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Capa Langley

Appreciation of VG Music 1: Battle Music

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We all enjoy video game music here. Bahamut's project here gave me an idea; How does video game music describe itself to you? We experience all sorts of variety of vgmusic, but what sort is our favorite? How do we differ them from each other? There are too many projects and competitions for remixing on this forum, but why not listen to the original tracks from time to time?

Theme #1: Battle Music

What is needed:

  • Link a stream or youtube video of your favorite track that must correspond with the current theme. Not limited to one.
  • Write up at least 3 sentences or a full paragraph telling us when you first heard it and why you like it.
  • Some favorites will often be shared between more than person. This means someone else will likely post a track which you like. So instead post your 2nd favorite or so forth. No duplicates. The idea here is to spread more music as possible.
  • Or, you can post a track you've never really listened to before and write why it should be enjoyed.

For now I am thinking about letting each theme run it's course for a month. In the short future, I might possibly jump to having it once every 2 weeks. We'll just have to see the popularity of this sort of proposal.

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This track raises your tension right away with the opening beats. The melodies doesn't drown out the rest of the track, nor the sound effects, and never distracts you from the actual battle. This is the sort of track that makes you feel as if you're part of the battle and makes you just want to fight as one of the characters rather than controlling them. I'm a JRPG fan and when SaGa Frontier first came out I was reluctant to actually play T260 at all, but when I did and came to finishing his story I was blasted away from this and always went back to it whenever I could.

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Now, hardly the most hardcore RPG gamer, but this has to be one of the greatest Battle Themes of all time.

Grandia II - Fight!! Ver.3 ~ Boss Battle

The Grandia games were always the most accessible RPG's I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The fantastic voice acting always lent the titles an old-school 'Saturday Morning Cartoon' vibe that really appealed to me. And this battle theme pretty much embodies everything I love about the Grandia series; it's fun, melodic, empowering, cheesy and it never, ever grates on ones nerves. Noriyuki Iwadare's masterful score for Grandia II is incredibly diverse... and this battle theme perfectly captures the utter uniqueness and pure fun the Grandia battle system could provide. It's a product of it's time, and I dare say that themes as fun and energetic as this will become less and less common, which is rather sad. But I digress. Listen and love it.

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The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask ~ Boss Battle

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

Whether good or bad, Majora's Mask borrowed heavily from its predecessor, Ocarina of Time. Music was no exception, but the few themes (& even fewer that weren't composed by Koji Kondo) were excellent. This theme in particular made those epic battles seem much more... epic. You can even feel the build up right at the beginning. *CHILLS*

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Earthbound: Pokey Means Business!

(MASSIVE EB SPOILERS TO FOLLOW)

When I first bought earthbound for a whopping $7 (came with the guide too!) I wasn't sure what to expect. When I turned it on and started playing I worried that it was going to be an unfun RPG. Now I'm not a graphics freak but something about the buildings in Onett turned me off. But I kept playing. And playing. The story drew me in. The writing was both humorous and sincere. From saving the Runaway Five to eating "Magic Cake" I loved it. And there were more touching moments. Ness' memories from the sanctuary locations. Collecting melodies just like in Mother. Delving deep into Nothingness with Mu.

And the final battle. The way this starts you think it's going to be awesome and badass and you're going to kick Pokey's ass. When it busts into death metal from chiptune, you're even more hyped up. And then he turns off the Devil's Machine and from then on, the final battle music is akin to what I imagine a failing electrical plant to sound like. The battle is no longer about kicking ass but surviving. And as the party prays, you find yourself doing the same.

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The boss theme that immediately pops into my head as my favorite would have to be this.

I first heard this theme when I was four or five years old, and my dad would rent games allegedly for my entertainment, although I could really only play the easiest levels and he would tackle the rest. Gaming became, at the time, something like an unpredictable, high-stakes cartoon that I would watch my dad partake in. Donkey Kong Country and its sequels were probably the first games that I ever really fell in love with, and their incredible music has stuck with me forever.

