U.N. Squadron Has Some Great Tunes, Which Is A Boring Headline But

Image: Capcom / MobyGames / Kotaku
Morning MusicMorning MusicSet your dial to Morning Music to enjoy friendly chat and great game music with other early risers. Coffee optional!

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today set your wayback machine to the dawn of the SNES when Capcom delivered an early shoot ‘em up classic, U.N. Squadron.

U.N. Squadron (YouTube / longplay / VGMdb), which hit just a month after the SNES’ launch, was one of those arcade-to-console ports that benefited greatly from the trip home, fleshing out the original 1989 coin-op with extra gameplay refinements that made a world of difference. A fun, solid horizontal shooter, it’s also unique for its genre, with lifebars, multiple pilots and aircraft, and a store-based power-up system. Great difficulty balance too; a good time on normal, but crank it up and you’re gonna have a challenge on your hands. (Bring a turbo controller.)

Capcom / karanba72 (YouTube)

Its soundtrack is really good. The arcade original (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) was composed by Capcom music luminary / original Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae, while Mari Yamaguchi, composer of the incredible Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, handled 1991’s SNES arrangements. I sometimes prefer the sound of home ports over the often-abrasive and oddly mixed FM synth of ‘80s arcade games, and that’s the case with U.N. Squadron, too. Some will disagree.

I had some fun times blowin’ up enemy aircraft to these distinctive tunes. Some of them have a bit of a sad vibe—I wonder if that has to do with the game’s origins as an adaptation of manga / anime Area 88, which I understand could get pretty intense re: the horrors of war and whatnot. Never read or watched those; worth a go?

That’s a wrap for today’s Morning Music! I’m writing shorter this week because I’m off for vacation and preparing these all ahead of time. It was between that or no posts, and I didn’t want to disrupt the community chats we enjoy every day. Feel free to say hi in the comments, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Or, well, you’ll see my pre-written...you know what I mean. Later!

Staff Editor, Kotaku.

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Disappointed we don’t have a recent console port of UN Squadron, loved that game in the arcade.