Into the Score episode 29 takes a look at the music of Grim Fandango

After a very long hiatus I am excited to say that Kenley Kristofferson is back with a brand new episode of Into the Score, a musical podcast looking at the history and musicality of game soundtracks new and old. This time we choose the latter as Kenley discusses the music from the much beloved PC masterpiece Grim Fandango. This is Into the Score 29 - Fandango? Fandango!.

The show covers a lot of musical ground this episode, and as with every episode of this fantastic podcast, is definitely worth a listen for an interesting and in depth discussion of musical theory as well as video game history. I will quote Kenley below, lest I butcher some musical ideas that I can barely even fathom myself.

Here we are, delving deep into the Underworld and following the awesome adventures of our favourite calaca, Manny Calavera, in LucasArts’ 1998 release of “Grim Fandango” with a score by Peter McConnell.

In this episode, we also look at different influences from jazz history that McConnell used to craft the game’s score, including Duke Ellington and (most probably) Count Basie. We also dig deep into the concept of extended techniques on our instruments and how they change the natural sound of both instruments and their ensemble.

This is an episode that you do not want to miss! Enjoy!

So there you have it! Go check out the podcast, listen to all the old episodes, then tell Kenley how awesome he is, because he is so awesome. In case you haven't noticed, I am a large fan of this podcast and I certainly believe you should be too!

Week in Video Game Inspired Music 4/19 - 4/25

< --Previous comic | Next Comic -->

Welcome to another edition of Week in VGIM round up. Plenty has happened this week, as will be covered in the round up. We also have another comic from the one and only Neally of Neally & DJ Dig Dug. Also don't forget to join up in our forums to discuss all these awesome comics, sweet topics and more!


I finally beat Earthbound for the first time, so now I want to talk about it!

That's right, only 14 years after being released on the Super NES, I have began, played through, and finished Earthbound. IT WAS AMAZING! I finally get what everyone was talking about and now Earthbound sits on my list of greatest games I have ever played (not to mention one of the, if not THE greatest final battle of all time in gaming).

Well what does this have to do with anything really? Well I wanted to quickly highlight some of the amazing music related tributes to Earthbound and more from over the years.

First up is the amazing Earthbound tribute album Bound Together from many of the amazing musicians from The Shizz Minibosses Boards, VGMix, and OCReMix. The album includes greats like Shael Riley, Temp Sound Solutions, Mustin, and so many more incredible artists all remixing nearly the entire Earthbound soundtrack in as just a whimsical, amazing, and sometimes very strange way as the original music to the game. Bound Together is an amazing aural achievement in it's ability to balance the catchiness of the Earthbound music right alongside the jarring and disturbing tones the game also provided. Those who played the game will surely have a nostalgic trip down the lane of those 16 bit memories, while those who have not had a chance to play through Earthbound (what the hell, get on that!) will be able to listen to a breathtaking and diverse arrangement of tunes, and get a small glimpse of just one of the many brilliant aspects that is Earthbound.

Another thing I would like to mention, which makes an incredible supplement to both the game, as well as the aforementioned remix compilation is Kenley and his incredible Into the Score podcast 24 - Live at the Chaos Theatre… The Runaway Five! which takes an academic look at the games soundtrack, the two amazing composers, as well as the history of the game and even jazz bands. This is all wrapped up as well with an interview with the amazing Canada based VG jazz ensemble The Runaway Five. A listen to this podcast can not be recommended enough to anyone who is a fan of Earthbound and the music within. Listening to this adds an interesting inside look at the game, which in turn makes you feel as if you got even more out of it.

Finally, not music related, but still Earthbound related, if you have, or when you finish the game, be sure to read this article, "The Literature of the Moment" A Critique of Mother 2 by Tim Rogers. A lengthy but very very interesting and well written look back on Earthbound for one gamer.

