The 80’s is a decade of many breakthroughs. Yamaha launches one of the first digital synthesizer FM, which allows to modulate the frequencies and get different characteristic of tones. First time in video game we can hear classical music – in 1983 Konami realises the shooter Gyruss with Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Back rushing in the background. Meanwhile, synthesizers FM along with better sound cards – especially in the computers: NEC PC-8801 or PC-9801 – open the door to the 16-bit era. Mostly for PCs, for now.

Kondo composes on an 8-bit keyboard, because NES can’t bear more complex pieces by now.

Kalina Stoicheva

In 1985 there comes Super Mario Bros by Nintendo. The Japanese want to be like Georges Méliès for the Lumière brothers. They want to make more complete games – stuffed with sounds and colours. The composer Koji Kondo is invited to a cooperation. For the start he gets a free hand and the pre-alpha game with Mario running around the empty world. Kondo composes on an 8-bit keyboard, because NES can’t bear more complex pieces by now. But simple sounds put on each of the four channels give the impression of a depth due to a rhythm of jazz syncopations and counterpoints alternate with harmonies. Super Mario Bros itself is entered into The Guinness Book of Records as one of the most box office video game in history – and it will keep the title until Wii Sports. But that will happen in a completely different era.

From the integrated circuit virtuosos to the real orchestra – music in games from 1970 to 2000. Part I

Nintendo makes itself comfortable at the market realising Final Fantasy in 1987. According to legend – inherently, the last game of Hironobu Sakaguchi, but after all – the beginning of the iconic series. In turn, the musical inherent is to create as epic melody as the main theme of Mario. That’s how they make Prelude – the opening theme for the first realise and the entire series. Originally as a simple arpeggio in a chiptune style, but with each of FF continuation it will be more and more elaborate. And the author, Nobuo Uematsu quickly joins the first superstars in a circle of the game music composers.

The end of 80’s brings the first experiments with recording both: a game and a music on one CD (mixed-mode). Mostly for PCs or the console TurboGrafx-16 made by computer producer, NEC. The console is for cartridges with the additional port for CDs. In 1987 CD takes the first episode of Ys series in and two years later the game Far East Of Eden appears on a disc.

The sound is not in the CD quality, but really compressed, anyway.

The problem is, that laser technology is still very limited. That’s why, when audio is playing, the system cannot read game data until the sound finishes its loop. The sound is not in the CD quality, but really compressed, anyway. However, there are 90’s around the corner – the bit revolution, platform revolution, digital revolution and titles which give some gamers the shivers even today.

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Maciej Baska

In the games he happens to stand around at a random location only because there is a great music. For over a decade he's composed, written, recorded and mixed.