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Thank you kindly for your time and attention today.
I’ve been playing a bit of Dicey Dungeons lately. I have various thoughts about the game, one of many roguelikes with which I have an ongoing off-and-on relationship. But today, I just want to mention my peculiar interaction with a tiny detail of its soundtrack.
“Step Right Up”, one of the game’s several background loops heard during combat, features a little blippity-buzzer that makes a repeating motif in a distinctive rising pattern. I can only describe as “Bah d’dah-dah, bah-d’dah-dah”. You can hear it repeated four times around the track’s 16-second mark:
While this feature appears again and again in this looped track, it reminds me so strongly of a vocal feature that appears only once in Talking Heads’s “Born Under Punches”, the first and absolutely not the most well-known track from that band’s seminal 1980 album Remain in Light.
After five minutes of a work that features David Byrne at his most jittery, punctuating his performance with sputters and screams and echolalic muttering, he chants “Don’t you miss it—don’t you miss it!” a single time over a lengthy fading repetition of the track’s only sung verse:
I listened to the whole of Remain in Light again and again as a teenager. I copied a friend’s CD of it onto a cassette tape, and I wore that tape out. Due to inescapable practicalities of time and math, I almost certainly played the album’s initial tracks significantly more than its later ones.
And that’s why, when I find myself having a particularly good run with Dicey Dugeons, my equipment arranged just right, you will hear me chanting “Don’t you miss it—don’t you miss it!” as I plow through one silly monster after another.
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