Author Topic: The Best Game Music  (Read 4294 times)

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2019, 12:10:10 PM »
I love fighting game music. When I was wee, the ability to select tracks from the Tekken 2 soundtrack (once you'd unlocked Cinema Mode in Tekken 3) was fucking heaven.

Thinking about it now I'm older, two things strike me about why this is. Firstly, these songs are designed to almost be characters in themselves - each is specific to an area or a fighter, and has its own sonic characteristics. They're designed to be as memorable as they are distinct from each other. If the composer/s keep this in mind, and are good at their job, you'll get maybe 20 excellent pieces of aurally diverse music for one title.

Secondly, the music in Tekken 2 (for an example) is actually very simplistic. I realised one day while listening to the soundtrack as I fiddled at a MIDI keyboard that I could play along to most of the main motifs in those tracks, and I'm not a keyboardist by any stretch of the definition.

My favourite is probably the Playstation remix of Heichahi's theme - it was that little bit that pops up at 1.32 that I was able to play, and then tested that out on other songs from the same game - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj9YO4tilTU

Two more brilliantly bouncy and joyous Tekken 2 tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_pQWWbUoGY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLRi7jl_UT0

This same 'one simple melody, swathed in complex arrangement' style also applies to the Aspect version of Sonic 2 for the Master System and Game Gear, for which nearly every single level has an amazingly direct and memorable 'bass' line. Here's two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qmf8lp7feU - That constant "1,2,3 1,2,3 123" line is class like. Fuck writing about music is difficult.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QKxaEKoSo8 - the lead that comes in after about 10 seconds is gorgeous.

Coming back to fighting games, though, my favourite soundtrack of all time is Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha. Most of these tracks are played by a live band of brilliantly talented Japanese lads, real bombastic stuff covering a whole load of styles. I've til get back to work here (wanted to write this post all week - listen to game music daily) but here's the sort of broad selection you get from the awkwardly abbreviated SFEXPA.

Sunset jazz - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1UBrsZ-RFE

Scary monster guy (with amazing drum solo/breakdown) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsu2yT6JI5k

Cocky prick US fighter rock - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3cI6YEk_a8

Heavier than fuck boss fight fucker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75VhuQKKR4

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2019, 12:21:21 PM »
The Donkey Kong Country series' music is possibly the best thing about it.

A few highlights from the original games:

Aquatic Ambiance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAPpVplHiDE  (i suppose there might be a couple of people left on Earth who haven't heard this)

I remember playing DKC as a kid and my mum saying this was the first bit of music from a video game that didn't make her feel ill.

There's a bloke who's been reverse-engineering the DKC soundtrack by identifying the synth sounds used and recreating them with the same gear, so in theory they're what the original tracks would have been before they were compressed. Here's Aquatic Ambience. I find this sort of thing fascinating.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2019, 12:27:41 PM »
The Super Mario Bros. theme. Pure, simple, brilliant fun that perfectly encapsulates the bright 'n' breezy tone of the opening level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTa6Xbzfq1U

Shout-out to the underground theme with its deranged breakdown about 10 seconds in, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0SuIMUoShI

Along similar lines the Bobble Bobble theme, helped a lot I'd say by the timber being so perfect.

One of the most underrated of that kind of era I'd say is Thunderforce 3, normally shoot em ups have the odd classic theme but that has at least half a dozen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBnLUqJvRD0

Axelay on the SNES wasn't bad either...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm0JY0qbHLg

« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 03:36:47 PM by greenman »

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2019, 04:10:24 PM »
I can't believe there's only been one (passing) mention of Katamari Damacy. Surely that must be up there amongst the greatest video game soundtracks?

For those who aren't acquainted with this madness:

Katamari on the Rocks (with visuals, of course)
Lonely Rolling Star
Que Sera Sera

...and my favourite, Lovely Angel. It might only be end-of-level score screen ambience, but I could listen to that for hours. "Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!"

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2019, 04:41:11 PM »
Shout-out to the underground theme with its deranged breakdown about 10 seconds in, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0SuIMUoShI

Love the 6/4 (?)  time signature of the original version on this. Future versions chickened out and made it 4/4.

Plus you can put a 4/4 drum pattern over the original and it create an intriguing polymeter, Kashmir-style.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2019, 04:48:50 PM »
FASCINATING FACT

In the west, millions know the original Sonic music. Green Hill Zone and all that. Ace stuff.

