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GAME MUSIC!!!

Unicorn Lynx (181419) on Jan 27, 2020


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Hey guys!

I hope someone here still remembers me :-)

I haven't been playing games for the last few years. But I've developed a keen interest in video game music (as part of my general insane quest to write the world's most comprehensive book about music :)). So I'd like to ask you to mention here your favorite (best, most beautiful, most interesting, most memorable, most avantgarde, etc.) video game music.

Thanks in advance! :-))

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Cavalary (11265) on Jan 27, 2020


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Right away I'll say the Two Worlds menu song. Leaving aside Baba Yetu which will be too common.

Don't usually care for soundtracks as a whole, find them not listenable outside the game and don't remember them much, but recently listened to the Age of Wonders 3 one and that one breaks that rule, seems actually quite suitable as instrumental music to just listen to normally, start to end. The one for Tower of Time struck me as being sort of the same way at first, but after a couple more listens it started to lose its appeal. But these are those I listened to very recently, and doubt I'll remember them for long even so, just like I can't really think of any other from the past now.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

MAT (234563) on Jan 27, 2020


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Well, this is one of a strong points I notice in games, so here's some picks I can offer...

I personally prefer Amiga module music format since I've got fondest memory of those times, and out of those I'd have to say music by Stephane Picque from Dune is among the finest.

Some cool Amiga tracks of different style can also be found in racing games like in Lotus 1 & 2, Super Cars, Nitro, and one of my favorite, Test Drive II: The Duel main theme.

When it comes to real-time strategy genre, I would have to say that original Command & Conquer and Red Alert games provide most unique and best music, all other C&C games are just meh at best.

Some of the finest moody music I've heard is from The Wolf Among Us, I love it so much I could say it's one of my favorite game soundtracks.

Just as good moody music that perfectly captured the game is from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis old LucasArts classic point-and-click adventure game.

Original Lands of Lore soundtrack was great, and Lands of Lore 2 was even better though much richer so it wasn't really comparable.

Panzer General main theme is the best midi I have ever heard. That BGM could loop for hours and I could never get tired of hearing it.

D4 main theme is also great, very uplifting.

And original Diablo's theme of Tristram town is a classic.

TFX, CD-ROM release, has pretty cool soundtrack. I am not into such games, but I remember flying the fighter just to listen the background music.

Then you have great theme of Zak McKracken. Also some cool guitar music in Silent Hill 2, and some fine tracks in Silent Hill 3, nothing too memorable in any of the sequels, though.

Hot damn, almost forgot Ace Attorney series. Whether Nintendo DS music format or full orchestral, those soundtracks are amazing. Especially Objection! theme.

I do have all of the music, so if you need any, just PM me. In the meantime, you can listen to some of the above mentioned on youtube.

Ace Attorney - all Objection! themes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6uddfbUtNM

Dune - Ecolove theme, Amiga version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YAYLlhJ5Zk

Test Drive II: The Duel - theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_80GckYRQ

Panzer General - main BGM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y9pvkcxH7Q

The Wolf Among Us - full soundtrack (Inside Luxury Apartments song is so awesome, others are great, but this track is so awesome, imho) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEmaFcqRbcA

D4 - main theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDvYDaTjMqc

Okay, should be enough. Enjoy!

***EDIT***

Addendum... I can't believe I forgot to mention Turrican music.

Here's T1 soundttack, but others are just as great - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SrBGpPHiEQ

Also from one of Leisure Suit Larry games (think it's from 5th), there's a great spa track called "Good is Bad" or or something like that.

Oh, and the original "Age of Wonders" soundtrack, the entire soundtrack! Simply awesome.

(Edited by MAT (234563), Jan 28, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

vedder (59599) on Jan 27, 2020


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The best game musically, imho, is Rayman Legends.

The only soundtracks in my actual playlist because I also like listening to them outside of the games are those for FRACT OSC and Bastion. I might get Pyre's OST as well.

Not really my thing, but kudos for the 80s cartoon show vibe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj6ejHuBe5E

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

chirinea (47153) on Jan 28, 2020


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Good God, Oleg, don't disappear on us like that!

As for your question: the first game that came into my mind was Batman for the NES. Not a single bad song in that game, awesome music.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Unicorn Lynx (181419) on Jan 28, 2020


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Guys, thanks for the recommendations! It's good to hear from you, glad to know that the "Old Guard" is still here... :-))

Already got Batman and Diablo, great stuff indeed.

MAT, buddy, the Dune stuff is absolutely KILLING! I've always said that video games harbor unknown musical treasures. There is a track there, "Spice Opera", that would rank high on any techno album of that time. Derrick May, Orbital, and Underworld would have been proud.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Victor Vance (15497) on Jan 28, 2020


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There are tons of great soundtrack stuff in games, but what comes to mind spontanous is a track called "Wasteland" from the Battle Isle 2 soundtrack. Sadly it´s pretty short.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OOJ_k5xYqo

Also the third part of the series had a fantastic intro song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d8-ra_7Zzs

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Pseudo_Intellectual (64603) on Jan 30, 2020


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I was posed with this question the other day and, to repeat what others have said here, Dune and Star Control 2 floated to the top of my list. Also omissions thus far I believe -- Katamari Damacy and the second Toejam and Earl game.