For those who have not played Earthbound yet, I now join the many many gamers who once harangued me about not playing it, and implore you to do so as soon as possible. It is an experience that is more than worth the time invested. The game is an experience unmatched even by fifteen years of games and several consoles hence. I would like to personally thank my best friend, who herself forced me to finally sit down and play through the entire game. From the first town to the final battle it is a game that will proudly stand among my list of the most incredible games of my life.

Into The Score 27 - Journey of the Classical Podcast and minicasts

Kenley and his wonderful podcast are back from a bit of hiatus! What podcast, why the amazing Into The Score podcast of course! The only podcast dedicated to an academic study of video game music. This week he takes us on a journey through the very popular yet many times overlooked DragonQuest series of games, focusing particularly on DragonQuest VII in Into the Score episode 27: Journey of the Classical Podcast!

Kenley also takes a look at the classical era of music, as well as the background and life of DQ composer Koichi Sugiyama. This and all the other history, facts, trivia, and music you have come to expect from this amazing podcast are in full force with this episode, so be sure to tune in. This podcast is not only amazing in it's assessment of games, but also a great way to learn more about your favorite games and appreciate them more than ever.

Also when checking out the new episode be sure to check out the most recent mini podcast (show notes here). from Into the Score which takes a moment to talk about the phenomenal landmark release of Kind of Bloop and other quick news bits.

PS. On a completely unrelated note, I would like to mention Happy Dreamcast day everyone! Be sure to celebrate by pulling your Sega Dreamcast out of the closet and enjoying the game of your choice. Me? I will be getting reacquainted with my good friend Project Justice!

Into The Score 26 - All’s Fair in Strife and Crisis

It's high time for another amazing look into the art, history, and sheer awesomeness of video game music with Kenley Kristofferson. That is right! Time for Into The Score 26 - All’s Fair in Strife and Crisis. As the name suggests, this episode Kenley delves into the music from recent Square PSP title Crisis Core, as well as looking at the broader topic of FFVII and it's legacy. The episode is also filled to the brim with plenty of special guests, including David "DJ Pretzel" Lloyd and Larry "Liontamer" Oji from OverClocked ReMix, as well as Kyle Wynen and Laren McFadden from the FXN Final Fantasy XIII podcast.

As always the show is insightful and informative and worth every second to listen to. As always I have to give a huge amount of respect to Kenley for going out of his way to pay tribute to video game music in such detail like no one else does. Kenley is definitely a stand out person in the VGM community and deserves all the praise he gets. I have learned a ton about both music and VGM history from him and his podcast so I for one definitely owe him thanks.


Into The Score 24 - Live at the Chaos Theatre… The Runaway Five!

A brand new episode of the always amazing Into The Score podcast is out now. Episode 24 takes on the topic of jazz combo music, and helping him out are the always amazing group The Runaway Five along with the soundtrack to cult classic Earthbound.

Listen in and learn a ton about music theory, video game history, and other interesting stories. Not to mention amazing music from Runaway Five this episode. Download the sho9w and subscribe to the podcast (and why aren't you subscribed already? I thought you loved vgm?) at

Nobuooo 10.08 Update

The Nobuooo update for the month of October is now up! This month covers topics such as Into the Score's look into the soundtrack of Shadow of the Colossus, the soundtrack to upcoming game Siren, the new international release of the Final Fantasy Remix album, and also Larry "Liontamer" Oji discusses OverClocked ReMix, and the upcoming SF2 HD remix album. Check out the video below!

Into The Score 22 - Symphony of the Colossus

Anyone who knows me is usually aware of my undying love of every ounce of brilliance that is Shadow of the Colossus. I was obsessed with that game from beginning to end and over again. Now it probably sits atop the list of my favorite games of all time. One amazing aspect of the game was the wonderful orchestral soundtrack from the fantastic Ko Otani. Apparently ever hardworking Kenley of the ever amazing and too often overlooked Into The Score podcast loves the music as well, and decided to dedicate Episode 22 - Symphony of The Colossus to it. Hurry up and head over to his site and download the new episode. As with all his other episodes, it is definitely worth a listen!

