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The 30 Day (or now) Video Game Music Challenge....

Romier S

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So this has been making the rounds and I think it’s a fun topic to tackle for the forum to get our minds away from the world a bit...





Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do one per day. You can:


1. Do all 30 at once.

2. Do 5 or 10 at a time. Or whatever number you want to tackle.

3. Link your selection to a YouTube video/audio.

4. Try to do the hard mode. In other words if someone chooses a piece of music in the thread for a specific day. Choose something different!

5. Favorites are fine but selections can be from whatever generation you want.




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I’m going to tackle the first 10 Days:


1. Title Screen Music: Final Fantasy VII Opening/Title Screen

2. Opening Level Music: Demon’s Crest Beyond the Colliseum

3. 8-Bit Music: Castlevania Heart of Fire

4. Music from a Console Exclusive Series:  Uncharted Main Theme

5. Hub world or overworld music: The Legend of Zelda Overworld Theme

6. Music that makes you feel relaxed: Witcher 3 The Fields of Ard Skellig

7. Music from an Indie Game: Journey Apotheosis

8. Music from a Shooter: Halo Main Theme

9. Music from a Licensed Game: Sunsoft’s Batman Level 1

10. RPG Battle Music: Valkyrie Profile The Unfinished Battle with God  

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I like this idea. I’ll reserve this spot for myself and post one new entry a day for every day during the month of June.


Day 1: Title Screen Music — "Intro and Main Theme" from Mega Man 2

One of the most iconic openings of the 8-bit era. I love how it starts slowly  and builds to the main theme, which is fast-paced and exciting. The music says, “This game is going to be epic and a ton of fun.” To this day, it’s still the best version of the Mega Man theme in a game.


Day 2: Opening Level Music — “First Steps” from Celeste

I love it when the music from a game’s first level makes me feel like I’m embarking on a great adventure. This is what I feel whenever I hear this track: hopeful, optimistic, and excited. Sure, the game will crush your spirits in later levels with its brutal difficulty, but for now, enjoy the ride!


Day 3: 8-Bit Music — “Moon Theme” from DuckTales (NES)

In much the same way I love a banger opening level track, I also love it when a game’s best tune is saved for the very end. While technically the Moon level in DuckTales isn’t the last level — you can select it at any time from the menu and they’re another visit to Transylvania before the game’s end — it’s still the last level in the list, so close enough. 


Day 4: Music from a Console-Exclusive Series — “Lava Caves” from Metroid Prime

This song originally appeared in Super Metroid as the theme to Lower Norfair, but I've selected this rendition because I think it's the superior version. Not only is the track a great fit for the Magmoor Caverns, it's super catchy and will get stuck in your head for hours once you hear it. This is one of those songs I can listen to and imagine myself playing the game back on the GameCube (and Wii). Iconic!


Day 5: Hub World or Overworld Music — “Hyrule Field” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The strangest thing about the music from Ocarina of Time is that the iconic Zelda theme song is never used. Despite this curious omission, Koji Kondo crafted one of the best soundtracks of the era, reinventing classic melodies from the series' past ("Zelda's Lullaby," "Kakariko Village") with dozens of new tracks that have since become franchise standards ("Gerudo Valley," "Lon Lon Ranch," "Windmill Theme"). It's all tied together with this heroic theme from the game's central hub, Hyrule Field. The track dynamically changes in the game depending on where you are and what you are doing, so it never sounds too repetitive.


Day 6: Music That Makes You Feel Relaxed — “Safe Haven” from Resident Evil (2002)

It might seem odd to select a track from a survival horror game for this category, but those of you familiar with the Resident Evil remake know that once you hear this song, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief and (possibly) unclench your butt checks. You know you’re finally safe from all the evils hunting you in the Spencer Mansion... at least for a little while. Too bad you can’t stay there forever.


Day 7: Music from an Indie Game — “City of Tears” from Hollow Knight

How do you write a song for a dying underground city where it always rain? If you’re Christopher Larkin, you make it sound like the song itself is crying. Mournful and melancholy, it perfectly sets the mood for this, the game’s central location. If you play Hollow Knight, you’ll be visiting the City of Tears often. Thankfully, the music for it is the best in the game.


Day 8: Music from a Shooter (First- or Third-person) —The Port of Adia” from Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

The music from the first Turok was very percussion-heavy, offering little in the way of memorable melodies — especially if you played it on the N64 as I did. The music in Turok 2 went much bigger with a fully orchestral soundtrack (albeit performed with a synthesizer) that matched the grander scope of the sequel. A lot of what I wrote earlier about great opening level music applies here as well. It’s a great opening track for the game’s first level and does a good job of setting the tone for the adventure to come. 


