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Legendary Video Game Music

by Kevin Marshall   December 06, 2012 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 1,402
LEGEND OF ZELDA All Access


This week's episode of All Access Weekly will feature an interview with the producers of "Legend of Zelda: Symphony Goddesses." The production combines the legendary music from the franchise with original arrangements, with the end result being a four-movement symphony.

A project as high-minded as this may seem silly to some, but the truth of the matter is that the best games of our childhood and even the ones we play today are enhanced, if not outright held up, by their soundtracks. This was particularly true in the early days of 8-bit gaming, where technological made skill and innovation requisite to produce listenable (let alone memorable) music. Only in the last decade or so, with electronic music having gained mainstream notoriety and acceptance, have people come to realize some of the genius behind the tinny bleeps, bips, and boops that accompanied Mario busting blocks or Simon Belmont cracking his whip against hordes of demonic creatures.

There are currently four dates announced for "Legend of Zelda: Symphony Goddesses," with more to come. Make sure you visit Zelda-Symphony.com for more info.

In the meantime, here are some of our favorite game soundtracks and the specific tracks that stand out.

LEGEND OF ZELDA

"Overworld"

LEGEND OF ZELDA All Access


The Overworld theme is the song you think of when you hear the words Zelda or Link, and it's re-appeared in various forms throughout the franchise's history. Few songs have fully captured the grandiosity and wonder of sword and sorcery based adventure like this one.

CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON'S QUEST

"Bloody Tears" (Daytime Music)

CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON'S QUEST All Access


There's something about the daytime theme that mentally puts you in the helm of Simon and makes you eager to get some business done. It's heroic and fearless, which given the otherwise dark and foreboding nature of the game is a necessary boost.

SUPER MARIO BROS.

Main theme

SUPER MARIO BROS. All Access


What more needs to be said? You don't just remember this song because the game was so iconic. You remember it because it's brilliantly arranged by composer and sound designer Koji Kondo, who to this day still works for Nintendo.

FINAL FANTASY VII

"One Winged Angel"

FINAL FANTASY VII All Access


Sephiroth's theme is arguably the most epic, bad-ass theme ever given to an antagonist in any video game. Or, for that matter, any form of entertainment. Hearing those opening strings fills you with both dread and excitement and acts as a perfect complement to the game's terrific story arc.

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY AAW


It was actually hard to pick one single track that stood out, since so much of the audio at the time was leaps and bounds above everything else put out for the SNES at the time.

STREET FIGHTER II

Music from Guile's Stage

STREET FIGHTER II All Access Weekly


When it came out, Street Fighter II (and later Championship Edition and Turbo) reinvented and reinvigorated the fighting game genre. Others tried to supplant its place as the pre-eminent franchise, and arguably did, but few can match the initial wonder that this title did. Part of that was due to the music composed for the game, in particular Guile's theme. It's so stirring and heroic theme that it had you rooting for Guile even if you were fighting him.

KATAMARI DAMACY

"Katamari on the Rocks" (Main Theme)

KATAMARI DAMACI All Access Weekly


This strange, wonderful, and joyous game was matched by a strange, wonderful, and joyous soundtrack. And, like the game, it's unlike anything else we've heard.

For gamers, it doesn't really get any bigger than this, people. As you all already know, the VGAs will recognize the best and brightest games of the year and unveil exclusive world premieres of some of the most anticipated upcoming titles the industry has to offer. The show premieres LIVE, coast-to-coast on Friday, December 7 at 9/8c only on Spike and Spike.com.



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