Burning Rangers’ Music Makes Me Want To Kick A Fire’s Arse

Burning Rangers’ Music Makes Me Want To Kick A Fire’s Arse

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s ongoing hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-arse sounds they make. Today we’re setting the morning on fire with the rock, pop, rap, and techno-jazz of Sega’s Burning Rangers. And then we’ll put it out, which is only polite.

Way back in 1998, during the final months of the Sega Saturn, Sonic Team delivered unto us a futuristic fire-fighting adventure called Burning Rangers (playlist / longplay / VGMdb). Built around the idea of rescuing people instead of killing them, Burning Rangers is set in a future society where the only real danger plaguing humanity is fire, which frankly sounds lovely. As one of the Burning Rangers, the player uses high-tech gear like lasers to extinguish fires, rescue trapped victims, and battle bosses, because it’s still a video game and players need something to tell them when the level is over.

One interesting aspect of Burning Rangers is how little music plays during the game. Sonic Team integrated a voice navigation system into the game to tell you where to go. To make sure you can hear your navigation instructions clearly, music doesn’t play during basic gameplay. Instead, the game’s incredibly funky soundtrack is saved for menus and especially dramatic moments.

Sega / Deoxys Prime (YouTube)

The game’s main menu track, “Request for an Immediate Rescue,” is a particularly strong bop, setting the tone with its funky bass, prog rock keyboards, and jazzy horns. Then we get that groovy late-’90s Japanese rap: “To the next phase and to the next stage, givin’ nightmares like Wes Crave.” Good ol’ Wes Crave.

Burning Ranger’s economical use of music means that when a track does drop, it drops hard. Imagine walking through winding corridors with only the sound of footsteps and flames, and then BOOM! You’re fighting a mutant plant for some reason while the track “Anemoth” plays.

Sega / Deoxys Prime (YouTube)

It’s a more dramatic tune, not nearly as funky as many of the OST’s other music, but it’s exactly the punctuation a player needs when they suddenly find themselves battling an evil flower in their futuristic Sega Saturn fireperson game.

If you have the means to play Saturn games, I highly recommend checking out Burning Rangers. As one of the final games released for the console, it never really got the love it deserved, as evidenced by the sad lack of any sort of sequel. No game will ever be quite like it, and no game will ever have an opening track quite as inspiring as “Burning Hearts (Burning Angel).” Those horns. Those harmonies. That chorus. Makes me want to gear up and kick a fire’s arse.

Sega / Deoxys Prime (YouTube)

“Just do it, just Burning Rangers!” Damn straight.

Comments

  • A great soundtrack which also popped up in Samba de Amigo ver. 2000, giving us one more chance to hear it on the Dreamcast before that, too, slid into the abyss. These were (I think?) on-disc DLC, so not sure they can still be unlocked 🙁

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