Not so much mediocre as “game experiences of their time” but here are three cool tracks from largely forgotten Famicom adventure games.
① First comes a good opportunity for me to share my very first custom ringtone, the Shinjuku Central Park theme from Toki no Sugiyuku Mama Ni•••, the fourth game in the Tantei Jingūji Saburō series (sometimes localized as Jake Hunter for the US market). Here is the full playlist and a full playthrough for reference.
② Time Twist is probably one of Nintendo’s most obscure games, released at the tail end of the Famicom Disk System’s relevance (1991), not really pushing any technical envelope (unlike HAL’s Metal Slader Glory) to carve a fanbase in Japan or benefiting from a rallying outcry of deprived Western Nintendo fans intrigued by a Smash Bros cameo (unlike Famicom Tantei Club or Nazo no Murasame-jō). Time Twist is just an OK 8-Bit adventure game well past the genre’s prime in Japan – only notable for the weird quirk of featuring Jeanne d’Arc, Hitler and Jesus in its story. However, Time Twist also welcomes a killer soundtrack by newcomer Hirasawa Hajime, who would later gain fame for his work on Star Fox (1993). Here is a full BGM recording and a playthrough of the first disk but the real gem is September 25th, 1995 a.k.a. the introduction’s theme.
③ Erika to Satoru no Yumebōken, a 1988 Namco(t) joint developed by fledgling developer Atlus, found new fame in recent years for bizarre reasons but it also had a pretty chill BGM by Takayama Hirohiko making full use of the Namco 163 MMC chip and its eight additional sound channels. Complete soundtrack here. Playthrough there.