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With that, the year is on the verge of conclusion. In commemoration, these are my personal top five video game OSTs of 2020.

Spoiler

#5: Batbarian: Testimony of the Primordials

#4: Dweller's Empty Path

#3: Paper Mario: The Origami King

#2: Genshin Impact

#1: The Pedestrian

 

For the record, I haven't played any of these; my experience with them is almost entirely musical. If anyone's willing, I'd love to hear what soundtracks stood out to others this year.

For reference sake, I'm also including a record of the postings made on this thread over the past year (plus the time previous, since there wasn't much). As of initial posting, it only includes the tracks which are currently available; some links are broken, and as such I can't determine what they were. This is partially why I'm creating a reference record now, in hopes that I can accurately maintain this thread as a catalog (of sorts) of VGM.

Spoiler

Featured games, in order of posting:

A Hat in Time – Scootin’ Through Mafia Town, A Forsaken Place, The Lava Cake Peak, Rush Hour, Mafia Town is Asleep, Your Contract Has Expired, Bon Voyage!, Main Theme, Trainwreck of Electro Swing

Shin Megami Tensei 4: Apocalypse – Boss Battle

Persona 3 – Memories of You

Persona 4 – Awakening

Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness – Full OST

Diablo – Full OST

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Full OST

The Elder Scrolls: Arena – Low-res soundtrack selection

Clock Tower – Don’t Cry, Jennifer

Halo 2 - Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix

Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven – Town Exploring 1, Town Exploring 3

Kirby Triple Star Deluxe – Moonstruck Blossom

Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Vs. King Dedede

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island – Athletic Theme

Donkey King Country – Jungle Groove, Fear Factory, Life in the Mines

Danganronpa – Discussion ~HEAT UP~

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Pursuit ~ Cornered, Maya Fey ~ Turnabout Sisters' Theme

Deus Ex – The Synapse

The Messenger – Impossible Ascent (Searing Crags), Manfred the Sky Serpent

Okami – Spirit Extermination, Reset ~Thank You ~, Constellation (Dragon Sketch), Kamiki Village 1, Kamiki Village 2, Giving Susano a Ride, Tamaya’s Theme

Silver Surfer – Level 1

Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge – Gambit

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future – Aquamarine Bay

The Blue Marlin – Cape Canaveral

Return of the Obra Dinn – Title Medley

The Pedestrian – Means to an End, Rush Hour, Lost in the City, Czar Louie's Reigna, Clocking In

Hue – Breakthrough, Droplets, With Compliments

Chrono Trigger – Grand Millennial Fair, Wind Scene

Octopath Traveler – “Flamesgrace, Guiding Light”, A Settlement in the Red Bluffs, Battle II

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove – High Above the Land (Flying Machine), The Final Note, Tools of War (Clockwork Tower), The Royal Overture

Ori and the Blind Forest – “Restoring the Light, Facing the Dark”

Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations – Godot ~ The Fragrance of Black Coffee

Gundam Wing: Endless Duel – City

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle – Must Die

Wild 9 – Bombopolis

Undertale – Snowdin Town, Undertale, “Bring it in, Guys!”

Cave Story – Mimiga Town, Cave Story/Plantation

Azur Lane – “Yuudachi”?

Duck Life 4 – Swimming Training Theme

War Thunder – “Don’t Hurry”

Catherine – Little Fugue in G Minor

Celeste – First Steps, Beyond the Heart

Hollow Knight – Greenpath, City of Tears

Minecraft – Pigstep, Sweden, Minecraft

Sea of Stars – Encounter, Through the Jungle (Day into Night)

Ristar: The Shooting Star – Shooting Ristar, Break Silence, Du-Di-Da!!

