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miketheratguy

Underrated video game music?

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Who doesn't love video game music? I'm guessing that many (if not all) of the people on this forum were tapping their toes to chiptunes well before they discovered the likes of Michael Jackson or Metallica. So I've got a question for you all: What are your favorite underrated video game tunes? I'm not talking about soundtracks now, but rather individual tunes. Those unique singular ditties that got stuck in your head or still give you joy today.

Remember, the key word here is underrated. It's subjective, sure, but you probably know what I mean. We all fondly remember the Super Mario Bros. theme and we all know that Ducktales' moon theme is the best thing since canned bread, but what about those phenomenal tracks that never seem to get the attention that they deserve? Maybe the games were just unpopular, maybe the tune you're thinking of was an ending tune or came at a point in the game that most people didn't get to see. Maybe the tune is from a popular game but you never hear anyone talking about it because it's overshadowed by another, more famous track. Whatever the case may be, I'd love for us to trade some kickass music that we probably haven't heard before.

Here, I'll whip out a few examples that I hope some of you haven't heard (and agree kick most excellent ass):

No one played this, right? If you say that you've played this you're either a liar or a glutton for crappy games. Either way I salute you!

Everyone loves Sonic, but how long has it been since you heard this beautiful theme?

And now, going in about as far in the opposite direction as I can imagine, I present this "tune" from the PS1 version of Doom. It's a haunting slice of darkness that's perfect for listening to on very loud earbuds as you walk deep into the woods in the middle of the night.

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Yeah, underrated undershmated. The best tunes are loved by lots of people for a reason. Anyway...

Since Retromags users seem to skew largely in favor of console gaming, I tried to think of some classic PC tracks I like. I think the theme to Monkey Island is one of the greatest tracks ever written for a game, but it isn't exactly unappreciated by the masses. Still, for anyone unfamiliar with PC gaming, you should give it a listen. Actually, you should just play the game. (the M.I. Theme proper starts around the 2:10 mark, but I love the entire intro):

Another favorite of mine is the opening theme to Space Quest III. A great little rock tune written by the drummer of Supertramp (OK, I don't really know any of their music, at least, I don't think I do).

And to throw a bone into the underrated arena on the console side of things, I submit the boss theme to Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. How can a FF game be underrated? When it's a piece of crap made for little kids, that's how. Doesn't mean it didn't have a kick-ass soundtrack, though.

Edited by kitsunebi77

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Well, I doubt anyone else will bust this one out. How about the "select players" theme from Anticipation?

And how about the title theme from Robocop on Game Boy?

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I not only played the NES version of Gremlins II, but I BEAT that sucker. That game is fabulous. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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Yeah, underrated undershmated. The best tunes are loved by lots of people for a reason. Anyway...

Totally true! Popularity has always been an indicator of quality. Why I bet that if you looked at the top charts of the last decade or so you wouldn't find even ONE song that sucks reeking ass!

Thanks for adding some tunes all the same. :)

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Well, I doubt anyone else will bust this one out. How about the "select players" theme from Anticipation?

And how about the title theme from Robocop on Game Boy?

Those are exactly the type of unexpected selections that I was hoping to see.

I not only played the NES version of Gremlins II, but I BEAT that sucker. That game is fabulous. :)

*huggles*

Areala

LIES!

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Totally true! Popularity has always been an indicator of quality. Why I bet that if you looked at the top charts of the last decade or so you wouldn't find even ONE song that sucks reeking ass!

Thanks for adding some tunes all the same. :)

True, but there's a big difference between whatever crap happens to be the flavor of the week at any given time and something good enough to still be considered top quality decades later. I think most popular video game tunes from the 80s and 90s have had enough time for people to decide which ones stand the test of time.

In a somewhat related note, I remembered thinking that the SNES Sim City had an awesome opening theme. Which it kind of does...until you realize it's only 10 seconds long and just loops forever. So you see, time and perspective have allowed me to cross it off my list of greats.

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Those are exactly the type of unexpected selections that I was hoping to see.

LIES!

Plenty more good selections here (and on subsequent episodes):

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OK, to actually contribute to this thread in a way that doesn't further demean miketheratguy's gaming skills and taste in software, Alien 3 on the NES has a pretty badass title theme:

The rest of the game is best described as 'barely playable', but that title screen music is awesome. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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So I was setting up my retro game systems the other day - after a recent move - which probably explains why this sprang to mind for some reason. I find the tune comforting for whatever reason. Maybe because it's a fairly good indicator my Sega CD still works. :)

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The entire soundtrack to HSX: Hypersonic Xtreme is underrated. In fact I think it's now even more underrated than before because the soundtrack seems to have disappeared from YouTube and no one has cared enough to replace it. Well it just so happens I made a music video with music from HSX and footage from Mass Effect so you can listen to it.

