Game That Tune

Big Bang Mini

Baby, You’re A Firework

The neon beats of Big Bang Mini light up the sky.

By Derrick Sanskrit • July 3, 2013

Game music has the power to earworm its way into your heart long after you put the controller down. Each week in Game That Tune, we highlight a great tune from a great game (or a great tune from a just-okay game).

There are three things that define celebrations of the Fourth Of July in the United States. First, it’s a national holiday, so all the banks and pretty much every store is closed. Second, everyone is having a barbecue, and everyone is invited, so just walk down the street and start collecting hot dogs. Third, and most importantly, there are fireworks. Oh my goodness, there are fireworks. It doesn’t matter where in the country you are, what side of the tracks you’re from, or what local law enforcement says—you will have a holiday with a barbecue and explosions because that’s the American way. Come to think of it, there was a video game just a few years ago all about fireworks in cities around the world, and it had a fantastic soundtrack to boot:

Big Bang Mini is a clever and stylish reconsideration of the vertical shoot-’em-up by Arkedo Studio, which would later create Hell Yeah! Wrath Of The Dead Rabbit. Each of the nine areas are based on different locations, from Hong Kong and Rio De Janeiro to the depths of the sea, but the Luxor stage in particular stood out for its shimmering neon interpretation of Egypt. The Luxor ballads create a robust space without ever veering too far from minimalism. A warbling Rhodes organ thumbs its way through a swinging bassline while the staccato toms, clicks, and hi-hats create a twee sense of hand-craftedness. It is both friendly and foreign, an outstretched hand of unknown wonder.

The Luxor boss theme ups the ante with driving snares that keep the momentum at a constant and sharper synth stabs. The increased aggression pairs nicely with the fight against a Lite-Brite Sphinx and its gang of DayGlo pyramids, reminiscent of Daft Punk’s 2007 tour. It’s easy to get lost in the swirling synths and their soft warm embraces, losing track of the percussion’s shallow punctures. The lead melody lights up and burns out like the flurry of a roman candle, an instantaneous string of brightness in the pitch black sky. This is one relaxing party. All that’s missing are those hot dogs.

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One Response to “Baby, You’re A Firework”

  1. PaganPoet says:

    Wow, these are awesome! Throw in some thumping hip-hop beats and you’ve practically got a Robyn instrumental here.