I just stumbled onto this tweet from Koshiro Yuzo, the composer of the Etrian Odyssey series (and much more). Backstory: Etrian Odyssey is a dungeon crawler series meant to evoke classic 1980’s gameplay, drawing maps and all. Most games feature FM-like soundtracks, ie. emulated synthesizer music. The above tweet features one song played on a real hardware configuration. Compare and contrast to the in-game version.
Beyond the linked version being absolutely amazing (also, the Etrian Odyssey series consistently features some of the best tunes in gaming), the history of game music is fascinating when it comes to synthesized music. I grew up with a PC that didn’t have a dedicated sound card, meaning that some of the games I played had a vastly different soundscape than the composer intended. The example I see the most is Monkey Island 2, which sounded like this on my PC, but closer to this on the Roland MT-32.
So beyond appreciating how good the above tweeted music sounds, what are your favorite “real hardware” renditions of game music?