didnt grow up with any Sonic CD soundtrack despite growing up with the game. So i dare say i am very much unbiased on this issue as well.

And ever since i first heard both versions of the soundtrack somewhere on the web back in about 2003, i have vastly prefered the Japanese version. The melodies in that version are generally much more memorable than those in the US version. And when Sonic Gems was announced i was really pissed to find out that we Europeans would have to settle with the US soundtrack despite getting the better version when the game was originally released here.

There is however one level where i like the music in the US version the most, namely (the "present" version of) Wacky Workbench http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtANQ0Y8VSo&feature=related (the beautiful part begins at about a minute in)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think both soundtracks are very good, though the Japanese one fits Sonic the best in my opinion. PAL version had the japanese soundtrack so this change didn't affect me at all.

Localizations bother me to a degree, because I like to experience the original product, like the creator intended and not like someone else supposes it to be. As long as there's a way for me to have it (for example, the japanese and english voices both being included in the games) then I don't really care to be honest.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're looking at somebody who enjoys the Sonic R soundtrack, here. I can happily enjoy hokey music from time to time. I have Journey on my playlist, and listened to Gerry Rafferty's Baker St. before going to bed. On the other hand, though I have a high tolerance for corny music, I don't have a very high tolerance for annoying music, and I always thought the original JP theme was pretty erratic and annoying. Makes me twitch a little in a not-good way.

So, yeah, Sonic CD is pretty much the only point in the series where I'll take the American version over the JP version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Japanese soundtrack fits my view of Sonic better than the US one. It's a fun, lighthearted, idealistic series in my mind, and the music of the Japanese soundtrack fits it accordingly. The US soundtrack just has a strangely dark tone and, while not bad music by any means, feels out of place in a Sonic game.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I played the game I listened to the soundtracks. I hated the American one. None of it was catchy or enjoyable. Now I can give it credit to a few tracks, Stardust Speedway Present, Tidal Tempest Present, and Tidal Tempest Bad Future, but that's really just it. I especially HATE the US versions of Collision Chaos, Quartz Quadrant, and the Special Stage theme. I disliked these versions so much that I would only play the levels in past.

As for the openings. I never liked either! =P Neither Sonic Boom or You Can Do Anything. Both are horribly cheesy songs that I could never get into

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the Japanese version to be more Sonic styled. My first encounter with Sonic CD was at a friend's, on his CDX. Since the Sega CD felt like a cheap gimmick to me, I didn't treat it like a real Sonic game, I saw it more like a goofy spin-off. It was very gimmicky, and the pink Robotnik at the end of Palmtree Paradise confused me further. I remember not liking the boss music at that point, it was like being at a crazy carnival with the pink Robotnik.

We had some fun with it, but I didn't play the game again until three years ago when it occurred to me that this was the only classic game I never really gave the time. I played the JP version on emulator, and while I didn't notice the soundtrack at first (only Quartz Quadrant jumped out at me), I found it more familiar for a Sonic game. Anyways, this has become one of my favorite classics for it's individual style, and I definitely consider the soundtrack to be a part of that. I'm surprised no one mentioned the way the JP soundtrack keeps tunes consistent through all time zones. The best part about it is how the mood changes on the same song, depending on what time Sonic's in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like both and both have their gems, but it's the same reason why I prefer 06's soundtrack to Rush's - the US's is much more ambient and fitting to the level and is a bit more serious. I think it works better, especially in the good futures. The Japanese good futures were AWFUL compared to the serene goodness of most of the US verions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised no one mentioned the way the JP soundtrack keeps tunes consistent through all time zones. The best part about it is how the mood changes on the same song, depending on what time Sonic's in.

I did. X3

That's what bugs me, that the US version doesn't have that consistency, even if you ignore the fact the past tunes were kept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stand with my feet firmly planted in the USA OST camp, mainly because of the far superior mixing and production on the tracks - the JP OST felt very packed and crowded with what was essentially useless noise, whereas the US version sounded much less intrusive and much more like actual music, as opposed to an odd collection of moronic shouting and overzealous drumbeats.

In addition, the composure of the music was miles better on the American edition of the game; mindless rapping and JRPG-esque BOMBOMBOM beats just don't appeal to me, so I personally think that SoA made a good decision when they decided to make new tunes for their release of the game. It's just a huge shame that SoE didn't use the USA soundtrack when it came to bringing the game to Europe - we were forced to suffer the evil tortures of a 50hz frame rate AND the awful Jap-crap that SoJ churned out. Thank god for Sonic Gems Collection...

Edited by TUSCAN SLAPPERS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stand with my feet firmly planted in the USA OST camp, mainly because of the far superior mixing and production on the tracks - the JP OST felt very packed and crowded with what was essentially useless noise, whereas the US version sounded much less intrusive and much more like actual music, as opposed to an odd collection of moronic shouting and overzealous drumbeats.

Are we talking about the same soundtracks here?

I'm of the belief that it's the US soundtrack that sounds less like actual music. As I said before, it seems like random ambience rather than a structured tune, much of the time. Collision Chaos and Metallic Madness presents both come to mind, for one.

Each to his own of course, but I really don't see how you can feel the JP soundtrack is 'useless noise' when, IMO, the US one fits that description much moreso.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both the US and JP soundtracks sound like "actual music", whatever the hell that is to you guys, because they ARE actual music. D8

If it's of any consolation, the US soundtrack is technically consistant. Past music is unique, yes, present is unique, yes, but the good future and bad future tunes are variations on the same tune for each zone. Therefore, it technically has a past theme, present theme, and future theme (that changes according to mood) per zone.

