I’ve been watching ClementJ64 play through Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, and damn does the soundtrack for that game slap. While I did play the game as a kid, I never got the full auditory experience because I regularly muted games back then — a weird manifestation of my childhood anxiety. I’m glad to revisit it now, because it rips.
The Goemon series follows the adventures of the titular hero and his friends in Edo Japan, so the game has the period-influenced music you’d expect. But Goemon’s Edo is an anachronistic one, full of televisions, aliens, and robot ninja. Appropriately, then, Mystical Ninja‘s soundtrack is peppered with modern beats. From the fully-voiced opening befitting of an anime to the icy chimes of the Japan Sea, the tracks span a wide range of genres and moods. The game’s dungeon tracks even change with additional instruments as you progress through them.
Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon is often left out of conversations about Nintendo 64 platformers. And sure, it doesn’t ever quite reach the polish and joy of movement that a Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie does. But this game’s got heart, baby, and considering how much the series leans on Japan-centric humor, it’s amazing it got a western release at all.
Give the soundtrack a listen and vibe with your pals Goemon, Ebisumaru, Sasuke, and Yae. It’s so good that it almost makes you forget that Konami will never make another Goemon game ever again.