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Music Monday: Noby Noby Boy

Keita Nagahashi’s (Katamari Damacy) suggestive plaything Noby Noby Boy will most likely be remembered for – if anything – its surrealist planetscapes, all-but unachievable cooperative end-goal and its cheeky concept of, ahem, reporting a boy’s length to a girl.

Aside from its mystifying gameplay, confusing menus, pernickety cameras and obtuse controls, the 2009 PSN exclusive (which has since stretched its way onto iOS) amused me greatly with it’s deliriously ‘pointless’ play (not really gameplay), freewheeling ideas and absurdist situations, but mostly with its surprisingly eclectic (embellished with further tunes through a free update some months into the game’s life) soundtrack.

Namco veteran Yuu Miyake’s (Tekkens, Ridge Racers, Katamari Damacies) original score features over 30 tracks of mostly mellow ambience but still a range of subtly different moods across a wide variety of instruments including melodica, ocarina, ukulele, vibraphone and kalimba as well as (perhaps) more traditional stuff like blues guitar and cello.

I feel like we should start with the opening number.

 

Something rather less daft now, almost seven minutes of crisply picked wistful folk guitar.

 

The hapless, drunken protagonist of a silent movie is what comes to mind when I hear this reed organ piece.

 

Then suddenly we find ourselves acid-spiked in Louisiana courtesy of these bottleneck blues.

 

As I say, there are plenty more where that came from. Just go to the music menu in the game (or download the OST) and you’ll see, but my Noby fave is this somewhat hidden track though, which adopts the theme (composer Nobuyuki Ohnogi) from almost 30-year-old Namco coin-op Metro Cross and turns it into a hysterically histrionic show-tune, albeit one with only one very simple lyric – the title of the game.

 

Ohnogi-san’s 80s work is also featured in “Noby Noby Bandoneon [Libble Rabble “Main Theme]” which is a lilting cover of the melody from Libble Rabble (1983).

Thanks to our own Ryan @insrtcoins Hamann for the inspiration for this week’s Music Monday, and reminding both me and you dear reader, of what a unique and interesting curio Noby Noby Boy is.

 

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