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Appreciation of VG Music 1: Battle Music

Capa Langley

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Phantasy Star IV - Laughter

Great music with some cool stereo effects. PS IV has plenty of good boss tunes, but this is the most evil and suspenseful. It's even better than the last battle music, which wasn't really that great. There are some sampled sounds here and there and everything is pretty clean and fun to listen to.

The musical instruments sound very similar to Ghouls 'n Ghosts' sound library. Motoaki Takenouchi knew how to make his songs interesting all the way through (notice how he gives each synth its time to shine). Unfortunately he stopped making music for games in 1996 and seems to have disappeared, been kidnapped, died or something.

Panorama Cotton - Last Battle (mp3 because there is no youtube for this one)

Overall this song has good hooks and even a little Asian flavour thrown in. The drum samples are fantastic and they can really boom at certain points. Excellent music! Yes... for a Genesis game. We all know for a fact that the Genesis makes the worst sound that has ever been made on this planet. Worse than the NES, worse than the Atari 2600, everybody hates the Genesis. Yes, the SNES is super-orgasmic and has no flaws. Now be quiet already :)

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Final Fantasy IX - Dark Messenger


Like some sort of apocalyptic "We Will Rock You", this one starts off foreboding and then the drums build up leading into a nice growling guitar/organ mix. Once it gets going it really emphasizes just how dangerous the guy you're fighting is.

Final Fantasy V - Clash on the Big Bridge

So you get about halfway through the game, when suddenly another seemingly major villain pops up. Then this tune starts playing and thats it with the expository banter! It's time to fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! Fast-paced, well constructed, and catchy as hell.

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What's better than a boss fight? A boss fight with an immortal partner. I can never get enough of this game especially when I had a friend over. We would spend hours straight going through this game to its entirety. You hear this track very often as you face multiple mini-bosses in each stage. I miss being Knuckle Joe and kicking ass right about now.

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Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Boss Theme


Quite possibly the best FF to me music wise. This track really has a feeling of urgency of killing the boss, and also sticks closely to the other more hard rock like tracks of the game. One of the main reasons I still love the game as much as the day I put it in my SNES in grade school.

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Resident Evil 5 - Majini IX (in Flames)

I actually posted this as a remix request a few days ago, but i like it so much i'm sharing it again. It's actually the only track from the game that stood out for me, and one of a few none rpg tracks i listen to. 'Epic' is a term that's over used when describing vg music, so i'll just say this is a jolly good track.

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Note: These are not my all-time favorite tracks, but they are standouts, and in many cases deserve to get more recognition.

Crono Trigger: Lavos Core - Final Battle

Minimalism FTW! Also, it's Mitsuda. And Crono Trigger. I can't explicate any more than that.

Legend of Mana: Silence of Time


This piece is also minimalistic, but it's by Shimomura, which means it is both dark and beautiful. Great use of harmonies to create both tension and a sense of progression. I really love Shimomura's music; sometimes her work seems to me like a mixture of Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev... but I digress.

Castlevania Curse of Darkness: Toccata into blood-soaked Darkness

Mishiru Yamane + Baroque + Symphonic/prog rock = :dstrbd:. I'm sure she would have felt right at home in 17th Europe. I never played Curse of Darkness, but I feel that great music (of any kind) is not dependent on context or nostalgia.

Kingdom Hearts 2: The Darkness of the Unknown

More toccata, more Shimomura! I love how the track starts out frantic, but ultimately takes on a somber tone, reflecting the nature of this final battle. And no, I never played Kingdom Hearts, either.

Contra 3: The Final Gauntlet (in video form to illustrate the dynamic elements of the track(s))

Why doesn't anyone ever bring up the music of this game? It's frickin' awesome! The Final Gauntlet is one of the best examples of early horizontal re-sequencing (dynamic music) in video games, and the soundtrack itself is like blend of Dream Theater-esque prog metal and action film scoring. And, nope, I didn't play it.

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Perfect Cherry Blossom - Necro-Fantasy


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.

Have you listened to the Demetori remix of it?

And for something else...well it's not really battle music in the traditional RPG sense of the term but...

Asteroid Field from Star Fox on the Super Nintendo.

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battle with zant in 5 parts


i didn't even play the damn game, yet i worship it.

oh lol someone made it in mario paint composer.

brave effort haha

seriously though, that gradual decline into fucking madness, realised in such a flawless fashion, is something i hadn't really heard before in a video game.

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Earthbound: Pokey Means Business!


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.

Thisssss. Back when I was a kid, I used to get to this battle just for the sake of hearing it. I would just leave the game sit there, and I would do whatever in my room.

Where did you get it for $7? Very nice find. I remember being at Blockbuster one day, and I would always see this huge SNES box on display. I kept wondering why the box was so large. I couldn't find anything to rent one day, so I got Earthbound for the hell of it. To my surprise, Blockbuster even had the guide. It was beat up though. I didn't even know it was an RPG. I loved it so much, I had my Mom look for it for my birthday. She couldn't find it around locally, but one night coming home from out of town, she found it at a Wal-mart. Best game to randomly rent, ever.

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Have you listened to the Demetori remix of it?

Of course I have :razz: in fact I have well over 900GB of Touhou albums to go through and it still grows with each discovery. :lol:

Here's another goodie

Probably one of the catchiest battle themes I've heard and I include it because at a certain point the mooks ARE bosses with seemingly insane amount of health as well as stats. You'll be hearing it for quite a while and thankfully it also seems to match your party's strength where as earlier in the game, the battle theme would be tamer and less dramatic; also seemingly matching the strength of your party.

Once appearing before on the PS2 I remember playing it during the summer of the early 2000s. Always a good time killer when it was raining and there was nothing on TV at all. Great game for the PSP as well.

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  • 2 months later...

I would venture to say almost any Final Fantasy battle piece could go here, but I have to admit that

is a personal favorite. I love the organ cadenza, and the powerful ending in the odd time signatures is kind of a picture of the insanity that Kefka has given himself to.

An old standby for me is the Ocarina of Time's

with Ganon. A mournful, yet hopeful piece, outlining a battle to the death between light and darkness.


theme has flips to different time signatures like that's its job. I love the quick strings and the orchestral backing... it's a shame the quality of the Gameboy Advanced could not produce a better sound. I would love to hear this piece performed by a live orchestra/choir.

The pulsing percussion and choir leads in the

piece in FFXII are intense and dramatic. In my opinion, a very powerful battle theme.
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