Play-In Pandemonium

It has been a long time coming, but it is finally here. The first round of region 1 for the Video Game Music bracket. At the bottom of this post is the open voting area for this region. Those of us on the podcast had a round of internal ranking in order to come up with some sort of seeding for this thing, and the following is our personal rankings and little reasons that possibly influenced our choices.

Sean’s Picks

1 – Final Fantasy 7 – A couple notes from any of the songs put me in a happy state.

2 – Xenogears – Reels you in without really ever trying.

3 – Metal Gear Solid – One minute you’re relaxed and walking around the next you’re hands are sweaty from gripping the controller too tight in suspense.

4 – Chronotrigger – Everything you want in an rpg. With flair

5 – Final Fantasy 6 – See above. With a simple extra kick in the ass

6 – Mega Man X – Hyper frantic beats to make you step over one too many pixels to your death.

7 – Zelda OOT – I feel like I heard this song before?

8 – Donkey Kong Country – Feel the Rhythm feel the rhyme

9 – Symphony of the Night – Spoooooooky

10 – Grandia – Upbeat music you can bop your head to. Keeps you warm

11 – Banjo Kazooie – Quirky toons. Catch yourself with a dumb smile on your face.

12 – Resident Evil 2 – Another spooky. Fits the game to keep you on the edge of your seat.

13 – Tetrisphere – Never have I ever been this psyched while playing a puzzler

14 – Super Metroid – Gives you that lonely feeling

15 – Diddy Kong Racing – Karting music done right.

16 – Ogre Battle 64 – Simple generic fantasy music


Parasite Eve – Beats a bit out there that fits with the world you question quite often.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest – Have the RPG feel with a hint of rock that stands out from other similar games.

Mike’s Picks

1 – Final Fantasy 7 – As much as I love Final Fantasy 6 I have to put FF7 over 6 when it comes to music. The quality of this soundtrack has stood the test of time and was a key piece of the Distant Worlds tours. This was the first game to have a soundtrack that I went out and made sure I had on cd. Nobuo Uematsu killed it with his work on this game.

2 – Chrono Trigger – My favorite game. My favorite composer. The music helped make the game in this case and was beautifully written. Mitsuda brings a distinct sound to his music using his “minimalistic” approach that draws you in with all of his compositions. Chrono Trigger is no exception and has one of the best RPG soundtracks of the SNES (and one of Mitsuda’s best as well).

3 – Metal Gear Solid – The music in MGS was used expertly to enhance every aspect of the game. It was silent when it needed to be but also built up intensity during tense moments and suspense when needed too! I am really struggling to justify my love of this though. I ranked it high because muh memories. At least I am honest? 😛

4 – Final Fantasy 6 – I would be lying to say my love of the game had nothing to do with the ranking I gave the soundtrack. However, that really doesn’t impact the quality of the soundtrack. Final Fantasy 6 has a memorable soundtrack that includes that 16bit midi opera to boot! The musical theme for each character fits them perfectly, especially Kefka. Did I mention it was composed by my second favorite composer Nobuo Uematsu?

5 – Mega Man X – Epic 90s 16bit music (rock?) that fits any Mega Man experience. I can go years without playing this game and have the tunes pop into my head for no reason whatsoever. Maybe I have a problem?

6 – Donkey Kong Country – This soundtrack has a special place in my heart because it is one of the first times I remember finding out I could listen to the soundtrack (music test) by entering in a code:

Input Effect
Highlight “Erase Game” and press Down, A,R,B,Y, Down, A,Y, then press Select Music Test

The music in this game was also superb. The underwater music for the Coral Capers level being a great example.

7 – Xenogears – Yasunori Mitsuda… enough said.

8 – Zelda OOT – Ahhhhhh yes, a Zelda game. Classic soundtrack, typical Zelda themes. I love pretty much any Zelda music… does it get repetitive throughout the series though?

9 – Symphony of the Night – While not one of my personal favorite soundtracks I have to respect the work Michiru Yamane put into this soundtrack. She has done work on quite a few Castlevania games. This may be her best soundtrack for the series.

10 – Grandia – This starts out feeling like your typical PS1 RPG soundtrack… until you realize it feels familiar because of the multiple games the composer has worked on that most JRPG players would have experienced. Iwadare has also worked on the Lunar series (which is where the familiarity came from for me) SimEarth, and even Wing Commander!

11 – Super Metroid – The music in this game sets the tone as soon as you hit the title screen! Super Metroid is one of the most complete games ever made and is a masterclass in pretty much every aspect of game design from the level and progression design to the music and sound effects.

12 – Banjo Kazooie – Light-hearted music for a light-hearted game. It is hard not to appreciate this soundtrack if you have played the game. Grant Kirkhope composed this classic Rare soundtrack and many other games from Rare (including Donkey Kong 64 and parts of Goldeneye!)

13 – Diddy’s Kong Racing
-Once again another Rare game on our list! David Wise composed this awesome soundtrack and Donkey Kong Country! He was the sole composer for Rare from 1985-1994. It is crazy to think about all of the games he has worked on.

14 – Tetrisphere – Techno music for a fast-paced puzzle game. Neil Voss did a fantastic job creating a unique soundtrack that certainly left the traditional Tetris music stylings behind.

15 – Ogre Battle 64 – Ogre Battle 64 has the epic soundtrack you would expect from a game with “battle” in the name. The orchestral musings of 3 separate composers make up this soundtrack.

16 – Resident Evil 2 – This soundtrack fits the game perfectly. It is eerie and tends to build you up to the inevitable jump scare with great precision. For this alone, I hate you RE2 soundtrack… and this is also a reason I respect the devilry your composers helped the game designers pull off by somehow scaring the shit out of me even when I expected it. I mean.. I wasn’t scared… just jumpy.

Ben’s Picks

1 – Final Fantasy 7 – Because of the IT tie-in

2 – Diddy Kong Racing – Turn the music volume around 50% and race all day

3 – Zelda OOT – Where the fuck is Epona, I want to go riding

4 – Chrono Trigger – As background tavern music

5 – Grandia – Doesn’t make me hate life, and could be decent background town music

6 – Tetrisphere – Holy hell, Dark Angel called, and wants its techno back

7 – Super Metroid – Low key and not whiny high pitched, good background

8 – Banjo Kazooie – At least sounds good and made me look up gameplay footage

9 – MegaMan X – That good arcade sound

10 – Donkey Kong Country – Doesn’t even make me want to play it again

11 – Metal Gear Solid – Obviously meant to stress you out

12 – Ogre Battle 64 – Mreh

13 – Xenogears – Because of the lady going “aaaaaaaaahs”

14 – Final Fantasy 6 – Sad military music?

15 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Not a music style I like, too much ahhhhhhhaaaaahhhh

16 – Resident Evil 2 – Not a music style I like