Waypoint Weeklies: Games Soundtrack Bangers

Hi everyone, welcome back for a slightly delayed Waypoint Weeklies, where we present a question or prompt for everyone to discuss.

We can all agree that music is incredibly important part of the medium of video games. A great soundtrack can enhance mechanics or deepen our emotional connection to a narrative. But, every once in a while, there’s a song so good that it breaks out of orbit of the game itself, and into our musical rotation. Maybe it’s a showstopper from a key moment in a story that we revisit frequently to take us back to that moment. Maybe the song just rips and you want to hear it blow out your bluetooth speaker or car stereo.

So this week, what song from a game soundtrack do you never skip on shuffle? What’s your favorite games soundtrack banger?

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Austin Wintory is a genius:

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I would follow Keiichi Okabe to the gates of Hell.

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I have a massive weakness for video game soundtracks [to the extent that I’ve bought several soundtracks for games I really didn’t get on with], so I could fill this entire thread with stuff.

I’m going to go for something a little older and more indie here in the expectation that it’s not going to be mentioned by others though:

[Probably the best track from a game which was literally filled with excellent music that any other game would have killed to have: Screamer from World of Goo ] (Runner up from that sound track, and more “radio length” would be Cog in the Machine.]

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This J-pop song in 13 Sentinels is some hard shit.

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I absolutely love the NEOTOKYO soundtrack in general, the mod has mostly been forgotten at this point but this soundtrack is still to me one of the best soundtracks in a game to date which is funny considering how little used this soundtrack actually is in game.

Tin Soldiers though is probably the track that I revisit the most and never skip

If I have to actually sit down and concentrate on something this album plus his other two albums (0edit and TGR Fuel) are all I listen to. Besides it just being good easy to listen to music there’s something about it that just brings me back mentally to a time when all I cared about was making cool maps, playing on a server with a bunch of people I knew only from the internet, and having fun without any real worries in life other then homework.

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There are a bunch of songs I could post here, but I’ll go with something way too on brand:

I had to find some random reupload because the official artwork makes me uncomfortable

Silent Hill 3 is great, but its soundtrack is just transcendent. So many of the tracks are sooooo good! Breeze - In Monochrome Night stands out to me with just how layered it is. It’s the kind of song you can just no-thoughts-brain-empty VIBE to.

Other stand outs from the SH3 soundtrack: Sickness Unto Foolish Death, Memory of the Waters, and, of course, End of Small Sanctuary.

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https://youtu.be/miRWotuvyg8 For something a little further off the beaten path, please enjoy the Stick It To The Man soundtrack.

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First off, I gotta say, I respect the restraint of y’all posting only one song each.

Now I think it would be cheating if I just put the entire DJ Hero 1 and 2 soundtracks in here (all of the songs in those games are original remixes or mashups and many are quite good), so I won’t do that.

For my official pick: LittleBigPlanet 1 had a fantastic soundtrack and Rock the Jungle is one of my favorite tracks from it

Okay, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist

DJ Hero: Bustin’ Loose vs. Time of the Season
https://youtu.be/LAL9KfJjJUM

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It’s hard to pick just one, but I think the video game song I most often seek out to listen to - not just let play if it shows up on shuffle - is Paper Boats, from the Transistor OST. It’s a beautiful song.

My runner-up, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the entire Hypnospace Outlaw OST. Within minutes of booting the game up - I knew would be an all-time favourite. I spent a week doing homemade pizza for dinner, and I’d spend the whole process of tossing the dough and spreading on the sauce and cheese with the Pizza Dance playing since it was all I could think about.

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Sun Araw’s Deep Cover (AKA Jacket’s apartment music) still kinda blows my mind, nine years later

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The funniest thing about Nier: Automata to me is that I didn’t really like the game at all, and so it being clumsily shunted into FFXIV, a game I do enjoy, didn’t endear me in the slightest. However, it does mean that we get some of the Nier music, like End of the Unknown and an instrumental version of Amusement Park. Spoilers for the questline on those videos, btw. Sorry, only ones I could find. However, I will not consider it at all complete until we get the best song from Nier:A, which is A Beautiful Song.

