I’m so cruel, what with leaving everyone hanging for the better part of two days. When we last left off, I was listing out my favorite video game tracks starting with number 20 and getting down to number 11. But what are my Top Ten? I’ve got the answers for you today, so sit down and remember to click the links for each track! Also, don’t forget the most important rule about my lists: They’re opinions, not facts. I’m not ranking anything based on general consensus; just my own personal feelings, and those have served me pretty well thus far. Okay, enough talk, let’s jam!
10. Happy Adventure, Delightful Adventure (Super Mario RPG)
It’s one of my favorite games, period, so naturally I’m going to find a track that I love, and oddly enough it happens to be the intro music from the game, titled Happy Adventures, Delightful Adventure, just because the composer, Yoko Shimomura, must be a silly Japanese man that’s always smiling and laughing. I say this because the intro music never fails to make me start smiling and laughing with childlike enjoyment. This is another track I’m surprised hasn’t appeared on Overclocked Remix just yet, but I keep my hopes up.
9. Lower Afterlife (Mass Effect 2)
Ha! Didn’t think I’d have a really new game track on here? Think again! Mass Effect 2 manages to be an all-around great game, but what sets it apart for me was, yet again, techno done right. Over the course of the game you have the opportunity to enter a few dance clubs, one of which is called Afterlife. The first time I discovered there was a lower level to Afterlife and heard the music playing, I had to stop and just watch some nearby NPC’s dance about to the beat. Then I myself had to stop and say, “Damn, this is some good techno.” I was sort of sad that the only dance animation Shepard knew was a simple head bob, but at least the other characters nearby were sufficiently going nuts.
8. Snake Man (Mega Man 3)
While Wily Stage 1-2 is great, my personal favorite Mega Man track is Snake Man from Mega Man 3. I can’t quite explain why I prefer it, because the two tracks are both so good, but Snake Man gets a slightly higher position, maybe because Snake Man doesn’t usually beat other Mega Man tracks on lists like this. Oh well, how can you really argue with a song for a level built for a robot that shoots snakes at you? What he was originally meant to do for humanity is a mystery (charm snakes?), but at least these days he’s putting ridiculous ideas to good use.
7. Overworld (Super Mario Bros)
Download the original Super Mario Bros Overworld Theme onto your iPod or MP3 player right now and listen to it with headphones. Go ahead, I can wait. I just want you to listen one or two times through and hear what I keep hearing. The simple theme is only part of the track, with multiple layers combining into something far greater than the sum of the individual parts. This track alone has been remixed and covered more times than I can count in more ways than the standard musician can accomplish. From high school choirs to garage bands, this track has been done, but it’s been done for a definite reason: It’s just great.
6. Song of Storms (Ocarina of Time)
So here’s my favorite Zelda track from my favorite Zelda game. And it’s not the main theme of the series, the title theme for the game, or even something overly complicated. I happened to find some strange connection to the Song of Storms, AKA the Windmill Song, and I can’t really explain it. Perhaps it was the atmosphere the track took place in where Bob the Windmill Guy (or Guru-Guru if we want to get technical) stands and happily cranks his music box as he nods his head to the music, only to turn into a sociopath seven years later when you return to find the well drained along with his sanity. The song is simple, catchy, and instantly reminds me of Zelda cues, specifically rain (duh) and insanity. I like it, I listen to it constantly, it makes it to the number six spot.
5. Corneria (Star Fox)
The Star Fox series is full of cool actiony music, but none of them compare to the first level of the first game. When Fox and his crew burst out into Corneria with this music playing, it becomes nearly impossible not to get jazzed instantly for the ensuing dogfights. I always thought it was odd that the Corneria music never made the rounds in the other Star Fox games though. It excels over a lot of the music, standing as the most recognizable theme from the games along with Star Wolf’s Theme, perhaps. If I ever get the chance to make that new Star Fox game I’ve been meaning to make, the Corneria music from the first game gets plunked right at the beginning level for everyone to rock out to. It just has to happen that way.
4. Throw It All Away…Theme of Shadow (Sonic Adventure 2)
You’re not allowed to mock me for this, but when I first played Sonic Adventure 2, specifically the port for the GameCube, I was addicted to it and especially the soundtrack. Of all the tracks that dig into my soul, Shadow’s Theme, properly titled “Throw It All Away,” managed to stand above all the rest and creep into that weird emo part of my being that was so prominent during those pesky high school years. As a stand-alone anthem for all that is badass, I feel it succeeds well. It somehow made me really like Shadow the Hedgehog, at least for this one game, so make of that what you will. At the very least this is more hard techno, so you know I’m a fan. And yet no remixes! C’mon already!
3. Another Winter (Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game)
If you haven’t played Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game, that’s okay. While it’s a pretty good game, it’s not without faults. However, if you don’t play it, you won’t be able to hear my third favorite video game track ever, the level 1 background music, Another Winter. This is one of the newest of the new songs to come out of gaming that really hit me harder than I expected it to, but I stand, er, sit before you today deeply touched by a really awesome video game track. I’ve even considered remixing this one myself, despite my lack of musical talents. At the very least I’d like to add in some vocals. Every time I try to imagine what I’d sing, I get misty-eyed, so I guess I’m writing something really good. That’s the way it sounds in my head anyway. I’m placing this track above the Mario Theme, so heck yeah, I love it.
2. A.D. 2100 Starbase -Where No Turtle Has Gone Before (Turtles in Time: Arcade)
There wasn’t a real debate as to whether this song would make it onto the list, but there was a debate over which version would make the cut. SNES version or arcade version? Super tough to decide, but as you can see, the arcade came out on top due to the added vocals in the background. The Ninja Turtle arcade-style games have always been a great source for solid beat-‘em-up tracks, and of all of them the one that puts the fire into my fingers the most is from Starbase, the final level of the game before the last battle against Shredder. If it doesn’t make you want to stand up and shout your love of all things Turtles, well I really don’t know what to tell you. Your soul must be dead, because this gets me every time.
1. Phendranda Drifts (Metroid Prime)
Here we are, my number one favorite video game track of all time: Phendrana Drifts from Metroid Prime. It’s hard to place into words the emotions that stir every time I hear the piano part kick in, but the overall feelings of isolation and mystery spark each new playthrough once snow starts falling around Samus. When I got the soundtrack to this game, somehow, magically, the one track that was missing turned out to be Phendrana Drifts, a fact that threw me into a nightmarish downward spiral until I tracked down an MP3 for this track. Now it sits safely nestled away with the other songs from the Metroid Prime soundtrack right where it should be, never to be lost again. I can’t think of a better song to top my list, so I’ll end right there.
Or rather, I’d end right there, but we still have the Top Ten Battle Tracks, right? Yes we do. Come back Friday for that, but in the meantime, share some of your favorite game tracks here as well. I know everyone has something different, so let’s hear it. Just, you know, don’t assume I’m an idiot for having a list that’s different from yours. That’s why the title up there is “My…Favorites” and not “Your…Favorites.” With that it mind, come back Friday and comment right now!
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