Also the menu music from Speed Racer for the PS2. Sometimes when I need a minute to relax I just turn this on:

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I always thought the music for the first three stages or so from Super R-Type for the SNES was great. I always play that game with the headphones in the TV.

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Obviously:
DuckTales - Moon Theme
Castlevania
Everything from FFVII
 
But also...
 
ALTERED BEAST
RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!
The weird low metallic tones... fantasy melodies...
Then you fight zombies & monsters by using the power of the Wolf to become insane ManBeasts?!


 

GAIARES
It's up to You to save the Earth!


 

AIR FORTRESS
After blasting your way through space and unknown structures, you've doomed another space station to its destruction!
...But now you're All Alone... and there is Little time to escape...
(A personal favorite, I never see mentioned.)


 

MARBLE MADNESS

The level 2 music helped this game open strange possibilities in my mind. (I actually do a cover of this sometimes.)


 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Woods... Cabins... the Killer is loose... and you Are going to Die.

 

ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

Adventure!


 

AL UNSER JR'S TURBO RACING

It's all on the line! You Must Win!

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(Here are those last two again, for ease of listening.  I wasn't aware there was a video limit per post.)

 

 

ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

Adventure!


 

AL UNSER JR'S TURBO RACING

It's all on the line! You Must Win!





 

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No one played this, right? If you say that you've played this you're either a liar or a glutton for crappy games. Either way I salute you!

 

 

 

 

I remember playing this... and Liking it.

(Although, it was a Long time ago... and I may or may not have been dropped on my head a lot as a baby.)

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Shadow of the Ninja has some great tunes. I never played it but it has that classic NES Natsume sound to it.



I really love the Game Boy Turok soundtracks. They were all composed by Alberto Jose Gonzalez and all of his soundtracks are fantastic.

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I definitely think Arcana, SNES 1991 has incredible, rarely discussed music. In fact the battle and boss themes are what got me into game music back in the day.

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NES' soundtracks are the criteria I use to judge great guitar solos. Whenever I am listening to Gamma Ray (or another great band) and during the solo and I can totally imagine it being played inside a NES game I know for sure I that greatness has been achieved.

 

One OST I am quite sure does not fit on the "underated" tag, but I just cannot ignore whenever the topic comes to mind is Chrono Trigger. The SNES is great, that is fact that I believe none of us need to be reminded of, but even then, the things they managed to extract from that hardware are simply incredible.

 

And there is also this one that I am not sure you guys would consider to be underrated or not, but it is awesome nevertheless:

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Ooooh, underrated videogame music. You sir have brought about a monster which is difficult to tame. I love videogame music, it's something I'm very passionate about, and I plan to go into a career as a videogame music composer.

 

"Heaven, Resounding Wings" from Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean, composed by Naoki Kodaka. Everyone is familiar with Kodaka's classic NES tunes but almost no one knows of his orchestral RPG music for the Albert Odyssey series. And it's a shame, too, because he wrote some pretty good stuff. It's true that his melodies aren't as instantly hummable as Uematsu's or Kondo's or Shiono's, but the music he wrote is still very listenable. "The Road Walked by Heroes" from the first Albert Odyssey I highly recommend as well as its arrangement for the Orchestral Game Concert 3 retitled "Theme of Albert Odyssey".

 

 

"The Spirit Chaser" and "The Tower of God" from Treasure of the Rudras, composed by Ryuji Sasai. Sasai was one of Square's lesser-known composers, but he was just as talented as Uematsu, Mitsuda, and Kikuta - it's just that he never really had a chance to prove it. In America we only saw his work on Final Fantasy Legend III (alongside Chihiro Fujioka) and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (alongside Yasuhiro Kawakami), as well as Bushido Blade 2. But none of these games was ever particularly well-known except Mystic Quest which is well-known because of the soundtrack. I've never heard Bushido Blade 2, but in my opinion his best music is undoubtedly for Treasure of the Rudras. These two tracks are personal favorites, "The Spirit Chaser" being the best battle theme from the game and "The Tower of God" my personal favorite area track. The quality of these uploads is not the best but the music still shines through. If you like them, also check out "Beginning for the End", "The Ultimate Warrior", "Earthbound", "Edge of Darkness", and "Beyond the Rising Moon".

 

 

 

"A Powerful Emperor" from Breath of Fire, composed by Yasuaki Fujita. Fujita was the lead composer for this soundtrack, but Mari Yamaguchi contributed a handful of pieces (including the capital-c 16-bit Classic "Starting the Journey") and Minae Fujii, Yoko Shimomura, and Tatsuya Nishimura each contributed a single piece each. "A Powerful Emperor" comes from the opening and is a powerful, dramatic work that shows deep influence from Star Wars and dare I say it The Legend of Zelda as it has a similar bassline as "Dark World Mountain/Forest", but this may just be coincidence. If you like this - or even if you don't - "Starting the Journey" should be checked out as well. 

 

 

My fingers are tired so that's all I'm posting. But be warned: I'll be back!

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