Amazing VGM: Celadon City (Pokemon Red & Blue)

See, I told you I would go with something happier than last week’s VGM… although I could probably upload the sound of dying kittens and it would be less depressing to listen to then “Sayo-nara” was. But anyway, since the last track seemed to take heavy influence from the “Lavender Town” theme, I decided I would go with the song that plays in the next town in the game; “Celadon City.”

Despite not being too into the Pokemon series, I have at least beaten Pokemon Blue, and I also played it plenty of times prior but never completed it as a kid. There are definitely a lot of issues with it, as have been documented plenty of times before on top of the annoying level design and atrocious encounter rates. The game was still fun in its own right though, and the music was catchy AF to.

The Celadon City theme has one of the most addicting melodies I have heard in… pretty much anything. Such a thing is natural given that music composed for the original Gameboy could only use three sound channels so there wasn’t much one could do in other areas. The music may be simplistic, but it is effective where it counts. After the gloomy and depressing atmosphere of Lavender Town, this track is a real breath of fresh air. There is such a cheerful and fun tone to this track, which is fitting since this IS the town with the casino… I think. Either way, it captures the spirit of the original Pokemon titles so perfectly, and it is not hard to see how it connected so easily with those who played it, and how it created so many longtime fans.

Despite the fact that the Gameboy Color still used an 8-bit soundfont, Game Freak was not content to just copy paste the original track over to Gold & Silver, and instead choose to re arrange the track (and many other tracks from Red & Blue) with the higher sound quality available. I am undecided as to which one I like more. I do find that the simplicity of the original is more captivating so I may prefer that one slightly, but I do consider this version to be a more engaging composition. That 8-bit banjo like sound synth used for percussion adds another addictive quality to this version that was not present in the original. Also that outro is a nice touch that I now find it hard to picture the song without.

And now for the FireRed/LeafGreen version. I find it kinda cool how this one is at a slower pace than the previous arrangements and how the notes tend to be held longer than in the previous arrangements. I do really find that it helps provide a more distinct feeling to this particular arrangement. While this one isn’t as addicting as the original, I do find that it is more harmonic and pleasant to listen to. The alternation between the flute, strings, and those good old Gen 3 trumpets… or maybe they are trombones… it’s hard to tell with this sound font… anyway, the alternation stimulates not only the listener’s ear, but is also rather soothing in and of itself.

I consider this arrangement to be the weakest of the four arrangements covered here, but actually listening to it makes me unsure of it considering that “weakest” would imply that this song is weak to begin with. I’m currently listening to it as I type this up and it’s as catchy and addicting as always. Even though it sounds kinda parade like in its instrumentation, I do find that the timpani in particular helps with said addiction factor. Yes i know that’s a weird aspect to single out but it just seems to be what sticks out, along with that flute chord in the beginning and the… triangles… in the second half… there is an almost sort of Christmasy vibe to this track… not sure if that is intentional… holy fuck I’m using a lot of ellipses aren’t I?

Anyway, that’s enough for this week’s VGM, and I don’t know what the hell next week’s will be s you’re on your own until then.

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