The 24-player Nier raids also gave us fantastic mash-ups as well, but I like these songs more.

FFXIV also has it’s own share of amazing music, with special mentions going to Under the Weight (Titan’s Final Phase Theme) and Oblivion (Shiva’s Phase 2 Theme), which made me physically lean back in my chair when I first heard those transitions. Both of those have a few remixed versions that I’m unwilling to spoil here. However, in terms of sheer emotional weight, the award goes to Twilight over Thanalan, a song from FFXIV 1.0 that was once an ambient theme, which now makes repeated appearances whenever a moment needs some tender yet uplifting music. Shadowbringers has several amazing songs, which I can’t link here for spoiler reasons.

In terms of non-MMO music, the Bastion soundtrack was the first video game soundtrack I shelled out my own hard-earned cash for (because I hadn’t had a job prior to that, and thus, no real income of mine own). Hearing one of these songs is enough to jam me back into the exact section of the game where it comes from. I’ve also played that game 3 times tho, so… make of that what you will. (As long as what you’re making of that is that I have excellent taste in video games).

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Society is both the enemy and also a pretty good song. Guilty Gear has some extremely good songs in general. SOCIETY (FULL VERSION) - Guilty Gear STRIVE (Potemkin's Theme) - YouTube

My favorite sub-genre of video game music is Japanese Composer Discovers Prog Rock.

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Did you know Fallen London has a full soundtrack?

Veilgarden is the artist’s neighborhood in Fallen London filled music, parties, and casual drug usage, and this song so perfectly captures the energy of being out in the streets at a night fair or parade but with the eerie and oddness of Fallen London. The Victorian Gothic Mardi Gras is very good.

Also, my sister did Irish stepdance for about seven years, so I smiled hard on realizing the percussion isn’t tap but hard shoes.

And somehow this is the only banger I can think of right now.

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Remember when the XCOM Legacy soundtrack completely hijacked a Tactical Tuesday stream? Yeah, those tracks hold up.

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SOUNDSHOCK
It is my humble opinion that Alien Soldier one of the best opening level tracks of any video game ever made. The track “Runner/AD2025” explodes out of your speakers. It melts so fucking hard. It overwhelms my body with hard-rocking energy and Pure Genesis Energy. The whole soundtrack rips, and I’m also a huge fan of “Silent” on that OST too. But “Runner/AD2025” is the one that rocks, melts, and GOES the hardest.

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I loooove the first Ace Attorney soundtrack. I don’t think about it much, but this track pops into my head really often without me even remembering where it’s from.
https://youtu.be/GDP4ds-ozOI

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Since a few people have pushed the envelope with more than 1 track, I’m going to indulge myself with another thing that I don’t think will turn up otherwise: soundtracks from tracker era of video game music. [Starting in the Commodore Amiga era, and through to the very early 2000s - the original Deus Ex’s soundtrack is all tracker in the Unreal umod format {an extension of MOD which allows for one file to contain multiple versions of a track for different contexts - Deus Ex uses this for “combat” and “peaceful” variants in each level}, but the format was being displaced by mp3 and (ogg) vorbis around that point.]

Two examples which are still on some of my playlists [in original mod!], one from early in the era, one from nearer the end:

[From the mid-Amiga period, 1989 - the intro piece for Psygnosis/Reflections’ Shadow of the Beast (also on the Lemmings soundtrack on the level that’s a tribute to the same game)]

From the original Deus Ex in 1999 [everyone picks Wan Chai Market , but I’m going for the more reflective contrast of DuClare Chateau]

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I am going back to linking one song only, because I could share the Othercide main menu music that I listen to too much, but that’s exposing how much I like melodramatic metal in a manner I’d find shameful.

Instead, here’s a game I’ve only played a few times, but listen to it’s score all the time:

I’m a mark for lightly overdriven guitars and glossy chords.

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