The Ten Best Honorable Mention Songs in Gaming

Every Top 10 list has some glaring omissions. I did five such lists last week, and as expected I was given plenty of songs that I had missed. So, in an attempt to make amends, here are the Ten Best Honorable Mention Songs in Gaming.

In case you need a refresher:

Monday: Top 10 World Map and Stage Select Themes

Tuesday: Top 10 Opening Themes

Wednesday: Top 10 Most Iconic Stage/Area Themes

Thursday: Top 10 Final Boss Themes

Friday: Top 10 Credits Themes

I’ve chosen ten songs, two for each list, that have a valid argument for inclusion in said lists, but I just ran out of space. Let’s see if you’d agree on what I left out.

WORLD MAP/STAGE SELECT THEMES

1. Mega Man 3 – “Stage Select”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNkRMbD6nDY

I chose the Mega Man 2 Stage Select song because I played MM2 far more than MM3, but that doesn’t mean that this tune is something to sneeze at. This is another great stage select track from the Mega Man series, getting the player pumped up for another battle with Dr. Wily and his cronies.

2. Final Fantasy VIII – “Blue Fields”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTyfz7n1QWk

Another victim of “different game in the series had a better song,” Final Fantasy VIII’s world map song is a slow, mysterious song, far different from the rest of the soundtrack. It’s as if this song is telling the player “yeah, this world LOOKS safe and serene, but before you know it, BAM, things will change.” While “Crossing Those Hills” from Final Fantasy IX made the cut, “Blue Fields” from VIII should not be overlooked.

OPENING THEMES

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – “Intro”

Per a comment from Soulfileol007: “Where’s Ocarina of Time’s intro??? That song easily gives you a hint about the massive adventure you were about to undertake!” Can’t say I disagree, nor can I say it better myself.

2. Street Fighter II – “Intro”

This track missed out on the list by the skin of its teeth. Believe me, I tried my damndest to justify putting this over some of the others, but I just couldn’t. Unfortunately, this classic song, one that bounced off of arcade walls for years, is relegated to honorable mention status.

ICONIC THEMES

1. Pokemon Red/Blue – “Vs. Trainer”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HnHGevlU8g

Pokemon is filled with songs that could be considered “iconic,” but only two are worthy of consideration: the main theme that I chose and this one, which many a gamer is all too familiar with. Do you remember trying to avoid trainers on a route, only to have one of them turn to see you, then immediately challenge you? I sure as hell do…damn trainers.

2. Final Fantasy V – “Mambo de Chocobo”

The Chocobo theme is a stalwart of Final Fantasy; it’s been around just as long as Prelude has. However, the chocobo themes were deep in the games, requiring players to traverse the game in order to hear them. Prelude can be heard at the very beginning of the very first Final Fantasy game, making it a more universal track. This song is my favorite of the Chocobo themes, if only because of the “HOOH” in the middle of it.

FINAL BOSS THEMES

1. Final Fantasy VIII – “The Extreme”

From a commenter on N4G: “Am I the only one who thinks FFVIII’s soundtrack is horribly underrated? I can’t decide what my favorite FF final battle music is, but the fast-paced tune when you fight Ultimecia is definitely in my top 5.” The reader then links to this track, and while I agree that it’s an awesome tune, it’s not the only final boss theme in Final Fantasy VIII. Ultimecia had four stages, each with their own themes. Sephiroth only needed one. In this case, quantity does not triumph over quality.

2. Pokemon Red/Blue – “Vs. Champion”

Another N4G comment: “I personally think the Pokemon Red/Blue champion theme is one of the best final themes. A bit disappointed to not see it up there. It was such a fun theme. The frantic tone really added to the battle.” I agree with the reader here, but I always felt that Gold and Silver’s version did a better job of getting me hyped for the match. Red and Blue did a great job of making me frantic…perhaps too good. That damn song always got to me, causing mistakes to be made in my battle with Gary or Blue or in my case Nimrod. Stupid song.

CREDITS THEMES

1. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – “Staff Credits”

I can’t believe I missed this one. I truly can’t. It’s only one of my favorite endings OF ALL TIME, including the credits and post-credits scene. This song has a legit argument for the Opening Music list too, as its the title screen theme. It’s a sea shanty, an irish jig, and more all rolled into one. It’s one of my favorite Zelda tracks of all time, AND I LEFT IT OUT. I’m not angry about ANY of the other omissions. This one makes me mad.

2. inFAMOUS – “Working For A Nuclear-Free City – ‘Silent Melody'”

There were two songs I was considering here: this one and “Way to Fall” by Starsailor from the credits of Metal Gear Solid 3. I went back and forth, one to the other, not knowing what would sway me. Then, I listened to this song and realized that it is perfect for the game it comes from, while “Way to Fall” is just an allusion to Big Boss’ future. Not that the allusion is a bad thing, it’s damn cool, but because “Silent Melody” does a better job of repping its source, I gave it the nod.

 

This is my last music piece, I swear. I’m just a huge fan of gaming soundtracks; they’re easily just as important as graphics in setting up a game’s environment. I love talking about it…sorry if I went a little nuts. I hope you all enjoyed the series, and as always share with me what songs I’m missing. I’m ALWAYS game for more music.



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