Source: Ristar (Sega Genesis) - Dancing Leaves
"I decided to go for a more recognisable game, with a more recognisable soundtrack. The game is often regarded as the one that needs a sequal, since only one game was made. It's also the one, that many people love the soundtrack for (Including me). It's a very fun game, similar to Sonic, but different enough to be it's own entity.
I'm talking about Ristar: The Shooting Star or commonly known as Ristar. The idea of a shooting star came quite a while ago, during the Mascot craze of 1990-1991. Sega wanted someone to rival Mario, and hope this mascot would sell a lot of Genesis games. Lots of designs were omitted, which would become characters in it's own right. One would be an Armadillo, which made it's way into Knuckles Chaotix as Mighty the Armadillo, And another would be a man in PJ's which becomes Dr. Robotnik (Or Dr. Eggman in the modern Sonic games). In the end a Hedgehog was chosen, which become the Companies mascot, and the face of the Genesis. Now one of them, was a shooting star, which whilst it didn't make the cut, it did get transformed into this game. It wasn't intending to outsell Sonic or overtake him. Instead it was going to be a franchise in it's own right, with it's own line of games, in the end only one made it to air, which is this Genesis Game (There is a Game Gear port, with different levels, but it's usually consider just a port, not a separate game, so really only one game made it to air.). Many of fans wish for a new game, but as of yet, no such thing has happened. Let's move onto a bit about the game, and then of course the kick ass music.
The game features a star called Ristar, who's soul purpose is to save his Galaxy from being taken by a pirate called Kaiser Greedy, who has mind controlled all the inhabitants of the plants to be under his control. There are 2 versions of the story, localized in each respective country. In Japan's version the people inside Planet Neer (Japan's name for Planet Flora), send out a message to Oruto, Ristar's mother, who awakens Ristar. It is then Ristar's job to fufill the wishes of the people, by stopping Kaiser Greedy from sending out his Mind Controlled men to gather the planet's elder.
In the Non-Japanese version (Basically the rest of the world), Ristar's Father is kidnapped (Who is known as a legend around the planets), and Ristar must save him from Kaiser Greedy's control. Kind of a unique plot, it's not often you see many stories like this in my opinion, and to me that's what gives the game charm.
There are also naming differences, between Japan and the rest of the world, Planet Neer in Japan, and Planet Flora in the rest of the world is one such example. The game involves a arm mechanism, which you use to grab on to items, enemies, and branches. This is what you use to get through the levels. I've played this game it's super fun.
This is a long description, so i'll finish with music. The music is just....awesome. Perfect mix of Uplifting melodies, unique drum grooves, and a tropical edge to some of the tracks, it's almost like it's summer music, but it's not. It feels like a mix of Hip-Hop and Electronic styles, fused with more of a tropical and big-band-ish edge. I don't know how to describe it, other than Happy Dance/Hip-Hop. It's also packed full of super dynamic melodies, rich chord changes in parts, as well as a more straight forward pop like affair. Pop music seems like a good term, even if it's not. It's just soo happy, and vibrant, i love it. The track in particular i went for is called Dancing Leaves, because it's the most dynamic for me, and allows for a good mix of styles if needed. On Parade was a close second, because i love that too, but this, i feel gives you more to offer.
The track is very tropical sounding, but with a lot of heavy Jazz influences, some cool Samba/Latin like beats, some lovely syncopation and a great switch-up in the second half where it really gets Jazzy. It also has a nice electronic sheen to the whole thing, it feels like it was partially inspired by a dance track of some sorts. I also love how it's a bit simple at the start, then it really transitions into something complex, i feel there is a lot of scope for creativity here, that can work for all styles and techniques. I just love it, and i hope you have a lot of fun with this."
And here's my own custom MIDI:
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