Battle Garegga (ARC)
Battle Garegga is a vertically-scrolling shoot-'em-up originally released in arcades in 1996. Its story is set in a world where the internal combustion engine is still a relatively recent invention, where two brothers with a lifelong passion for engineering live. Their prowess in creating unusual vehicles causes the Federation (a large world power) to contract the pair for their own ends. The two accept, only realizing the Federation's true intent (using their creations to wage war on the rest of the continent) after the fact. Thus, the brothers resort to using four prototype fighter planes to destroy their own handiwork and stop the Federation's bloodshed.
Most of this plot is kept out of the actual game, however. It is often described as an early example of the "bullet hell" subgenre, characterized by intense amounts of bullets filling the screen all at once. (Those familiar with Summer Carnival '92: Recca (FC) will recognize it as a significant influence.) Players can choose between one of the brothers' four planes, each with its own characteristics. One particularly important difference is that each plane has a powerful special weapon that consumes ammo dropped by enemies and other objects, ranging from bombs to flamethrowers. The game is also well-known in shmup circles for its hidden "rank" system: put simply, the game silently jacks up the difficulty if the player keeps firing or picks up scoring items, only lowering it if they die.
Composer Manabu Namiki created the entirety of Battle Garegga's soundtrack, which boasts a sound distinct from many other shoot-'em-up games. Many songs are clearly influenced by jazz, with funky rhythms receiving varying degrees of prominence. Despite this, the overall soundtrack also has a clear hardcore techno influence, with a pounding bass driving the pace up even in calmer tunes. According to one soundtrack release's liner notes, Namiki initially struggled to create music that would match the quality of the game's other aspects. It was only after he decided to completely redo the first stage's music ("Fly to the Leaden Sky") that everything clicked for him and he found the style that worked best for the game.
Much like the gameplay, the soundtrack was heavily influenced by Summer Carnival '92: Recca. A fan of the latter game, Namiki stated in 2005 that he immediately recognized Garegga as a spiritual successor. His style is similar enough that Recca composer Nobuyuki Shioda also felt the influence right away upon playing it. (Nowhere is this influence more apparent than in "Erupter," the final boss theme, which is by far the most fast-paced song in the game and uses Recca-esque samples throughout.)
The track order is taken from the 2016 Battle Garegga Complete Soundtrack.
|05||Fly to the Leaden Sky||Manabu Namiki||2:13||Download|
|06||Underwater Rampart||Manabu Namiki||3:43||Download|
|07||Tunnel Vision||Manabu Namiki||3:52||Download|
|09||Subversive Awareness||Manabu Namiki||2:45||Download|
|11||Marginal Consciousness||Manabu Namiki||1:33||Download|
|12||Stab and Stomp!||Manabu Namiki||2:02||Download|
|13||Thrust and Thrash!||Manabu Namiki||1:42||Download|
|17||Blood Brothers in the Dawn||Manabu Namiki||0:41||Download|
- Ripper: dj.tuBIG/MaliceX
- Recorder: Theand
- Game Credits:
- Sound Effect: Manabu Namiki credited as Santaruru
Multiple sources (such as the liner notes for 2004's The Madness: Battle Garegga Perfect Soundtrack, an interview included with the 2005 soundtrack release for Summer Carnival '92: Recca (FC), and 2016's Battle Garegga Complete Soundtrack) confirm that Namiki composed all the game's music.
- https://www.mobygames.com/game/63055/battle-garegga - MobyGames.
- https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/arcade/577456-battle-garegga - GameFAQs.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Garegga - Wikipedia.