I always had a soft spot for Space Channel 5 as far as music-oriented games are concerned...

While analysing "game music" it's interesting observing the point at which it ceases to be a distinct genre of often outsider ("programmer art") electronic music and starts becoming a style of orchestral music heavy on opportunities for looping and transitions into variations. You get a sneak peek into that world by looking at the iMUSE system in Lucasarts adventures, handled pretty masterfully in the third Monkey Island game.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Pseudo_Intellectual (64603) on Jan 30, 2020


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PS, nice seeing you back around these parts!

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

JudgeDeadd (27949) on Jan 28, 2020


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*looks at his spreadsheet of "favorite game BGMs" which currently has over 500 songs listed in it*

I may have... a *little* trouble choosing my favorites...

If I were to choose the games with the best music — not just "competently done" music, not just "pleasantly listenable" music, but rather the kind that is an unique artistic achievement in its own right — here's what I'd definitely name:

Doom and Doom II.

Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2.

Neverhood.

Portal 2.

Star Control 2.

Burnout Paradise. It's the first game I've played that used real-world musical hits for its soundtrack, and they are a great part of the game's chill-out, escapist atmosphere.

Danganronpa. I remember starting the first game and getting weirded out by the song in the intro, because I'd never really heard anything like that in a video game (except maybe for some offbeat indie releases). The music is really hard to describe; it's got this whimsical style that cannot be pinned down to any specific genre or source of inspiration. A similar thing can be said about the second game's soundtrack as well.

***

While I'm at it, here's a small bonus section with songs I'm particularly fond of:

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Patrick Bregger (273302) on Jan 28, 2020


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I have to mention the title song of Deus Ex because it is the only video game song I can actually remember from the top of my head.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

MAT (234563) on Jan 29, 2020


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The one that stuck in my head the most is NYC Streets from the game. It's not much of a name, but great background music for when you're doing something else ;))

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Alianger (236) on Jan 28, 2020


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I've been making a tribute page to retro game music (chiptunes) for the past 2-3 years, focusing on technical accomplishment and creativity. OST descriptions are still heavily WIP (there's a few in the yearly lists), it's mainly just rankings with links to playlists now but maybe you'll find it useful/interesting.

https://minirevver.weebly.com/impressive-vgm-by-sound-chip.html

For personal faves, a few more recent ones are Machinarium, Fez, Hollow Knight and Monster Boy. In general I like my game music melodic, progressive and/or atmospheric.

(Edited by Alianger (236), Jan 28, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

JudgeDeadd (27949) on Jan 28, 2020


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By the way, here's a very fun YouTube channel which analyzes video game tunes in music theory terms.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Rwolf (20237) on Jan 29, 2020


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That analyzer page gets stuck on a javascript in my firefox.

btw. my favourite game tunes are from LBA1&2 and also 'Crusader: No Remorse/Regret' - Dimension 2012 etc.

(Edited by Rwolf (20237), Jan 29, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

vedder (59599) on Jan 29, 2020


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Inside uses synthesizer music which was then played through an actual human skull and re-recorded for use in the game. Which is worth a mention I guess :)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Rik Hideto (469592) on Jan 29, 2020


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Unicorn Lynx Wrote:
But I've developed a keen interest in video game music



Always liked this one as a kid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNYstP5vkK8

...

Some random OST from one of my YT channels (not monetized, suckers):

Evolution (FM Towns): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlNpb9ivMuk

Megatudo 2096 (PS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ezn_UaABg

Charumera (PS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZremFWK8Zd0

The Atlas (SFC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wxa5oXzRDQ

Touge Max G (PS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLCw6q2LMoM

Super F-1 Hero (SFC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s69VRt1CkZQ

Hyper Formation Soccer (PS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhQ-FPdZmVo

Dolphin's Dream (PS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSYFFrOCsOw

etc

(Edited by Rik Hideto (469592), Jan 29, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Kennyannydenny (126937) on Jan 30, 2020


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My interests may be too basic or whatever (some more than others) but I really dig game music too. Music I really love are (the list could be a lot longer as I love a lot more songs):

Jesper Kyd - Venice Rooftops (Assassin's Creed II): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9geXVAOFDg

Michael Hunter - Soviet Connection (GTA IV): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6mFNznjmbM

Allister Brimble - Theme song (Rollercoaster Tycoon): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-GT3nCNly8

Jeremy Soule - Main theme (The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhaq4JP_t6o)

Jesse Harlin - Vode An (Star Wars: Republic Commando): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyuVz1_knGQ

Borislav Slavov - Main menu theme (Divinity Original Sin 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WegQy3aUo-Y

Malcolm Kirby Jr - The Christmas Dubstep gun (Saints Row IV): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haI72io5lOY

Dan Romer - Help Me Faith (Far Cry 5): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es107GEa_vE

Damien Slingsby & Justin Mullins - It's Clappy! (Borderlands the Pre-sequel DLC Claptastic Voyage): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Keo9k1PESec

