Retro Weekends – Whomp ‘Em

Memorable Music

Listening to some of the music of Whomp ‘Em, the arrangement of the songs almost transcend the cultural differences between the two versions. We have a game that was originally based on a Chinese novel that was changed to become a Native American game, and somehow the music still fits both versions. Amazing huh? Also of note is the styling of Jaleco’s instruments. I’ll point that out when I get to it.

Water Test Theme
Composed by Adios Amigo

I want to hate this song so badly. But for some reason I always found myself humming this at different points in my life. Maybe it’s the somewhat bouncy rhythm that I remember. But those long notes just grate the ears tremendously. I wanted to talk about this first mainly because this game has a problem with repetitive music. It’s this, the Ice Ritual, and the Final Test that have the most repetitive music I’ve ever heard. But under all this are some rather decent songs.

Sacred Cliff Theme
Composed by Adios Amigo

Now here’s one of those songs that fits both it’s Chinese roots and its Native American counterpart. The theme almost sounds like an extension of the song that plays when you select the stage. I do have to agree with Youtuber danyy945 and that the song does sound a bit like Funky Town. But hey I can dig it.

Forest Test Stage
Composed by Adios Amigo

Oh if only the rest of this game’s soundtrack was this good! This is a very well composed song and another that transcends the cultural differences. This is also one of those games that helped me identify Jaleco’s instrumentation. What do I mean? Well when you hear a song from a Capcom game, a Sunsoft game (especially), or a Nintendo game, you know it. With Jaleco, what makes them stand out is those methodical bleeps and echoed notation (though the uploader added and echo effect, so the notes have even more of an echo). You’ll see what I mean if you listen to this song from Earth Defense Force and listen to the song up here.

Whomp ‘Em would be the only game from Jaleco I would play. Throughout the years, Jaleco has been through a lot of things. It’s changed hands from company to company, lost its name, then brought it back, split into two companies, etc. Today, One half of Jaleco is with a mobile phone company. The other, what some consider the main and original branch, is now called Encom Holdings and is working in real estate. Yeah, weird huh? Looking back, some might see Whomp ‘Em as culturally insensitive (I’m not one of them). But hey, what other game do you know where you can play as a Native American kicking ass? Okay besides Prey!

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