monsterboy: Yuna from FFX staring into a rainbow sky, with the text "a child-like wonder". (childlike wonder)
So apparently, [personal profile] coffeevore was supposed to compile a list of her own favourites for [personal profile] niya, and while I'm not sure what originally spurred this, I figured... hey, what the heck, this makes a good meme!

So here, in no particular order, are my top 10-- or at least, a top 10 at this particular moment; I doubt I could pick a true all-time 10, but this is a pretty close approximation. I've limited it to one track per game, because otherwise this list would just be completely filled by one or two games; you can pretty much assume that, for everything listed here, I'm a big fan of the rest of the soundtrack as well.

1. Final Fantasy IV: Main Theme of Final Fantasy

I'll confess that it was a long time before I heard this theme in its rightful setting: I didn't actually play FF4 until shockingly late in my gaming career. But I remember stumbling across a MIDI, of all things, of this track in an online MIDI collection back when such things were popular, and I always found it oddly haunting, for some reason-- and compelling, because of that.

2. Kirby Super Star: Ending

Ending themes always tend to be winners in games: the composers always want to go out of their way to make you feel like you've really accomplished something. Add to that the emotional high of having actually defeated the game, and the nostalgic memories thereof, and it's no surprise that there would be at least one of these among my favourite tracks. This particular theme starts off simple, but gets pretty soaring at about 1:34, and keeps going in that vein, throwing some remixes of the classic Kirby themes in to boot.

3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Stickerbrush Symphony

Not much to say about this one: it's probably on pretty much everyone's top 10 list, at least among those who've played the game, and it's probably one of the few themes that didn't come from a Final Fantasy, Mario or Zelda game that has some currency outside of the game's actual fanbase. Surreal, dreamlike, and always makes me think of blue skies and unfamiliar landscapes.

(If we're talking DKC2, Forest Interlude is amazing, too.)

4. Mega Man X: Ending

I never finished this goddamned game, but I loved it anyway. Mega Man was just always one unit of Nintendo Hard too much for my abilities, though I gave it countless valiant stabs. I listened to this one all the time in the sound test, though, and while I had absolutely no idea what was going on, it always sounded like something horribly portentous and sad. I'd make up my own stories about what was going on, and always end up feeling very forlorn, though in the good, fiction-induced way.

5. Tetris Attack: Forest Lullaby

Gaaaawd, I love this game. It's one of the games, along with Secret of Mana, that I consider to be pretty much pure distilled essence of me: a soaring soundtrack, soft colours, dinosaurs, blue skies and pixellated hope. Adorable with that twist of pathos that keeps it from being completely saccharine, this is a wonderful game both for the gameplay and for the atmospheric experience that accompanies it. As far as favourite tracks go, Forest Lullaby is closely tailed by A Walk On A Rainbow, the ending theme, but this one just edges it out for its delicate guitar and relative complexity for a repeating track.

6. Final Fantasy VI: Terra

I believe OCRemix once dubbed this the "Hotel California" of videogame tracks: somewhat overplayed, yet timeless. Another world map theme (and hey, I just noticed-- it's, like, Terra's theme, but it plays on the overworld, which is also, yanno, terra! Dude, pass the bong), and like most of Uematsu's map themes, it hits all the right notes of hope tinged with apprehension at the increasingly overwhelming quest.

I'd've put Aria de Mezzo Caraterre in this spot, for the fact that it was a technical achievement at the time and it's my favourite character's theme too, but to be honest I really prefer the opera when it's performed by a full orchestra (as recent FF concerts have done), and this writeup is about the original games, so it didn't seem fair.

7. Secret of Mana: Pure Night

Okay, I could have put the whole darn soundtrack on here if I'm honest: if I had to be stuck on a desert island with one videogame soundtrack in all of history, it'd be this one, no contest. But if I have to pick one, this is going to be it (closely edging out The Oracle, one of the only tracks in the whole SNES catalog that can be said to approximate gothic metal, and man it does it well). I can seriously listen to this track on repeat for hours: it just feels like home. Like most of the tracks here, it's a little haunting and definitely mystical, yet oh so peaceful.

8. Chrono Trigger: Singing Mountain

I'll admit, Chrono Trigger wasn't one of those games that grabbed me like it grabbed some people. But I also can't deny that the soundtrack is a thing of beauty. Technically this is an unused track from the game, but it does exist in SPC format and is, therefore, a legit SNES track, and it's easily my favourite.

