I’ve been saving this topic for weeks, but I thought I’d finally get around to it now. For those who don’t know, “Star Fox” is among my top 5 game franchises, as I have played almost every installment in the franchise, (save for “Star Fox Command“,) and have loved every second of every game. I’ll still never forget the first time I ever played through, “Mac Beth,” on 64.
For this article, I’ll be breaking down the soundtrack of, “Star Fox 64,” and pointing out my favorite tracks from the game. For those who aren’t aware, the music of the “Star Fox 64” is among the most recognized games in regards to its soundtrack, mainly for its intense orchestral pieces, which could be recognized by even the most casual Nintendo fan. The arrays of different sounds have given us some of the most memorable tracks and compositions in all of video game history, and will be appreciated for years to come.
The soundtrack of this game is completely orchestrated, mixing many different instruments to create a frantic, high intensity soundtrack. From playing this game, you can certainly tell that the composers Koji Kondo, and Hajime Wakai were trying to create an ambiance for this hectic rail-shooter, and they certainly succeeded. The game’s sound is mostly a selection of fast-paced compositions, with the track hitting a re-occurring climax for every boss battle you face. Every minute of this game’s soundtrack invokes a sense of urgency. After all, you ARE saving an entire galaxy here. In that regard, every level in the game has a track that fits it perfectly, and certain levels that come to mind are, “Aquas,” “Meteo” and of course, Andross’s battle theme.
While I enjoyed the fast paced tracks that played on every other level I encountered, “Aquas” certainly is the most unique. Every other level you go through is either an aerial combat mission, or combat on the ground, but “Aquas” changes that by putting you underwater, in a submersible. Although that may not seem like much, “Aquas,” still shares the same style of play as the rest of the game, it really does make a difference in it’s sound. While every other level makes you feel free and open, “Aquas” makes you feel trapped. The natural tone of the track is extremely ambiguous, and it almost makes this level seem haunted. The progression of this song is very gradual, but the intensity it radiates only increases in time. When I first heard it, I was thinking that the song would’ve fit perfectly somewhere in the “Metroid Prime” series!
While, “Aquas” is what I think is the most unique, it isn’t my favorite in the game. That title belongs to “Meteo.” In every installment in the “Star Fox” franchise, this is one of the few tracks that remains consistent, and it will always be one of the staple songs of the “Star Fox” franchise. This song, as opposed to “Aquas“, is more of an epic tone, than an ominous one. “Meteo” is a track made to make the player feel the sensation of battle. Its consistent pace and powerful sound emitted from low- toned stringed instruments will certainly keep the player’s attention on the present situation, and when you’re in the middle of an asteroid-belt, YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION.
One of my other favorites is the final battle with Andross. I didn’t specifically say the title, because there are actually two themes if you reach that point in the game. One is titled “Andross” and the other, “Andross Brain.” The first theme I mentioned begins as soon as you meet Andross for the first time, and what I can tell you is that it is quite unnerving. The track itself without any visuals is intense enough as it is, but imagine flying through several dark corridors, only to be greeted by a giant- disembodied head of a mad scientist, while the entire composition you were hearing escalates a million notches. I remember jumping out of my seat in total shock, and taking a ten minute pause from the game while I gathered my composure. Despite personal affairs, this theme, as you can clearly tell, goes hand in hand with the final battle. It is an extremely high-strung track that uses several high-toned instruments to keep the player on edge. It’s almost as if the song is trying to keep you scared long enough for Andross to turn you into scrap metal. However, if you’re a brave man like me, you’ll carry on and defeat Andross, and watch him break into bits!
…and then we reach the second half of the battle. You know, I never share that many personal experiences in my articles, but in this instance, it was necessary. I was utterly terrified when I saw Andross turn into a giant brain, and once again, the music took me to a whole new level of fear. The second half of this battle outdoes the first one intensity in a landslide, becoming faster, and even higher pitched. The fast pace really stands out when you start getting chased by Andross, and then this theme makes your heart pump faster than ever. Imagine a high pitched blend of stringed instruments accompanying a giant organ trying to kill you, and the only thing you have to rely is your own skills as a pilot. One slip-up, and you’re finished. It makes this theme all the more genius, and is definitely one of my favorite boss themes of all time.
With all this said, I have only scratched the surface. I could go on, but I’d rather have you, the reader of this lovely series of words, find out on your own. After all, what fun is there to life without a little adventure? Anyways, if you want to here these tracks in action, check out the official soundtrack, or play the game for yourself. I promise, it’s worth every second of your time.
As always, stay tuned for next week’s article, and I’ll see you later.