If there’s one thing that really sticks with me beyond playing through a video game, it’s the music. I frequently listen to bgms and fan-made renditions of bgms from various games I like. There’s just something magical about hearing those tunes and being mentally transported back to the age and times you spent playing those games :).
I just wanted to talk about some of the soundtracks I love most and share the music with you all! Not much makes me happier than discovering some beautiful fan-made tunes from the games I love, so I’d love it if you guys have more to share with me :D.
What got me thinking about this entry was the music from Pokemon. Ah, the nostalgia I feel when I hear Johto music and remember the days I spent playing Pokemon Silver in the dining room while I waited for my mom to make dinner. The sun would set outside and in game as I set out on my quest (and consequently caught all the night Pokemon, lol).
I’ve kept up with every generation of Pokemon, skipping only Gen 3 (but coming back to it later) because I thought that Pokemon had ended with Gen 2 (Which it was supposed to! But the games did so well that they made more!). I think that’s why Gen 2 was so special to me–the narrative they designed was so well put together and even brought it back to Kanto #ThankYouIwata.
Pokemon Reochestrated is absolutely amazing. I loved their Kanto Symphony so much I bought both soundtracks because I want to hear more of what they have to make. However, Double Team! is their soundtrack that pulls the best from each generation, and I absolutely love it for that. The tracks Golden Horizons (Johto) and Reflections (Unova) are my favorites.
Although this is an official bgm, it is a remake of an official bgm, so I sort of count it as a cover. The National Park music will always be one of my favorite songs and probably the most filled with nostalgia.
This piano cover of Ecruteak City is so good. SO GOOD. I’ll have to learn it someday.
Oof. The music from this game is so amazing. I remember playing it so late into the night, then sneaking off to bed before my dad woke up in the morning to go to work so I wouldn’t get caught. I just had to get all those endings, man.
I love everything moonbowmusicmovie covers, but their Chrono Trigger covers particularly stand out. I only wish they could get a better recorder for their poor bassist, whose sound sometimes comes across a little distorted through their mics.
Corridors of Time is my favorite track from the game, and this is my favorite cover of it. There’s just something magical about how he fused the theme into the song. If only Chrono Trigger: Resurrection had actually made it, instead of being C&Ded. Sigh :(.
Video Game Orchestra did some pretty awesome things with the soundtrack, too. Maybe one day I can see a live performance.
Zohar (top) and Verdegrand (bottom) also did two wonderful piano arrangements of Corridors of Time. Zohar’s channel, in particular, is like a secret grove in the forest that you can return to time and time again. We have no idea where he disappeared to, but the music he left behind is amazing.
Speaking of secret forest groves…
Oh Zelda, please find the Master Sword and save us all ^_^.
I joke. I think what hits me with the most nostalgia is hearing the final fight theme from Ocarina of Time, where you fight Ganon in his final form. Other than that, I didn’t really fall in love with this series until Wind Waker. Link is like the girl next door that you can always count on to be cool, but never really blows you away. I joke again.
I could link Smooth McGroove multiple times on this page, but I’ll put him here. The Dark World music is my favorite bgm of all Zelda themes. It’s just so epic and amazing, and nothing else from the series really comes close in my opinion.
Symphony of the Goddesses! One day, I will see you live. But until then I will watch your youtube videos ^_^. Their rendition of Ballad of the Wind Fish overwhelms me with feelings. I remember quite vividly hearing Marin belt that 8-bit tune through my GameBoy Color speakers, and any time I hear the song I remember how sad I felt when she disappeared.
I love the orchestra soundtrack Nintendo released for the 25th anniversary of Zelda. Pretty much everything on the CD was great, but I lose it at Ballad of the Goddess.
There’s also the Zelda Reorchestrated project, which does a lot of good things to various songs throughout the decades :).
Still waiting for them to announce Kingdom Hearts Birth by 2.8/358.13 Days Drop Distance 3D.5: ~Coded of Memories~ χ-Remix.