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood – Divine Bloodlines

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Vampire Killer

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness – A Toccata into Blood-Soaked Darkness

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – A Voyage of Promise

Soul Nomad and the World Eaters – Love Letters, Dragon’s Eye

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – From Past to Present, Frostfall, Caught Off Guard, The Streets of Whiterun

Beyond Skyrim – The Three Kingdoms

Little Town Hero – Village Clash, This is My Town (Farm), A Place You Can Call Home

Bastion – A Proper Story

Transistor – Heightmap (Hummed)

Moss – Legends Old and New, Cinder Skies

Rend – The Roots of Yggdrasil, Highlands II, Resurgence

Cathedral – An Unfamiliar Place (Cathedral Rooftops), Ivystone Mage Collective, Gentleman's Jive (The Necromancer)

ARMS – Grand Prix, Ribbon Ring, Ramen Bowl

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite – White Fatalis Theme

Monster Hunter Generations – Arena Battle Theme, Mizutsune Theme, Zinogre Theme, Valstrax Theme

Monster Hunter World – Stars at Our Backs, Nargacuga Theme, Brachydios Theme, Glavenus Theme

Monster Hunter 3 (tri) – Title Theme

CrossCode – Title Theme, Path of Justice, Autumn’s Fall, Arena Lobby

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Scott Pilgrim Anthem, Another Winter, The Dark One, Twin Dragons

I Am Setsuna – The Scent of Sea, No Turning Back, The Winter Breeze

Dweller’s Empty Path – Leaves Fill the Empty Path, Inside the Castle, Be Brave!, Trailer Theme

Pokemon Sword & Shield – Sonia’s Theme, Wild Area: North, Marnie’s Theme, Battle! Oleana, Battle! Battle Tower

Sonic Mania – Who's the Boss?, Chemical Plant Zone Act 1, “Lights, Camera, Action!”

Final Fantasy XII – Kiss Me Good-bye

OneShot – My Burden is Light, Alula, Eleventh Hour, Happily Ever After

Junkbot – BGM 5, BGM 1

Crypt of the Necrodancer – Disco Descent (1-1), Dance of the Decorous (3-2 Cold), Deep Sea Bass (Coral Riff), Portabellohead (2-3 Girlfriend Records Remix), The Wight to Remain (4-3 Chipzel Remix), Power Cords (5-2 A_Rival Remix), Last VERSUS (1-1 Danganronpa), Crypteque (1-2 w/ Shopkeeper), March of the Profane (3-2 w/ Shopkeeper), Styx and Stones (4-1 w/ Shopkeeper), Grave Throbbing (2-2 w/ Daoust)

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necrodancer feat. The Legend of Zelda – Gerudo Desert (Peaceful), Overworld (Peaceful w/ Shopkeeper), Temple of Storms (Combat w/ Glockenspiel), Deku Village

Night in the Woods – The Fort Lucenne Mall, Astral Train, Possum Springs, Title Theme

Rabi-Ribi – Main Theme, Rabi Rabi Ravine V.1, Exotic Laboratory, The Truth Never Spoken

Cuphead – Inkwell Isle One, Threatin’ Zeppelin, All Bets are Off, Floral Fury

Persona 5 – Life Will Change, Swear to My Bones, Last Surprise, No More What-Ifs, I Believe, Axe to Grind, Daredevil, That Guy Is Trick Star

Deemo – Reflection (Mirror Night), Saika, Walking by the Sea, Metal Hypnotized, Entrance, Leviathan, Duo Blade Against

Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent – Battle 5, Titus of Power, Edolas Castle

Risk of Rain 2 – The Raindrop that Fell to the Sky, Title Theme, …con lentitud ponderosa

Deadbolt – Now I am Become Death, Heynong Man, Hemolysis, Defunktorum™

Paper Mario: The Origami King – Vellumental Battle, Water Vellumental Shrine, Autumn Mountain Battle, The Great Sea, The Shifty Sticker, Musee Champignon, Title Screen

Undertale Yellow – Justice, Fever Pitch!, Mo Money

Ragnarok Online – CheongChoon

Genshin Impact – Caelestinum Finale Termini, Bustling Afternoon in Mondstadt, Happy Journey, Rite of Battle, Main Theme

Human: Fall Flat – Unknown

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Everybody Falls, Fall ‘N’ Roll

Yume Nikki – The End

Guardian Tales – Full series soundtrack?

