Games for which there are two soundtracks, and both are good

I was inspired to write this because I was watching a TAS of Sonic CD, the american version. As everyone in here likely knows, the game came out in Japan (and Europe) with a soundtrack by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata. For some reason the American team felt that the soundtrack needed to be “richer” and so they recorded new music produced by Spencer Nilsen and David Young, with some tracks by the keyboardist from Santana.

They didn't or couldn't re-record the chiptunes (all the "past" music) so that remained the same across all releases.

Listening to this American version again, the soundscape has such a naive optimism to it that I really appreciate it in its own right. There was absolutely no need to re-record the music for the american version of the game, the Japanese original music is lovely. But I really really like both, and am glad this basically superfluous music was created.

Here are a couple key american tracks that demonstrate that naive optimism to me:

Here are the more new jack swing influenced JP/EU songs for the same zones

I mean... all this stuff rules. There's no way around it. I love that both of these soundtracks exist.

I'm thinking about other games where there were two distinct soundtracks and they were both good. Shin Shinobiden/Shinobi-X have a similar "let's change this for a territory" vibe, where richard jacques was asked to re-record the music for the EU release, and he actually tried to make it sound more yuzo koshiro-ish vs the original! While this version of his isn't super amazing, the JP version is maybe even less amazing, winding up sounding kind of like a SNES soundtrack for whatever reason.

I know there are other games that do this though - often the SNES and Genesis versions of the same game had completely different soundtracks for example.

Here's my second big example - Valis IV.

Regular ole Valis IV on the PC Engine has a typically excellent soundtrack full of fake brass and slap bass.

The SNES one though is MUCH darker and absolutely has its own quality which I really appreciate, while still sounding 100% like valis to me:

So, what else have y'all got!? Dracula X PCE/SNES might also be a good one, hmm.

Cool thread!

I completely agree about the sonic CD soundtracks. While it's a little insulting that the US team up and decided what kind of music we would and wouldn't like, the tracks they composed aren't bad and I do load them up to rock out every once and a while, although I much prefer the R&B and funk inspired JP soundtrack.

My first thought for this concept is Ecco the Dolphin. This is kind of a cool one because the reason they changed the soundtrack here was to take advantage of the new CD quality audio of the Sega CD.

The Genesis version is more melodic and catchy and you gotta love the chiptune sounds of the ocean. Steel drums and ethnic rhythms dominate this version of The Vents:

The Sega CD version, however, is way more epic and could be the soundtrack you hear as you walk through an aquarium exhibit. This version of The Vents really captured the awe of beholding the big wide ocean:

I do feel like Sega specifically did this stuff a lot - they really cared about the music presentation across format and region, and ecco is another excellent example!

obvious answer falcom

16 minute vid of different versions of a single ys III track

These are versions of the same song though! I'm talking same game (or port/version of it), totally different music.

@exodus#18817 I am hard pressed to think of examples of this other than the one's mentioned.

The more notorious examples from the last 20 years are games where the soundtrack was changed for licensing reasons. Crazy Taxi's Offspring free re-releases from the PSP onward being a notorious example. Super Meat Boy is another one with a slightly different kind of licensing issue. The only other thing I can think of is the multiple versions of Crypt of the Necrodancer though I think its just different artist doing their own take on Baranowsky's original soundtrack.

Going more the Valis IV route though, Aubrey Hodges' more atmospheric soundtrack for Doom on PS1 is easily the equal of the midi versions of metal songs from the DOS version

The Korean version of Guilty Gear XX #Reload was not only dubbed in Korean but featured a new soundtrack by the late guitarist of the Korean band N.E.X.T., and if you like one version of the soundtrack you'll probably like the other. They made the Korean music available internationally for the first time as part of the recent GG20th release, as an optional soundtrack for AC+R, and IIRC they patched it into the standalone Steam version too.

A lot of early Japanese conversions of western RPGs have different soundtracks... Eye of the Beholder's notable in that Yuzo Koshiro worked on two different ports and contributed two different scores: the PC98 version (written with assistance from Yuji Yamada) is laid-back FM music and perhaps not as fantasy-tinged as you might expect, and the MCD version (written in collaboration with Motohiro Kawashima) is very club-infused and is a mix of more ambient stuff and harder-edged tunes.

