It’s all a haze. One minute I am with my friend Joey Villescas; the next, I am waking up on his floor lying on a bag of Blow Pops. Joey is close by, and so are two more of his friends. Strewn half-empty bags of chips and warm sodas are everywhere; all of us asleep on this cold marble, none of us eager to leave the vicinity of Joey’s new Nintendo Entertainment System. It was early July 5th, 1987 and in one afternoon, Joey had altered my life’s landscape, and had allowed what is essentially the criminal element into my brain. From this point forward, video games were in control and my personal balance was merely a pawn in their schemes. Imagine playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Kung-Fu, The Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, and Duck Hunt all in ONE sitting and for the FIRST time ever. It’s a cocktail that will knock you flat, and here was the proof, all of us plastered against tile, face down, in a mountain of Doritos. I have to say though, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out carried its narcotic straight through to the vein via its meticulously corrupted musical score.
Listen: Here Comes the World Circuit
It’s about beating the brain, lulling it into a paste, molding it to the desired response. Composer’s Yukio Kaneoka and Kenji Yamamoto have spent time with their hands elbow-deep in your grey matter, measuring your synaptic response with prods, and cackling as you exhibit symptoms of the possession they have suggested to you through the archaic bleeping, white noise they have constructed. You have been compromised.
Listen: Inside the Ring
It’s simply not enough, though, that you walk away without their branding in bold letters. You must be the vessel to carry their scripture to the outside world. These men want this invasion of your senses to be lasting and permanent. You will wake up and hum this music to disinterested pedestrians. You’ll stop people at work to describe the chiming in your head, the ringing. There will be no need for the placebo group once you make rotten the world around you with this duo’s brand of monotonous heroin. Once it hits the open market, the competition will become scarce and the populace will come screaming.
True masters can work their medium to a glossy finish despite constraints. With Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Yamamoto and Kaneoka took the primitive, noodling, synth innards of the stone age Nintendo and created an operatic Cthulhu – a beast who will wow you with his vocal range, then devour your torso as you have been sufficiently hypnotized and possessed by its disease. One of the greatest musical achievements of the Nintendo era.
Having fallen in love only 4 times in his life Geno counts Double Dragon as his second and truest love. He has worked in record retail since 2000 and believes David Hayter to be the one true Solid Snake. Currently, he is putting together a band which only perform songs from Street Fighter 3rd Strike.