Here we go again! This is the fifth installment of Five Awesome Video Game Tracks! That means if my multiplication skills are still refined that you could enjoy 25 interesting video game melodies if you check out all of these installments. It also means that I’ve written roughly 5,000 words dedicated to beeps, hums, and tones for simple 40 second looping compositions that got stuck in our heads. This may not be the most popular topic on the site but as a guy who enjoys logging into Youtube and taking a trip down memory lane I can’t help but continue to dedicate a corner of my house on the web to these catchy tunes.
Shadowgate is not a game I played as a child nor is it a game I would even have enjoyed in my formative years. I picked it up for a few dollars at a flea market a few years ago and throughly enjoyed it as an adult however. For those who aren’t in the know Shadowgate is an adventure game with a PC interface where the player selects from commands such as “hit”, “use”, “open”, “take” and other similar options and then points to an area on the screen with a cursor. The action screen is displayed in the first person perspective but every screen is static and only changes after issuing a command. This particular theme is used during the start of a new game and through the first few areas of the castle. Although it’s a brief tune that loops rather quickly it captures the feeling of adventure and mystery.
Rambo was a bad NES game but the music was catchy. I’m not sure why Acclaim released a Rambo game where the majority of the action is stabbing snakes and bats with a knife. Rambo was the license to slap on an arcade style shoot ’em up game like Commando or a side scrolling shooter. Instead we got a mess of a game where Rambo mainly wanders around the jungle taking on some very aggressive wildlife. Honestly the music is the only decent thing about this game.
WCW/nWo World Tour, also known as Virtual Pro Wresltling 64 in Japan set the standard for all of the excellent pro wrestling games that would follow on the console. This game had it all and I was utterly obsessed with it. An amazing roster of big name wrestlers, fabulous gameplay that captures the feeling of the sport, and great music as well. Nintendo 64 cartridges had very limited memory when compared to their CD counterparts on the PS1 and Sega Saturn and as a result usually had very compressed tinny sound or MIDI music that wasn’t quite on par with the Red Book audio CD tracks found on competing consoles. Somehow WCW/nWo World Tour managed to make the midi music in this game sound quite natural and the dramatic feel of the tracks made the match feel like a clash between two titans asserting their dominance on the mat. I could have picked a few different pieces to post here but this particular theme has always been one of my favorites.
The first time I saw Star Fox at my friend’s house my jaw dropped. I’d never really experienced a 3D polygonal game and the graphics were mind blowing to a 10 year old. Unfortunately the game did not age well but the music is still as awesome today as it was back then. There isn’t much that needs to be said about this one. If you only have the time to listen to one of the picks on this page, this is certainly the one you should choose.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is almost universally considered the best entry in the franchise. It was also the second best selling game on the console behind only the original Sonic the Hedgehog so it seemed that everyone with a Genesis had this game. I was in the minority who did not own this title although I did play it a handful of time at a neighbors house. I would say a friend but, he was actually just one of those kids you played with because of proximity but you’d really rather hang out with someone else. We all had those kids in our lives. Honestly the game never struck me as leaps and bounds ahead of the first series entry but the theme for the first stage always stuck with me as a catchy tune. Genesis didn’t have a lot of excellent music but this game made great use of what the hardware had to offer.
There we have it folks! Twenty five total entries on this website detailing old video game music that an out of touch gamer thinks were pretty enjoyable back in the day. Although today’s big budget games are packed to the brim with orchestral scores or licensed pieces from actual bands; or should I say “real” music, I actually prefer the older original compositions. Each piece takes me back to an era when life was more simple and time didn’t seem to constantly be stuck on fast forward during non-working hours.