Why Video Game Music is Memorable

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We’ve lived in a world of gaming for over 30 years now, and we have been exposed to some of the most timeless video game tracks to date. Who could forget the choir at the start up menu of  “Halo“? Or what about the heart-racing stealth themes that are found in the “Metal Gear” franchise? These tunes are certainly ones to remember, but a question that tracks like these have given me for many years is, what makes these songs so memorable? Well, after paying attention and exploring these songs, I may have come up with an answer.

What I’ve talked about in pretty much every article I’ve written is how certain music tracks fit their given situations. Well, my constant reflection on that idea is what gave the answer: emotional connections. As humans, we build stronger bonds with what we connect to emotionally and music is a prime example of this. You see this when your parents talk about their wedding songs, or when you describe the feeling you had when you first heard your favorite song. It’s a connection unlike any other and video games are an incredibly successful method to make these connections.

Being in the realm of a game is already an experience in it’s own right, but having music that fits all of these situations takes that experience to new heights. Having the right set of notes blended together to match the atmosphere is key in truly delivering a game to the player and keeping it embedded in their memory forever. One song I often refer to is the song, “Wily Castle V2” from the acclaimed “Megaman 2.” I use this as an example whenever I bring up this topic, simply because of how perfectly it fits the bill. A fast paced theme plays during the climax of the game and you are pushing to defeat the Evil Dr. Wily and save the world once again. This piece played as you are about to face him in his own layer and the sheer pace and tone that this specific song amplified in the level left as one of the best video game pieces of all time. Another example and a personal favorite of mine is the theme of love from “Mother 3.” This masterpiece of a game was designed to display emotion like no other and the soundtrack that accompanied the title successfully displayed these emotions. This theme plays when the protagonist, Lucas, finds out that his mother, Hinawa, was murdered. At this moment, we hear a somber, yet peaceful track play while Lucas has memories of his mother before she passed. It is one of the most powerful moments I have witnessed and has leaven me in long term periods of sorrow every time I’ve seen it.

These two songs are prime examples of why video game music is memorable. Their tones and appearance in their respected games display emotion so well, that the player recalls the exact moment in the game from hearing the track. They show just how much of an impact music can have on a person’s life and people should cherish this affect that music leaves on us.

So what are your personal favorite video game songs? Leave us some feedback! As always, I’ll see you next week.