Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Episode 025: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

Welcome to The Diad Presents!

A brief history lesson on a familiar Japanese word, a criticism of a popular TV show, and your weekly does of hot, hot fire VGM jams.

The show can be downloaded here,

or streamed here:

The Japanese writing I mentioned: くノ一 (pronounced ku, no and ichi), Kanji for “woman” = 女.

The episode of the Gaming Historian I mentioned:

And the track list below:

# - Game - Track - System - Composer
1 - Mutant Mudds - World 4-1 - NDS - Troupe Gammage
2 - Kirishima Shinryoushitsu no Gogo - KG10 - PC-98 - USK Soundware
3 - Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master - Whirlwind - Genesis / MD - Hirofumi Murasaki, Morihiko Akiyama, & Masayuki Nagao
4 - KGB - Burokrat - IBM PC - Stéphane Picq
5 - Dungeon Master - Scorpions! - SNES - Tsukasa Tawada, Hikoshi Hashimoto
6 - Little Samson - Gamm's Theme - NES / FC - Yoshiji Yokoyama & Yukie Marikawa
7 - Pinball Dreams - Title - Amiga - Olof Gustafsson


  1. So many great tracks! I loved every one of them. And thanks for recommending Forever Sound Version. As if I didn't have enough of a podcast backlog!

    I'm with you on Lost. I didn't have a television when the series originally aired, but I finally binge-watched the series last year. Geez, what a hot mess. It was like the Network TV version of watching all three Matrix movies back to back(Matrixes? Matrices?). The 'Just Kidding, You Really Are All In Limbo' ending was just a sadistic shoulder shrug to the whole last season or two, which unraveled like a slooooow-moootionnnn version of the original Total Recall film, except told by an opium-addled middle-schooler with ADD. But it was no fun.

    That said, it had so much promise! It started off so well! Like the Hindenburg and the Titanic, but with more victims and a much slower final act. I also really liked that it had a number of strong roles for Asian actors(as in 3), which is more than pretty much anything else Hollywood has mustered before or since(Joy Luck Club notwithstanding).

    You didn't mention Kage. Where did the originate and how are Kage different from Shinobi?

    You were trying to control your anger and avoid swearing when talking about the insane difficulty of KGB? What a bunch of Bolshevik.

    Man, that Little Sampson track was awesome. I wish MY gams had a theme song. But the rip you played was in stereo, which as we all know is impossible because no NES track was composed that way. What the heck, man?!

    Have a great vacation! WAIT-are you heading in this general direction?

    1. Hey hey, ND!

      Glad you liked the episode. I think this week and next week may be my strongest 1-2-combo musically in a long time. But really... I pick all the songs so obviously I like them all the time.

      I agree 100% with your thoughts on lost. I just can't think of a more deflating experience. I remember I walked in on my brother watching the season 1 DVD, on one of the later episodes in the season. I spent the rest of the weekend watching every episode.

      And that is a good point re: Asian actors. Jin did a particularly excellent job, I thought. As did his wife (can't remember her name).

      As for Kage, I know it means "shadow," so I'm guessing it is more of an associated word because of their inherent sneakiness. It didn't come up when I was looking up the history, so I'm thinking it wasn't an actual term used for ninja.

      Bolshevik. Nice. The lost part I was angry, the KGB part I was just going to comment on how the game dev mentality was total Bolshevik.

      I think the particular NSFE file for Little Samson came from Pixeltunes Ed, so you can blame him for gussying it up. Exporting all these different filetypes is such a pain!

      And for vacation, unfortunately not to Port Town. We found tickets for less money and with a direct flight to Europe. If I tell you exactly where I'll be stepping on the intro skit next week... I've already said too much!

  2. Too bad about Europe....the total eclipse is happening next week, and it's supposedly ideally viewed in and around Portland. However, I hear that about one million people are estimated to visit the area for that reason, so maybe it's better you're heading the other direction.

    Ed and I have had this discussion before, and I still rib him about it from time to time. Seriously, I like the sound of stereo NES tracks, but I feel they don't belong in podcasts that curate and document music. It's an editorial decision in which the composers had no say, and it changes the music from its original state. The ripper is now also part of the composition......which is fine, if it's made clear that the ripper is editorializing on the original creation.