Batbarian – Polyandrium, Sing Ye of Darkness Past, Brutal March, Batbarian

 

Additional non-soundtrack (/technicality) posts:

Phoenix Wright Jazz ~ Gyakuten Meets Jazz Soul – Full album

Phoenix Wright Orchestra ~ Gyakuten Meets Orchestra – Full album

The Messenger 8+16 Bit – A Civilization in the Clouds (Cloud Ruins)

Resurrected Memories – No Turning Back Orchestrated - from I am Setsuna

Chrono Cinematica – Little Green Hero

Orb – A Mind too Demented for Eating

Diamond Hollow II – Handheld Hero

Celeste – …

Castlevania: Bloodlines PCM Remaster – Iron Blue Intentions

Sonic Mania – Friends

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Kass’s Theme

Undertale 5th Anniversary Virtual Concert – Full event

Revibed of the Necrodancer – Igneous Rock (3-1 Hot Remix)

Crypt of the Necrodancer: KeyAnimated – Heart of the Crypt (4-2 Remix)

Crypt of the Necrodancer: True Chiptunes – Grave Throbbing (2-2 Remix)

Necrodancer TripleMix – Voltzwaltz (5-1 TripleMix)

Cadence of Hyrule: Real Voice Shopkeeper – Lost Swamp w/ Daoust

Undertale LIVE – Full album

Intense Symphonic Metal Covers: Hunting Edition, Vol. 1 – Zinogre Theme (8-bit), Gore Magala (8-bit)

Note that some of the broken links are mine, and I intend to fix them. When I do, and if any of the other broken links are fixed, I'll try to update this list to reflect the new availability. New posts will be cataloged for next year (assuming we all last that long).

Edited by Ken Hisuag
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Glad to see Deemo on here! Yeah, due to it being a rhythm game, it's primarily a compilation of various music genres. The biggest draw to me is how much different composers they have and all the colla

Shin Megami Tensei 4 Apocalypse has one of the best video game soundtracks imo, this cyberpunky sound makes me shake 2ds everytime I'm hearing it  

I'd like to see music from other games here. example :  This,from a hat in time,is an example.

It's about time we covered Rivals of Aether. I probably don't need to sell it, but . . .

Composer flashygoodness has a unique style to his chiptune that settles on the fringes of the genre; he's able to create impressively complex arrangements of sound that set them apart from retro style, but aren't so far from it that it has to be considered something else (Undertale might be a good example of that; maybe CrossCode?). There's also a slight reverb that gives his pieces an airy feel; I'm unsure of the intended effect, but for me it adds another layer of complexity to the sound.

Spoiler

Yea I tend toward the more straight-forward motifs, what of it?

As a sort of bonus, I'm linking the main menu theme. It's not so much for the music, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpuy_uKMroE

If you can't figure it out, sort the comments by new and start from the bottom.

 

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It's funny you mention Undertale since they actually helped program the game before it released.

https://undertale.fandom.com/wiki/Undertale_Developers

 

Though, it would have to be 2 years later for them to actually do music for the game in the form of a remix of Asgore's Theme for the Collector's Edition soundtrack.

Spoiler

 

https://vgmdb.net/artist/11185

Interestingly, if you look on the timeline above, this was also around the same time that they composed the Rivals of Aether soundtrack. So they both sound very close musically. In fact, it's so close, that I oftentimes see people modding in Undertale stages in the Steam Workshop and using this song.

 

My personal favourite would have to be "Luna Acension EX" which is a remix of a song from the game "Tower of Heaven".

Spoiler

 

Though, I'm probably biased considering I played Tower of Heaven before Rivals of Aether lol. The game is a bit relatively niche, so it was a big shock for me to see it featured back when it first appeared in Super Smash Land in 2011. But then it suddenly all made sense because...

