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Ben Davis avatar 6:14 AM on 07.10.2014  (server time)
Bbain's Jukebox: Happiness

Hello everyone! If you've been following my presence here on the site, you've probably noticed that I really enjoy video game soundtracks. I talk about them a lot, and these days I actually tend to listen to video game music more than any other kind of music. I've always wanted to write a blog about my favorite video game music, but there's just too much to talk about in one blog, so I'm going to try starting a new series instead. I hope to post these with some regularity, maybe a new one every two weeks or so? I'm also going to keep them small, I'm thinking five songs per blog, to keep the series going longer and because you probably don't want to spend all day listening to my selections. Each post will have a different emotion or theme that each of the five tracks share in common, and I may revisit certain themes if I need to.

This week's theme is happiness! These are songs that make me smile; songs which I could imagine listening to on a bright, sunny day. What are some of your favorite happy songs?

The Wonderful Star's Walk is Wonderful
Katamari Damacy

The Katamari games are pretty much the epitome of happiness for me! Everything from the bright colors, the crazy art style, the upbeat music and even the gameplay just makes me smile! I love just about the entirety of the OSTs from the Katamari games, and yet there's still one song that I love above all the rest. The Wonderful Star's Walk is Wonderful is the tune that plays on your home planet and while you're viewing the collection in the original Katamari Damacy. I spent a LOT of time browsing the collection, partly because I got to listen to this song on repeat. If I had to pick one song to describe myself, it would probably be this one (in fact, AlphaDeus used this as inspiration when he wrote my song for the Destructoid Community Album!).

Bit.Trip Core

The Bit.Trip games are really great at portraying emotions through music. Core and Runner both sound pretty happy, but the music that makes me smile the most is found in Control, the final level of Bit.Trip Core. It's interesting because Core was by far the hardest Bit.Trip game for me, and the final level, gameplay-wise, was the most frustrating. But I could never be too angry with the game because the music is just so freaking happy! Even as I'm messing up left and right, on the brink of failure, I still can't stop smiling. I'm including the song found on the game's official soundtrack here, because it's shorter and easier for the casual person to listen to, but if you want to hear the music in all of it's usual glory, it's best to look up a gameplay video for Control. The game's sound effects, which aren't found on the OST, actually add a lot to the music!

Your Affection
Persona 4

If Persona 3's prominent emotion was gloominess, as indicated by the soundtrack and the generous use of the color blue throughout the game's art, then Persona 4's prominent emotion was definitely happiness! It's a much brighter game, using the color yellow as its main theme in the artwork, and with a more upbeat, pop-inspired soundtrack. It may seem strange, considering the game's story revolves around MURDER, but the meat of the game is much more focused on friendship, so the happy theme actually works quite well. There are a lot of tracks I could have included here, but I chose Your Affection for a few reasons. The songs plays while you're wandering around Inaba, but only on clear, sunny days, so it was surely intended to portray happiness. My favorite part of the song is the first twenty seconds. I don't know enough about music to go into techniques or instruments that they used to convey certain emotions, but I just feel that the first twenty seconds sounds like something that would play as you step out of your house into a beautiful, sunny day!

Descendant of Shinobi
Final Fantasy VII

This song is also known as Yuffie's theme, so as you can probably guess, it plays during many important scenes involving Yuffie, who just so happens to be my favorite character in FF7. It's kind of similar to Eiko's theme from FF9, which I suppose is fitting because they're both young girls, even though their personalities are vastly different. I prefer Yuffie's theme over Eiko's though, mostly because Yuffie is a much cooler character. Both songs immediately make me want to bob my head in a jolly manner, with a big ol' smile on my face!

Toroko's Theme
Cave Story

Toroko's theme is also kind of similar to Yuffie's theme, they're both very cute and bouncy. This song is sort of hidden in the game; you can hear it playing on the title screen, but only if you can manage to beat the Sanctuary (aka Hell) in under 5 minutes. It's an interesting song, because if you listen to it without having played the game, it's pretty much just a happy, innocent little tune, befitting a happy, innocent little character like Toroko. But if you've played the game, and know what happens to Toroko, the song becomes incredibly bittersweet. Poor Toroko... Her theme song still makes me happy regardless, which I'm sure is what she would have wanted anyway!

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