But absolutely no one knows anything by Dreams Come True, the Japanese band whose bassist composed the Sonic tunes. In fact Dreams Come True's attempt to break America in the 90s, and their dismal failure, is apparently a big reason why Japanese record companies have kept to Asia since.

This is flipped in Japan, where everyone knows Dreams Come True - they're one of the biggest-selling bands in Japan ever and have been around for decades - but where Sonic was never much of a success.

I don't really like or understand Dreams Come True but here's my favourite video of em.

FASCINATING FACT

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2019, 08:16:35 PM »
FASCINATING FACT

In the west, millions know the original Sonic music. Green Hill Zone and all that. Ace stuff.

But absolutely no one knows anything by Dreams Come True, the Japanese band whose bassist composed the Sonic tunes. In fact Dreams Come True's attempt to break America in the 90s, and their dismal failure, is apparently a big reason why Japanese record companies have kept to Asia since.

This is flipped in Japan, where everyone knows Dreams Come True - they're one of the biggest-selling bands in Japan ever and have been around for decades - but where Sonic was never much of a success.

I don't really like or understand Dreams Come True but here's my favourite video of em.

FASCINATING FACT

Yes, the Sonic 2 closing music is a straight cover of their song Sweet Sweet Sweet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie7-MRFv79U

Some of the music that was composed by Michael Jackson and Brad Buxer for Sonic 3 was also previously recorded and released, such as the excellent song from Ice Cap Zone, originally "Hard Times" by Buxer's band the Jetzons- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2OWC5Hosv8

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • It rubs the lotion on its skin
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2019, 08:49:46 PM »
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. The menu theme song is just pure 80's:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=yGx-eH6b3rY

Then you get this awesomeness during the end credits:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=M9aF9_mZDyY

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2019, 09:08:48 PM »
Love the 6/4 (?)  time signature of the original version on this
6/8 and then a beat is cut off on the fifth bar and then it's just chaos and I can't count anymore.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2019, 09:11:45 PM »
Fuck, or is it 5/4? I cannot count this.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2019, 09:23:15 PM »
Got the metronome out, I'm calling it 6/8 at 200bpm.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2019, 09:25:08 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8GRDNU50b8

Spanish guitar and Zelda, fuck yes.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2019, 09:37:49 PM »
What a great thread this turned out to be. Thanks for all the links and chat.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • It rubs the lotion on its skin
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2019, 09:55:13 PM »
You're welcome.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2019, 10:21:42 PM »
I remember playing DKC as a kid and my mum saying this was the first bit of music from a video game that didn't make her feel ill.

There's a bloke who's been reverse-engineering the DKC soundtrack by identifying the synth sounds used and recreating them with the same gear, so in theory they're what the original tracks would have been before they were compressed. Here's Aquatic Ambience. I find this sort of thing fascinating.

You can do a similar process with Gameboy Advance/DS Games, as the original sounds were massively downsampled by the system hardware. The results have been increbidle!

https://youtu.be/2v24hVX0How?t=1102

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2019, 10:25:05 PM »
Aquatic Ambiance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAPpVplHiDE
The instrumental is pretty, but the real version with lyrics is horrible:

"I've killed men
I've killed dustbin men for pleasure
Choked the men
Poor dead men"

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2019, 04:52:15 AM »
6/8 and then a beat is cut off on the fifth bar and then it's just chaos and I can't count anymore.

I reckon it's 6/4 (or alternating bars of 4/4 and 2/4) and then the "chaos" bit is actually just 4/4.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2019, 04:58:14 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsWRdncoBk8

This but with 6 eighths instead of 3/4 ended up making most sense to me (but I am applying primary school orchestra musical knowledge here).

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2019, 11:04:36 AM »
Super Mario World has a great end credits theme, but I think it's bettered  hy the end credits theme from Mario 64:

https://youtu.be/4Ruqn1Lnexs

Just such a joyful, celebratory piece, save for a brief moment of melancholy before the wonderful finale kicks in.

Edit: literally got chills listening to that again. It's just perfect.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2019, 11:23:26 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsWRdncoBk8

This but with 6 eighths instead of 3/4 ended up making most sense to me (but I am applying primary school orchestra musical knowledge here).

