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While the boss is away: One hench-person’s top six video game themes

Thank God.  I thought he’d never leave.
Until the boss returns, this site belongs to the henchmen.  Viva la revolution!

Now that we have some time to ourselves, I thought I’d rate for you my arbitrarily-numbered favourite themes from video games.  Just in case you’ve missed out on the past 20 years of video game development, they’re as much a musical experience as they are visual and tactile.  For many gamers, the music of video games has stayed with us long after the games themselves have found their way onto a lonely shelf.  Let’s take a look back, shall we?

6. Super Mario Brothers

It’s not always style or beauty in the music itself that captivates us.  This song, playful and upbeat, represents an entire generation of gamers from the very start of the home console.

 

5. Tetris

This isn’t the first time the Tetris theme has made it onto this blog, and for good reason.  This theme echos the methodical approach to Tetris’s gameplay, and at times the frantic rush that comes with the more difficult stages.

 

4. Skyrim

Who couldn’t like this?  Accompanying one of the best video games (not only of 2011, but ever), this song’s chanting and harmonies transport you straight into the heart of the nordic fantasy land of Skyrim more elegantly than any amount of backstory ever could.

 

3. Metal Gear Solid 3:  Snake Eater

A personal favourite of mine.  More than any other game in the MGS series, this theme sets the mood for the next dozen-or-so hours of cloak-and-dagger gameplay to follow; with an opening song and cinematic that would be at home in any James Bond film.

 

2. Final Fantasy IX (Melodies of Life)

I remember first hearing this theme as I played through Final Fantasy IX (one of the most underrated of the series) in the Winter of 1999.  Often sung by one of the main characters, Princess Garnet, the music was without lyrics until the ending credits–but it was a tune that weaved its way seamlessly into the game’s most powerful scenes.  Hearing it was the first time I ever felt truly moved by the music playing in a video game.  While it’s not the theme at the start of the game as the others are, this song is so interwoven into the story that it counts as a theme in and of itself.

And here’s a helpful English version, in case you ever needed to understand the lyrics:

 

1. Street Fighter 2-4+ (Guile’s Theme)

There is literally nothing that Guile’s theme from the Street Fighter games will not go with.  Whether sarcastic or genuine, deserved or undeserved, Guile’s theme attributes a sense of accomplishment that can, theoretically, accompany any situation.  If I just gave birth, Guile’s theme could go with it.  If I won a game of Solitaire–Guile’s theme.  If I were brutally mugged, crawling my way to find help–Guile’s theme.  If I come home to find that my electricity’s still on and my Internet’s connected–Guile’s theme.

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About Alyssa

Just a smalltown girl Living in a lonely world Took the midnight train going anywhere

Posted on November 13, 2012, in Geekery, Henchmen, Lists of Six!, Music, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. An excellent list. I for one, welcome our new Wombat Overlords. Here’s mine:

    6. “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VII – I liked it back when it was called “Aeris’s Theme.” And I know it is over-played nowadays, but that first time I heard it, I was all like “WHAA?!” Awesome.

    5. “Green Greens Theme” from the Kirby series – This is a nice fun happy song. Then a couple bars in, it breaks into rip-roaring badassery. The biggest thing you’ll notice about my list is that I like songs that get you pumped for adventure.

    4. Tetris Theme – Yeah that was a good call. I’ll second it.

    3. “Champion Battle Theme” Pokemon series – I like this music because it is pretty different from most RPG final boss music. The Pokemon Champion isn’t evil, so they don’t play the big bad scary music. This is a song befitting the greatest Pokemon trainers in the land engaging in glorious, albeit vicarious, combat.

    2. “Super Mario Galaxy Theme” – Now you want to talk about adventure music, here you go. This guy right here, more than any other Mario music, makes you wanna get up and go save princesses. And they also play it on some of the hardest levels in the game. So while you’re on your 80th try at Luigi’s Purple Coins, the John Williams-esque trumpets burst in with the glorious fanfare Mario deserves. It was the only thing keeping me from throwing my Wiimote against the wall.

    1. Everything from Legend of Zelda: Windwaker – This list easily could have been nothing but the songs from Windwaker, so I’m just gonna group them all and make it number one. The three most notable songs are the intro music where you get the game backstory to a combination of themes, including the classic Zelda Overworld Theme. Then there is the Title Screen Song. And if that tune doesn’t put the wind in your sails, then nothing will. And also of note is the Earth Temple Guardian’s music. It is somber, but not in a way that pulls you out of your adventure. It also helps remind you that everything bad that has happened to the world is kinda your fault. So that’s fun.

  2. A runner up that didn’t quite make my list was the theme from the first Kingdom Hearts game: “Simple and Clean”

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