Day 9: Music from a Licensed Game — “Caverns” from Goldeneye 007

In a game full of arrangements of the James Bond Theme, the one for the Caverns level near the end of the game is the best. It sounds like it could have come from one of the movies in a scene where Bond is sneaking around an enemy compound right before everything goes to shit and the real action starts.


Day 10: RPG Battle Music — “Spirit Extermination” from Ōkami

I don’t play a lot of RPGs, making a selection for this category harder than most. I picked this track from Ōkami for two reasons. First, it’s fast-paced exciting and memorable (especially after a 50-hour play through). Second, I consider this game a JRPG, only with a real-time battle system instead of turn-based.


Day 11: Puzzle Game Music — “Music B” from Tetris (Game Boy)

“Music A” from Tetris gets all the love but the B track from this handheld classic deserves as much recognition. It’s a fantastic song that sounds even more Russian than “Music A“ does. I can picture in my head those dancers with the furry hats squatting down and kicking their legs out to the beat of this tune. I wish that this song would be used more often in modern Tetris games like Music A is.


Day 12: Music That Makes You Sad — “Unforgotten” from Halo 2

“Unforgotten” sounds like the kind of song you would play at a memorial. Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s work on the first five Halo games hits many emotional beats, but I think there’s an underlying sadness throughout all their scores. This is the story of a battle humanity is losing against a vastly superior opponent, and many of the musical cues support that. I wish the composers working on the most recent games would remember that.


Day 13: Music from a Game You Don’t Like — “Metal Gear Solid Main Theme” from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

This was another difficult category for me. If I don’t like a game, I don’t usually remember any of the music from it. MGS2 isn’t necessarily a game I hate, but I did find it frustrating when I played it way back when. Despite that, you have to admit it’s got a killer theme song by Harry Gregson-Williams.


Day 14: Music Featuring Vocals —“Still Alive” from Portal

Yeah, this is the obvious choice for this category, but so what? It’s so good, it deserves a place on someone’s list. How many games conclude with a song, written by Jonathan Coulton, that’s sung by the game’s antagonist in response to the events of the game you just played? And how often are those songs as witty, clever, funny as the actual game itself? This song became a phenomenon in the gaming community when it came out and for good reason. It was so unique and special — much like the game that inspired it. A triumph, if you will.


Day 15: Boss Battle Music — “Begin Again” from Sayonara Wild Hearts

When you think BOSS BATTLE, you probably don’t think of a pop song. That’s just one way that Sayonara Wild Hearts defies expectations. Most of the levels in this game are backed by  instrumental tracks, but the battles against the game’s five bosses are set to actual songs with lyrics, giving them additional impact. “Begin Again” is the best of the batch and my favorite level in the game. Today’s YouTube link takes you to not just the song, but a perfect play through  of the level so you can see how the music supports the actual gameplay.


Day 16: 16-Bit Music — “Mining Melancholy” from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

I had to get Dave Wise in here, right? DKC2 is my favorite of the SNES trilogy. It's soundtrack my favorite of the three. This is my favorite song from that soundtrack. A masterpiece in video game music, with a great beat and  infectious melody. The YouTube link will take you to the restored version created by Jammin' Sam Miller, which sounds way better than the highly compressed 16-bit version.


Day 17: Music You Never Get Tired Of — “Apotheosis” from Journey

I could listen to this track every day and never stop loving it. It’s the perfect end to this wonderful game. It’s another one of those songs that I can listen to and see images from the game in my head. Sweeping, epic, and beautiful you can just picture your character soaring over the mountains as you finally reach destination.


Day 18: Game Over Music — “Game Over” from Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Short and sweet. Once you hear this, you know you’re done. And you will hear this song. A lot.


Day 19: Cover of Music by a Different Artist — “More Than a Weapon” cover of “Ancient Weapon 1” from Panzer Dragoon Orta by MC & SGX
My favorite song covers are the ones that make me like a song I didn’t like before. I had played through Panzer Dragoon Orta a bunch when it first came out, but wasn’t a super big fan of the boss music. When I heard this version, I fell in love with it. I love how it starts slow and then builds to this mighty crescendo.