Oh yeah, the gap after the last note means it can't be 4/4 all the way to the end.

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2019, 12:17:17 PM »
Yes, the Sonic 2 closing music is a straight cover of their song Sweet Sweet Sweet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie7-MRFv79U

Some of the music that was composed by Michael Jackson and Brad Buxer for Sonic 3 was also previously recorded and released, such as the excellent song from Ice Cap Zone, originally "Hard Times" by Buxer's band the Jetzons- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2OWC5Hosv8

The MJ-Sonic conspiracy is one of my favourites. Obviously something happened there but I wonder if we'll ever know exactly what. Why won't his demo tapes for it leak? Loads of other shit has.

Someone identified the drum machine sampled for the Sonic 1 and 2 soundtracks. It's amazing how identifiable the snare is, such an iconic sound.19 seconds into this video.

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2019, 12:35:53 PM »
Xenoblade 2 isn't for everyone, but the soundtrack is mind meltingly good.

Mor Ardain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sKp2ZdBaYI  - just keeps building and building. Never lets up.

We are the Chosen Ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3s4fO_2dbE  - Choral music from what is essentially the game's Vatican City. Especially love the bit with the one guy singing at the end.

Elysium, in the blue sky;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOpammDfQjc  - a lovely sad tune, which builds to something beautiful by the end. Really captures the bittersweet mood of the entire game, actually.

Shadow of the Lowlands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5az9ZdtkrEU - A bitter lament that could stand with the best from Lord of The Rings or Game of Thrones.

Actually, going through the soundtrack on youtube, there are too many great songs to add. It's just one beautiful piece after another. 

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2019, 02:07:24 PM »

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #53 on: July 27, 2019, 02:11:24 PM »
Chilling

Great first comment under the video: 

Quote
Man, they sure captured the feeling of going into a basement.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #54 on: July 27, 2019, 02:14:32 PM »
Super Mario World has a great end credits theme, but I think it's bettered  hy the end credits theme from Mario 64:

https://youtu.be/4Ruqn1Lnexs

Just such a joyful, celebratory piece, save for a brief moment of melancholy before the wonderful finale kicks in.

Edit: literally got chills listening to that again. It's just perfect.
I think Mario World's is better. You didn't get expression like that often in game music up until that point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mNZAZgXYJo

Quote
When they make the last Mario game, this should be played in the credits, along with a montage of all the Mario games through the years. And have a simple message like "Thanks for playing!"

Ridiculously that made me feel emotional.

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #55 on: July 27, 2019, 02:26:21 PM »
I think Mario World's is better. You didn't get expression like that often in game music up until that point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mNZAZgXYJo

Ridiculously that made me feel emotional.

They're both great. I think it's a shame that for later Mario games they stopped writing distinctive themes for the end credits.

That said, 3D World has a good remix of the game's main themes at the end:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7KJeuu4Whg

The finger clicking that kicks in with Bowser's theme is what makes it.

In fact, Bowser's theme from that game is cool as fuck:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjkGGMxyxiA

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #56 on: July 27, 2019, 03:02:24 PM »
All great.

My favourite Mario ending is Mario Land 2 - starts off a little slow before kicking into high gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-eOtcyP9l4

Those few bars from 0:51 on is one of my favourite sections in music ever. The rising melody in the background with the falling one up front. Simple genius. Don't like that word but I'm calling it - a minor stroke of genius.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #57 on: July 27, 2019, 03:14:24 PM »
The finger clicking that kicks in with Bowser's theme is what makes it.

In fact, Bowser's theme from that game is cool as fuck:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjkGGMxyxiA
It is very good. Brings to made finger snapping and slowly advancing in that stereotypical jazz way (I have zero command of language today)

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #58 on: July 31, 2019, 10:14:54 AM »
Phantasy Star Online, fucking underrepresented game anyway. Buy listen to then damn jams, ridiculous score.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8AXsWrgPRZ0

Re: The Best Game Music
« Reply #59 on: July 31, 2019, 11:25:14 AM »
Phantasy Star Online, fucking underrepresented game anyway. Buy listen to then damn jams, ridiculous score.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8AXsWrgPRZ0

Amazing game with amazing music. Some of it's very Boards of Canada-ish.

I still return to the title screen music from time to time. Such an inviting, dreamy bit of work, the perfect "welcome to a new world" sort of thing.