Whoa. How did I stumble upon this valley of lushish green grasslands? I knew I should have taken that left warp pipe to Albercuque. Well, anyways, since i’m here, I might as well spread with y’all my vast wisdom of the gaming world. Aegis is the name, and i’m glad to be part of the Staff team.
Anyways, I don’t have any big news for y’all on this lovely Friday, so what say we just sit back and relax and listen to some music? NO, NO, as much as I would absolutely LOOOOOVE to listen to some Lady Gaga, I thought it would be interesting to give you a list of video gaming music that makes my soul flare up whenever I get to a certain part of the game.
However, this isn’t your average countdown. Most lists have a 1-10 type deal. Well, since I believe that video gaming music, or music in general, is unique and stylish in their own way, it would be unfair to just pick out the best one out of all of them. So, what i’m going to do today is pick out the best one from their respected FRANCHISES, just so it limits down that whole “competitive” factor and…well, I wanted to try something new. So, without further ado, let us dive into the master….masterpieces of gaming hits. And maybe you’ll want to listen to some more of these to replace that Lady Gaga on your iPod. ;D
THE MARIO FRANCHISE
We obviously will start out with the most popular guy in video gaming, Mario. Although Mario is rivaled by Master Cheif, Sonic, and Cloud Strife as the best guy around, he has a shine to him that clearly makes him the winner. Maybe it’s the Starman he just collected? Who knows. There’s just something about the Italian that we can all relate and have fun with. Make sure you take him out for a couple beers.
It’s the same with Mario music. From the very first time I had the Ground Theme, I was automatically hooked on the original Super Mario Bros. And why? The simple 8-bit composition was nothing more than a few repeating samples. Well, like I said, it’s catchy, and has a very great beat. And ever since then, the Mario franchise has done all sorts of styles of music. Jungle music in Super Mario World, Italy-type music in Super Mario Sunshine, and of course, my favorite….the symphony introduced in Super Mario Galaxy.
Super Mario Galaxy, huge flamewall put up, wasn’t that great of a game and the missions were simply boring to complete. However, the thing that made it all the worthwhile was the music. If I could pick just one piece from the Mario franchise, it would have to be this epic track here:
SUPER MARIO GALAXY – BOWSER’S GALAXY REACTOR
Just the mere use of violins and horns takes the piece up a notch. Your final duel with Bowser (in this game at least) is an intense one, and what way to do it than to have a massive percussion section back you up. I especially love the horn section in the second half of the track. What a lovely piece!
DONKEY KONG FRANCHISE
Being set in a jungle, you’d expect Donkey Kong to have some “jungle-boogie” music mixed in with a “island” feel similar to Yoshi’s Island. However, when you need to relax and ease up your mind to focus on finishing a level, nothing conveys that better to this fan favorite:
DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 2 – STICKERBRUSH SYMPHONY
Ironic that this piece feels like a mix between Michael Jackson and Bob Seger. Like I said, don’t expect every piece from Donkey Kong to use bongo instrumentals. It shows it’s quiet pop side every once in a while.
FINAL FANTASY FRANCHISE
NO. NO. I’m simply not going to put “One Winged Angel” on this list, mainly because A) it’s overrated as hell and B) you’d probably expect that on a list and I want to be different. Personally, this track from the very first Final Fantasy conveys the whole feeling and tone of the entire franchise:
FINAL FANTASY I – OPENING THEME
You can just tell by the melodic and “soldier-like” beat of the piece that these fantasies are definitely not final. All of the warriors in these various FF games can relate to being hereos, and the softening piano part heard in the ending is a symbol that even through heartbreak and struggle, the adventures will continue to defeat evil…or something like that. I know, i’m deep. Just don’t tell no one.
CRASH BANDICOOT FRANCHISE
Rugrats. I used to love that show. Now, you might be thinking, what the hell does that have to do with Crash Bandicoot? Well, nothing. Except for the fact that Mark Mothersbugh, the music director for Crash, used to be the music director for the famous kid-friendly Nicktoon. Just a fun fact. Anyways, the next piece is easiely my favorite out of all the Crash games because of it’s varying musical styles:
CRASH BANDICOOT 2 – JET-PAC LEVELS
Notice in the beginning a sort of…space symphony, why don’t you? Then, the beat gets more faster, and then WHAM!, we have the same rock element that Crash is known for. Crash Bandicoot truly has great music in the fact that everything has it’s own style while keeping the “rock” element to it plain as day.
Every die-hard Kirby fan knows that Kirby pieces tend to be a confusing bunch. One minute they can be cheerful and care-free (like Green Greens) or they can be totally off the wall and a possible gateway to hell (like Marx’s theme). Well, when I simply want to have a jolly ol’ time, I turn to this piece right here:
KIRBY’S ADVENTURE – BUTTER BUILDING
A good pop song is ok every once in a while. Just don’t tell nobody.
When I get to the last level of the first Banjo-Kazooie, i’m always psyched. One part is that the level has great Jiggy missions and an awesome set of environments. The other is of course the changing music styles when you get to change the season of the world. However, I think the Spring version best describes the world for you. I also think it’s also a secondary theme for the lucious forest environments introduced in Banjo-Kazooie.
BANJO-KAZOOIE – CLICK-CLOCK WOOD (SPRING)
The above music pieces are from my favorite gaming franchises. So now, let’s get down to some other favorites real quick before we wrap this up.
CASTLEVANIA 1 – STAGE 3
SPYRO 1 – LOFTY CASTLE
Being a fan of “The Police”, I admire Steve Copeland’s work and would like to thank him for some awesome music.
Two of the following tracks I simply enjoy, so i’m gonna list both of them. Guardando Nel Buio, I think, symbolizes the entire Heartless army and Sora’s battle through the vile darkness. Night on Bald Mountain is not from Kingdom Hearts directly, but from Disney’s Fantasia. But being a huge fan of Fantasia, I simply must put it in.
KINGDOM HEARTS – GUARDANDO NEL BUIO (FINAL BOSS)
KINGDOM HEARTS – NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN (FROM FANTASIA)
Quick note: Yoko Shimomura, the composer for the Kingdom Hearts music, probably did not compose the remake of Night on Bald Mountain since the Japanese release only had the regular boss theme when you fought Chernabog (the boss with the music piece). It was most likely added by the localization team so that it pays a homage to Walt Disney’s famous masterpiece. (Although, the Japanese remake of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix included the arrangement)
ORIGINAL COMPOSITION/SCENE WITH CHERNABOG FROM FANTASIA
No Crush 40 today, lads.
SONIC 2 – ICECAP ZONE ACT 1
But we have some Michael Jackson for you.
Ri-who? Ristar is a very underrated game made late in the Genesis era by Sega, hence the intial lukewarm reception it recieved. However, it remains a cult classic to many fans, and is one of my favorite games.
….And that concludes my musicfest for you today. If you would like to hear more of these, I suggest looking for them on MP3Rip sites first like Grooveshark. You should only use YouTube if you’re in desperate need of them.
Whew! This was my first article for GG! I did it! Haha! I made it through! And I made my list without using that pesky, overrated track that is
NOOOOOOOOOOOO! WHY WHY WHY THE HELL IS THAT ON HERE?!?!?! ARRRRGGGHHHHH
I’m Aegis, and I need to fire one of my editors. >.>