Video games are great. Some games I’ve completed with a sense of accomplishment, others with a sense of relief, and still more feeling a mixed bag. Some games I never even complete. But it’s the best ones I keep coming back to. Those with a wonderful sense of fulfillment, amazing gameplay, an immersive and incredible story—among other things. A kickass soundtrack may not get me to play a game, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.
Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek. If you’d like to hear his chill (or otherwise) vibes, head over here.
Anyway, here are my Top 5 tracks from games:
- After the Crash / First and Last (Michael McCann) – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
If you checked in on last week’s post, you may know that I play this soundtrack a lot. Like, a lot.While my favorite song remains After the Crash, the other standout for me is First and Last. After the Crash plays in the background during a fight that determines the fate of Faridah Malik, an instance that can result in the trophy ‘Good Soul’. Now if you were to, say, try for this trophy on the hardest setting, while simultaneously attempting the ‘Pacifist’ and ‘Foxiest of Hounds’ run-throughs (achievements where you can’t kill anyone or set off any alarms, respectively), you may very well hear this track played a lot. So it’s even more important that it’s amazing.
First and Last plays at the very start of the game, during the opening sequence. It’s my runner-up here—as I’ve listened to it second most to After the Crash—but it really could’ve gone to any other song off the soundtrack.
2. Honor for All (Daniel & Jon Licht) – Dishonored
Another of my favorite games, at least in the most recent generations of consoles, is Dishonored. Another game featuring a run-thru on the highest difficulty, featuring a play style that rewards you for not killing anyone, and just stealthing through the entire game. Honor for All comes during the credits, and is one of the songs I started listening to on repeat then immediately went and bought the download. As far as I know, the track was written specifically for this game.
3. Song of Storms – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Ocarina of Time is a revered game. It’s probably my favorite of all time, and not just because I’ve completed it half a dozen times over the years. The exploration, the story and the soundtrack alone rank highly all time—not just in its era. There are many great tunes within, but my all-time fav has to be the Song of Storms. Found in Kakariko Village, the dude within the windmill teaches this song to Link to play on his ocarina when he wants to summon rain. Released in 1998, this song has been stuck in my head for 22 years, and I still love it.
4. The Nathan Drake Theme (Greg Edmonson) – Uncharted
Uncharted is one of the best-selling franchises of all-time. And was the driving force behind me switching from Xbox to Playstation about a decade ago. The series is combat heavy, which isn’t usually my thing, but—first and foremost—aims to tell a story. A story of a man, of a journey. And that journey is incredible. While the music may not be telling in its own right, listen to it along with the games and it takes on a narrative of its own. For fans like moi, even hearing it outside the game is often enough to send chills up my spine.
5. Erana’s Peace – Quest for Glory: So You Want to be a Hero
Whether you’ve played the original or the remaster (or, most likely, neither), Quest for Glory is a true masterpiece of Sierra adventures. A point-and-click game with a text-parsing interface and fairly decent (for the time, at least) combat system. Now, I was too young to actually play this when it came out, but when I did, it was the original I played, and therefore the soundtrack from Erana’s Peace—which features a tranquil meadow complete with a tree of juicy, color-shifting, totally not weird fruit—strikes a cord in me. Even if it comes out of crappy speakers that never seemed to work right and were always getting broken. The guitar rendition from the remaster is okay, but though I’ve been through the game maybe a dozen times, I’ve never played that version. So the original soundtrack remains my favorite.
Anything to add? Anything to subtract? Anyone else play QFG? Or maybe you’ve played any of these other games? If so, let me know. Otherwise, maybe just listen to video game soundtracks for the rest of the day 🙂