Blast from the past

Everyday without fail I’ll be carrying the same four items with me: house keys, mobile phone, wallet and my mp3 player. I think music on the go is pretty dominant in a lot of our lives, I’ll be shocked if a day passes not seeing one person with headphones in. Sometimes it makes me wonder what kind of music they’re listening to; personality can be shown through a playlist. It’s no surprise I’ve got a bit of gamer pride, I love to wear gaming apparel, my text message alerts can be the MGS codec tone or the item pick up fanfare from Zelda. So you can expect that this little gamer here is listening to the recently acquired “Video Games Live Volume One CD” (thank you City!) and other gaming BGMs. Oh yeah, I can be one of those annoying folk who listen to their music loud and proud. Thinking about it, I guess I know why some people look at me funny because they’re hearing some strange blipping sounds coming from me.

Now obviously music is essential to enhance gaming atmosphere. I’ve got Tommy Tallerico to back that up. Video game audio is memorable, though I do feel that in the modern day some games just adopt tracks from a band trying to promote themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lisa Miskovsky’s Still Alive but in some cases you put on the playlist of a Tony Hawk game, it makes me think more of the artist’s music video rather than remembering the game.

So what is memorable? Retro systems are no doubt pretty memorable. Take for example the Gameboy, it just had one sound system ranging of low to high pitched blips. I can guarantee any avid Gamer would be able to distinguish between the BGM of Super Mario World and Kirby’s Dream Land. See, if you hear any of the classic tunes from the retro titles it will suddenly revive a lot of gaming memories. Then there’s the structure of music that would represent stages to bosses. Hearing those particular tracks, you’d know which part of the game it related to. My younger self would always be humming along to the music while playing, I can recall and sing a lot of those tunes today. Not long ago did I mock the Final Fantasy VII victory fanfare when I chucked a scrunched piece of paper into the bin (Gamer pride remember? Sounds better than calling it “sad” ha ha). So this here is the effect of memorable gaming sounds and boy I’ve been heavily reminiscing lately.

Below I present to you my chosen tracks that take me back to all sorts of gaming situations: emotions, excitement, panic, saddening to relaxing. Believe me rummaging through the archive in my head made this list very hard to pick and choose! I suppose this also lets you in on a portion of what I grew up with. Listening to it all, makes me want to play those games again. To you guys, it may mean something or it may mean nothing but I hope I’ve persuaded you to take a trip down memory lane.

And things don’t stop there, these music scores inspired the likes of Sabrepulse, MegaDriver and the continuing tours of Video Games Live. The work of these guys are amazing, long live video game music!







15 responses to “Blast from the past”

  1. van-fu avatar

    When I get a text message, the “achievement unlocked” sounds effect bleeps. Thanks to Major Nelson.

  2. Tony avatar

    I need your number, Van.

    So I can text you repeatedly during games.

    I have about 500 free texts per month. How long do you think it would take to get REALLY annoying?

  3. James avatar

    No monkey island theme music? 😛
    Shame on you Shaz XD

  4. van-fu avatar

    Probably about 10 months. I have the patience of a saint.

  5. Michael avatar

    Every day I take maybe £20, thermal gloves (with the outer thumb lining missing from the left one!), my lunch, bus pass (yes, that probably makes me sound like a student or something… you know what? Shut it! It’s cheaper buying ten journeys with it than paying £12.20 return per day!) and my work doorcard. Anyway…

    Cliched, maybe, but I like Tetris’ music. I would honestly need to think a bit to come up with game music that I loved. Now, I must have that VGL CD…

  6.  avatar

    I think about this a lot so my choices are easy:

    1. The Gundorada Workshop theme from Dark Chronicle – very emotive.

    2. Practically all of the orchestral music in Primal – it was BAFTA nominated! So I’m not alone in my adoration…

    3. A bit of cliched choice but the Silent Hill 2 soundtrack still grips me.

    Agree with you Shaz on ‘Propaganda’ – catchy, catchy, catchy…

  7.  avatar

    Anonymous = Solarflair – it ALWAYS anonymises me! *glances about all paranoid* heh heh

  8. TequilaClint avatar

    A few tracks i have on mp3.
    Goldeneye missile silo stage.
    Street Fighter 2 Guile stage.
    Biohazard 4 wesker Mercenaries.
    Ridge racer 4 the album.

  9. Barry avatar

    I agree with TequilaClint, I also have the Ridge Racer Type 4 soundtrack on my mp3 player as well as a few Tekken 3 tracks

    other tracks of note
    Super Ghouls and Ghosts – Ice stage
    Final Fantasy 9 – Battle 2
    TimeSplitters – Planet X
    StarWing – Metoer stage
    Terranigma – Zue
    Donkey Kong Country 2 – Bramble Blast

    I could go on and on 🙂

  10. Kate avatar

    I thought about picking up the VGL album. Worth a purchase? Interesting you listed Bust A Groove. I absolutely adored the “Bust a Groove” KittyN theme music. I feel a bit guilty admitting that! Oh well. My taste in music is generally rubbish anyway.

  11. City avatar

    Nothing from Tomb Raider.. tut

    And you’re welcome!

  12. Razgate avatar

    I hate to go on and on about Secret Of Mana but the intro music and the tune that plays when you goto sleep are bloody awesome, check them out.

  13. nobuo avatar

    Silent Hill 2: theme of laura that’s real classic!!!

    and don’t ever nerver foget the BGM from castlevania:symphony of night, that piece of muisc when Alucard first entered the castle.

  14. Scott avatar

    I honestly don’t know if I could cut it down to just five tracks. My iPod is essentially a device for playing podcasts and video games OSTs/remixes!

    However, if I could, the list would probably include select tracks from Super Meroid and Ocarina of Time, as well as “Snake Eater” and “The Best is Yet to Come” from the Metal Gear series.

  15. GameZone avatar

    what, no super castlevania 4? for shame

Leave a Reply