VIDEO WIZARDS PODCAST – Episode 22: May 1988

In episode 22 of Video Wizards, we find ourselves in the glorious year of 1988, where the 2D shoot ’em up still reigned supreme as the most dominant video game genre. In the arcades we see releases of heavy hitters like Vulcan Venture a.k.a. Gradius II by Konami, Forgotten Worlds by Capcom and Silkworm by Tecmo, the three of them pushing boundaries and technology all in their own particular way. And then there is the oddball 1 versus 1 brawler Kageki by Kaneko, taking super deformed fisticuffs to new extremes.

In terms of gaming at home, SEGA and Nintendo are continuing their efforts to break the choke hold that micros like the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore C64 and MSX have over the European game industry, with their 8-bit consoles. Music, meanwhile, is in a very interesting place, as Hip Hop has landed in its most revolutionary era and a line is drawn in the sand, glam rockers Poison are trying to stink up metal, while Judas Priest and Living Colour fight back, and the charts are incredibly varied, with a bit of a theme of sociopolitical engagement running through more than one song. We also look at the successes and failings of the mega expensive silver screen blockbusters Willow and Rambo III and delve into some interesting stories from the world of television at the time.

What relevant movie quote does editor Juli drop in the middle of this month’s Video Wizards Quiz? Can Ben hold it together as Michiel drops yet more culturally significant Dutch TV personality names? Does the fact that Gradius II is the main arcade game talking point this month lead to a rift between Michiel and Ben? Will doors be slammed and angry letters be written? Find out in a new 5 and a half hours Video Wizards throwback audio tour extravaganza!

Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou

By, Fair use,

Forgotten Worlds

By, Fair use,


The top billing arcade games of the era we discuss on Episode 20, L-R: Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou, Forgotten Worlds, Silkworm, Kageki

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.

Baller of the Month Jingle composed by Yuli Anna and licensed exclusively to The Video Wizards Podcast, ©2022 Yuli Anna, all rights reserved.

Other music used in this episode:

  • TV Theme Style (The Winner) – by Colin Thomson, 2018
  • Theme from Butsuzou – by Masahiko Ishida for Ninja Spirit, 1988
  • Burning Heat – by Shinji Tasaka, Motoaki Furukawa, Kenichi Matsubara & Seiichi Fukami for Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou, 1988
  • A Shooting Star – by Shinji Tasaka, Motoaki Furukawa, Kenichi Matsubara & Seiichi Fukami for Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou, 1988
  • Stage Four – by Tamayo Kawamoto & Yoshihiro Sakaguchi for Forgotten Worlds, 1988
  • Main Theme – by ??? for Silkworm, 1988
  • Street Theme – by Hirokazu Tanaka for Gumshoe, 1986
  • My Philosophy – by BDP, 1988
  • Just Got Paid – by Johnny Kemp, 1988
  • Run’s House – by Run-D.M.C., 1988
  • Keep Risin’ to the Top – by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, 1988
  • I’m Still #1 – by BDP, 1988
  • Are You Ready for Freddy – by Fat Boys (featuring Robert Englund), 1988
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn – by Poison, 1988
  • Cult of Personality – by Living Colour, 1988
  • Ram it Down – by Judas Priest, 1988
  • Blue Monday – by New Order, 1983
  • Theme from S’Express – by S’Express, 1988
  • Everywhere – by Fleetwood Mac, 1987
  • Yé Ké Yé Ké – by Mory Kanté, 1987
  • Beds Are Burning – by Midnight Oil, 1988
  • Alphabet St. – by Prince, 1988
  • Preparations – by Jerry Goldsmith for the motion picture Rambo III, 1988
  • Theme from M.A.S.K. – by Shuki Levy & Haim Saban, 1985

Episode edited by: Juli Reed & Michiel Kroder

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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