With the trend in classic video game-inspired music leaning towards the serious side lately (Treewave, 8-Bit Weapon, almost all of the acts on micromusic.net, etc.), this side-splitting, low-concept album is a refreshing change of pace. Voldar eschews the recently developed tools available to the 8-bit musician (C64 trackers/sequencers, Atari 2600 Synthcart, Gameboy Nanoloop, etc.) and simply chooses the cheesiest possible presets on his Roland XP-80 keyboard in order to create a convincing emulation of Sega Genesis-era game soundtracks.
According to the biographical information available on voldarmusic.com, Voldar is a “digital superknight… an interstellar hero sent to this planet as a messenger of peace, revelry, and the zen-like state of Funga. Among his greatest accomplishments to date is the slaying of Kezler, the evil alien emperor whom ruled the impoverished Primians for centuries. He is also an avid pooter and a toad enthusiast.” He is depicted wearing a kind of galactic fencing outfit, chilling with green-skinned alien hookers.
As you may have guessed, every track goes along with a video game concept (fake screenshots and descriptions available on voldarmusic.com). Standout tracks include the majestic “Jubba Power!”, the robotic surf music of “Hangin’ Ten”, the techno-billy “Big Fishin’ With Jed” and the hilarious contrasting movements of “Little Puffy’s Sleepytime In Hell”. Music For Video Games That Never Were is available as a .zip file containing mp3 files and cover art. Only $5.00 from voldarmusic.com. Be joyous. Be kind. Be funga!
Jeff Gregory for Noise Review
We're going to try something a little different here. Assume that if you don't totally understand each and every word that follows, you have absolutely no interest in Voldar.
A winner is Voldar. He is a bad enough dude to save the president. He fought long and hard, but now he can experience everlasting peace. He has indeed perfectly recreated the score to an NES game we never played. From the whimsical funhouse featured in "Jubba House" to the deep mysteries of The Faraway East experienced in "Shanghai Stomp", the level design is hardly challenging, but Nintendo Power, the official Nintendo magazine, wouldn't have the heart to tell you that, so how much can it possibly matter? Besides, in this realm, ambition is about as useful and relevant as an invisibility cloak. The most important thing is loyalty to your source material, which Voldar has in spades. The lack of Ninja Gaiden, Metroid and Zelda-esque tunes is perhaps a little disappointing, but we have OverClocked for all that, don't we?
"Run, Rabbi, Run" is just too darn cute for words. "StarKraft" is a surprisingly strong composition, and it's almost sad to think how thrilling "Little Puffy's Sleepytime... in Hell" would have been back in '89.
Voldar, a princess is leaning over to kiss you. She is pleased. The curtains fall just before your lips meet. We see credits. Was there a kiss? Not even the animated series will resolve that question. Congratulations!
But, yeah, seriously, if you don't still think Seanbaby's NES page is the funniest damn thing in the universe, Music for Video Games that Never Were is going to be as lost on you as that mess of text up there.
Mike Meginnis for Splendid Magazine