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The Videogame Music thread.



  • Guess what I've been plaaaaying?

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    These newer Sonic tracks sound kinda different from, albeit also kinda similar to, older Sonic music.

  • Still the best video game opening song:

    Into the Wilderness

  • edited 2013-06-29 22:25:28
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    I'll have to think hard to find an opening song to compete with that, though your mention of Wild ARMs makes me think of the opening theme of that game, which I really like, and which basically sold me on the game the first time I saw the trailer.  I'll post that later, though, since I came here to post this:

    virt - Super Metroid Megamix

  • http://ff6.ocremix.org/


    OCR has released a massive 5-disc FF VI album.  I'm only in the early going listening to it, but it's excellent.  Worth a (MASSIVE 600+ MBs of MP3s) download. 

  • Kichigai birthday!!

  • Kichigai birthday!!

    Sounds very Pokemon-ish, you can tell it's made by the same guys



  • > Drill Dozer mentioned

    You win.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Courtesy of @Monsoon:

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Fun fact: infinitely-looping music has been a thing long before videogames ever existed.

    Two of Chopin's mazurkas contain the indication "Dal segno senza fine", which means "from the sign, without end".  Basically, you play to the end of the piece, then loop back to where "the sign" (a marking in the score) is, and repeat without end.

    Of course, in real life, should you attempt to perform these two pieces, you'll have to figure out a graceful way to bow out at some point.

    But I could definitely imagine them being used at videogame music.  The first is a very short and lively loop, which could serve as a fanfare of some kind.  The second is a slow, mournful, and very chromatic tune, and could be used for a character's death.

  • edited 2013-08-01 19:51:01
    Kichigai birthday!!

    I know it's a YTPMV and all, but I don't think an original version even exists.

    Anyway it's a very good medley of Yume Nikki songs

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Come to think of it, my very high opinion of the Mega Man ZX soundtrack is actually dependent on a select few tunes.  The area themes are all solid, but few are absolutely stellar -- off the top of my head I can only think of a couple, the Area A theme (Green Grass Gradation) and the final area theme (Snake Eyes).  Maybe the mines theme and the Area X theme and the Isolation Chamber theme, possibly the industrial dump area theme.  On the other hand, all the four boss themes are great (the mid-boss theme has a subtle intensity with callbacks to Copy-X's theme, the main boss theme is THE go-to example for a metal action track, Trap Factory is an appropriately fun and catchy theme, and Pallida Mors is also great).  On top of these, there's the two prologue themes, the second of which (the sad one) Snake Eyes recalls.  (The credits theme is sadly weak.)

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Well, I'm re-listening to the soundtrack, and noticing that it's not just the super-awesome tracks pulling the weight.  The individual area themes aren't super-awesome but they are frequently very close.  Examples include the high-energy Ogre Claw (Area G, the burning building), the conclusively catchy High-Press Energy (Area K, the mine, actually one of my secondary favorites), the unexpectedly ear-wormy Industrialism (Area E, the power plant), and the emotive Black Burn (Area O).

    Also, it's hard to top the emotional remix of Fragments (the sad cutscene music) in Snake Eyes.  It's like, all those emotions you've felt through the course of the game, all that anger, all that sadness...as you fight your way through the final tower, you recall these emotions, and however difficult it may be, they motivate you to press onward.

  • edited 2013-12-07 07:09:39
    My arms are falling off!

    Best track in the game. Fittingly, it is for the best boss fight in the game.

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Ahh Hellsinker.  I should get around to playing that sometime.

  • edited 2013-12-07 15:50:59
    My arms are falling off!

    I will warn you, Hellsinker has a huge learning curve. From figuring out the terminology to handling each character (that isn't Kagura's Infernal Sabbath setup), it's a bit of an exercise in patience.

    Once you figure things out, it's not so bad considering your bomb recharges every 15-20 seconds and the game is fairly generous with extra lives.

    (I'm working on a beginner's guide but I put it off. I should finish it before I leave for vacation on Christmas.)

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"


    You all know that tune, right? (Yeah, stupid question.) Damn, now I want an urge to play Torment again. Even though this one doesn't play in the game itself.

  • edited 2014-03-30 15:52:24
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    One of the interesting things about Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is how the good tracks (in my opinion) are heavily weighted toward the end of the game.

    The early-game tracks are mostly nothing to write home about.  They're decent, though not all that fitting.  Sapphire Elegy (a cutscene track but basically an area theme since you hear it half the time you're there) sounds a bit at-ease-jazzy (albeit with some unsettling bits), so I'm not sure how applicable it is to the baroquely-ornate Ecclesia headquarters.  A Prologue is kinda a nice typical Yamane track but again, I'm not sure how well it fits the Ecclesia HQ.  I think it's more of a level theme than a base theme.

