Unknown NES Music: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
By Mike Callahan Saturday, 25 Jul 2009

Here’s my first update about unheard of, maybe not that amazing, but enjoyable NES soundtracks. Good-Evil has long had one of the best resources of Nintendo music on the web thanks to Akumu’s NSF Archive, and this is an occasional feature to spotlight some unknowns in that massive archive. We’re going to kick it off with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

– Direct link to NSF here.
– To play NSFs, see here
– For more information about what an NSF is, see here..

Check out this cover action:


ACTION PACKED ADVENTURES WITH INDY! The game was published in 1992 by Jaleco.

Here’s some gameplay of the early levels with a sampling of the music:

As a whole, this soundtrack is pretty unremarkable. The main theme of the music is eeriness and suspense, and not a whole lot of action packed, light-hearted yet boisterous sounds. The first track is definitely odd, with some minor, echoing riffing and a strong, undulating bassline and nice fast drums. Check out track 3 if you like arpeggios and have a hankering for a song that takes all the weird, disorienting and weird sounding parts of Maniac Mansion and puts them into a single track.

The NSF has 18 tracks, but nothing really strikes gold until track 11. Track 5 is an alright, march/congratulatory theme, but it still has that off-key, bizarre sense of melody. 6 has promise but gets strange quick.

Track 11, though, should have been the centerpiece of this game and the composers should have run with what they established here. Some awesome melodies, a very cool, Bionic Commando-esque militaristic snare in the background, some excellent shallow vibrato and swells on the theme…very pleasant and no hint of the first 10 tracks whatsoever. It sounds like it’s from a different game.

Track 12 has an alright ascending, lick that goes on for a bit. Wait or fast forward to 0:42 – check out the BIG woosh and introduction to some rapid fire snare drumming, along with a brass ensemble punching out a melody of suspense, followed by some arpeggiated chords.

Track 13 is your boss theme and has the great curveball transitions featured on the back half of this NSF. 0:21 has some utterly rad, reverberated scalar shred runs. This track is short, but oddly catchy and a nice, driving, “kill that dude before he rips your heart out” sound.

Track 14 is short and repetitive, nothing to hear here.

Young Indiana Jones gameplay screenshot

Young Indiana Jones gameplay screenshot

Track 15 has a familiar theme going on – the melody mirrors early tracks, it has that quick snare in the back and sliding bass. At 0:25 it goes up a gear, but not like some of the earlier tracks here.

Track 16 is compelling. You get a melody, then a harmony that repeats for a few measures. This is no Ducktales “The Moon” artistry, but hey, we’re trying. At 0:25 (sense a pattern of twenty second introductions?) you get the main theme. 0:51 has a hilarious, “xylophone preset on a late 80’s Casio” sound along with someone trying to do a right-to-left keyboard slide and giving up hope halfway through. This is one of the longer tracks on the NSF, it does repeat its main theme, but a new section comes in briefly at 1:50.

Track 17 is nice. Syncopated bass and drums, a slowly trilled melody with some slides and a rad funky bass solo at 0:40 ends with another phat slide back into the main theme.

Track 18 has some cool interplay between two themes and fast drumming, but is rather short. All in all, not a bad track, just a little odd. It also showcases how whoever composed this soundtrack has no idea what transitions are, as nearly every short track on the NSF just jumps between things at random.

All in all, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an extremely backweighted soundtrack, but worth downloading if only to check out the bizarre, unmelodic, general “what the hell?” of the first half and the excellence of track 11.

3 Responses to “Unknown NES Music: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”

  1. jer Says:

    Please cover these on your Saturday’s Market keyboard thx

  2. Zach Patterson Says:

    I didn’t even know this game existed. Some of the later tracks on this are pretty decent though!

  3. Mike Callahan Says:

    That keyboard is the keyboard of the gods. Thor played Ragnarök on it, now you heard!

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