Game-Inspired Music
March 19, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Anyone who grew up playing video games understands the impact of the music. But the internet has allowed all sorts of people to express their love in many different ways.

There's World of Warcraft-themed music based on existing songs like Ninja Raiders (Beyonce's Single Ladies) and Worgen of Stormwind (Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London), and some of the WoW developers themselves write original heavy metal tunes as the Level 80 Tauren Chieftains.

Older games, particularly from the older Nintendo systems, inspire reworked tunes, original tunes, and original web-based video series with musical episodes (NSFW warning!) There's also the now 2-volume Mega Man Rock Opera (previously). Brand-new games are also sources of inspiration.

There are also a whole collection of songs by major artists recorded in Simlish, which is pretty trippy. And in a fit of recursion, a song written for a game was made available in another game, which was then performed live by the creator. (Previously 1,2.)
posted by restless_nomad (33 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Great post! I'll be spending too much time poking through those links. I also recommend OC ReMix for a huge collection of great video game soundtrack covers.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:15 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

huh. so that's what the greatest fpp ever looks like.
posted by shmegegge at 9:19 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

tangentially related:
music from Earthbound (Mother 2) based on real life music.
posted by shmegegge at 9:25 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

My favorite is still Mario Kart Love Song.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:31 AM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

OK, so you said "many different ways," which reminded me of the phrase, "different in many ways" which phrase can be heard at about 30 seconds into an AWESOME Paul Hardcastle-style C64 remix tune at the beginning of C64 Takeaway Podcast #41...heh
posted by circular at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2010

Well there goes my workday. Thanks, this is awesome stuff!
posted by emeiji at 9:49 AM on March 19, 2010

Solon and Thanks: You reminded me of xoc's awesome Super Mario World cover. Very complete. :-)
posted by circular at 9:56 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's also Mega Ran, who raps about Mega Man.

When Capcom got word of what he was doing, they had their lawyers send him a... license.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:00 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sometimes when I get the mic, I create an all Jonathan Coulton setlist in Rock Band, which is how I've figured out that Skullcrusher Mountain is actually a country song.
posted by edbles at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2010

One of my favorites is Team Gato, based on the very minor character at the beginning of Chrono Trigger.
posted by demiurge at 10:22 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ohh, thanks for this! I love Still Alive, all versions. And the Victim of Science Portal song. And I still sing the Plants vs Zombies song to myself when I need to cheer up. This post made me happy. ;)
posted by gemmy at 10:29 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

the internet has allowed all sorts of people to express their love in many different ways.

...and none of them are safe for work! wink wink
posted by the aloha at 10:43 AM on March 19, 2010

Like circular, I too was reminded of XOC and his version of the SMW soundtrack, recreated with real instruments. Some of his other videogame covers are good, too - the Gremlins 2 EP is one of my favorites. Another great band that covers videogame music is The Advantage.
posted by mysterpigg at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2010

"Thank You Mario, But Our Princess is in Another Castle" by The Mountain Goats and Kaki King.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:47 AM on March 19, 2010

And the original music from "Cave Story" is amazing. All of it.

but especially "Geothermal" which still puts a lump in my throat because the first time I played the game, I didn't have or know about the tow-rope . . . and well, you know what happened. And I cried. Yes, the game affected me that much. But leaving, going back the way I came, with that music, and sans my "friend" . . . well, it made me sad.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:52 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Woah, I just remembered a Mario Kart-themed cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya" that I made back in college. I probably have a copy of that MP3 somewhere. 'Twas a silly thing.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2010

it's called a road, it called a rainbow road...

that is awesome. it's straight up stolen from Tim and Eric, except that I like it a lot.
posted by shmegegge at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2010

Because the music was so good, I had an idea of putting a small group of musicians - a pianist, an accordionist, someone on timpani drums, a flautist - next to a projector screen that is hooked up to MAME, in turn running Marble Madness. Someone gives the conductor a quarter and the band plays the background music as the game is played. As the marble hits walls, the timpani is hit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 AM on March 19, 2010

It'd be a crime against nature to do to a platformer or side scroller type game, but when playing FPS and Third Person Shooters, particularly those in the horror genera, a friend of mine has a really interesting trick; he turns off the music all together.

Modern games have gotten really good at having the music shift subtly based on you stepping near a situation where "bad things" are about to happen. And this is too much of a clue for him, so he just does visuals and sound effects, and as I've watched him play some games, I can honestly say, it's way scarier to not have any of those queues. You turn a corner and there is no swelling of strings as the monster attacks, there is just a zombie-demon-nazi on you, stabbing you in the face.

And while it's only tangentially related; Borderlands opening credits song is called "No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant. It wasn't written (that I'm aware of) specifically for the game, but it, along with their whole album is just fantastic. It's one of the increasing number of songs on my MP3 player that I never would have heard had it not been for a game, and I'm so glad I did. The closing song "No Heaven" by DJ Champion is equally awesome, in a completely different way.
posted by quin at 11:28 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

A personal favorite of mine actually within a game is Jonathan Coulter's Left 4 Dead 2 song (on the jukebox), Re: Your Brains.

And this is, as schmeggage says, the greatest FPP. Thanks.
posted by misha at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2010

Oh hey, I added a c to shmeggage's username. Now you are German!
posted by misha at 11:55 AM on March 19, 2010

Korobenikii, better known as Tetris Theme A, arranged for clarinet trio. The arranger is one of the kids playing here. This performance is from their band camp last summer and their band is my high school marching band -- it made me so happy to find this on the youtubes, it's exactly the kind of thing we'd do BITD fifteen years ago.
posted by clavicle at 12:10 PM on March 19, 2010

"If you liked it, then you shoulda rolled Need on it." Brilliant.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2010

Ha! Ninja Raiders is awesome.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2010

And I still sing the Plants vs Zombies song to myself when I need to cheer up.

I have odd moments during the day when, for no reason in particular, I blurt out, "Sunflower!"
posted by eyeballkid at 12:58 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

quin, awesome comment marred by the fact that I hate Cage the Fucking ELephant with the white hot passion of a thousand burning suns. The no-music FPS thing is awesomely tense, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:25 PM on March 19, 2010

Oh hey, I added a c to shmeggage's username. Now you are German!

Yeah, people are always adding or substituting letters in shmeggage's name. I hope it doesn't bother him too much.
posted by shmegegge at 1:52 PM on March 19, 2010

*face plant*

I really suck at names today. I give up. I'm calling you all "Fred" from now on.
posted by misha at 2:37 PM on March 19, 2010

I am such a huge WoW machinima fan anyway, but what a cool fpp!

(psst misha, it's Jonathan CoulTON. Sorry to point out another misspelling!)
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:40 PM on March 19, 2010

Super Mario Land rap (more video game raps on that same channel)

an a capella arrangement of "Pokey Means Business" from Earthbound

I really love Earthbound's music, it's so weird.
posted by Nattie at 5:52 PM on March 19, 2010

EmberIsolte, who did the song for the Ninja Raiders video, has a whole bunch of other fun songs too. I especially liked her version of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".
posted by gemmy at 6:03 PM on March 19, 2010

This thread is so much more awesome than the post - thanks guys!
posted by restless_nomad at 10:05 AM on March 21, 2010

« Older Odd, yet funny drawings   |   The teal and orange age of Hollywood Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments