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Video Game Music

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What comes to your mind when you think of video game music? The theme from Mario Bros? How about a rock or rap song from a racing or shooting game?

The truth is video game music is different things to different people. It depends on what type of video game you play and where the music is coming from. There are some really beautiful things that can from video game music, especially from RPGs (role-playing games).

For instance, most people probably know the The Legend of Zelda theme:

However, video game music can tell you more than just what game it is. It can also convey a particular place, event, or character within the game.

An interesting thing about location themes is that it can play at a specific location as well as a location you don’t expect. A good example of a song that this is this song from the video game Tales of Legendia: In case you are curious, this song plays at the main menu of the game as well as the game’s town graveyard.

As for a song that creates ambience during an event, a song from the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker game is an excellent example:  As you will see, this song is background music to the backstory of Link aka The Legendary Hero.

With a character, a song can be called a theme. The purpose of the theme is basically to convey the nature of the character and at times to convey a sense of familiarity (this applies to a reoccurring character in an RPG). One of the best character themes can be found in Kingdom Hearts 358 Days/2: This song is called Music for the Sadness of Xion (pronounced Shee-on).

An amazing benefit from video game music is that you can sometimes hear it live via a concert or cd (turn the volume up some):

Lastly, there is only one downside to video game music. While you can listen to it without actually playing the game, you might not be as connected to the song as you would be if you did play. As long as you like the music though, it shouldn’t matter.

What video game music do you like?

Written by Serena Zola

May 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

6 Responses

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  1. I know I’m super late commenting, but that was an awesome post!
    I adore the Kingdom Hearts music very much. You are right. People thing video game music is all 8-bit, but Yoko Shimomura, Koji Kondo, and other composers proved that wrong.
    I play KH music on my piano all the time! so, far I can play Dearly Beloved, Roxas, little bit of Xion, Rowdy Rumble, And I’m still working on others.
    There is a shuffle for Kingdom Hearts music on this site: It’s really awesome and they have EVERY SINGLE SONG.
    My brother is a LOZ freak. He dresses like Link everyday. He just beat Wind Waker and he bought the complete soundtrack. I NEED the KH discs…
    Thanks for sharing!


    May 28, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    • Thanks for commenting and posting the link! It’s cool how you can play Kingdom Hearts songs on the piano 🙂 I’ve got twelve songs from the game on my ipod and I listen to them almost everyday.


      May 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

  2. Ah… who doesn’t know the Mario Bros tune? 🙂

    A lot of the oldest stuff just repeated one piece of music endlessly until you wanted tear your hair out. (Of course, the simple fix was to mute the TV.) It wasn’t until games developed an actual storyline that the musical compositions became more meaningful. They stepped beyond “background noise” and into an art form of their own.

    Some of the Final Fantasy games are among my favorites. My daughter bought the soundtrack from… I think 7… maybe. (???) Anyway, it was lovely. Okay… and here’s a weird story. Our local funeral director heard it, and got a copy for his music files. He tries to keep a lot of different stuff on hand for different funerals, and the haunting beauty of those soundtracks was something he could use for a less traditional situation.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    Laura Ritchie

    May 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    • Thanks for commenting! Your story about the funeral director using the Final Fantasy music for a funeral isn’t weird to me; it’s cool! It’d be nice if someone used video game music at my funeral; I think I’d like Melfes (Shining Blue) playing as someone delievered my eulogy. I tried playing a Final Fantasy game and I hated the battle system so I never became a fan of the series. However, I did enjoy the Final Fantasy characters that were featured in the Kingdom Hearts video game series (which by the way is my favorite series ever!)


      May 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    • Intresting! One of my friends from church told me to play Dearly Beloved on the piano because it was played at her grandmother’s funeral. I would Kingdom Hearts music for my funeral when I die!


      May 28, 2012 at 5:45 AM

      • Yeah that is something I would like too; Dearly Beloved is the best song in Kingdom Hearts


        May 28, 2012 at 9:38 PM

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