Classic SEGA Music: Splash Wave


Out Run is an 1986 arcade driving game developed by SEGA AM2, headed by prolific game designer Yu Suzuki. A pioneer title at the time of its release, Out Run’s innovative controls, non-linear track progression, and excellent graphics and sound made it a staple of the arcade gaming scene of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s eclectic soundtrack, composed by Hiroshi Miyauchi, combines elements of Jazz, Latin, and traditional Rock music to make for a truly distinct sound, which strongly reflects its themes of leisure and relaxation. The song we will be exploring today is “Splash Wave”, which is considered by many to be the unofficial theme of the Out Run series.

Hit the jump to continue reading and to listen to different versions of the song, including fan remixes.

Where it is heard:

Among Out Run’s many unique features, one of its most distinct was the ability to change the background music at the start of a level by switching between radio stations within the game. With three different stations, the player could adjust the soundtrack to fit their mood, or to simply experience something fresh and new. “Splash Wave” appears on (FM 80.3), which is the default radio station, and will be the first song the player hears upon starting a new game if they choose not to change stations. With that said, the track can be heard in any given level throughout the entire game, along with the other two stations.

In many ways, Out Run can be seen as the progenitor of the “blue sky” style of  music that SEGA is often held synonymous with. The track begins with a fast and exciting interlude,  which accelerates along with the player and their Ferrari Testarossa, reaching blistering speeds, until it suddenly builds-up into the sunny main riff. Conjuring images of long blue skies, laced with white clouds as they drift carelessly off into the horizon, as the passing breeze gently whips you in the face, the track invokes a sense of serene relaxation, which almost seems to whisk you away into these beautiful vistas.  As the track continues to increase in vibrancy, it’s warm and carefree attitude makes for a truly remarkable experience that only SEGA games such as this can allow.

Other versions: classicsegamusic

Genesis/Mega Drive:

Despite the hardware limitations due to the Genesis’ lower quality sound chipset, this version still manages to retain the style and charm of the original.

Master System:

This is the SEGA Master System/SEGA Mark III version of the track, which was released just one year after the original arcade games.

PlayStation 2:

Released in Japan under the SEGA AGES 2500 series for PlayStation 2. This version of the game was a complete remake, but done on a very poor budget. This was released in other territories along with many other SEGA AGES 2500 series games in SEGA Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2.

Fan covers:

Made by the YouTube member Krytie2X4B.

Made by the YouTube member slapmyfunkybass

In addition to its many remixes throughout the series, the song has been included in a number of other SEGA games, including SEGA Superstars Tennis, Samba de Amigo Ver. 2000, Segagaga, it was the main menu theme of SEGA Classics Collection, and most recently it was used in a level for Bayonetta. It’s no small wonder why, either — Out Run has been and continues to be one of SEGA’s flagship series, and with yet more road ahead of us, this magical sound shower appears to be far from over.


One Response to “Classic SEGA Music: Splash Wave”

  1. Tribute: SEGA2010 « The SEGA Source Says:

    […] music is a remix of the OutRun song Splash Wave from what is arguably SEGA’s best game from 2010, […]

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