 

https://flashygoodness.bandcamp.com/album/tower-of-heaven-original-soundtrack

Yeah, Flashygoodness had actually composed the original soundtrack for Tower of Heaven. So I guess this is the part where I showcase this game's music. Hey, fits the nature of this thread at least XD 

Spoiler

 

You'll notice that a lot of the songs use the same melody. Their composition style reminds of Toby Fox's from Undertale's where they make a melody first and create multiple remixes of it to create multiple different songs.

First one "Luna Ascension" is, of course, what the Rivals stage song "Luna Ascension EX" is based off of. The EX I'm guessing stands for rEmiX.

"Indignant Dignity" isn't featured in Rivals, but is a pretty good song from the original game. If the stage were to get an alternate song to show up, this one is the most likely considering how distinct it sounds from the rest of the OST.

Last is "Luna Ascension - Full Moon Remix". This one is... a remix of a remix! Yep, surprising to say, but this one is also composed by flashygoodness. Which goes to show how well versed they are musically if they're able to compose chiptune all the way up to this rocking medley. Personally, this is my favourite flashygoodness song because whenever I listen to it, I feel like I'm taken through an entire journey. The calm serene piano in the beginning, to the nostalgic chiptune at 0:21, to the intense lead at 0:39 and... well I don't want this part to go on for so long so I'll leave it there lol. But if someone asked me "What's flashygoodness' music sound like" and I could only show them one song, I'd show them this.

 

Also, going off topic from music here but, you can check out Tower of Heaven for free alongside all of Askiisoft's other games here: http://askiisoft.com/games/

I highly recommend playing "Pause Ahead" (also free) if you enjoyed playing Tower of Heaven. It's essentially the game's spiritual successor. There's an extremely cool mechanic in that game that makes it one of the most fun platformers out there.

Edited by Garison DeCrick
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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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Tower of Heaven registered as a Flash game on my browser, so it should be noted to try it by Monday if you're interested.

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If anyone's seeing this after Monday and would still like to try it, the game's relatively well-known enough to have been archived on numerous third-party Flash game players. Personally, the one I use is Blue Maxima's Flashpoint, since it's free and has the biggest catalogue of Flash games currently, including Tower of Heaven. But there's others as well.

https://bluemaxima.org/flashpoint/

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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.

Spoiler

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.

Spoiler

 

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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goddamn why i always can't help it and cry when i hear this after finishing this wonderful game

one of the very very few games i've actually regret finishing

Edited by Dana Iclucia
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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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5 hours ago, Ken Hisuag said:

Friday Night Funkin. I can't say I find the game very appealing

Yeah same tbh. I first heard about it a few weeks back on GameBanana. Smash Ultimate used to be the most modded game until all of a sudden, Friday Night Funkin released out of the blue and completely overtook it XD. I guess it helps that it's a free PC game. So I tried it out a while back. Maybe because I play so much Stepmania already, but while playing the game, I felt the tracks were a bit too easy for my tastes. The notes just felt... too slow personally. And it's even slower when you have to watch the opponent do the exact same slow inputs and have nothing to do. But hey, I can kind of appreciate it for maybe introducing new people to the rhythm game genre. The vocaloid style music does have a slight bit of charm though. I mostly like it for the visuals though.

One thing I feel definitely carries the game are it's mods.... kinda. Only downside is, with it's weekly updates, every week all of the older mods become incompatible and have to be updated. That's an extremely small window to make a mod in. Like, good it's being updated that frequently, but I wish the developers would support the modding scene make the game have some sort of Steam Workshop-esque functionality like Rivals of Aether. Though, with the mechanic of literally waiting for your opponent to do something and having nothing to do, I feel the game is fundamentally flawed. And there's games with a longer history that have better customization anyways, like Stepmania.

Rant over. With that said, since this thread's about music, here's some cool modded Friday Night Funkin videos I've found. Of course, these don't originate from the game, but it's interesting to see this music with FNF's visual style at least.

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

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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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