I love video game music. But honestly, who doesn’t? I saw an image for a “30-Day Video Game Music Challenge,” as seen above, circulating on social media, and I thought it would be fun to try out!
I made a Twitter thread for each one of my entries, but I figured a page of all of my choices would be far more easier to navigate. Since you only get so many characters in a tweet, I can add some notes about each choices here as well. So here are my picks for the 30-Day Video Game Music Challenge!
Day 1: Title screen music — “Title Screen” ~ Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii, 2010)
Confession: I haven’t actually played Xenoblade Chronicles much. I bought the Wii version back when it had a limited release, and I didn’t get very far. But that title screen music… wow. That’s the kind of theme that sticks with you after you hear it. This was a no-brainer for my choice for the Day 1 entry.
Day 2: Opening level music — “Opening Stage X” ~ Mega Man X5 (PS1, 2002)
Similar to the previous entry, I haven’t played much of the game that this theme is from, but it’s also one that stuck with me despite that. The opening stage for X5 varies depending on whether you choose to play as X or Zero. And while I enjoy the Zero version, I prefer this one a little bit more.
Day 3: 8-bit music — “Heat Wave (Area 5)” ~ Bionic Commando (NES, 1988)
There are SO many games that I could have picked for this one. I grew up playing games on my cousin’s NES and my Game Boy, so there’s a lot of great themes to choose from on those two platforms. I went with this one mainly because I had recently listened to songs from the soundtrack. This particular track is my favorite one from the game.
Day 4: Music from a console exclusive series — “TS2 Industrial Tileset” ~ TimeSplitters 2 (GCN, 2002)
I could have gone the easy route and picked a Nintendo title, since those are obviously only on their platforms, but I really wanted to highlight the extremely underrated OSTs of the TimeSplitters series. Series composer Graeme Norgate made some amazing themes for the trilogy; this particular one is one of the themes you can choose for your custom maps.
Day 5: Hub world or overworld music — “Starship Mario 2” ~ Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii, 2010)
This one was a tough entry but I went with this one mostly because I saw that the 10-year(!!!) anniversary for this game occurred last month. I went with the 2nd variation of the theme (it changes as you progress through the game) because I think the 1st variant is too empty and the 3rd and final variant has too much going on.
Day 6: Music that makes you feel relaxed — “Authentic Sky” ~ Tekken 4 (PS2, 2002)
When I saw this prompt, I immediately knew which song I wanted to pick. I am not a huge fan of Tekken 4; I think it’s a step down from the absolutely amazing Tekken 3. However, the game’s OST is absolutely incredible. This song in particular is so relaxing, I can’t recommend this one enough if you’re looking for a song to chill out to.
Day 7: Music from an indie game — “An Underlying Problem (The Lost City)” ~ Shovel Knight (Wii U, 2014)
This one was a tough entry to pick, but I narrowed the game down to Shovel Knight, my favorite indie title from the past several years. The absolutely amazing OST by Jake Kaufman is a true highlight of the game, and this particular track is probably my most favorite one.
Day 8: Music from a shooter (first or third person) — “DataDyne Central: Defection” ~ Perfect Dark (N64, 2000)
Since I already used a song from the TimeSplitters series, I figured I should pick an entry from another FPS that I loved growing up, Perfect Dark. It was difficult to narrow one particular song down, as the game has a fantastic OST, but I picked this one because it’s the first one I usually think of from the game.
Day 9: Music from a licensed game — “Alleycat Blues” ~ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES, 1992)
Another tough entry, I actually had to think hard to narrow this one down. I started thinking about the earliest games I owned, and I realized that TMNT IV is a licensed game, AND it has a kick-ass soundtrack! Picking the actual track was tough too, because the game is full of great tunes. But in the end, I went with the Stage 2 theme.
Day 10: Rpg battle music — “Otherworldly Foe” ~ EarthBound (SNES, 1995)
This was yet another tough one to choose, because there’s so many great RPGs out there with memorable battles themes. I did want to pick a song from EarthBound, which was one of my favorite childhood games, and this one is pretty memorable, despite the fact that you only get to hear it a handful of times in the game.
Day 11: Puzzle game music — “Blaze Stage” ~ Tetris Attack (SNES, 1996)
This was another easy entry for me. When I saw the prompt, I immediately knew which game and song from it that I wanted to pick. “Blaze Stage” is a standout track from the game, mainly because it’s so different from the rest of the OST.
Day 12: Music that makes you sad — “A Fleeting Dream” ~ Final Fantasy X (PS2, 201)
While this song isn’t particularly sad, it does have a bit of a melancholy feel to it. Lovely track overall.
Day 13: Music you like from a game you don’t like — “Mammoth Glacier” ~ Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (Wii, 2007)
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast isn’t flat-out terrible, but its control scheme is pretty horrendous. Originally set to release for the GameCube, it was moved over to the Wii, with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck replacing the originally-planned DK Bongo control scheme. Needless to say, it didn’t work well. The OST for the game is insanely good though, and it’s a shame that it’s attached to a disappointing game.
Day 14: Music featuring vocals — “City Streets 2 (Mango Tango)” ~ Double Dragon Neon (PS3, 2012)
Another prompt that I had trouble with picking an entry just from the sheer amount of choices, I ended up picking this song mostly because it’s a bit overlooked compared to more obvious choices for this entry (i.e., songs from Sonic Adventure, etc.). Jake Kaufman created an amazing 80’s throwback soundtrack for Double Dragon Neon that fit the game’s aesthetic perfectly. The vocals for this song, provided by Jessie Seely, are fantastic, and the lyrics will be stuck in your head!
