It’s hard to believe that almost 20 years have passed since the original release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. On February 27, 1996, history was made when the first of the smash hit collect-a-thon series hit Japanese storefronts, and its massive popularity has not declined since. Dozens of games and hundreds of ‘mons later, the first Pokemon games are still considered a classic by veterans and novices alike. This is thanks, in part, to its largely chipper and energetic soundtrack.
Who can forget the feeling of running through endless waves of tall grass as the epic overworld score blares through their old Game Boy speakers, challenging everyone in sight to a friendly battle with the accompaniment of the classic battle theme? When battles became too overwhelming, we all sighed in relief once we heard that soothing Pokemon Center music. For both us and our ‘mons, that theme meant absolute safety.
Of course, not everything was bright in the musical world of Pokemon Red and Blue. It seems no one can talk about these games without first mentioning the Lavender Town theme, remembered for its highly unsettling, and highly pitched, chip tunes. However, even Lavender Town seemed strangely peaceful, nestled in that barren valley with nothing to distinct it from other hamlets other than its haunting music and muted purple hue.
Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue are classics, no one can doubt that. But perhaps they wouldn’t be so fondly remembered if not for composer Junichi Masuda’s masterpiece. Though the sounds may seem antiquated to modern ears, but the soundtrack carries its own special charm, and we players wouldn’t have it any other way.
In my version of this superb soundtrack, I tried to blend the eclectic and soothing chipsounds with real instruments. To add some special vibe to the Game Boy originals.