Video game soundtracks that effect your mood or mental state based on your experience with the game


53m 40s


I don’t even really like 2D Sonic games, but the music that plays when Sonic is running out of breath gives me an honest to god panic attack. I usually stop playing when I get to the underwater levels in those games.

The Hyper Light Drifter OST on the other hand has always successfully calmed me down. I used to play that soundtrack when I was writing essays in college.


if you feel comfortable sharing i would love to read more on that topic. i’ve been getting curious about scoring for video games, and there’s something really interesting about those series-long motifs. 8-bit music theory’s video about the Zelda overworld themes sorta touches on this.

it almost makes analyzing those OSTs harder, in a way. like, is there something inherently evocative about the Ocarina of Time melodies, or did the wolf songs in Twilight Princess just affect me because i had heard them since i was 5?


Questions like these I always have the same answer. Jet Set Radio Future has to have my favorite video game soundtrack of all time. I still find myself going back and listening to those songs I hope one day Sega will bring back the series if for nothing else then something to play while I listen to cool music.


I’ve said this elsewhere but Aquatic Ambience gave my first existential crisis at like age 9 so that was a lot


I find a lot of video game soundtracks help me out when I’m working. My go to is the galaxy map soundtrack from Mass Effect - it just contains the curious explorative wonder of exploring the immensity of space and other solar systems albeit from a small easy to use map like interface.


A lot of good soundtracks that evoke emotions in me listed - currently the big one that gets me is the Nier and Nier: A soundtracks.


I thoroughly enjoy the soundtrack to Horizon: Zero Dawn. When I was playing it for the first time, it’s basically all I listened to.

Another real winner for me is the Life Is Strange: Before the Storm soundtrack by the band Daughter. God, it’s just so, so good and makes me want to cry.


Ooh, that reminds me, this Heavens to Betsy track when it was in Gone Home gave me a lot of feelings and it has a lot stronger impact on me now


It kind of scares me just how calm and “safe” this makes me feel:


Celeste’s OST (and the game as a whole) really hit home for me. I still hear the opening piano notes of First Steps in my head whenever I get too stressed and need to remind myself to breathe.


I have a hard time listening to Ar tonelico and Ar nosurge songs without getting goosebumps. Like Nier, they’re emotive sounding enough on their own, but that probably hits another level once you start to see some of the translations. The “hymns” are written in a language that they made up for the games and that also happens to function heavily around the emotions of the singer.

The hymns are “song magic” that are presented as executable code that, when sung by the right people, result in X or Y spell. Sometimes you get songs that are designed to steal everybody’s soul and destroy the world, but maybe the person singing the song starts to disagree with the code, so it turns into a goddamn chaotic rock opera where the singer has to try to overpower the song.

It’s all pretty operatic so maybe a bit of an acquired taste. I like this one because the person who cut this translation together did an amazing job (font colors aside).


It’s pretty bad tbh and kinda dated, but here it is.


Hey everyone. We have plans to officially release MoTS in the near future. We’ll have more details for you soon.

Cozmo23 - Bungie Community Manager



Due to their technological restrictions there’s a certain amount of necessity in reusing sounds, and to some extent by extension melodies, in old game osts. Obviously, like any other soundtrack it also helps them establish a tone. Composers also have recurring themes and styles they return to, you’ll find earlier works by Chip Tanaka for example that have a very similar sound to his Mario work

There’s also stuff like this

which i imagine came about through experimentation in the way the early machines produced sound.


One area where the Zelda melodies differ though is that even when technology became a total non issue, they’ve kept on using and reusing melodies or at least fragments of them, even when the tone changed, see Kakariko Village in Twilight Princess, where they used a little bit of the OoT melody, they have the same or a similar harmony, the melodies aren’t totally dissimilar, and with a bit of coaxing, they fit together relatively easily.


Little Big Adventure (philippe vachey)
Age of Wonders (michael van den bos, which includes Unreal series and Deus Ex as well)

most of what Shivoa mentioned
mentions – anachronox, diablo, stonekeep, mcgee alice, dark fall, grim fandango, arcanum, might and magic series, and many more, I believe


Shadow of the Colossus gets me AMPED. Great exercise music.