Day 15: Boss battle music — “Boss Battle Song 1” ~ Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii, 2008)
Yet another entry that has a vast amount of potential entries, I really had to think hard about this one. I had some potential choices pop up but since I was doing the “hard mode” for this challenge, I had venture outside of games that I already picked. I really wanted to pick a song that really made it known that you were fighting a boss, and I went with this one. Really great track that gets overlooked sometimes.
Day 16: 16-bit music — “Aquatic Ambiance” ~ Donkey Kong Country (SNES, 1994)
This was an easy one to pick. Even though there are so many great SNES and Genesis games that I played growing up, one song that really stood out during this era was “Aquatic Ambiance,” composed by David Wise. Not only is this an achievement in music on the SNES, I think it’s one of the best video game themes ever.
Day 17: Music you never get tired of — “Rising Up (Extended)” ~ Streets of Rage 4 (Switch, 2020)
A very recent entry, this track is absolutely incredible. The overall soundtrack, primarily composed by Olivier Deriviere, not only met my expectations but completely exceeded them as well. And this track in particular is a big fan-favorite. It only plays in a short section in an elevator in Stage 9, but Olivier released a standalone, extended version.
Day 18: Music in a game released the year you were born — “Title Screen” ~ The Legend of Zelda (NES, 1987)
From what I read on Wikipedia, there weren’t too many games released in 1987 in the U.S. But I picked this one because it’s one I played and enjoyed growing up.
Day 19: Cover of music by a different artist — “Beneath the Canopy (Forest Interlude)” by Fishy ~ Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (SNES, 1995)
I wanted to include something from DKC2 somewhere on the list, and I went with this amazing cover of “Forest Interlude” from DKC2 by Fishy, released on OC ReMix’s DKC2: Serious Monkey Business album.
Day 20: Music from a racing game — “The Long Distance of Murder (Red Canyon)” ~ F-Zero X (N64, 1998)
I almost went with something from one of the Mario Kart games, but I wanted to show F-Zero some love since Nintendo doesn’t really nowadays. This one is my favorite from the F-Zero X soundtrack, which has some really amazing heavy metal tunes.
Day 21: Music you associate with frustration — “Ancient Rhythm / Rathian” ~ Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP, 2009)
Disclaimer: I actually really like this song, but the area that it played in was bogus. The Old Jungle is a map that originally appeared in the first Monster Hunter but reappeared in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. The map is full of trees and shrubbery that obscure the screen, which often led to small monsters attacking out of nowhere and large monsters getting easy hits on you because you can’t see their attacks. This was especially troublesome because heavy hitters like Green Plesioth were fought on this map.
Day 22: Town/village music — “Village on the Sea, Moga” ~ Monster Hunter Tri (Wii, 2010)
The home village themes in Monster Hunter are always nice and welcoming. I went with the village theme from Monster Hunter Tri because it’s pretty unique, plus Tri was the first game in the series that I played.
Day 23: Underrated music — “Move (Stage 1)” ~ Street Fighter EX3 (PS2, 2000)
I could easily make an entire list of video game music that I would consider underrated, but for this entry, I picked “Move” from Street Fighter EX3. It’s such a nice and relaxing theme that I think is extremely overlooked. The entire Street Fighter EX trilogy has amazing OSTs that I really think everyone should check out!
Day 24: Music you constantly have stuck in your head — “Main Menu” ~ International Superstar Soccer 64 (N64, 1997)
Growing up, I was never really into sports much, but my older cousin was, so he would buy sports games. I actually enjoyed a lot of the more arcade-style ones, and this one game was a fun one with a really good soundtrack. The menu theme is extremely catchy and enjoyable.
Day 25: Music that gets you pumped — “Dreamer” ~ Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis, 1992)
When I saw this prompt, I already knew I would pick something from the classic Streets of Rage games. Ultimately I went with this track because it’s my favorite from the Genesis trilogy.
Day 26: Music you like from a game you haven’t played — “It’s a Golden Show” ~ Catherine (PS3, 2011)
There are so many songs I could have picked for this one as well, but I went with this song from the Catherine soundtrack for its unique sound. Really good stuff here! Maybe I’ll actually play the game at some point.
Day 27: Music from a handheld game — “Dark Pit” ~ Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS, 2012)
Again, there were a lot of choices for this one. I went with “Dark Pit” from the Kid Icarus: Uprising OST, a song that also appeared in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS but for whatever reason NOT the Wii U version or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is a real shame. Composer Motoi Sakuraba created a straight up prog rock track for the OST, so this one really stood out to me.
Day 28: Music that makes you nostalgic — “Title Theme” ~ Super Mario World (SNES, 1991)
The SNES was my first ever console, and Super Mario World was included with it. So every time I hear the title theme, and most of the songs from the game in general, it always takes me back.
Day 29: Final boss music — “Drop Dead (Rooftop)” ~ Twisted Metal (PS1, 1995)
Yet another entry that had a vast amount of choices, I went with the final boss theme from Twisted Metal. I wanted to pick a song that really conveyed a feeling of a final challenge, and this one immediately came to mind.
Day 30: Credits music — “Staff Roll” ~ Super Mario 64 (N64, 1996)
Easily one of my favorite video game themes ever, the credits music for Super Mario 64 really gives you that feeling that your adventure is over, but in a good way. I also loved how the song played with the credits and Mario in different locales throughout the game. Really amazing song that I could go on and on about, but I’ll stop here.
Thanks for reading!