Review by · May 31, 2008

This is it, folks. The oldest album in the series. The original “Snatcher.” I didn’t know what to expect, and, sadly, I’ve never played the game before. After listening to this album, I realize that I simply must play the game.

You see, this album is an homage. We go through a medley of original audio, yes, but there is also some drama. Some of it is read in an “informative prologue” sense, but other parts take place like the narrative in a dialogue. And now for the exciting part: it’s in English!! And not *Engrish,* actual Americans speaking in English! That’s right, English voice actors contributed to this album. You get a strong feel for the sense of the story while you listen to great music! I love the concept, and it works surprisingly well for us English-speaking fans.

Example: track 2 is a complete prologue with a narrator describing the events that lead up to the game “Snatcher.” The terminology of the game, Snatcher and Junker, are explained, as are the (somewhat cliché) cyberpunk elements. In other tracks, we hear short clips of conversation from the various characters in this, Hideo Kojima’s original cyber-adventure experience.

Enjoyable as all this English voice-work is, let’s not forget about what really sells this album: awesome, old school Konami music. For old-school MSX tunes, it’s amazing how great the sound quality is on these synth tracks. I sometimes struggle to enjoy the late ’80s VGM that isn’t from the Famicom sound chip, but this music just won me over. It’s so dark and enigmatic, but never in a way that puts me off. I always want to hear more. Fortunately, the album puts out nearly an hour of excellent music. The “Theme of Snatcher” is enough to sell the whole album, which is a good thing, considering it was selected as the game’s main theme.

One of my favorite tracks is “Blow Up Tricycle.” In this track, we hear music alongside a sequence where the protagonist and some computerized voice (I assume the AI for the vehicle) are arguing about what to do in a high-speed dangerous situation leading up to a crash. It is straight up awesome. If this doesn’t make you want to play the game, you lack any sense of decency as a gamer!

So now for the bad news, which I know you’re all expecting: this album is super-hard to find. It was even reprinted, once, in 1993. Regardless of which print you have, it’s rare either way. I wish the best of luck to all Snatcher fans in finding this album, because it is essential to anyone’s Snatcher collection. And considering what a cult classic title this one is, let’s just say I hope I raised some eyebrows with this review.

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.