    "Kage" must be used near-synonymously with ninja. It's used in games (Legend of Kage and Shadow of the Ninja, aka Yami no Shigotonin Kage), as well as Anime (Naruto, Ninja Scroll). And I remember one particular narration(I think it was from Bushido Blade, but I'm not sure) that explained what ninja were, but used the term Kage exclusively.

    1. 1 million eclipse watchers can't be wrong! But seriously, that's an insane number... Watch out for crazies.

      I think everything you said about the stereo NES tracks is right. I remember talking about this with you briefly in the past as well. Maybe I ought to be more diligent? Hmm. Something to consider anyway.

      There was a non-searchable .pdf file conversion of a book, hosted on one of Google's platforms that extensively discussed the history of the word ninja. I would not be surprised to see 'kage' studied in it. But I don't remember the title (despite it being only a few days since I skimmed it). I didn't have the time to devote reading the whole thing. I am curious to see if there is anything beyond the fact that the shadows are closely associated with sneaking and ninja-y stuff.

  3. I llol'd (literally laughed out loud) at your description of being like a parent about LOST because you're not mad, you're just disappointed, but really... you are actually mad.

    LOST has more loose threads then an abandoned Joanne Fabrics store that has been taken over by feral cats. I was so mad that I wasted time trying to figure out what the clues all meant from earlier in the series when all they ultimately meant was "we don't know how to end this... HEY! Look! A distraction!" *vanish* The final episode is the greatest "made ya look" prank of all time. They should have just ended the thing with a giant finger flip from your buttons to your face.

    This episode delivered though! Man, there are some good tracks in here! Mutant Mudds, Shinobi III, and Little Samson were the highlights for me. I didn't know that the price of Little Samson had gone up so much! I last looked at it when it was around $200. Geez! Ahoy it is matey. ;}

    1. Just a few weeks ago I had read some defenses of Lost. I can’t find them now, but this one sums it up the defenses pretty nicely:
      It seems to me that the people who found the ending satisfying watched the whole series with a different framework. They watched the series primarily focused on how the characters found their redemption, and the primary questions they asked revolved around the main theme of faith versus reason. It’s interesting how different the whole series can be seen based on that framework.

      I’m still ambivalent about the whole thing; the writers on the show repeatedly responded to questions in a manner that would lead people to think the show should be viewed in a procedural way. Moreover, the whole last season, in which the characters were essentially different people living different lives half of the time, made it hard to keep the eye on their redemptive journeys. Those of us who watched the show with a literal lens ended up feeling sucker-punched. Still, I’m actually interested to watch it a second time, to see if I come away feeling differently about the whole thing.

    2. By the time it was about to air, I knew there was no way the finale could answer all the questions I had. I could see it coming. I did find the ending to be emotionally satisfying, as I had come to like all these characters. I still found it intellectually infuriating because this show generated so much interest with little weird details meant to hook your curiosity. I mean, they were so detail oriented that if you watched the smoke monster in slow motion you could see little images of the characters and things that seemed like they must be symbols or secrets. I've heard that when stuff like this got pitched in the writing room, they just threw it in without knowing where they were going to go with it, and then they just kept doing that, making things up as they go along, but neglecting to ever come back and explain anything partly because an explanation would kill the mystery (but never revealing what all the clues meant ultimately kills the mystery more in my opinion).

      If I separate out my feelings about all the loose ends, I think the finale is a good episode. It's intriguing, exciting, and each character gets some sort of personally satisfying redemption in a way. But when I think about the series as a whole, I can't separate out my disappointment in all the unsolved mystery of it. I will, however, always love Benjamin Linus. He is the best manipulative sonofabitch villain of all time.

    3. To frame this in a D&D/gaming context, they got carried away with world building -- which is what they excelled at. I don't even think I needed EVERY question answered to be satisfied.

      I will never forgive them for the 100% screw you bait-and-switch finish. "It's not purgatory. Oh wait, it's a little purgatory. Ok ... it's just purgatory. Look it ties everything up now!"

      Lazy or uninspired or intentionally misleading, take your pick, same result.

  4. Agreed re: Ben Linus. But do you see what I’m getting at? These people are saying all the loose ends are there to remind the viewer that life is full of loose ends that we’ll never tie up. Some things just aren’t meant to be known. The real main story is the journey of a man of reason to a man of faith. I didn’t watch the show at the time, and only binge-watched it a few years back. I might do so again, to see if this is something I can buy off on.