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Other Game Music


Swag_Koishi9898
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While we're on the topic of the Rivals OST, I thought I'd mention how I appreciate the extensions that some of the older tracks got when the game went into definitive edition. Fight and Flight is still my favourite track, but The Earthen Division wins my award for most improved track.

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For obvious reasons, I won't normally post independent remixes here. However, I believe an argument can be made for their inclusion into the metagenre of VGM. Arrangements most often take their source material's contextual situation into consideration, and I've yet to find a remix that can take the game out of the music.

In several cases, my first exposure to a soundtrack that I would later consider among my favorites was a remix. In commemoration of that, here are three such pieces which introduced me to larger spheres of VGM.

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I won't post it, but also check out Noteblock's Rush Hour remix--and maybe his other stuff, too (he's one of my favorite artists).

 

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Well, I was correct in my prediction concerning Ori and the Will of the Wisps; now that I've played some of it, I find I'm enjoying its soundtrack immensely. This was the case for the first game, too. For some reason, I needed the experiential context to appreciate the music. Possibly this is due to the cinematic nature of the soundtrack, but I would need to compare with similar experiences to be sure. No matter, here's my selection.

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Had I managed to play the game earlier, its soundtrack would have been my #4 for the year.

The main leitmotif of the first game is retained for this one, but in a more restrained and powerful manner, possibly representing Ori's interactions with the new world. There's also a second leitmotif introduced early on which seems to be a variation of the first; whether this is Ku's theme, or an expression of the expansion of the second game from the first, I am currently unsure of.

I'm really glad I finished the first game before playing this one; Escaping a Foul Presence felt that much more satisfying as a brief return to old experiences.

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The three-year anniversary of Celeste happened, and in commemoration the team formerly known as MattMakesGames released a sequel to the Pico-8 classic version. While there was technically only one track composed for it, the piece holds its own as a follow-up to both the original classic and the main game.

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Edited by Ken Hisuag

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I've had difficulty getting into the Metroid series music; the series is reasonable expansive, and I'm not sure where to start. But in the meantime, I've got Axiom Verge, which I'm told is comparable.

This is another deceptively simple soundtrack. The compositions are far less complicated then most modern games, but still manage to be creative in creating the game's atmosphere.

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I don't know anything about Tengami. I just happened across its soundtrack, noticed David Wise, and was impressed by the oriental style. That's selling it a bit short, though; the compositions are very well arranged. I can't be sure that it's the David Wise, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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The latest in internet gaming trends seems to be Friday Night Funkin. I can't say I find the game very appealing, but there's definitely an element of charm to it. The compositions are intentionally simplistic, but stand out for the Shopkeeper-esque song battles they're respectively structured around. My biggest complaint would be the lackluster endings; most tracks have little to no wind-down, all but cutting off from the "action." While this makes sense in the context of the game, imo it results in some wasted potential for these songs as stand-alone pieces.

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The music of 30XX sounds like cross between Shovel Knight and Rivals of Aether with a touch of Sonic; high energy tracks with a casual lean, not afraid of blending a variety of instruments, featuring a varied range of styles. The game is currently still in alpha, but already has a reasonably sized OST filled with great tracks. Ideally, the game will get even more music as development continues.

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Edited by Ken Hisuag

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Shrine's getting much busier, which is good! I might have to visit more often to keep up with things.

There's a lot I want to say about Dandara: Trials of Fear, but most of it isn't music related so I'll save it for a Steam review. Suffice to say that it's severely underrated, and if you've played and enjoyed Celeste then you should definitely try this out as well. The gameplay system requires some getting used to, but it's well worth it.

The music is atmospheric with a tribal twist, which perception mainly stems from the contrast between the synth foundations and the folk instrument overtones. This is also one of those games where the music is incorporating elements of world building into the compositions; Once a Beautiful Horizon has a continuous flow to it in reflection of the more abstract Village of Artists, while Hidden in Logic is more rigidly structured to represent the refined Capitol of Intention. The highlight of the soundtrack, however, has to be the boss battle theme. Everything builds up to this moment of heroic determination, of facing down fears without hesitation.

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I won't include it, but if y'all appreciate this selection I'd suggest the track Golden Fortress as another great example of this soundtrack.

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Before Octopath Traveler,

...before Undertale,

...before Duck Life 4,

...there was Red Alert 2.

Objectively speaking, there isn't much especially noteworthy about this soundtrack. This is the first memory I have of VGM. It didn't inspire a musical interest at the time, but it holds that nostalgic quality for me that so many other soundtracks commonly associated with the feeling do not. Rather ironic, since techno metal isn't a genre I'm otherwise a fan of.

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I was trying to think of a game that would have appropriate music for the occasion, and eventually thought of The Witcher. The lines dividing the varieties of folk music are ill-defined, but in this case the instrumentation is close enough to be fitting (except for that last one).

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I've considered doing an OST+ for The Witcher 3, because the soundtrack is somewhat scattered. Such a task would be rather daunting, but if/when I get around to it, I'll return to the game here.

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This past week I received my copy of the Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent soundtrack. I was initially rather dismayed to discover two of my favorite tracks from the circulated gamerip missing from the official release, and while I am still very pleased with it as a whole (there's plenty of tracks that weren't in the gamerip), I do wonder why these tracks weren't included. Since this is technically a gatcha game and is updating constantly, it could be possible that they are planning a future music release or releases, but I have no way of knowing if this is the case. Regardless, I might as well share the two missing tracks here (there are others, but these are among the best).

