Classic Video Game Music to Bring Back Fond Memories By Jon White, Multimedia Reporter
Music is part of our lives everyday, invoking a plethora of feelings whenever one hears a song. One such feeling, is one of nostalgia, as a song can take us back to when we first heard it or make one remember a happy memory. One type of music that ties into many people's memories, is video game music. The recent years have seen a flood of games that has fueled an industry to make more money than Hollywood does. Despite this widespread success, a lot of games now shoot for gimmicks and graphics to get one's attention. There has been the occasional title that has popped up with some memorable tracks, but there are few that will have the same staying power that the older games have. While this list is no means all inclusive, it is here to help spur some happy memories. If there are any songs that any readers would like to bring up, feel free to comment and post a video!
Super Mario Bros. - Super Mario Bros. Theme Song
While this song may seem like too obvious of a choice, it is arguably the most recognizable video game song of all time. The bleeps and bloops when one first starting playing are song infectious, it is probably in your head as we speak. The song brings back memories of two player sessions crammed in front of a television and arguing who would be playing as Mario.
Tetris – Theme A
Another seemingly obvious choice from one of the most successful franchises of all time, but again, it is on the list for a reason. While it is not an original song ( It is an instrumental arrangement of a Russian folk tune called "Korobeiniki"), it is still immediately recognizable and just as infections as the Mario Bros Theme. One would catch themselves humming along to the tune as they battled the Tetriminos, awaiting for that elusive straight piece.
The Legend of Zelda - The Legend of Zelda Main Theme
Jumping back to original theme songs, The one for Legend of Zelda is also one of the most iconic of all time. When one booted up the game and was met with this song at the main menu, it stirred emotions of grandeur and excitement. The sweeping sounds built the player up and got them ready for the long journey ahead. Still, despite the sense of size the song had, it also had a sound of optimism to it, making it seem like the hero would certainly save the day. If anyone every doubts the popularity of the song, just go to YouTube and see how many covers of this song there actually are.
Megaman 2 – Pretty much all of it
Megaman 2 is one of the best sequels of all time. It took everything that made the first one great and then improved upon it. More bosses, more weapons, and the music was infectious. Every stage had its own song and there are debates among gamers as to which one is the best. It is like picking a favourite flavour of ice cream though, as no matter what you pick, it is still pretty good. There have been countless remixes and covers for the songs in the game, so spend some time on YouTube (or fire up a copy of Megaman 2) and revisit some of those memories.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6L9bUouDr8 (NSFW Lyrics)
Street Fighter 2 – Guile Stage
This game ate millions of quarters, and with good reason, as it was the first great fighting game to hit arcades. If the spirit of competition was not enough, some of the background tunes made the fights even more epic. There are some great song choices, but Guile's Stage stands out as the most recognizable. When it was adapted to later versions, the song did not change much, to the delight of gamers. If anyone wants to doubt the popularity of this song, just remember that recently, there was a petition to have this song be the new national anthem for the United States.
F-Zero – Mute City
A lesser known track on this list, but it is still a standout song from the SNES generation. F-Zero was one of the first racing games designed to show off a blazing sense of speed that the SNES could do. To back up that speed, you had to have a pumping soundtrack to make your knuckles whiten up as you were taking turns at over 400 km/h. The soundtrack did not disappoint and helped to keep your adrenaline going long into the night.
Star Fox – Corneria Stage
When Star Fox was released, it blew a lot of kid's minds. The graphics at the time were unbelievable, as the polygons made everything look futuristic. It helped the aesthetics of the game, as it was a sci-fi flight-sim, where anthropomorphic animals were starship pilots. Again, the music helped to suck the gamer into the universe and help get him or her pumped as they were blasting enemies. The very first level, Corneria, set the bar for what one was going to expect for the thrill ride.
Super Mario Kart – Ghost Valley
Super Mario Kart is a game that needs little explanation, as it was a huge part of a child's life, gamer or not. The franchise has had over six sequels and was one of the first games to really have competitive/co-operative multiplayer on a home console. There are many memorable tracks from this game, but the ominous nature of Ghost Valley wins out. Those slight haunting sounds, made one even more paranoid about a red shell ready to get jammed up the exhaust pipe.
There are hundreds of other tracks that were memorable during the NES and SNES era of gaming, so much that another ten lists would still be scratching the service. However, these are eight songs that will easily incite some happy memories from one's childhood. The current generation has a lot of great games, but the music is one of the aspects that seem to be left behind. The final two entries will show two of the most memorable songs from last year. Only time will tell if they will become as iconic as some of these other songs on this list.
Bioshock Infinite – 'Will the Circle be Unbroken' cover
Bioshock Infinite was a game that wowed critics and gamers when it was released early last year. The game easily entranced you with its city in the sky, coupled with a complex and violent story. Between the bloodshed, there is a tender moment between Booker and Elizabeth, where Booker finds a guitar in a cellar and strums a few chords. Elizabeth starts to sing 'Will the Circle be Unbroken', and a tender moment amongst the violence is created. It may seem out of place, but the scene sets to show the bond between Booker and Elizabeth, and how there can still be serene moments, even though things are going to hell around you.
The Last of Us – Main Theme
The Last of Us stands out as one of the highest rated games by critics of all time. The game was a cinematic experience, set in a dismal post-apocalypse environment, when all hope is gone. The opening scene is one of the most powerful moments in gaming, even across other forms of medium. The theme that is unleashed on the player after the events, is a haunting guitar acoustic by Gustavo Santaolalla that sticks with one, even after the song finishes. It is a perfect accompaniment to the dark and haunting world that The Last of Us gives its audience something that will stick with them long after they're done playing.
Any video game songs that spark some great memories? Let us know!