Title BGM - Metroid (NES)

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Title BGM
Composer Hirokazu Tanaka
Released 1986-08-06
Title Origin Official
This page is for the Metroid (NES) song, for more titles see Title BGM.

Title BGM is a song in the Metroid series. It was originally composed by Hirokazu Tanaka for the Famicom Disk System release of Metroid, but has been rearranged and remixed a couple times for other Metroid games.

Title

The first official soundtrack to feature a title for this song was in 1987 with the title タイトル音楽 (Title Music), but in 1994, it was released as just タイトル (Title). However, since 2004, subsequent appearances of the song on official soundtracks use the title タイトルBGM (Title BGM). "Title BGM" appears to have become the de facto standard for title music on Nintendo soundtracks, which is why the VGMPF uses it for the official title.

Composition

Hirokazu Tanaka composed Metroid's title music in three main sections. It begins with a series of long bass notes then expands into a more complex sequence before ending with another series of long bass notes, even more repetitive than the first.

Tanaka had to arrange two different versions of the song for the game's initial release. The original Japanese Famicom Disk System game incorporated the additional audio channel, but the US port on the NES did not.

Games

Metroid (FDS)

Platform - FDS.png
Metroid (FDS)
Metroid - FDS - Title.png
Arranger Hirokazu Tanaka
Released 1986-08-06
Length 2:28
Format NSF
Loops Yes

This is Hirokazu Tanaka's original composition of Metroid's title music. It plays after the copyright screen and until the player presses start to get to the save game select menu. This version takes advantage of the wave synthesis channel in the FDS audio chip which Tanaka used for bass in the first and last portions of the song, and harmony in the middle portion allowing both pulse waves to be used to make a rich-sounding melody. The song is track 1 in the NSF file.

Channel Utilization
Pulse 1 Melody
Pulse 2 Melody
Triangle Bass
Noise Percussion
DCM Unused
Wavetable Bass (first/last part), Harmony (middle)

The Japanese region digital releases on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii and WiiU emulate this version of Metroid and use this song as well.

Metroid (NES)

Platform - NES.png
Metroid (NES)
Output - NES.svg
Metroid - NES - Title.png
Arranger Hirokazu Tanaka
Released 1987-08-15
Length 2:28
Format NSF
Loops Yes

On the NES, the song plays the moment the cartridge loads until the player presses start to get to the start/password menu. Since the Famicom Disk System was not released in the US, Hirokazu Tanaka had to arrange the music to work with the NES's stock RP2A03 audio chip. He did this by making the first pulse wave mimic the wave synthesis channel, and by having the second pulse wave perform more duty than it had in the original. It's a pretty good job, but the missing channel does leave the song sounding less robust. The song is track 1 in the NSF file.

Channel Utilization
Pulse 1 Bass (first/last part), Harmony (middle)
Pulse 2 Melody
Triangle Bass
Noise Percussion
DCM Unused

This same version of the song was also used by the later Famicom cartridge release and the PlayChoice-10 arcade release. The original Metroid was also released on the GBA as part of the "Classic NES Series" which emulates the NES audio and sounds essentially the same as the original. The American region digital releases on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii and WiiU emulate the original Metroid also use this song.

Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)

Platform - GBA.png
Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
Metroid - Zero Mission - GBA - Title.png
Arranger Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano
Released 2004-02-09
Loops Yes

Metroid: Zero Mission, being a remake of the first game, also features music from the original, albeit remixed to take advantage of the superior GBA audio chip. The title music begins with a heavily remixed version for about 1 minute before beginning the original music.

The original NES version of Metroid can be unlocked after beating the game. This version is an emulated copy of the ROM essentially the same as the "Classic NES Series" version. It uses the GBA to emulate the RP2A03 audio chip, and sounds essentially the same as the original.

The digital releases on the Nintendo 3DS and WiiU emulate this game and use the song.

Albums

Released Album Version Title Track
1987-02-25 Kid Icarus / Metroid: Arranged Version Arranged タイトル音楽 (Taitoru ongaku, "Title Music") 04
1994-06-22 Super Metroid "Sound In Action"  ? タイトル (Taitoru, "Title") 06
2004-01-07 Famicom 20th Anniversary: Original Sound Tracks, Vol. 1 FDS version タイトルBGM (Taitoru BGM, "Title BGM") 76
2004-04-28 Game Sound Museum ~Famicom Edition~ 12 Metroid FDS version タイトルBGM (Taitoru BGM, "Title BGM") 01

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