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Edit: I recently realized that Oscar and Tatorock imply two more characters upcoming representing the letters "C" and "O" respectively. The subreddit mentioned the release of Cyrus as a playable character; I wonder if that counts toward the word, or if it's just a coincidence?

Edited by Ken Hisuag

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Featuring the music of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is far too intimidating a venture for me to consider just yet, so instead I'm going for the second most relevant Smash title. It's honestly incredible how enduring Melee has been, but anyone familiar with the history can understand why. Obviously, there are certain iconic themes I'm obligated to include:

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However, the majority of Smash music is, by nature of the game, arrangements. Each game has been characterized by unique musical styles which have contributed to their respective reputations, but this is probably more true for Melee than any other entry. While the soundfonts are decidedly modern, the compositions still carry a nostalgic feel that transcends the technical aspect.

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But I digress; the main reason most would be familiar with Melee today would be in connection to its competitive scene. Within that context, a few stage themes become more memorable than the rest simply from familiarity.

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You see, even just covering this game I end up using more examples than normal!

I still hope to cover Ultimate eventually, but even apart from practicality, I think this game may have deserved this respect earlier.

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Monster Hunter Rise is out now, and I have been enjoying not only the game, but the music a lot. The soundtrack for it has so far exceeded my expectations, which were already fairly high. So, I'm thinking I might like to do one of those OST showcase things similar to what Ken Hisuag sometimes does. I'm not doing it right now, I haven't decided how I'm going to structure it yet and I still need more time to play through the game anyway. But I have a feeling I'm going to need more than one post to do the music justice, which is why I'm making it known that it's possible I could do something like this in the future. Or I might just end up doing a regular post on it in the end. But still.

Also, I've just seen Ken's post on December 31st about archiving previous songs posted here, which reminded me that the Monster Hunter 4 Main Theme (Setting off Wind) link was broken in one of my posts. So since Ken said he'd like to update the list if any broken links are updated, I'm going back to that post and replacing the link now.

In the meantime, I'm gonna share the ABSOLUTE BANGER that is Khezu's theme!

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Edited by buskerdog
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Puyo Puyo is a puzzle game from Japan, and it has some great tunes. I don't know how to explain more without sounding obsessive to a concerning degree, but I'll try my best.

(Also, I don't know how to spoiler it on mobile, so bear with me here.)

Klug's theme, "Nebula Step" gives a sort of "cheery rock"(?) vibe. On my first listen it was odd, but on the next few listens it sounded pretty nice. The Puyo Puyo Chronicle version gives the original more energy and spirit, which is great. It sounds much better and fits the character, with or without the vocals.

Nebula Step (PPC, Instrumental)

Nebula Step (PPC, Vocal Track)

(There's also "I'm The Greatest Ever" from Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary, but I haven't listened to it too much to form a solid opinion on it yet.)
I'm The Greatest Ever (PP15th)

Sig's (main?) theme, "Rapid Carefree Advice" fits it's name, being a very upbeat song to listen to. Personally the Puyo Puyo Chronicle version kind of.. ruins it? I'm not sure.. I just dislike it.

Rapid Carefree Advice (PP20th, Instrumental)

Rapid Carefree Advice (PPC, Vocal Track)

(I haven't listened to "In The Middle of Stroll" too much, but on first glance it sounds nice.)
In The Middle of Stroll (PP15th)

To move away from character themes, the Puyo Puyo theme is catchy and memorable, but my favorite version of this track is either Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary's or the one from Puyo Puyo for the Genesis.

Comparison of All Puyo Puyo Themes (~PP20th)

Edited by Cyan Person
Fixed a link or two.
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For this week, I decided to try comprehending the soundtrack of Kid Icarus Uprising . . . again. I tried to get familiar with it a couple years back, but despite generally liking the music I couldn't quite figure out the unifying theme to the full compilation. I still can't figure it out; it goes from orchestral rock to smooth jazz and over to Latin folk, and I figure it's probably one of those games that you have to play/experience to truly understand the music's intentions. However, that doesn't necessarily mean I can't feature it anyway!

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Edited by Ken Hisuag

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By now, I figure my stronger preferences in music are detectable. If not, then I'm succeeding in my goal of variety. Either way and to that end, this week should be a bit more unusual:

Guilty Gear XX

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Without question, this is a hard metal soundtrack. Each theme uses a gimmick to make it stand out from the others, usually a contrasting instrument or style. Holy Orders employs a harpsichord, Babel Nose features some oriental influences, and The Original has interludes that almost sound like they came from a different game, but the electric guitar is always present in one way or another.

Despite this not being my usual cup of tea, the track Blue Water Blue Skies caught my interest, and eventually led me to investigate the full OST. That's why it's GGX2 specifically; the piece I came across was from that game, and I've not been motivated to search beyond it.

Anyway, it's really late, so Imma come back to the tournament tomorrow. G'night!

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Bonus post, because this technically counts as "game music," but also wouldn't work for a weekly feature.

Friday Night Funkin' mod for an Undertale AU that I know absolutely nothing about. This is the kind of application of the FNF style that I had hoped for when I first came across the game.

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It turns out I haven't featured FEZ yet, so about time I rectified that.

Disasterpiece is my go-to example of modernistic VGM. While retaining the form and structure necessary to be considered "music," his compositions tend to be more experimental in nature, with less emphasis on melody and more emphasis on background patterns. Normally this isn't a style I enjoy (still trying to figure out Hyper Light Drifter), but it was uniquely suited to the perspective-based puzzle game of FEZ.

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