    Of the early game areas, Chapel Hidden in Smoke feels a bit too "shiny" (high-pitched) for an area that's supposed to be the ruins of a church.  (Maybe in a dreamy sense?)  A Clashing of the Waves feels a bit generic, as does Emerald MistWandering the Crystal Blue is a bit better for a water area theme but still feels a bit generic.  Unholy Vespers is unsettling tonally but otherwise feels a bit too rhythmic and (again) "shiny" for the catacombs-like area it's set in -- maybe if it were filled with more technicolor black magic...  In any case, they're not really bad tracks, but just kinda un-notable.

    The one exception in my opinion is Jaws of a Scorched Earth, which feels like you're passing by scenery but at the same time suggests a feeling of curiosity.

    Also, not exactly an action area, but there's also Serenade of the Hearth -- for a town theme, it's a bit unsettling but it's also kinda comforting, fitting to the warm but nevertheless troubled feeling of the town.  It's turned out to be a track I like a lot, surprisingly.

    The earliest boss themes is also kinda meh, I think -- Symphony of Battle feels a bit too organized for the chaotic feel its tonality suggests.  It gets good some time into the battle, but nevertheless feels a bit too slow, like it tried to be epic but just didn't quite get there.

    Mid-game themes start to suggest more unease, such as Edge of the SkyTragedy's Pulse is a bit more "weird" (read: musically unsettling) and interesting, though the regular beat still makes it feel a bit light.  Hard Won Nobility has a very prominent melody in that typical Yamane fashion, and it is a bit "shiny" in the middle of the track, but oddly, it kinda works without being too cheesy -- I think it's because it's complemented by that lower bass and the fact that it's in 3 time rather than 4.

    Dissonant Courage is also a more intense and enjoyable boss theme.

    Then you get what's basically the climax of the game.  Both the boss themes -- Sorrow's Distortion and Lament to the Master are high-intensity tracks, with the first expressing a straightforwardness in the midst of driving harmonies and the latter exhibiting quick changes in meter and tonality (one might say "crafty", as the beat subdivisions remain the same while the beats change), respectively consistent with the characterization of the opponents you are fighting.

    Then, the game goes emotionally and musically silent for a moment while you pause to collect your thoughts.  And the start of the endgame greets you with An Empty Tome -- while an upbeat action track like this might not always work well, it -- the theme of the game, actually -- worked as a refreshing wind of confidence after the events that just transpired.

    The last major area of the game also contains Malak's Labyrinth, whose subdued (and slightly dreamy) sound and twisty tonality correspond well to a mysterious (and slightly maze-like) area; Ebony Wings, which I think is the weakest track in this part of the game -- it's flashy but the area isn't exactly very flashy, and the harmonies could be a little less repetitive; Tower of Dolls, a remix of an older Castlevania theme, and whose rhythmic intensity works decently well with the clock-tower features of the area (though I wouldn't say perfectly); and The Colossus, which -- while it works -- I think is a bit too bright for the very final sub-area of the final area (I feel it's trying to imitate Demon Castle Pinnacle from Dawn of Sorrow and Gaze Up at the Darkness from Portrait of Ruin).

    The last non-final boss theme, Chamber of Ruin, is among my favorite boss themes, with its mixture of arrogant showmanship in the first half (in 7 time!) and a totally demented but extremely catchy beat in the second half, all coming with a deliciously chromatic top line.  It so perfectly fits the final area's first two bosses!...but it doesn't exactly fit the other two well, sadly, though I guess it works for them.  (For what it's worth, this track is a bit reminiscent of the similarly grand and showy Great Gate of Darkness from Dawn of Sorrow (which made a cameo appearance in Portrait of Ruin).)

    The final boss theme, Order of the Demon isn't as deliciously twisted and evil and Chamber of Ruin, but it works well and is a pretty grand and intimidating track with rhythmic and tonal instability.  (If anything, the final battle arena isn't ornate enough!)


    Finally, an apology to the cutscene tracks.  I kinda forgot about them, I guess?  They're definitely nice -- tracks like Oncoming Dread and Heroic Dawning.  The map theme Destiny's Stage is also decent.  The Cantus Motetten and Trace of Rage tracks are nice and melodic, though not particularly notable themselves -- however, they do serve to provide melodic motifs that return in dramatic fashion in the boss theme Lament to the Master.  Some of the cutscene themes are a little bit unexpectedly "electronic"-y, given the setting of the game -- Stones Hold a Grudge is an example.  The second map theme, Passing into the Night, was a nice touch, though not particularly notable otherwise, especially since you wouldn't be listening to it for very long, though it's a nice track anyway.  Probably the most memorable cutscene tune is the gently sorrowful and tuneful Rituals, which is definitely nice and fits its purpose well.  The game over theme, Consummation, also works well (and you'll probably hear it a lot when using the Death Ring to perfect bosses).

    As for extra-stage stuff, Lone Challenger, the extra mode stage music, is kinda meh -- that horn instrument for the melody kinda feels odd.  Though the remix of RIDDLE is pretty nice (albeit thanks in part to the strength of the original track).