One thing I love about this tune is it doesn't start out badass and intense from the beginning. Having wandered through jungles and mines and factories, the Kongs now suddenly find themselves at a totally foreign locale- on a pirate ship. It seems pleasant enough, and there's a beautiful view of the island which you've just traversed in the background. The tune introduces you to the new location with a jolly sea song- but suddenly the merriness fades out and the intense percussion rolls in, and you know it's on, as your giant reptilian nemesis appears for the final showdown.

I always associated the really heavy percussion and bassline with the power of all the things that keep falling from the sky in this battle onto the shaky wooden deck of the ship, whether it be cannonballs or the leaping K. Rool himself. It's these things which add the driving force to the song, while the guitar riff cuts straight to your heart, crescendoing and then fading back out again, eerie, almost already like a melancholy call to tell you this is the end. It seriously gives me chills.

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Super Bomberman - Boss Music

I played this game many a time when I was younger, usually doing co-op with my bro. The theme is perfect for a boss battle, its truly epic, but it remains funky and catchy which fits in with the general feel of the game.

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Possible spoilers:

This was the first game I personally remember having a boss with his own battle theme separate from the end boss. You knew that after getting through the floating continent and approaching this dude, and then hearing this music, that you were in for quite a fight. I loved the intensity throughout, along with the awesome riffs.

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Castlevania - Black Night

Way before "Dance of Illusions" ever graced my ears on SotN, back on the NES this particularly track always struck something for me. It was not graceful, nor give any sign that it would be a long, arduous fight. No to me it said, "Fuck you I'm finishing this NOW!"; an all out fight. It had been twenty one years since the first I've heard it and to finally hear what I had vividly imagined within my mind come back gloriously once more...

It simply reaffirms my continued and invested interest in VG music all over again.

Some tracks will often be shared between more than person, so don't post one that has already been posted. Instead, post your 2nd favorite or so forth. No duplicates. The idea here is to spread more music as possible.

I could very easily post tons of Touhou boss music, but I'll put one of my absolute favorite ones

Perfect Cherry Blossom - Necro-Fantasy

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

When I first heard it, to me it seemed very dream-like or ethereal. A fight that didn't have the significance of saving the world or myself. Merely a confrontation and test of will power; more so than anything that would come to mind.

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Def one of my favorite boss battle themes out there, I love the synth lead and the powerful synth guitars. I get incredibly pumped up just hearing this song. I even went as far as to learn it on guitar and I actually have an old wip of this I'll finish someday, but until then...yeah. Anyway I love how this entire soundtrack has such a metal feel to it, and there's even some Jazz Fusion style songs. I'd say this is easily one of the best Genesis soundtracks out there.

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Saturos's Battle Theme from Golden Sun.

Motoi Sakuraba has a penchant for making brilliant and catchy battle themes. It's hard to pick a favorite battle theme from the Golden Sun series, but I personally find this one to be the best. This theme played during the big confrontations with the recurring antagonist duo Saturos and Menardi, and I think it captures the intensity and gravity of those moments well. Gotta love the part at 0:44.

Regarding the Majora's Mask Boss Theme, I can't help but hear Odolwa's bellows when I hear it. :)

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StarTropics Boss Battle

This track is one of the first I remember. It also conveys the HOLY CRAP IT'S A BOSS feeling quite well. It's also a track I've tried to remix, the first. And gave up doing so because I didn't know what I was doing at the time.

Once I get new headphones, I'll give it another shot! ;)

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Strictly speaking this isn't a battle theme but it's the music that plays when you're outside town at where monsters are. Even though I only found out about this game a few days ago, this is easily among my favorite GBC tunes. It incorporates the main game motif but in a more sinister fashion that really augments the sense that the outside of town is freaking dangerous at night. The driving beat pushes you onwards to the next town before something eats you.

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Last Boss, from Guwange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RM7ZxC542I&feature=related

I found the Guwange Arrange Album on ebay back in February and no one bid against me, so I really got lucky. Guwange is made by Cave, and that's why I wanted to hear the arranged music. I like this song because of the melody and weird instrument sounds (the whole CD is like this).

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Saturos's Battle Theme from Golden Sun.

