First, thanks to everybody for feedback on Arcade Gaming Shrine. It really seems to have gone over quite well, and we are both proud of it. We suspect there will be some interesting fan videos using MAME footage before too long.
The lyrics are posted at YouTube and Entertonement but I’m trying to figure out how to best post them here too — with the song, on their own page, just in the blog? Dunno. But I did realize that there were some lines that didn’t make it that you might find interesting.
Jude came up with the core concept, the story, and some of the lines, then I spent a few weeks (on and off) putting together polished lyrics and fleshing out the story. Over the course of that I wrote down anything that seemed even remotely plausible or useful, and I made a list of about 100 classic games to try to pair up with rhyming partners. A lot of classic games were omitted simply because the meter of the game names never fit the meter of the song’s original words. I also found that tons of classic games, like Centipede, stress the first syllable, and I needed ones like Defender that hit the second. SINistar, ASteroids, PAperboy, GALaga, SPY Hunter, TIME Pilot, STAR Castle, BATtlezone, TUtenkham, XEvious, ZOO Keeper, CLIFF Hanger, DRAgon’s Lair, JUNGle Hunt, MOON Patrol, ARKanoid, BUMP ‘n Jump — none of them fit because none of them rhymed well, and they all had to fit in the same few holes anyway. I was even going to throw in Radarscope, but only had a handful of places in the whole song where I could accomodate those three-syllable names. For a while, Space Invaders and Eliminator were paired up but they didn’t fit anywhere, as were Kangaroo & Pole Position II and Wizard of Wor & Robotron 2084. I also tried to work in Polybius but never found a home for it.
Usually, lines don’t get used if they sound awkward or something else that rhymes better or helps the story presents itself. Among the bits that were cut or never made it was this list of lame one-liners to rhyme with “Arcade Gaming Shrine” before each refrain:
He’s out to redefine
He’s moved onto cloud 9
Now the old games will shine
Coin-ops are just divine
He’s got a grand design
Where did he lose his mind?
I had a lot of alts for “and playing golf with Golden Tee” but could never rhyme them:
And Neo games like Metal Slug
And going ape with Donkey Kong
And Jungle Hunt when it was King
I was really sad to lose that Jungle Hunt one because it was such a really geeky inside reference, the way Carney Holes were to “Halo (All I Play-Oh)).” The closest I came with anything in this section of the song was:
A Space Ace is right there
With laserdiscs like Dragon’s Lair
Instead of the Flynn’s Arcade line, a working lyric was “Who says arcade gaming is obsolete? (Insert coin)” but I never found a good rhyme for it either. And instead of the Pac-Man death sound after “Stop!” we originally wanted to use either Donkey Kong’s stomping and grinning sounds from the start of the game, or some of Jumpman’s running sounds to approximate the sort of rhythm of the stopwatch from the original song. We tried Donkey Kong sounds first, but it never sounded as good as we’d hoped.
But the biggest cut was the fourth verse. Since we had the “Fight! Fight Fight!” and “Run! Run! Run!” layers planned, we decided to repeat the first verse as the original BFS song does, because that last verse on the way out is a sum of all the parts that have come before it, with lots of fun layers just for effect. Rather than try to feed people new information, we simply added the quotes from the game as the token new bit and repeated verse 1. But having depleted all the good game rhymes, verse 4 went in a slightly different direction on the same theme:
And Tetris from Atari
There was Midway with Bally
And shooting games from Exidy
Plus Capcom, Stern, and Taito
That’s all that come to mind
The arcade arcade arcade gaming shrine
Anyway, I guess that shows how much work goes into our silly songs. And you can be uber-l33t now and sing the lost lyrics if you want to show off!
For the future, we’ve got the lyrics completely done for one song, and the instrumentation underway for another, so we’re hoping to have both out before the end of this year. One of them may need to be delayed and timed to a real-world event, so no promises on exactly when they will be released. Stay tuned.