9. Plok: Akrillic

A soundtrack that the majority of people haven't heard, because it's a game that the majority of people haven't played; but the game was amazing, and the soundtrack, by Tim Follin (look him up on Wikipedia; he did amazing things with video games), is well worth a listen. This track starts off simple enough, but by halfway through it's transitioned into something you'd never, ever expect out of a SNES platformer.

10. Wario's Woods: Round Game

A simple and rather short piece compared to the others: the basic phrase of the song only lasts 23 seconds, but somehow it always managed to feel more complex than it was. A puzzle game is a true test of a song: you'll end up having to listen to it for hours on end, and I can honestly say I never got bored of this one. It's not as grand or epic as most of the others here, but it holds good memories for me, and, like I said, anything that can stand up to level upon level of frustrating puzzles and have you actually waiting for the music in the brief lulls between stages, instead of loathing it, deserves some respect.

Date: 2012-07-05 06:23 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] luinied
luinied: It's all gone to seed... (reminiscent)
Man, it would be so hard for me to put together a list like this. I don't think my opinions of SNES game tracks can really be teased apart into anything independent of the game and the rest of its soundtrack.

I really prefer the opera when it's performed by a full orchestra (as recent FF concerts have done)

I get this in terms of musical quality, but I really don't like the opera ending on a normal opera ending note, especially if it's being sung in English. That opera is supposed to end with an octopus and an airship, dammit! I think my feelings are exacerbated by the contrast between the very conventional plot of that opera - and most well-known old real-world operas - and the wonderful pecularity of FFVI.

Date: 2012-07-05 04:00 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] niya
niya: (Dragon-girl)
When I started listening, and I was going one song at a time, I was worried I wouldn't really know many of the games, having grown up with the NES myself, but... well.

Having just finished FFIV, that theme is one of those closest to me now. It really does feel so... wonderful in remembering that world, even if it's not actually nostalgia, it feels really nice.

I've never played -- well, that's not technically correct. I've barely played any Kirby games. I think I played Kirby on the NES for perhaps several minutes, but that's all. The feeling of the song is nice... it feels really accomplished. Or, it makes me understand how it must feel to have finished the game and listen to this song.

I don't think I've really played any Donkey Kong Country games, but the song feels so familiar. It's ... well, it makes me feel kind of tense. Like a stage I have to be careful about. I want to say more, but I'm not sure how?

Megaman games are some of my favourites, and somehow the ending songs do always feel kind of forlong? In each of the games that I've played, it's like, yes, you defeated Doctor Wily, but at what cost? I particularly remember the ending for Megaman 3, which was the first I completed... It was... really like this. Reflective, and kind of sad.

Forest Melody sounds very nice. I don't know anything about the game, but it sounds so ... I don't know. Pleasant? Calm? This song also reminds me of some other song, but I really can't think of it now.

FFVI and Terra's theme. I really don't know how to say much about it, but as the first song that plays, and the situation for it, it's... I don't know. I can't put it into words. It's far too big for that. I think I prefer it over the Opera because of those feelings behind it. I'm also glad that I don't think of it as overdone, because I really really love it.

Secret of Mana makes me think back to playing Final Fantasy Adventure on my GameBoy. I played it for so so long, and the ending made me feel so... sad. I mean, I suppose there is the hope there, but I just felt like, one day that person will fall, and then there will be no one left to guard the tree, and that makes me really afraid for the world. ... Sorry, it's kind of a tangent, but I couldn't help but think of that.

I wasn't really into Chrono Trigger either, actually. I played most of the way through, but I did so mainly to try and experience something Deci enjoyed. Someday I might watch the ending just to see it, but *shrug* The song, though, feels very much like other songs in the game, and it's nice. I, sadly, don't remember many specific songs from the game, however =(

Plok's music sounds really interesting. It does start off sounding like a traditional platformer, but, later on, it makes me think of boss fight music o.o

And, finally, I know what you mean about looping soundtracks and puzzle games. This one isn't one that I'm familiar with, but there are many like it - the main loop being less than 30 seconds long, but it's easy to listen to it for several minutes, or hours.

Thank you for pulling this together!
Edited Date: 2012-07-05 04:00 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-05-04 08:47 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] 3rdofjune
3rdofjune: (yochakras)
I think the Plok track is my favorite; it's just a beautiful composition that stands on its own, whether or not you've played the game. At the same time, it screams 'adventure' and I can see it being epic platforming music.

Also, the whole soundtrack has a bit of an Ozric Tentacles vibe, which is definitely a plus in my book. ^^

I should do something like this for Sega sometime...
Edited Date: 2013-05-04 08:48 am (UTC)


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