Day 20: Music from a Racing Game — “End Credits” from Mario Kart 64
It’s a shame to me that this track only plays after beating Special Cup on the 150cc or Mirror difficulties. It’s the best song in the game, but you never hear it during a race. It’s perfectly captures the speed and excitement of racing at high speeds. It would have been great as background music for Rainbow Road.


Day 21: Music You Associate with Frustration — “Turbo Tunnel Part 2” from Battletoads
You know why.


Day 22: Town/Village Music — “Kakariko Village” from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The first and only song I considered for this category was this classic composition by Koji Kondo. I can’t think of another song that so perfectly evokes the feeling of a peaceful village — a place you know you’re safe and where you’re likely to find one or two side quests to along the way. Just leave the chickens alone, and you’ll be fine.


Day 23: Underrated Music — “Released Guardian” from Shadow of the Colossus

Wait, isn’t this one of the most beloved and revered video game soundtracks of all time? Yes, it is. Despite that, I still think it’s underrated — it’s so damn good. All the music during the colossus battles is great, but this one is my personal favorite. Truly epic.


Day 24: Music You Constantly Have Stuck in Your Head — “Grass Beach” from Super Mario Galaxy

I don’t know why this song is always in my head. It’s not favorite Mario tune. It’s not even my favorite song from this game. Still, I can’t help but whistle it on a regular basis, especially if it’s warm and sunny outside, or if I start thinking about tropical beaches.


Day 25: Music That Gets You Pumped — “Hail Vokh” from Velocity 2X

Not only is it a good song for a boss battle, but it also sounds like something you could hear playing at dance club under the strobe lights. I’m not a big dance club kind of guy — hell I’m not even a crowded bars kind of guy — but if I did hear this song playing at a real dance club, I would probably get up and dance to it. Because I’m a HUGE nerd.


Day 26: Music You Like from a Game You Haven’t Played — “Terra’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VI

I remember hearing this tune for the first time way back in college. It wasn’t the version from the game, but an arrangement from the Piano Collections series. Despite the fact I’ve never played Final Fantasy VI, it remains one of my favorite songs in the world of video games.


Day 27: Music from a Handheld Game — “Stage 1” from Balloon Kid

Despite its limitations, the Game Boy had some awesome soundtracks, made better with the included stereo headphones. This game was full of awesome music, but I enjoy  this track from the first level (and fifth) the most.


Day 28: Music That Makes You Nostalgic — “Temple Theme” from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Hearing this tune (or any song from this game for that matter) instantly teleports me back to the summer of 1989. I had received an NES for my birthday back in April of that year, and Zelda II was one of the first games I bought for it. It took me most of the summer to finish it. I got stuck early on and couldn’t figure out how to progress. I can still see myself in my room, playing this game late into the night after everyone else had gone to bed, trying to figure out how to beat the bosses in the first two temples. I did eventually beat it, but not before this music was seared into my brain for life.


Day 29: Final Boss Music — “Shriek and Ori” from Ori and the Will of the Wisps

From the opening notes, you know you’re in for a hell of a fight. Like many of the other boss battles in this game, this one takes place in multiple stages, which you can hear in the different movements of this composition. I especially like how it bring’s Ori’s main theme in toward the end, signaling that the tide has changed and that our hero will soon emerge victorious (but at what cost? 😭).


Day 30: Credits Music — “Light of Nibel” from Ori and the Blind Forest

Two in a row from Gareth Coker? You better believe it. I love the music from both Ori games, and this is one of the best tracks from the game. It’s a triumphant rendition of the main theme — one that’s so good it could play over the end credits to a great movie and it would feel right at home. Video game music is awesome, and this is a track I would play for anyone who thinks otherwise.

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Some of these were tricky. Not all of my answers necessarily represent favourites as I've tried to avoid repeats.


01) Title Screen Music: Main Menu (Halo 3)

02) Opening Level Music: Go Straight (Streets of Rage II)

03) 8-Bit Music: Amazon Theme (Ducktales)

04) Music from a Console Exclusive Series: Main Theme (Donkey Kong Country)

05) Hub world or Overworld Music: Within the Embrace (Horizon: Zero Dawn)

06) Music that makes you feel relaxed: Nook's Cranny Closing Theme (Animal Crossing New Horizons)

07) Music from an Indie Game: First Steps (Celeste)

08) Music from a Shooter: Blood & Rust (Titanfall 2)

09) Music from a Licensed Game: Facility (Goldeneye)

10) RPG Battle Music: Blue Skies and a Battle [Rain] (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

