VIDEO WIZARDS PODCAST – Episode 11: December 1989

In this final Video Wizards Podcast episode of 2020, we travel back 31 years, to the month of December 1989. With the last holiday season of the 1980s upon us, we are visited by Santa Haggar, backed up by Cody and Guy, for Capcom’s genre redefining Final Fight. Konami, meanwhile, set out their own brawling path with their first arcade beat ’em up carrying an animated series license, while simultaneously unleashing the terrors of Gradius III on unsuspecting arcade goers and Mitchell and SNK keep things varied with Pang and Beast Busters respectively.

At home, European NES owners might just receive the first Mega Man in their stockings, as Master System owning kids are hopeful to receive a copy of Psycho Fox. And while Hip Hop’s golden era is winding down to the sounds of Biz Markie, the Geto Boys’ Willie D and 3rd Bass, the UK and Dutch charts are bombarded with tacky Christmas pop songs, blaring out the speakers of Chris Rea’s car radio. In cinemas, the police brutality of Tango & Cash shares the spotlight with the holiday brutality of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and in global politics, Bush senior and Gorbachev keep things extra festive by jointly announcing the end of the Cold War.

We hope you enjoy this mammoth podcast about the past and wish you a happy future in 2021!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

By Source, Fair use,

Gradius III

By Source, Fair use,


By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Beast Busters

By Source, Fair use,
Other top billing arcade games of the era we discuss on Episode 11, L-R: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gradius III, Pang/Buster Bros., Beast Busters

Show theme tune: NEON CITY, composed by Ed 「イートレム」 Tremblay for Mudprints Music and licensed exclusively to The Video Wizards Podcast, ©2019 Mudprints Music, all rights reserved.

Other music used in this episode:

  • TV Theme Style (The Winner) – by Colin Thomson, 2018
  • Opening – by Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, Michiru Yamane & Yoko Shimomura for Final Fight, 1989
  • Slum – by Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, Michiru Yamane & Yoko Shimomura for Final Fight, 1989
  • Title Theme – by Sebastian Evans for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1989
  • Sand Storm – by Junichiro Kaneda, Seiichi Fukami, Miki Higashino, Kozo Nakamura & Mutsuhiko Izumi for Gradius III, 1989
  • Mt. Fuji – by Tamayo Kawamoto for Pang, 1989
  • Oh My Buddha! – by Toshikazu Tanaka & Masahiko Hataya for Beast Busters, 1989
  • Crossroads – by Takashi Tateishi for Willow, 1989
  • Elec Man – by Manami Matsumae & Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, 1989
  • Just a Friend – by Biz Markie, 1989
  • I Need Some Pussy – by Willie D, 1989
  • Bald Headed Hoes – by Willie D, 1989
  • Fuck the KKK – by Willie D, 1989
  • Oval Office – by 3rd Bass, 1989
  • Power Metal – by Pantera, 1988
  • Cowboys from Hell – by Pantera, 1990
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas? – by Band Aid II, 1989
  • Driving Home for Christmas (Instrumental) – by Chris Rea, 1989
  • The Message is Love – by Arthur Baker and the Backbeat Disciples (featuring Al Green), 1989
  • Christmas Vacation – by Mavis Staples for the motion picture National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989
  • Doctor Who Opening Theme – by Dominick Glynn, 1986

And finally: our special thanks to Andy Hofle.

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Published by videowizardspod

Video Wizards is a podcast about the arcade games of the 1980’s and 1990’s and their cultural context, by Ben Cartlidge and Michiel Kroder.

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