Motoi Sakuraba has a penchant for making brilliant and catchy battle themes. It's hard to pick a favorite battle theme from the Golden Sun series, but I personally find this one to be the best. This theme played during the big confrontations with the recurring antagonist duo Saturos and Menardi, and I think it captures the intensity and gravity of those moments well. Gotta love the part at 0:44.

Regarding the Majora's Mask Boss Theme, I can't help but hear Odolwa's bellows when I hear it. :)

I remember that - I always was :( that it only played in like two battles in Golden Sun

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Cervantes Theme

I have always loved Soul Blade. When I was little I even crafted some of the weapons with wood (with a lot of help from my father). I just think this theme fits Cervantes so well and it syncs when you start the fight. I can even hear the announcer in my head, and who can forget his combo Δ+Δ+Δ :lol:

Maybe a little off-topic but I also made a pvp video with a cover of the song.

The footage is from Aion open beta EU.

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Piercing Silence from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.

Even though I didn't initially pay attention to this track against the first bosses, it really grew on me during those last few stages, where we face those really good bosses.

Considering those few bosses had proper entrances/introductions, the beginning of the song fits those battles to a T, and pumps you up for the awesome enemy you're about to face.

I recently found a better version of it in Harmony of Despair, but I haven't actually played that game. It certainly sounds fantastic, though.

Another one is Fighting of the Spirit, which I'm sure you've heard about before ;-)

I love how the track conveys not only the idea of a tense, important battle, but also the fact that you're essentially fighting a supernatural, divine entity. In Tales of Symphonia, this is especially noticeable in the fights against Volt, Origin and Luna/Aska.

This music is the closest thing there is to a "Tales of" series theme, and for good reason, too. After all, this theme only plays a handful of times in Tales of Phantasia.

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Speaking of great boss music, Shadow of the Ninja (aka blue shadow) immediately comes to mind. The boss songs may be a bit repetative even for NES music, but are still really impressive.

Regular boss

Final boss

The rest of the songs in the game are also amazing... One can wonder why newer games almost never have songs as good as many games of the NES/SNES era...

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Speaking of great boss music, Shadow of the Ninja (aka blue shadow) immediately comes to mind. The boss songs may be a bit repetative even for NES music, but are still really impressive.

Regular boss

Final boss

The rest of the songs in the game are also amazing... One can wonder why newer games almost never have songs as good as many games of the NES/SNES era...

Repetition is not entirely bad so long as it has a great hook to it. Wily 2 Castle 1 in MM2 is a perfect example.

In fact the two tracks mentioned from SotN (see what I did there) reminded me of the PC-98 era games...

Legendary Illusion ~ Infinite Being

Treacherous Maiden - Judas Kiss

Cute Devil ~ Innocence

Plastic Mind

Nonetheless I may have to emulate Shadow of the Ninja just to hear the rest of the tracks. :lol:

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I could not beat this game when I was a kid, mostly because I had terrible aim and couldn't get Bowser to hit the last bomb. Eventually I'd burn to death or fall off the star platform. My mom thought the game was evil because she likes to call stars pentagrams. Anyway, I like the theme because it nicely conveys your impending doom without being too overdramatic. Appropriate for a giant death turtle slowly waddling towards you on a floating pentagram.

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Now, hardly the most hardcore RPG gamer, but this has to be one of the greatest Battle Themes of all time.

Grandia II - Fight!! Ver.3 ~ Boss Battle

The Grandia games were always the most accessible RPG's I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The fantastic voice acting always lent the titles an old-school 'Saturday Morning Cartoon' vibe that really appealed to me. And this battle theme pretty much embodies everything I love about the Grandia series; it's fun, melodic, empowering, cheesy and it never, ever grates on ones nerves. Noriyuki Iwadare's masterful score for Grandia II is incredibly diverse... and this battle theme perfectly captures the utter uniqueness and pure fun the Grandia battle system could provide. It's a product of it's time, and I dare say that themes as fun and energetic as this will become less and less common, which is rather sad. But I digress. Listen and love it.

All of Grandia II's battle themes are fantastic. The thing I find awesome about Ver. 3 in particular is the random breakbeat after the intro. It's a totally different drumkit too, like they just copied and pasted 2 seconds of a Casio demo into the track. And I love it.

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