The Golden Age of Gaming, from about 1986 to 1994, missed the current trend of games getting injected with season-specific content every time the calendar hits a holiday.
We've never fired up an NES on Christmas morning to see Mario sporting a Santa hat, or seen MegaMan shoot Victory Day fireworks from his Mega Buster. Toronto composer Robby Duguay is setting this to rights by releasing a compilation of Christmas ditties set to the familiar chiptune bleep-blooping of classic video game soundtracks.
Part of the fun of 12 GB of Christmas (which thankfully weighs in at a more manageable 46 MB) is identifying the inspiration for the songs from their cheeky titles. The first track, "MegaChild," is a hyperspeed blend of the sacred carol What Child Is This, and a frenetic action track reminiscent of the MegaMan series. "Angels We Have Heard in Town" recalls the village music from the first Final Fantasy title. My personal favourite is "Jingle Coins, Jingle Stars," which sets the famous sleigh ride song to the barrelhouse piano track of a certain Yoshi-themed platformer level.
If, like me, your best-remembered Christmas was the one where you tore open that brand new Nintendo Entertainment System while wearing your Incredible Hulk pyjamas with the incriminating hole in the crotch, give this album a go for the pure nostalgia of it all. The tracks are available now on Robby's site. No word on whether or not Duguay will follow up next year with the Hanukkah-themed album 8-Bit Crazy Nights.
Enter the code "techvibes" to receive a special 15% discount on the songs.
Full disclosure: This article profiles an album by Robby Duguay, who is the composer for my upcoming trashpunk comedy adventure game Spellirium, coming to Steam in 2014. Tell your friends.