For every classic NES video game that we all remember, like Castlevania, Zelda and Super Mario, there are literally hundreds that have fallen into obscurity. Pianist, composer and arranger Rob Kovacs is on a mission to bring these long-lost treasures to a new audience with his note-for-note piano transcriptions of themes from obscure games like The Adventures of Lolo, Arkista's Ring and Marble Madness. As he told me, he's become a sort of musical archeologist, and it's been exciting to rediscover music from the very early days of Nintendo's history.
Rob's not completely stuck in the past, though. He's currently working on the soundtrack for the VR space flight game Straylight. He says his music is built around his classic Prophet 5 analog synthesizer from the late 1970s with its iconic sounds.
Videos of Rob's performances of classic NES themes are on YouTube, with even more available on his Patreon. And he has plans to release his Straylight soundtrack this summer.
All arrangements by Rob Kovacs
Hideki Kanazashi: Adventures of Lolo: Ending Theme
Kenichi Matsubara: Castlevania: Bloody Tears
Shizura Okamura: Arkista's Ring: Boss Theme
Brad Fuller: Marble Madness: Practice Race; Intermediate Race
Rob Kovacs: Straylight: Straylight 4; Straylight Theme
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Thanks to Dick Roberts for production assistance