    Fun fact: the boss themes are named after Castlevania games: Symphony of the Night, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria/Dawn of Sorrow, Lament of Innocence, Portrait of Ruin, and Order of Ecclesia.

  • God damn it, I love this song, but I cannot give musical analysis to save my life. ><
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Anyone know where I can find a collection or at least a listing of music written by the doujin group "Blue Sky!"?

    FYI, they did wrote music that ended up being used in Rosenkreuzstilette, Flying Red Barrel, and a Mega Man 5 hack called Dood In Gate.

    It's nearly impossible to find any information on them on the web, as an English speaker.

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

  • edited 2014-05-05 17:12:50
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human


    Life is like a hurricane here at Joystiq
    Reviews, previews, tons of games - it's a shindig!
    Today we bring you - news of a soundtrack:

    DuckTales, woo-oo!
    Forty-seven tracks of catchy DuckTales, woo-oo!
    Tracks from WayForward's remastered DuckTales, woo-oo!

    C-c-c-composed by Jake "virt" Kaufman
    Includes 8-bit NES arrangements
    What to do? Just go and download DuckTales, woo-oo!
    Available right now on iTunes, DuckTales, woo-oo!
    Also via Amazon, it's DuckTales, woo-oo!

    If only that included bandcamp.


    But yeah, no wonder it sounds that good.  Virt worked on it.

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Videogame music is not a single genre itself.  Especially in the early days, dominated by "chiptune" instruments, the music was frequently (depending on the composer and the piece) a mix of various influences, including classical, hard rock, and jazz.

    It seems that a lot of people use instrumentation as a primary determinant of genre, so simply hearing square waves makes people think of such things categorically as "videogame music".  Instead, what people call by that name spans a large variety of styles, not unlike how "classical" is actually a meta-genre name for a range of styles too.  Though I guess asking what style a given piece of videogame music is, is like listening to music without instrumentation information and having to discern or guess, based on rhythmic, tonal, and textural clues, what genre it fits into.

    (This raises other interesting questions, such as:  Does all music have a genre?  Is there at least one piece of music that, if the instrumentation (and only that) were changed, would instantly change to a different genre?  How objective is a genre designation anyway?)

  • Instrumentation is a very important part of music.  It is completely reasonable that instrumentation can influence genre classification.

    Though of course music genres aren't objective.  They're just labels people assign to describe what they hear so they can efficiently communicate certain essential traits of the music to others.  People's opinions are going to differ about what those essential traits are and so it's natural that you'd expect to use different genre labels when dealing with different people, or that people will disagree on how to label things.

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Instrumentation is a very important part of music.  It is completely reasonable that instrumentation can influence genre classification.

    But should it be a primary determinant of genre classification?

    Alternatively, should a pop song that features a violin part (such as Céline Dion's "To Love You More") be considered "classical" (as it currently is on its Wikipedia page, along with "pop")?  (I honestly can't really hear how that song is any more "classical" -- other than featuring a violin -- than any other pop song.)

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

  • BeeBee
    edited 2014-05-23 00:15:58

    Oh God I thought I was the only person who played the NES Pictionary game.  It was fucking terrible but the main theme was amazing.

    Especially in the early days, dominated by "chiptune" instruments, the music was frequently (depending on the composer and the piece) a mix of various influences, including classical, hard rock, and jazz.

    The main reason video game music developed such a unique blend is because the chipset's instrumentation is weirdly polymorphic as you move through and modulate their registers, and the main waveforms just kind of naturally fell into exact opposite genres.

    The square wave, sounds vaguely like a clarinet at an even period and low registers, and almost harp-like at higher ones.  When you contract the troughs and expand the peaks, it sounds more brassy at lower registers and more like a piano at the higher ones.  The triangle wave is sort of a jazz trumpet on the high end, a sax in the middle, and at low registers could be easily fit to resemble a low string, a kickass bass, or a bari sax depending on articulation and how much you sawtoothed it.  The pulse generator wasn't good for much more than rock percussion.

    The thing is though, with only a tiny handful of channels, you couldn't afford to be choosy with which ones you used, or the sound would be terribly empty and unsupported.  Chiptune composers had to use everything at their disposal to crank any depth out of the music at all.  You basically have a composer locked in a room with a trapset, some kinda weirdass electric slap bass, french horn, and harp.  What kind of music did you think was gonna fall out of that?

    On that note, Hertzdevil, the guy who's been doing Famitracker remixes of Touhou music, recently did a PC-98 remix of the entire Perfect Cherry Blossom OST, and even more recently did this.

    That was already one of my favorite themes in the series, but hearing it on old-timey instruments just feels so much more right.

  • Distinct lack of Geese's theme in this thread.

    I must correct that.

  • edited 2014-08-14 01:26:43
    "I've come to the conclusion that this is a VERY STUPID IDEA."

    So I've been playing FEZ, and I think today I discovered my favorite moment in the game: passing through the 16-cube door, because you enter a new world and you hear this.

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