11) Puzzle Game Music Snoopy Magic Show (Stage 1)

12) Music That Makes You Sad: Lonely Pebble (Valiant Hearts)

13) Music You Like From a Game You Don't Like: Ending Music (Sewer Shark)

14) Music Featuring Vocals: Still Alive (Mirror's Edge)

15) Boss Battle Music: Duel (Metal Gear Solid)

16) 16-Bit Music: Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy (Yoshi's Island)

17) Music You Never Get Tired Of: The Ocean On His Shoulders (Bioshock)

18) Game Over Music: Game Over (Punch Out)

19) Cover of Music by a Different Artist: Corneria (Star Fox/Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

20) Music from a Racing Game: Mute City (F-Zero)

21) Music You Associate with Frustration: Turbo Tunnel (Battletoads)

22) Town/Village Music: Tal Tal Heights [Heroic] (The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Remastered)

23) Underrated Music: Main Theme (LA. Noire)

24) Music You Constantly Have Stuck in Your Head: Athletic (Super Mario World)

25) Music That Gets You Pumped: Operatique (WipEout)

26) Music You Like From a Game You Haven't Played: Now Use The Light, We Want to See (Ori and the Will of the Wisps)

27) Music from a Handheld Game: Main Theme (T2: Judgement Day) [Gameboy]

28) Music That Makes You Nostalgic: Player Select (Street Fighter II)

29) Final Boss Music: Ultimate Koopa (Super Mario 64)

30) Credits Music: End Titles & Suite (The Last Guardian)





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Days 11-20:


11. Puzzle Game Music: Yours Forever - Tetris Effect

12. Music that makes you Sad: An End, One and For All - Mass Effect 3

13. Music You Like From a Game You Don’t Like:  Witchcraft - Silent Hill Homecoming

14. Music Featuring Vocals: Birthday Cake - Jet Set Radio Future

15. Boss Battle Music: Never Return Alive - Streets of Rage 2 

16. 16-Bit Music: Flight Term - Robocop vs Terminator (Genesis)

17. Music You Never Get Tired Of: Theme of Laura (Reprise) - Silent Hill 2

18. Game Over Music: Metal Gear Solid Game Over

19. Cover of Music By a Different Artist: Wind Waker Symphonic Movement by Eimear Noone

20. Music From a Racing Game: Magical Sound Shower - Outrun  

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Updated my first post with today's track: "Lava Caves" from Metroid Prime!


I thought just listing the tracks was kind of boring, so I'm also writing a short blurb about each song. I'm trying to keep it short —maybe two or three sentences, max.

Check it out if you're interested. And if you're not interested, why are you here? Go away!

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On 6/3/2020 at 2:52 PM, JFo said:

Bump for today's track: "Moon Theme" from DuckTales!


It really is one of my favourite 8-Bit soundtracks. I sat there thinking if there was anything else I'd rather list in its place, but I did my best to make my selections from the first choices that came into my head and for that question (once I refused to let myself pick a Nintendo developed title from the era) it was Ducktales without hesitation. 

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2 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

...I did my best to make my selections from the first choices that came into my head...


Given the fact that I'm (1) adding a new entry to this list once per day and (2) playing on hard mode (i.e. no repeat tracks and only one track per game), I've had time to ponder the list as a whole for much longer. As a result, several categories on my list have gone through multiple iterations. Today's selection — "Hyrule Field" from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — is no exception. Something from Zelda seemed appropriate, but which one? Do I go with the original 8-bit version or choose the grander 16-bit version? I eventually settled on Ocarina of Time because it's one of my favorite games ever and I just had to include it somewhere on the list.


But yes, DuckTales is just an awesome soundtrack from beginning to end. I especially enjoy the remixes they made for DuckTales: Remastered.


12 hours ago, Carlucci said:

Day 1, 14, 17, 23, 24, 25 and 28.   The DK Rap, from Donkey Kong 64.


😆 Carlos, not even pretending he's going to play on hard mode! Too bad one of the categories isn't Music from a Fighting Game or you could have selected it for that one too (Super Smash Bros.).

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, JFo said:

And done! My selections for all 30 days are now posted above. Let me know if there are any particular ones you like or agree with.


Great selections (I am bopping away to Grass Beach over breakfast here). 


The Ori games are certainly deserving of a nod each. I think they're unquestionably two of the best game scores of this generation. I look forward to whatever big projects Coker does next. I'd love to see him hired for Elder Scrolls or something. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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