30 Day Video Game Music Challenge Day 4
I've decided that since I've slept since my last post, and I don't want to wait until midnight, today gets to be Day 4.
Music from a Console-Exclusive Series: wow, it's hard to find those these days! I've decided that "console" means "not PC", and the main series never made it to PC (even though there were some side games that did hit DOS and Windows), so here you go:
"Muda Kingdom", from "Super Mario Land" (1989) for the Nintendo Game Boy, composed by Tanaka Hirokazu ("Chip Tanaka"):
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge Day 5
Hub/Overworld Music: Final Fantasy enters the fray on Day 5, with my favorite of the console series' overworld themes. (It isn't the last time Final Fantasy appears on this list.)
"Crossing Those Hills", from "Final Fantasy IX" (2000), composed by Uematsu Nobuo:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 7
Indie Game Music: This could go for Day 17, "Music You Never Get Tired Of", and Day 25, "Music That Gets You Pumped", as well; I often find myself listening to it on repeat when I need to feel better about things. It helps me feel like maybe yes, I can get things done.
"Reach for the Summit", from "Celeste" (2018), composed by Lena Raine:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 8
First/Third-Person Shooter: This is perhaps not in the spirit of the day, but I'm including side-scrolling run-and-gun games in "Third-Person Shooter", and so I'm including music from the first non-first-party game I ever personally owned. My parents gave it to me for my birthday - the same one where I got my NES.
"Jungle", from "Contra" (1987), composed by Maezawa Hidenori and Sada Kiyohiro
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 9
Music from a Licensed Game: Ducks! Yes, ducks in outer space... I've always had a fondness for this theme (and it seems like a lot of other people did too!). Back in the 90s I used to collect video game MIDIs, and I had half a dozen versions of this, none of which quite matched what was in the game, at least on my sound card...
"The Moon", from "DuckTales" (1989), composed by Kiyohiro Sada:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 10!
RPG Battle Music: You thought I was gonna pull in Final Fantasy here, didn't you? Ha! Instead I'm pulling from an SNES cult classic...
...wait, the first game in the series was marketed in the US as "Final Fantasy Adventure". Fuck. Oh well.
"Danger!", from "Secret of Mana"/"Seiken Densetsu 2" (1993), composed by Kikuta Hiroki:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 11
Puzzle Game Music: The second in an unintentional triad of games released in 1993, for the first time I'm pretty sure most of you didn't play this game; it was released for pre-OS X Macs and never updated for the new architecture.
"Main Theme", from "Chiral" (1993), by Ambrosia Software:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 12
Music that Makes You Sad: I had a hard time with this one; music very rarely makes me sad, even music that's meant to make me sad. That said, this piece has held a special place in my heart for 20 years, and it is meant to be sad music, so here you go.
"Requiem for the Nameless Victims", from "Castlevania: Bloodlines" (1993), written by Shibata Naoto:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge, Day 13
Music from a Game You Don't Like: This one was hard, because... honestly? I don't dislike many games! As a game designer, even objectively-bad games, or games I don't enjoy playing, still have things to teach me, so I struggle to say that I dislike any of them. I guess it's fair to say that I chose a game I don't enjoy playing, but in this case, I chose it because of the reputation of its player base, which is toxic beyond all reason. And that's not the game's fault!
"Main Theme", from "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" (2012), composed by "Mike Morasky":
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 14
Music Featuring Vocals: Naturally I just complained about Star Wars before posting this! This is actually my favorite track from the original soundtrack for this game; I'm not sure why, except that it feels like Star Wars more than any other song from this game's soundtrack.
"Balmorra: The Forge", from "Star Wars: the Old Republic" (2011), composed by Lennie Moore and Jesse Harlin:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 15
Boss Battle Music: You knew Undertale was going to be on here eventually. I subconsciously adopted this as my D&D bard's boss battle music if she ever becomes an enemy, so I had to include it.
"Death By Glamour", from "Undertale" (2015), written by Toby Fox:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 16
16-Bit Music: I can't wait to see what @mavica posts today. It loves to tweak people's ideas of what counts as "8-bit" and "16-bit". I guess I'm tweaking the definition too; although I encountered this game on the SNES, it was originally an arcade game, and its music was composed for the more powerful chip. (I think I'm posting the SNES version!)
"Front Line Base", from "UN Squadron"/"Area 88" (1991), composed by Yamaguchi Mari and Sakaguchi Yoshihiro:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 17
Music You Never Get Tired Of: Time for another classic. Despite its early release date, this game has some of the best music on the NES, and I credit that in part to the fact that it was a labor of love. After the only-moderate success of the first game, Capcom told the developers that they could make a second game, but only on their own time - and the result was one of the most solid NES games ever released, soundtrack included.
"Opening/Title", from "Mega Man 2" (1988), composed by Tateishi Takashi:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 18
Music from a Game Released the Year You Were Born: I do not envy anyone older than me who's doing this challenge. It was difficult enough for me to find a game released the year I was born that a) I've played, and b) had music to speak of. (In fact, most of the sound in this video is gameplay SFX and not proper music - there's really only about two seconds of proper music.) I did find one, though - one of the grand old ladies of arcade gaming - and although I didn't get much of a chance to play it when I was younger, I played the hell out of its sequel.
