A musical journey through MMO soundscapes, Battle Bards reviews and discusses the soundtrack of MMORPGs with a trio of engaging hosts. The Battle Bards podcast alternates with Retro Reprise, a half-hour podcast showcasing classic VGM from the ’80s and ’90s.

ABOUT

A musical journey through MMO soundscapes, Battle Bards reviews and discusses the soundtrack of MMORPGs with a trio of engaging hosts. The Battle Bards podcast alternates with Retro Reprise, a half-hour podcast showcasing classic VGM from the ’80s and ’90s.


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Find our Episode Archives here!


THE BARDS


Syp's blog
Steff's blog
Syl's blog


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You can send in feedback, questions and suggestions via Email or Twitter. We read our mailbag at the end of each show, so your questions will usually be answered on air within a few weeks time. Thanks!

Logo Credits

A big thanks to Tesh for the original Battle Bards logo! Retro Reprise TV graphic designed by Zirconicusso.

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It's been a year-and-a-half since Syl and Syp first dove into Final Fantasy music, but now the duo is back to discuss combat themes from four of the game's 1990s installments! From One-Winged Angel to The Man with a Machine Gun, it's all the classics you've been listening to -- and adoring -- for years, packaged with exclusive fan commentary!

Show notes (episode download, episode page)

  • Intro
  • FFV: "Clash on the Big Bridge"
  • FFVII: "Combat"
  • FFVII: "Jenova"
  • FFVII: "One-Winged Angel"
  • FFVIII: "The Man with a Machine Gun"
  • FFVIII: "The Extreme"
  • FFIX: "Combat"
  • Outro
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_14.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

After an incredibly long absence, Retro Reprise is back for a kind of weird episode -- but aren't those the best? On this week's show, Syp listens to many video game studio logos and fanfares from the 1990s. These jingles may be short, but we heard them so many times they became burned into our brains! Which one was your favorite?

Show notes

  • Intro (Sega Scream commercial)
  • Origin Systems
  • Rare
  • Capcom
  • Apogee
  • Hot-B
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Konami
  • Microprose
  • Interplay
  • Crystal Dynamics
  • LG Software
  • Micronet
  • Ocean Software
  • Seta Corporation
  • Sierra
  • Telegames
  • Warp
  • Outro
  • Special thanks to the Retro Video Game Logo Project!
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_13.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

When it comes to talking about the music from the original NES, everyone seems to always reference the same games. But what about those "other" titles with interesting and memorable soundtracks that get ignored? In today's show, Syp pulls out 10 offbeat NES music tracks that you might have never heard of -- but definitely should! Buckle up, Retro Reprise is about to go off the beaten path and into the wild unknown!

Episode 12: Offbeat NES music tracks

  • Intro
  • "Theme" from Rambo
  • "Theme" from Pictionary
  • "Coralcola Village" from StarTropics 2
  • "Duel" from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • "Towering Catastrophe" from Monsters in my Pocket
  • "Running Through the Blue Fields" from Strider
  • "House Theme 3" from A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • "Good Weather" from Mr. Gimmick!
  • "Salvage Chute" from Bucky O'Hare
  • "Strange Woman" from Uninvited
  • Outro ("Mini-Game" from Pictionary)
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_12.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

Syp returns to the 8-bit era as he counts down his top 10 favorite Gameboy tunes. It's a harder task than you think, considering how long the system was out and how many great games and soundtracks were created for it! Chances are he'll ignore your favorite, but it'll be a fun show nevertheless with lots of cheery and catchy tracks. What's your favorite?

Episode 11: Top 10 Gameboy tunes

  • Intro
  • "Theme" from The Smurfs
  • "Staff Credits" from Metroid II
  • "Town of Albano" from Lufia: The Legend Returns
  • "Battle of the Holy" from The Castlevania Adventure
  • "Stage 1" from TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan
  • "Ripe Seeds" from Castlevania II
  • "Theme" from Monster Max
  • "Type B" from Tetris
  • "Tal Tal Heights" from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • "Birabuto Kingdom" from Super Mario Land
  • Outro (feat. "Cave Stage" from Turok 2)
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_11.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

What was originally the swan song -- the "final" game developed -- of Square turned into the studio's flagship franchise that is now in its 30th year. For the return of Retro Reprise, Syl and Syp take a nostalgic journey back through the first nine Final Fantasy games, looking at the music from the NES, SNES, and PlayStation eras. Missing the combat tracks? Stay tuned for part 2 of this series!