Inon Zur - main theme (Dragon Age Origins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWFEVbfCcOY

Trevor Morris - main theme (Dragon Age Inquisition): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utZZpP73eZg

Inon Zur - main theme (Fallout 4): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzvZE4BY0hY

Russell Shaw & Danny Elfman - Fable Theme (Fable The Lost Chapters): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUWEZ47-elQ

Sam Hulick - Mars (Mass Effect 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6UeKVJTvuo

Martin O'Donnell - One Final Effort (Halo 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIDR5ZBQBfo

And my top 3, all from the Witcher 3 by Marcin Przybyłowicz: The Fields of Ard Skellig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gokhBJWSjeM

Steel for Humans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLqktDBIew8

Sword of Destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viM0-3PXef0

(Edited by Kennyannydenny (126937), Jan 30, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Hergezod (15616) on Jan 31, 2020


(Edited by Hergezod (15616), Jan 31, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

The Fabulous King (1337) on Feb 14, 2020


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Great to see you in Mobyforums again!

The first thing that comes to mind:

Robert Holmes created some really beautiful melodies for the Gabriel Knight games that I still remember. And there's something so... deeply melancholic about his music. I remember a moment few years ago, when I was moved to tears just by listening to the soundtrack of Gabriel Knight 2. And not just superficial tears, it brought out some deeply withheld emotions of grief and remorse. I was moaning on the floor in agony... sometimes music does that to you. And it's necessary.

A beautiful rendition on piano of Gabriel Knight's theme

Ludwig's theme

And this is what I'm humming right now while writing this post :) (St.George's book store theme)

EDIT: I just have to add one more piano cover of Gabriel Knight's theme. She plays it so sensitively, lingering on the notes... ah, it pulls at my soul!

(Edited by The Fabulous King (1337), Feb 23, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

The Fabulous King (1337) on Feb 23, 2020


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Speaking of Sierra melodies...

I was humming a melody a few days ago and I thought to myself, "Hey. this is a great melody! Wow, I'm a genius! This is really beautiful!"

And then it started to feel familiar somehow, I couldn't exactly place it, but I suspected this melody was not my own.

It wasn't.

It was Rosella's theme from King's Quest 4 by William Goldstein.

Also, I love the various Erana themes from the Quest for Glory games, Erana's Peace being the best in my opinion. That link leads to a beautiful guitar cover of that melody.

The Quest for Glory 4 Erana tune is my next favorite, with it's weird synth guitar sound.

Yeah, Sierra really had some beautiful soundtracks.

(Edited by The Fabulous King (1337), Feb 23, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

The Fabulous King (1337) on Feb 23, 2020


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To mention something else than Sierra games...

Planescape Torment had a very unique sound with a lot of beautiful themes. I'll bring out two: the main theme and Annah's theme.

Arcanum deserves a mention. Wow. What a unique soundtrack!

Jeremy Soule of course. I hum many of his melodies quite often. Icewind Dale or Elder Scrolls ? Soule has a sound that is his own. You might fault him for that sameness, after all, you can hear elements of Skyrim in that Icewind Dale track, but you can't deny that it's a beautiful sound.

The original composer of Divinity games, Kirill Prokovsky brought the slavic with him. I don't like those games that much, but... the music, it's got character.

Mr. Nobuo Uematsu too must be named! Man has created so many memorable melodies, so which one am I going to pick? The haunting opening of Final Fantasy 6 or the inspiring battle tune of Final Fantasy 7? Or...

I'm going to choose a song from the game I've never played. Answers. Very impressive representation of symphonic rock music. And the lyrics are haunting....

(Edited by The Fabulous King (1337), Feb 24, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

vedder (59599) on Feb 24, 2020


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The Fabulous King Wrote:
The original composer of Divinity games, Kirill Prokovsky brought the slavic with him. I don't like those games that much, but... the music, it's got character.



He hitched a carride with me once when I was an intern at Larian. A strange and colourful character he was. R.I.P. I remember the amount of music he wrote for Divinity 2 was enormous, only a small part was actually polished and made it into the game.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

The Fabulous King (1337) on Feb 24, 2020


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I'd upvote that answer if I could.

Good thing I fixed the link now. :D

At least in my original post.

(Edited by The Fabulous King (1337), Feb 24, 2020)

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Pumbaz (253) on Mar 09, 2020


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Halan Oleg !

The top three I know of are Zork Grand Inquisitor by John Beal, the Neverhood and Grim Fandango. All other music I normally turn down.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Anita Fox on May 12, 2020


I really like music from Patapon. Why did you forget about this game?

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Jack Parkin on Jun 30, 2020


Mafia 2 had one of the best soundtracks in history of games.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

JudgeDeadd (27949) on Sep 08, 2020


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I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to add another game (okay, actually a visual novel, which is only arguably a game) to my list: Umineko: When They Cry.

You might love Umineko or hate it, but you will definitely never forget it -- and the music is an important part of its atmosphere; one of the most consistently good soundtracks I've heard in video games.

Re: GAME MUSIC!!!

Teagan Putina (2735) on Sep 09, 2020


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Thanks for sharing!!!