"Main Theme", from "Galaxian" (1979), composed by Tashiro Kōichi:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge Day 19
Cover of Music by a Different Artist: The music from this series has always been top-notch, and this particular song is one of my favorites. I stumbled on this cover accidentally, but it sounds amazing, and I'm excited to share it with you all.
"Bloody Tears", from "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest" (1987), composed by Kenichi Matsubara, Satoe Terashima, and Kouji Murata, and performed by 楓-kaede-:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 20
Music from a Racing Game: This wasn't my first racing game (that would be Pole Position in the 7-11 near the house where I lived for my first six years) but it was one of my most formative, and I still go back to it every now and then. I'm not as good as I used to be, but then, I'm not playing it constantly. This is my favorite of the level themes, and it seems to be one of the developers' too; they've reused it in several sequels - and in Mario Kart 8!
"Big Blue", from "F-Zero" (1990), composed by Kanki Yumiko and Ishida Naoto:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 21
Music You Associate with Frustration: Despite being released fairly early in the NES's life, this game has an unexpectedly solid soundtrack. It doesn't do anything especially fancy with the sound chip, but it perfectly captures the setting and mood of the game. This theme plays when your health gets low, and it does a weirdly good job of expressing both anxiety and encouragement.
"Health Low", from "Wizards and Warriors" (1987), composed by David Wise:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 22
Town/Village Music: Coming in just under the wire! I was always a little disappointed that the series stepped away from this theme for its town music, settling on the much more serene but less cheerful "Kakariko Village". But, hey, it's their series.
"Town", from "The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" (1987), composed by Nakatsuka Akito:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 23
Underrated Music: This music is underrated largely because I think the game itself is; it was a popular arcade game, and got a handful of ports, but almost nobody talks about it anymore and it never got any sequels.
"Stage 01", from "Jackal" (1986/7), composed by Sakamoto Shinya and Fujio Atsushi:
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 24
Music You Constantly Have Stuck in Your Head: The first time I ran into this game was at a friend's house; I was 9 years old. I'd heard of it, but I hadn't ever seen it in action. It was so different from the first game in its series, and the music transfixed me - I was especially fascinated by how the bass line continued on the pause screen. When I went home I tried to pick it out on the piano, and I rented the game so that I could listen to the music more and get better at playing it. As a teenager I found sheet music, and improved my rendition further, and although in the intervening quarter-century my piano skills have declined (gotta practice, folks), this is still one song that I can consistently play well.
"Overworld", from "Super Mario Bros. 2" (1988), composed by Kondo Koji:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 25
Music that Gets You Pumped Up: It was hard for me to keep myself to one track from this game, because the whole soundtrack - and in fact the whole series - has such fantastic music. It's the gold standard for space-shooter music and gameplay (unless you're an R-Type fan :P).
"Cosmo Plant", from "Gradius III" (1990), composed by Higashina Miko with Konami Kukeiha Club:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 26
Music from a Game You Haven't Played: I confess that I am a latecomer to this series, having only started playing with Skyrim. I know the story of the previous games, I've just never played them. (I tried playing Oblivion once and it felt so janky I immediately logged out.)
"Knight's Charge", from "The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind" (2002), composed by Jeremy Soule:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 27
Music from a Handheld Game: After all this time, we finally get to these games - probably my all-time favorite video game series. This theme follows in the footsteps of its predecessor by opening the game with an upbeat, can-do track before the game and soundtrack descend into menace and dread, but where the first game uses a march to propel Samus forward, this one feels more excited - like "yeah, let's go see what's going on!".
"Surface of SR388", from "Metroid II: Return of Samus" (1991), composed by Yoshitomi Ryoji:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 28
Music that Makes You Nostalgic: I first played this game at a friend's house in the late 80s. We'd asked his mom to rent a Mega Man game for us; she came back with this, which "starts with M and has a robot". He was furious; I fell in love with this exploratory shooter. That one mistake started my love affair with an entire franchise, so thanks, Barb.
"Brinstar", from "Metroid" (1986), composed by Tanaka Hirokazu ("Chip Tanaka"):
30-Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 29
Final Boss Music: It's the organ that does it, I think - that repeating ascending arpeggio that really takes this theme from good to sublime. I got this game for Christmas in 1991 and, unfortunately, had to share it with the friend with whom I'd split the cost of the SNES - that was our deal - and he tried to (and succeeded) get social cred at school for mocking my play time on my save files. But I was the one who finished the game first - and within a month I'd bought his share in the SNES, so he had to find new ways to discredit me to the popular kids.
That was not a good friendship. But the song is still fantastic.
"Zeromus", from "Final Fantasy IV" (1991), composed by Uematsu Nobuo:
30 Day Video Game Music Challenge: Day 31 BONUS!
Music from a Video Game Movie: Science fiction action-comedy at its 80s best, starring Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy, and Catherine Mary Stewart. It's got video games, starships, a fast-talking alien, cyborg duplicates, and the last hope against a galactic threat. How can you go wrong?
"Main Theme" from "The Last Starfighter" (1984), composed by Craig Safan:
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