Episode 10: Final Fantasy adventures

  • Intro
  • Final Fantasy I: "Main Theme"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Prelude"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Airship"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Matoya's Cave"
  • Final Fantasy II: "Chocobo Theme"
  • Final Fantasy IV: "Victory Theme"
  • Final Fantasy IV: "Love Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VI: "Terra's Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VI: "Aria Di Mezzo Carattere (Opera Theme)"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Aeris' Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Cosmo Canyon"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Chasing the Black Caped Man"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Ahead on our Way (Kalm Village)"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Liberi Fatali"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Balamb Garden"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Fisherman's Horizon"
  • Final Fantasy IX: "Behind the Door"
  • Final Fantasy IX: "The Place I'll Return to Someday"
  • Outro
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_10.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

Candles will no longer haunt Syp's dreams -- Simon Belmont is here to whip them out of existence once and for all! Oh, and also Dracula. In today's show, Castlevania on the NES gets the star treatment as Syp dives into the music from the gothic horror platformer trilogy.

Episode 9: 8-bit Castlevania

  • Intro (feat. "Mansion" from Castlevania II)
  • "Vampire Killer" from Castlevania
  • "Starker" from Castlevania
  • "Wicked Child" from Castlevania
  • "Out of Time" from Castlevania
  • "Bloody Tears" from Castlevania II
  • "The Silence of the Daylight" from Castlevania II
  • "Beginning" from Castlevania III
  • "Deja Vu (Vampire Killer)" from Castlevania III
  • "Stream" from Castlevania III
  • Outro (feat. "Stage Clear" from Castlevania III)
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_9.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[1]

It was the 8-bit console pretty much nobody owned -- and yet has endured longer than any console to date. The Sega Master System has a fascinating history and some (if not a ton of) great chiptunes. Give it a listen and you might learn a thing or two about the video game industry while rocking out to some great VGM!

Episode 8: Sega Master System

  • Intro
  • "Side-Crawler's Dance" from Wonder Boy III
  • "Bridge Zone" from Sonic the Hedgehog
  • "First Stage" from Double Dragon (PSG vs. FM)
  • "Main Title" from Alien 3
  • "Push" from Zillion
  • "Medusa's Lullaby" from Ecco II: The Tides of Time
  • Outro
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_8.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]

Jump to hyperspace and turn up the tunes, for Syp is going full-on into Star Control 2's amazing and bizarre soundtrack. It's an oddity among video game scores, even to this day, and much beloved because of it.

Episode 7: Star Control 2

  • Intro
  • "Starbase Commander"
  • "Hyperspace"
  • "Spathi Theme"
  • "Zoq-Fot-Pik Theme"
  • "Slylandro Theme"
  • "Melnorme Theme"
  • Outro ("Yehat Theme")
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_7.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[1]

Syp doesn't hold a monopoly on retro VGM -- far from it! In this episode, he plays a melting pot of listener requests from many eras, platforms, and genres. Want to send in your own requests for a future show? Drop him a line on Twitter @Sypster!

Episode 6: Listener requests! 

  • Intro
  • "Song of the Grid" from Ballblazer (Atari 7800)
  • "Volcanic Stage" from Life Force (NES)
  • "Stage Select" from Mega Man X (SNES)
  • "Scars of Time" from Chrono Cross (PlayStation)
  • "Lemming 2 (Miners and Climbers)" from Lemmings (Amiga)
  • "Intro" from Gods (Amiga)
  • Outro
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_6.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[2]

The name's Syp. Just Syp. And I'm definitely not a super secret agent, nor a covert Russian spy, nor a particularly savvy podcaster. But I do know what I like when it comes to video game music, and 1997's Goldeneye 007 has probably my favorite Nintendo 64 score. It's the perfect soundtrack to all of life's activities, granted that you're infiltrating Cold War-era bases and blowing away scowling terrorists!

Episode 5: Goldeneye 007 (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. "Main Theme" and "Wrist Clock")
  • "Runway"
  • "Dam"
  • "Chemical Warfare Facility"
  • "Escape from Missile Train"
  • "Elevator Music"
  • "Cradle"
  • Outro (feat. "Main Theme Acapella" by Triforcefilms)
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_5.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[0]