Geek Out Challenge – Day 17

Day 17 of the Geek Out Challenge! Today we’re talking about video game soundtracks. The scores and soundtracks for video games are light years away from where they began in the early years of video games in terms of complexity and impact. We’ve come a LONG way since the “bleep-boop-beep” music that accompanied early arcade games. Soundtracks for games play an even more important role in conveying the feelings that may not always be established through just dialogue and setting; some games are remembered almost exclusively for their soundtracks. The problem that arose in thinking of my favorite video game soundtrack is that I don’t think it would be possible to name just one, from classic games like Sonic 2 or Donkey Kong Country, or more modern games like the jazzy upbeat Persona 5 soundtrack or the beautifully ambience of the Red Dead Redemption 2 score. RPGs like Final Fantasy routinely have great soundtracks, as well as Legend of Zelda games. What I have done is included a few examples of single pieces within certain games that I would point to as some of my favorites.

Donkey Kong Country – Underwater Theme – An all-time classic game for the SNES with a classic soundtrack that is still recognizable today. David Wise created the soundtrack for Donkey Kong Country and the underwater theme has always been my favorite. I’ve mentioned before I usually have some sort of attachment to underwater levels, such as Donkey Kong Country and the Mario games. The relaxing aura of the underwater theme in Donkey Kong Country is probably the first example of favorite soundtracks that springs to mind.

Far Cry 5 – Keep Your Rifle By Your Side – This one kind of surprised me at how much I loved it after hearing it in game a couple times. Far Cry 5 has a mixture of original score, licensed classic rock and alternative songs that play primarily in vehicles while driving around, but there is also a list of original songs that are scattered throughout the game. Far Cry takes a cue from games like Grand Theft Auto, you can change between a few different channels while driving vehicles around the fictional Hope County, one channel will have classic rock songs like Ram Jam’s – Black Betty or Free’s – All Right Now, or another will have what is the music played for the cult members of the Project at Eden’s Gate. I found myself really enjoying the…ahem….cult music while playing through Far Cry 5 and the soundtrack has since become one of my favorites. Keep Your Rifle By Your Side is the choral arrangement(there’s different arrangements for all the songs), that exudes a really western “Americana” sound to it; a musical genre that usually doesn’t appeal too much to me. I have become weirdly attached to this soundtrack…

Banjo-Kazooie – Spiral Mountain Theme – The soundtrack from Banjo-Kazooie is still one of my favorites after all these years. Grant Kirkhope’s use of everything from marimba, flute, to banjo(obviously) was really unique at the time and has become a favorite of seemingly many people who grew up with the odd soundtrack from this classic N64 game.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Astral Observatory Theme – I wasn’t going to have a list of favorite video game music without something from the Legend of Zelda games, a franchise with many epic soundtracks. Majora’s Mask had a darker, more ominous tone to it than other Zelda games, and I think the soundtrack complimented that perfectly. Out of all the wonderful music in Majora’s Mask, my favorite has to be the ethereal theme for the Astral Observatory, somewhere you only spend a few minutes throughout the entire game, but nonetheless is still one of the most beautiful musical pieces I have heard in a video game.

That’s all for now! What video game soundtracks are your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. Only two weeks left of the Geek Out Challenge, let’s keep this up! See you tomorrow…

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