I page through imaginary genres of video game music for my thoughts in this blog. Which one should I go for? The enourmously epic round of final boss themes from some SNES RPG? Hearing some orchestral wonder for the first time on Playstation 2? But I figured it out, something dark, subtle, and epic, THAT'S what gets to me. So off we go!
Boy howdy do I love this one. Not only is Dark Dizzy one of my favorite Mega Man characters, he has one of the most original themes in the entire mega-series, one that really manages to blend in with his enviornment. The best part of his stage comes when X and Zero travel under the roof of an observatory, and as the get farther through, the various constellations light up above them, only to be replaced by a swarm of enemies. Wheras most other songs in this game start off with a strong, driving beat, this one does things a bit differently. A shake of the chimes and the robust chords of the guitar lends an otherworldy, almost sad feel to this one, like you really are in a cave full of musically talented robot bats. Really. On with the show!
I suppose we had to get to the Shadow of the Colussus
phase sometime, but this is it. The calm before the storm. The moment, in the rain, watching the colussus meander on the horizon, not a care in the world. The peace you both shared, before you strike and the battle begins, the tranquility lost like a scattered breeze. It's soothing, and can really have an effect on you. Or at least me. But the best is yet to come.
I put up gameplay footage for this one because the music manages to hit home much better that way.
It starts out slow, eerie, like a bunch of whistles in space. And then it hits you, suddenly, the music swells to a climax, the emptiness, everything, gets a +10 for epicness. It's flying through a storm, crowded with clouds, you fly past bursts of lightining, and suddenly, you're in the clear. Nothing is around you except for the starry sky above you and the chasm below. It manages to go hand in hand with the level's pacing. And you know what this galaxy has for a sister theme? FUCKING. BOUY BASE.
Shit just got real, son.
At that moment,Super Mario Galaxy 2
peaked for me. Thanks to Bouy Base, I had achieved maximum happiness from this game, and there was nothing nobody could do about it. This level manages to outdo the original, by making it all epic and no filler. There you are, running through the rain, aquatic artillery flying at you, Thwomps thwomping, and you're doing it all IN VINYL. That's right gamers, what you are doing now is unprecedented in the industry, you are, in fact living proof of Cranky Kong's words. No not those words
, I'm taking abou- oh, just forget it. That one bit of dialogue where he says all games were in black and white in his day or something.
Couldn't leave out the gratuitous final boss theme, could we? And this one is no exception, Battle in the Heavens, Dragon Quest VIII's
final boss theme, pits you in an airborne boss fight against the ginourmous apocalypic fatass Rapthorne. The music manages to balance itself between a building, epic rise and a defusing emotional resolution, something that I really don't notice that much in RPG music. Oh, and you do it all while fighting on top of a giant bird. We love you, Japan, we really do.
One last one for the show.
In writing this, I almost forgot about No More Heroes 2 and the surreal epicness it's songs brought to the fight. You're not fighting a babyfaced guy with a flamethrowing battle-axe, you're fighting f*cking Matt Helms, the 23rd best assassin in existence. In a goddam haunted house, in fact, you know the only thing that would make this more epic? House of the Dead 2. Why that one holds a special place in my heart among horror games I don't know.
Ah well, the music our game brings us is something all of us can find joy in, despite all the arguments we seem to have over it. And we still will, years from now, when all Microsoft games require a yearly payment of 60 Russian scars and Nintendo is still kicking ass under Miyamoto's ressurected corpse. But if that's not your jam, you can still be the out-of-it fogie who still thinks Chrono Trigger's
soundtrack is cool 17 years from now. read