Heavy Troopa is Ready to Launch! Super Mario RPG Tribute Album out today! FREE! 3 Discs worth of music!

Finally, after several months, tons of work, and lots of nostalgia, I am very very excited to announce that the Super Mario RPG Tribute Album known as Heavy Troopa is Ready to Launch! is now 100% finished and ready to download, ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Head to this link to download

This album started out with the idea of a humble EP, but support quickly swelled until we ended up with the 3-disc beast seated before you. I have been incredibly lucky to get so much support from musicians, fans, bloggers, artists and more! You can check my more in depth thanks on the compilation web page. I am also glad to know that there are so many Super Mario RPG fans like me who are very excited about this compilation! This is the first video game tribute we have ever organized and I think we did a great job. This is merely the first of many to come! Anyway, enough of my rambling. CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE AND DOWNLOAD THE COMPILATION!

I also want to quickly mention that Kenley of the wonderful Into the Score Podcast and wonderful friend of the site has created an episode 20 that coincides with our compilation and discusses all the original music from Super Mario RPG. Click here and check out episode 20: The Music of the Mushroom Kingdom!

Also view the track listing and album art below!


01 - Super Pipe House [Nostalgia] - Videogame Orchestra

02 - Koopa's Castle - Bit Mummy

03 - Oh Yeah - Shin Phatman

04 - Explanation! - Girlz Melon

05 - Fight Against Monsters - LET'S GET INVISIBLE!