@gsk#18829 I love Guilty Gear and I did not know this! I have the Switch release and didn't even notice this option. Yay! This will be a fun excuse to replay the game. Though I might go for the full experience and play the PS2 version

It feels like cheating, but almost every DOS release could kinda fall in to this category. There was the bleeps that would come out of the pc speaker, and then when you finally got an Adlib or SoundBlaster everything was different

@rejj#18837 I've been learning more about this through the Mister 486 core and how it can be used to sync up with another device simulating a Roland MT-32

and yeah, once I started hearing some of those pc soundtracks played back via the Roland. It like when I heard the FM version of Phantasy Star 1 versus the PSG version (does that count?). Just such richer sound.

@robinhoodie#18843 related, I quite enjoyed SQ4. Messing with the title bar felt so clever, for such a simple trick. You never actually get to play SQ4!

Futari no Fantavision! It's 5:40 am here I should go to bed but I will post examples later.

Sonic 3D had completely different soundtracks on the Mega Drive and Saturn.

While the Mega Drive version (by Jun Senoue) is almost certainly catchier and more memorable, the Saturn version (by Richard Jacques) drives to your house and dumps a huge pile of that particular 90s Sega sound on your lawn. Which is nice sometimes.

Both versions are 'canon', with themes from both occasionally re-used, remixed or otherwise plundered in modern games.

Only kind of shitposting….


Great example!! Love the Saturn version of Rusty Ruin zone.


You picked the exact two examples I would have used for Sonic CD. One of the things that I think the Japanese version does better is provide variations on motets throughout the different time periods. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Past tracks in the US version are the same synth tracks brought over from the Japanese version.

The Genesis version of _The Vents_ is wonderful. I get what the CD version was going for, but I don't care for the _Ecco 1 CD_ soundtrack. _Ecco 2 CD's_ soundtrack feels like it was done intentionally rather than as an afterthought like I suspect the CD soundtrack to 1 was.

The [_Mega Man Wiley Wars_ soundtrack]( is like you explained the NES _Mega Man_ instrumentation to someone who doesn't speak the same language that you do, then handed them sheet music. It's super weird and interesting.

The character themes from _BlazeBlue_ changed circa Continuum Shift II and the new II remixes are all over the place in quality. Example is how [Noel's theme from BB (1)]( changed to the [CSII theme]( In general, I don't care for the II remixes. I think they changed them just to change them. I guess... both of these aren't good so maybe not a great example!

@antillese#18903 A similar example to Blazblue is the way the characters themes changed entirely from Street Fighter Alpha 2 to Alpha 3. In Alpha 2 they are remixes of their Street Fighter 2 or Final Fight themes. In Alpha 3 it some weird high energy but ultimately forgettable tunes. I don't want to be stodgy, but Yoko Shimomura knocked it out the park with so many of those character themes the first time around. Shoot, Capcom vs SNK 2 is also guilty of removing the old character themes in a way I never liked.

ALSO, I will always be thankful the the Dreamcast TDC final disc which lets me play Marvel Vs Capcom 2 with either the Third Strike or Super Turbo soundtrack. A far more enjoyable experience


Just thought of another NES -> Genesis conversion. Battletoads! I know that the game (rightly) is unloved around here, but I‘ll stand up for the Genesis version because they fixed all of the NES bugs, and it’s simply more enjoyable. Fun fact - Battletoads for Genesis is one of Arc System Works' earlier work for hire games.

[The NES version]( has a very minimalist vibe to it independent of the 4-channel audio on the NES. Lots of silence in the compositions and not much harmony.

[The Genesis version]( has more harmony, but the mix and levels are the primary change. Some of the melodies in the NES that had a "sound effects" feel to them have been considerably de-emphasized. Surf City is a good example of this.

@robinhoodie#18904 Oh, I totally forgot about the _Alpha 3_ soundtrack situation. I enjoy the announcer yelling **DON'T GIVE UP!** at me, but the music is very forgettable. The _Alpha 2_ Sagat theme is incredible.

Also, it looks like you made a mistake picking your tunes. You should move your cursor either up, or to the left. It's OK, it's an easy mistake to make. :-P

@antillese#18915 Ha ha, this is a youtube grab, but I generally go for the Third Strike soundtrack. Its not earworm-y, but it fits. For me the real crime of Alpha 3 is losing Adon's theme

@fugazi57#18865 I‘ve been on such a Soichi Terada kick since watching those Ape Escape 3 streams with Tim recently. Everything he touches is gold. From what I understand Futari no Fantavision has 3 versions? Other than Terada’s I haven't listened to them much. Love “Gigantic” on that one, would be interested to hear more about the 3 versions.

Sonic CD was essentially the first game I ever played, so I can't help but be partial to the US version. The original is definitely more cohesive, but while being very good it still sounds somewhat similar to a lot of great soundtracks from Japan of that era to my ears. I love the "naive optimism" description for the US soundtrack. It's a unique one.