Hello and welcome once again to Bbain's Jukebox!
Yep, I'm going to continue the tug-of-war after bbain so recklessly stole the series I had legitimately stolen from him.
Farewell, songs. We hardly knew ye.
Today's theme is going to be a bit of a hard one. I'm going to be looking at lost songs. So what do I mean by that? Well, a lost song is a song that is technically on the game disc, but that you will never actually hear in-game. There are many reasons for why this can happen, but most of the time it happens because the song only plays in one very specific part of the game...that any player will rush through in 10 seconds. Other times it's a cutscene that doesn't last long enough for the entire song to play, or the song was cut entirely.
You can see why this theme would be difficult to do. Most of us can dream the battle theme to our favorite JRPGs, because they play so often that they'll be ingrained in your memory by the time you're done. But the entire point of today is highlighting the most forgettable songs ever. Not that it's the composer's fault though, some great songs simply never got their due.
Let's just get to my selections, and you'll see what I mean soon enough.
"Dolphin Shoals - Dry Version" - Mario Kart 8
Dolphin Shoals is my least favorite course in Mario Kart 8, and the lackluster music is part of the reason why. It just doesn't boom as much as almost any other song in the game. However, there is one part that's great. Right after you drove across the eel's back, you go out of the water for a short while. Right as you break the surface, the music changes to the rendition above. You wouldn't know it, but there is actually a full saxophone version of the Dolphin Shoals theme! It's a great lively song that almost makes you forget that you're racing on Dolphin Shoals and really what are you doing with your life?
Until ten seconds later, when you enter the water again and you're back to the old song.
Cloudtop Cruise does something similar, but I'd be hard pressed to call the Thundercloud version 'better', considering how great the original already is.
"Main Menu" - Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Question: how long do you usually spend on the Main Menu of a game?
Well, if it's anything less than 2 minutes, you missed out on some sweet Paper Mario music. Why would someone create some of the happiest music in gaming, and then only use it on a single screen that nobody is going to spend more than 10 seconds on? The world may never know.
"Battle! [Jenna]" - Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Golden Sun's music was done by Motoi Sakuraba, one of my favorites. But here's a song that never got its due. At the very start of the second game, before you take control of the main protagonist, there's a short part where you play as Jenna. As Jenna you'll walk around for a bit, and even get into a fight or two. What's fun though is that battles you fight as Jenna during this part have their own music, entirely different from what you'll hear in battles throughout the rest of the game. It's a lot more upbeat than the standard battle theme, perfect for the much-less-brooding Jenna.
Savor it, because once you meet Felix you'll never hear it again.
"Pinwheel" - Dark Souls
If there's one thing the Souls series is known for, it's difficulty. A lot of bosses will kick your ass to the moon and back. All, except one. Ask any Dark Souls player and they will tell you that Pinwheel is a pushover. His attacks are easy enough to avoid, and he takes so much damage that any decently leveled player will be able to take him down with just a couple of hits.
That's a shame, because Pinwheel has a theme song all of his own! It's a really creepy, atmospheric theme that serves as a great ending to your treks through the Catacombs and an even better beginning to your upcoming quest in the Tomb of the Giants. Of course no player worth their salt is ever going to hear it in full, because Pinwheel will bite the dust before the song even gets going.
"Spotted! Rival" - Pokémon X and Y
"Spotted! Ace Trainer" - Pokémon X and Y
For some years now, the Pokémon games have seen fit to give every different kind of Trainer a different theme song. Oh, but I don't mean a battle theme. I mean that when they spot you pre-battle, you'll get a different song each time. But even though they're not very long you won't be able to listen to them, because these guys only have about two lines to say before you're transported into battle and you get the familiar Battle Theme.
The above two are the worst offenders. Your rival only challenges you a couple of times troughout the entire game, which are the only few times you'll be able to hear his "Spotted!" theme. The Ace Trainer is my favorite of the lot (and it reminds me of Sonic Heroes' Mystic Mansion theme), but there aren't many Ace Trainers to go around either.
A lot of the others are really good too, but you won't get to hear them much more than these. And if that wasn't enough, once you've exhausted all the Pokémon Trainers chances are you'll never be able to hear these songs again unless you start a new file.
And those are some of my favorite songs...that I never actually heard in-game. I'm sure there are a lot more where that came from, and I'm more confident than ever that I missed some important ones. That's to be expected, since the whole point of today's Jukebox is highlighting songs that are easy to miss.
So let me know in the comments which songs I (and everyone else) must've missed.
For now I'll sign off with a game that has an entire Lost Soundtrack. Transistor has alternate "humming" versions of every song in the game, but you can only hear them if you sit still and keep pressing the "hum"-button. Which, if you're impatient like me, you're not going to be doing in every single level.
Here is my favorite, hum along:
"Traces (hummed)" - Transistor