That's kinda consistant to me in it's own way.

The only thing that does kinda bother me in the US soundtrack is that the final boss doesn't have a unique theme, and despite (according to the track list) two different versions of the boss theme, they both sound pretty much the same. I guess this is way back though. The idea of a game without a unique boss theme for the finale wasn't that crazy an idea in those days... Still, odd considering the JP version had a seperate final boss theme.

Edited by JezMM
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just played through Sonic CD with the original soundtrack for the very first time last week using emulator. I'd owned the PC version of the game for years, as well as the crappy Gems Collection port, and the change in music was enough to make me feel I was playing a completely different game.

I'm conflicted as to which I enjoy more. I'm willing to say that I probably like more tracks on the English soundtrack than on the Japanese one. Also, Sonic Boom is infinitely better than that "Toot toot" shit, in my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My real point is that in general, the tunes on the US version are more appealing to me, but there are a few exceptions in the Japanese soundtrack; Metallic Madness, as Mahzes has rightfully said, is far superior on the JP version, although I (along with Legendary Emerald, it seems) refuse to believe that 'that "toot-toot" shit' is in any way better than Sonic Boom.

Also...

Collision Chaos and Metallic Madness presents both come to mind, for one.

I've already said that I agree with the latter, but Collision Chaos? Collision Chaos USA was a work of subtle genius! It was, in my opinion - dare I say it - the pinnacle of calmer video game music, whereas the JP edition was more of a dodgy synthpop demo with a few mechanical sound effects haphazardly chucked in to bulk it out... It just wasn't that good!

Edited by TUSCAN SLAPPERS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I almost never agree with Tuscan, but I like the U.S. soundtrack more, too. Granted, I first heard the U.S. soundtrack and didn't hear the other version until only a couple of years ago, so my view's biased. I didn't like the PAL version that much, but I think they fit, too, in a way.

However, "Toot-Toot" and "Sonic Boom" are plain strokes of GENIUS!

Edited by Dark Qiviut
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say this: Toot Toot? Meh. I only think its better because it fits the intro better.

Cosmic Eternity? Fuck yes!

Both the US and JP soundtracks sound like "actual music", whatever the hell that is to you guys, because they ARE actual music. D8

While he probably could have phrased it a tad better, I think I know what Tuscan was going for. Some of the music on the Japanese soundtrack sounds like a synthesizer exploded, and there are an awful lot of gratuitous voice samples on some of the tracks that just seem kind of weird (the weirdness might be a result of culture differences, so what have you).

Edited by Tornado
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno, I guess those who dislike SOnic CD music JP for that reason also hate Sonic Rush's soundtrack. While I wouldn't want them in every game (I love the variety in Sonic soundtracks over the years), I love all the wacky voice samples. They just SCREAM "fun!" to me, and that's exactly what Sonic CD is like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Collision Chaos USA was a work of subtle genius! It was, in my opinion - dare I say it - the pinnacle of calmer video game music, whereas the JP edition was more of a dodgy synthpop demo with a few mechanical sound effects haphazardly chucked in to bulk it out... It just wasn't that good!

No way. Not in a million years. The American Collision Chaos is so lame that I simply DON'T remember what it sounds like. I would not say it was the pinnacle of calmer VGM. Tidal Tempest Present USA, maybe. It has a very calming feel and nice vocals to boot.

However, I do agree that the JP Collision Chaos Present, Bad Future, and Past aren't that good. But, Good Future version is one of the best tracks in the game. I've loved it as a kid and I still do now at almost 20. It's so happy and pleasant and it FEELS like a Good Future BGM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Though the debate between Sonic CD's US and Japanese soundtracks is strong, it's not the only Sonic game to receive two versions of a soundtrack.

In the past, Sonic 3 & Knuckles got similar treatment for its PC release, and Sonic 3D Blast got two completely different scores depending on the console.

I figure it might be interesting to discuss these soundtracks as well. Hopefully in a civil manner, because I know how easy it is to turn discussions like this into rampant bashing fests.

So, where do I stand?

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Frankly, I don't care for the PC tracks for this game. It's not that they're bad or anything, but I always found them pretty generic. Carnival Night boasts some admittedly catchy tunes, and I love the unused track (why wasn't that the PC credits theme instead of that slow track? D:), but Ice Cap just didn't fit when I tried it on the PC. The music was so fast, while the platforming in the caves is really slow and fits the more relaxed Genesis music. I'm probably a little biased because I heard the Genesis one first and loved it from the start, but I just didn't find the PC's memorable.

I have similar feelings regarding Launch Base. The Genesis version is funky and totally gives off an industrial vibe. It's not particularly happy or imposing, but it really makes me think of an Eggman base. The PC version is just too happy for my liking, and the way it loops bothers me because it feels like the track hasn't concluded when the loop occurs. By itself, I think the music sounds like something out of Pokémon, and it strikes me as more of an adventuring theme than taking on Robotnik's base before the Death Egg launches.

Sonic 3D Blast: This... is a lot tougher for me. On one hand, I really like a lot of the Genesis tracks like Diamond Dust zone, Volcano Valley, and Panic Puppet. They're all catchy and memorable. However, the same can be said about the Jacques soundtrack. There are some wonderful compositions that are both melodic and atmospheric, like the lovely Rusty Ruin. Plus, that special stage music, man. SO funky.

In this case, I think both soundtracks fit very well, and I could play the game with either one... if I actually cared for 3D's gameplay, but that's neither here nor there.;

So, what are your thoughts? And, again, let's keep this civil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.