I wasn’t sold on Kingdom Hearts until the second game came out for my 18th birthday. I remember driving to Fry’s Electronics and picking it up, having never beaten Ansem in the first game. I drove home, popped it in, and then was bombarded by the magnificence that is the opening sequence. Then, absolutely confused by who Roxas was, I went to buy the original Kingdom Hearts and finished the game. I was still confused by who Roxas was. I figured it out later.
Kyle Landry is one of my favorite video game pianists. All of his covers are packed with nostalgia and love for the games, but his cover of Sanctuary/Passion from Kingdom Hearts 2 particularly stands out. It’s his most popular video for a reason.
I love the piano collection! Musique pour la Tristesse de Xion, though, is really something else. I’d teared up in previous Kingdom Hearts games, but at the end of 358/2 days when Roxas begins forgetting who Xion is…I really cried.
Oh man. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I played FF8 for the first time. FF9 will always be my favorite Final Fantasy, but the FF8 music really gets my feelings going because it was my first Final Fantasy game.
I actually made it out to a live show by Distant Worlds! I highly recommend going to any video game concert, especially if you love the music like I do. When they began playing Fisherman’s Horizon I started to cry. Oh how I loved running around the world with my party in this game.
Japan also did a live concert of the Final Fantasy music, and FF9’s You Are Not Alone is my favorite from that soundtrack. Unfortunately the video doesn’t allow embedding, but go check it out!
Usually I don’t like singing covers of video game bgms, but this one is different. Erutan pumps love and inspiration into this song, and she ends up with something absolutely majestic. It’s so good I can’t dissociate the lyrics from the song anymore.
All the piano collections you could ask for.
Mario 64 is my favorite Mario game. I played the crap out of it. I haven’t actually played every game in the series, but I’ve played many of them.
Love love love this arrangement by Tetrimino. It’s spiffy, fun, and adds a new spin to a super nostalgic track. Their other covers are pretty amazing, too!
Some of the earlier levels in Super Mario Galaxy really made me feel like a child again, and it was largely thanks to the music. Here’s a lovely rendition from Aivi Tran.
This is a series I’ve only recently gotten into. On a personal note, I was dealing with some rough times back in January-March of this year, and playing through Persona 4 while on my vacation around the world really sort of brought me out of that slump. I’d play it on my flights around China and Vietnam until my Vita battery ran out. I’d play 30 minutes of it every night before going to bed. These characters were so vivid and well-scripted that I can’t get enough of them.
Korean DJ is a famous Smasher, but he also does video game music covers :). I absolutely love this version of I’ll Face Myself (Reincarnation) based on the boss battle theme from Persona 4. Violins are seriously amazing. I love the instrument.
And then there’s this live version of Never More. SO MANY FEELS.
To the Moon
If you guys haven’t played this game, you should. The soundtrack is great.
You guys might recognize Shigi’s voice as the sunflower who sings There’s a Zombie on Your Lawn in Plants vs. Zombies. However, she also lent her voice to this lovely soundtrack. I really loved this song in the game, and she does a different rendition of it here for the game’s anniversary :D.
Donkey Kong Country
I’m sure everyone had that One Game that they played a little too excessively. So excessively, that it got you in trouble with your parents over and over again. Donkey Kong Country 2 was that game for me.
Ah, Stickerbrush Symphony. I’ll never get tired of this song. I think it’s the most popular song from the game, but for me, it’ll always be second to…
Enchanted Woods. This song was probably the only reason I made it through the Web Woods level (which I f**king hated as a child, by the way). And I guess the fact that I still love the song despite all the negative levels associated with it speaks to how awesome it is. Zorsy’s other arrangements are pretty badass, too.
I guess that’s it for now! I hope this post introduced you to some new channels to love, if you listen to video game bgms as much as I do. I might do a continuation of this post as I continue to find/remember more channels I like :).