Video game music is its’ own genre, wouldn’t you say? It’s always had a rather unique sound and mood, usually only fit for video games (as awesome as it is, you rarely see anyone moshing to Sonic 2 soundtrack, for example). Even outside of the NES/Genesis era, there is just something about the melodies that says “you’re on a very important mission and spilling epic blood is okay.” So where does it come from? A lot is simply licensed but are there some glimpses and samples, in the ‘original’ game music, that are not immediately apparent?
Before you do give the samples a listen, please, keep in mind that I’m not accusing anyone of ripping anyone off. It’s just some music that sounds similar enough to be interesting… let’s say.
Diablo Tristram Theme / Nina Hagen – Naturträne
Diablo theme is one of my favorite pieces of video game music ever. It’s moody, atmospheric, melodic and sinister as shit! It’s rare when music fits a game this perfectly and is also something you can enjoy on your own time. I mean, try listening to this track on a rainy night. Beautiful! But… listen to the guitar for a few seconds, especially this part:
Mortal Kombat 3: Street Theme / Prodigy – Spitfire
This is very arguable, which is actually why it’s here. Well, that and the fact that it might be the case where a video game track is the original! So, let’s start with this small part from Mortal Kombat 3 “streets track”, which itself is a remix of a Mortal Kombat 1 track. I do get a similar vibe from both tracks but the following part is particularly interesting.
Mega Man X3 Neon Tiger Stage / Guns N Roses – My Michelle
The Mega Man connection is a lot better known than the rest on this list but I still want to include them because of how bizarre it is. I’ll let Wiki do the introductions: “The music playing during Neon Tiger’s stage seems to be a homage to the Guns N’ Roses song “My Michelle”, however, this has been proven to be simply coincidental. As a recent message from Kinuyo Yamashita, the composer of the entire Mega Man X3 soundtrack, stated that, at the time of contact, she had never heard of Guns N’ Roses and that she composed the music for Mega Man X3 simply “in the image of Mega Man.”
It’s pretty badass, referencing (or not referencing) Guns N Roses but it gets better. Check out this track from Mega Man 2:
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (Genesis) / Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure was basically a 2d Uncharted. Well, not really, but it was an awesome, awesome game. Check it out.
The segment is tiny so maybe this is just an excuse to put some Led Zeppelin here.
Streets of Rage Intro / Enigma – Sadeness
Let’s end with a bit of nostalgia. Remember Streets of Rage?
90’s music FTW!