Gauntlet IV Life

Want to know some real truth? The soundtrack to Tengen’s Gauntlet IV for Sega Genesis is a sexy beast.

With those good looks, she can bash my brains ANY time…

Game is hella-mad-crasy hard and chaotic (it is Gauntlet, after all), but the music is just too good for this world. The music is arguably better than the game itself and, if you can imagine, even better than real-life dungeon crawling. It’s credited to Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto, a pair of composers my dear readers may recognize from the fantastic Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics series (Newsflashery: the afforementioned hombres also scored Treasure Hunter G, a Super Famicom J-RPG by Squaresoft that was totally bodacious and never released outside Japan!) Interestingly enough, some of this music really strikes me as what the music from the first two Shining Force games* on the Sega Genesis would’ve been like had the songs in those been a tad bit darker.

Tell me, with song titles like “Adventures of Iron”, how could anything possibly be amiss? This music evokes the strength, majesty and romance of an ancient warrior’s quest more than an actual ancient warrior’s quest. You get me? Dis be da source.

I think people like Hans Zimmer and whoever scores dopey Hollywood action movies could majorly improve the quality of their craftsmanship by listening to the Gauntlet IV soundtrack on repeat for like, well….. until I say they can stop. Of course, I wouldn’t let them stop. It’s so good — why would anyone stop?

Okay, it’s not quite up to par with the Golden Axe II soundtrack. But any game that has a soundtrack which can even compare or compete with Golden Axe II has to have some serious chops. I’d say Gauntlet IV is not quite as melancholy. It has a dark, determined, pre-historic sense of triumph to it, whereas GA II (Golden Axe II, remember?!) has a sad element or tragic sensation to the music and quest.

The crux of my message, if you haven’t discovered it yet, is that everybody wins when games like these get born. This music makes you want to plumb the depths of ancient caverns that don’t exist. Seriously, you would need to find the cave of one hell-of old necromancer out of a Lovecraft story to procure dungeons this deep. Or maybe any bureaucratic institute in the modern world. Historically fact-ish: Dungeon crawling in ancient times was the modern equivalent of bureaucracy. So maybe in future eras, our reptilian/alien/robot offspring will play fantasy games where they go on extensive bureaucratic quests through Fortune 500 companies from their distant ancestral past.

Think about it.

Or don’t.

Now get out.

@ Amazon


*I’ve heard that the original Shining Force is now available on the Nintendo Wii virtual console. Any Wii owner who likes strategy games, RPGs, good music, dungeon crawlers, colors, or staring at a screen drooling for at least 2 hours at a time really owes it to themselves to download this one. Perhaps the most influential console strategy-rpg of all time (if it wasn’t the first!) and definitely one of the best games of all time. A treat and a half.

**Also, check out this review of Gauntlet IV by the admirable Sega-16 website.There are also some nice screens you can see over there.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on October 27, 2007.

One Response to “Gauntlet IV Life”

  1. ho – le – shit.

    This is the JAMMMZ! keep em coming dude.

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