Frog DNA in John Hammond’s Bakery

Last week I tweeted about a song that had been stuck in my head that I discovered was, in fact, this piece of music from Ocean Software’s Jurassic Park game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy:

This was a little surprising because I’ve never actually played Jurassic Park on either of these systems. I had the Amiga version as a kid, but it’s an almost entirely different game with its own distinct soundtrack that sounds nothing like its Nintendo counterparts.

LaserFrog tweeted back at me that actually the piece of music was lifted from a Konami game called Comic Bakery for the Commodore 64. BEHOLD:

See? Jurassic Park adds an intro, but it’s basically the same piece of music. But I haven’t played Comic Bakery either, so where the Hell did I hear this tune? How did it get stuck in my head for three months?

The answer, as it turns out, is on the Amiga. See, we didn’t buy most of the games we had when I was a kid. We copied friend’s games, and we had an extensive library of pirated titles. Most of these titles’d had their copy protection circumvented (or cracked, for some reason) by cracking groups like Fairlight, Paradox and Skid Row, and they’d often slap a fancy intro onto the disk which would appear before the game itself loaded. I got very used to seeing these intros as a kid, and some of them featured some very snazzy animation and catchy music.

It turns out that much of the music was catchy for a reason – it had been lifted wholesale from other games. Check out this crack intro for Crystal’s release of the Team17 platformer Superfrog:

That tune sounds a little familiar, don’t you think?

I don’t remember ever watching that intro all the way through, but I must have done because that tune was lodged in my head for a long time, resurfacing earlier this year. Then there’s the weird chain that led to my discovering where this piece came from – hearing it in Jurassic Park, learning it originated in Comic Bakery, then realizing I’d heard it in Superfrog, where you’d not hear it at all if you owned a legit copy of the game (as I now do, of course).

That absolutely fascinates me. This goes beyond my love of video game ports – I wonder if there is other brilliant video game music I’ve heard in cracking intros like this?

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One Comment

  1. I knew where you were going with this from the second I heard the Jurassic Park music. And I knew why it was so familiar!

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