06 - Still, the Road is Full of Dangers - Girlz Melon

07 - Invincible Star - A Linear Particle

08 - Hello, Happy Kingdom - DJ RoboRob

09 - Cloaco of Croakers (Kero Sewers) - Shaun Carley

10 - Radpole Pond - Platformer

11 - SHOCK! - 8-Bit Bonanza

12 - Sad Song - Girlz Melon

13 - The Road is Full of Dangers - Hat

14 - Let's Play in the Orchestra Pit 'Geno' - Chris Porter

15 - Geno Awakens - Two Playa Game

16 - Beware The Forest's Mushrooms - Nanaki's View

17 - Rose Town - Videogame Orchestra

18 - From Inside the Earthen Pipe - Girlz Melon

19 - Let's Race (nU tacK's Pole Position mix) - nU tacK

20 - Welcome! Yo'ster Island!! - The Hmmm

21 - Hard-working Moles are Good Moles - 8-bit Philharmonic

22 - Got a Star Piece - Playing With Power

23 - Flubber Mountain - Mazedude

24 - A New Partner - Girlz Melon

25 - Booster Tower - The OneUps

26 - Find the Top - My Parent's Favorite Music

27 - Waffle Iron Violator (Fight Against a Stronger Monster) - Spamtron


01 - Wii Tried - Dom1

02 - Long Long Ago (nU tacK was a raver mix) - nU tacK

03 - Heart Beating Faster (nU tacK's Beats r Harder mix) - nU tacK

04 - Exquisite Celebration - Matheus Manente

05 - Slop[e] - God Owes Me Munnie

06 - The Starlight's Flower - Matheus Manente

07 - Here's Some Weapons - Girlz Melon

08 - SUNKEN CHIP - Techfool

09 - Piracy - Chozo Ninpo & MC Inadequate

10 - Castle In the Sky - Nameless

11 - Barrel Volcano - CygnosiC

12 - Axem Rangers Drop In - 8-Bit Suicide

13 - Raving With the Big Bosses - Lucas Park

14 - Hail Victory! - Lies Media Fetus

15 - Let's Do the Fooka Fooka (2nite) - Emergency Pizza Party

16 - Conversation With Culex - Girlz Melon

17 - Battle With Culex - Temp Sound Solutions

18 - Break the Fourth Wall - Arcane Addiction

19 - Where Am I Going? Remix - Stephen White

20 - Rekoopa Kickback - Tone 3 & Psychosiz

21 - Bring the Hammer Down (I Am the King) - Lucas Park

22 - The End - 8-Bit Philharmonic


01 - Slop[e] w/ Vocals - God Owes Me Munnie

02 - Explanation! - 8-Bit Bonanza

03 - Grandpa and the Delightful Tadpoles - The Tsunami Effect

04 - Sad Song - The Decent Ortega

05 - Mama Luigi (feat. Epic-1) - Snyder

06 - Koopa's Castle (first time extended adventure mix) - Bit Mummy

07 - Invincible Star - The Robot Diaries

08 - Fighting Bowser Beginning CTKY - Video Mummy

09 - Fight Against Monsters - The Tsunami Effect

10 - Mario's Invincible Madness - nU tacK

11 - Mystery of the Starry Hills - Lucas Park

12 - Battle with Bowser - Crystal Fortress Lvl 16

13 - Mario & Yoshi - medley - Videogame Orchestra

14 - Shin P's a Grate Guy - Shin Phatman

15 - 100 Fight Monsters - AnthemAudio

16 - Mallow's Theme - (Cerebro Desipierto Remix) - Crystal Fortress Lvl 16

17 - My Name is Bukki (Mad Railway Mix) - MechaB.E.A.R.

18 - A Conversation With Culex - Facundo Castro

19 - Conversation With Culex (no synth) - Girlz Melon

20 - Valentina (Lo-fi remix) - MechaB.E.A.R.

21 - Weapons Factory - The Tsunami Effect

22 - Hammered - Tiger vs Crane

23 - Scrub the Ground - T-Byte

24 - Let's Try - Audi0scribbler

Once again, head to to download the entire album!

Into the Score - The Quick and the Megas

Do you love The Megas as much as us at GM4A do? Do you wish you could get inside their heads and understand how they make the great music they do? Or perhaps you wish to know what lies ahead for these amazing VG rockers. Well if you've ever asked yourself these questions, you are in luck! Our good pal Kenley over at the Into the Score podcast has just released his latest episode, which is a full 45 minute episode dedicated to The Megas and their newest album Get Equipped. You can listen and download the latest episode at this link! I'll let Kenley explain some more about the podcast!

Recorded on March 20th, 2008, this interview between “Into the Score” and “The Megas” chronicles the journey from the first track of the VGM rock band’s epic and monumental album “Get Equipped” to its release and crowd response! The album covers nearly every track from Capcom’s late-80s release, “Mega Man 2″ and is performed with cutting musical accuracy and polished with clean production in the band’s own “Dr. Light Studios.”

In this discussion, we talk about the band’s creative process, their performances, styles of writing and the eases and trials of the album, from start to finish! We also hear some of the tracks from start to finish, which is really nice!

So remember, if interested, hit up the proper update or subscribe to the podcast!

New episode of Into the Score - Street Fighter, Second Movement

My good friend at Into the Score, has uploaded Episode 17 in his amazing podcast that "seeks to be an in-depth and academic look at video game music, exploring the composers, the pieces and the games that they’re written for!" This week they look into the amazing music from Street Fighter II, which includes a look at composers like Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, Tatsuya Nishimura, Isao Abemy and one of my personal favorite video game composers, Yoko Shimomura (who also did the fantastic Super Mario RPG soundtrack, which we will be paying tribute to). Anyway, be sure to listen in to the newest episode, and if you haven't, hurry up and subscribe to this podcast, and listen in to some classic episodes that tackle the music from Metroid, Mega Man and more!

Into The Score

If you haven't already you definitely need to check out a podcast called Into The Score - "the only podcast solely dedicated to the academic study of videogame music!"

The podcast is presented by music teacher and composer Kenley Kristofferson and uses a mix of audio and video seeking "to be an in-depth and academic look at video game music, exploring the composers, the pieces and the games that they’re written for!"

There are some great episodes available, studying soundtracks from both well known and less famous games, including Final Fantasy VII, Uncharted Waters and Shivers.

Also, if you can get your hands on some of the earlier episodes (like the Super Metroid and Mega Man 2 episodes) they're well worth a listen too.