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Can we talk about how final level music in games is always terrible


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#1 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:29 AM

Exhibit A: "Frankenstein: The Monster Returns" on the NES. A cool Castlevania ripoff with some killer tunes, such as the Stage I theme. Listen to those 8-bit ass drum fills. Then you get to Stage IV, and...such melody. Much intensity. Really definitely makes me want to keep the volume up on my TV. DOOOOOOOOO, DO-DO-DOOOO-DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And those whole tone scales, somebody string THAT ish up on guitar.

Too obscure? Let's try Blaster Master. Observe Area 3, one of the most upbeat and rockin' songs of the NES era with a catchy, memorable melody and a tempo that makes you want to go. Then you get to Area 8, the thrilling climax of the game and I'm about to nod off on my couch. What the fuck are those random bass swells? 

Too old-school? Let's try something more recent, take Turok 2. Port of Adia is one of the most incredible arrangements in the N64's entire OST catalogue. More than even being just a cool tune, it's the kind of music that makes me want to actually hunt down and kill things. Also see Death Marshes. Then you get to the Hive of the Mantids and hear this. Nice orchestra stabs, bro. Killer timpani. I don't care how atmospheric you're trying to make this, it's literally the exact same scenario as the last five levels; running down alien monsters and turning them into fertilizer. Give me a BANGER.

What are some other examples?


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#2 Jace

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:50 AM

"Alien Lair" from Contra obliterates your thesis single-handedly.
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#3 Magicalyardgnome

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:04 AM

"Alien Lair" from Contra obliterates your thesis single-handedly.

 

Was going to post that.

 

Here's another one.


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#4 VikingGuitar

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:08 AM

"Alien Lair" from Contra obliterates your thesis single-handedly.

I came in here to specifically say this.

Some other games just off the top of my head:

- Mega Man 3

- Mega Man X2 (uses the Magna Centipede music, which is fucking awesome.)

- Castlevania

- Super Castlevania 4 (has a few different songs, and all of them are amazing.)

- Ninja Gaiden 1, 2 and 3 (all three reuse earlier stage music, but all of it is killer.)

- The Legend of Zelda (the Death Mountain labyrinth music is super ominous and eerie.)

 

I could go on.


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Good lord, the fucking


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#5 Arm Cannon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:25 AM

lol fuck off on that Blaster Master take

some of the sickest atmosphere ever done on the NES - you hear that tune and know danger lurks hard - also lends itself to the purple alien danger level that will crush you
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#6 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:36 AM

Gonna go ahead and hold firm on that one

 

Especially with Area 8 being by far the least creative and blandest looking stage of the game 


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#7 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:39 AM


 
Not gonna call this one "terrible" but it definitely reeks of "okay let's do the main theme for the fourth time, but make it...uh...robot-y...sure".
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#8 Arm Cannon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:42 AM

Gonna go ahead and hold firm on that one

Especially with Area 8 being by far the least creative and blandest looking stage of the game


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#9 mig50

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

what a bad thread.
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you mean you forgot cranberries too?

#10 Arm Cannon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:46 AM



Not gonna call this one "terrible" but it definitely reeks of "okay let's do the main theme for the fourth time, but make it...uh...robot-y...sure".


You mean the same swing Afro Cuban bass rhythm they’ve used all game - 2 square waves detuned to emulate a steel drum - but now with a dramatic chord progression to give a sense of urgency

What you see is repetitive, I see is strong thematic reprises through expert level sound design and Caribbean influence.

what a bad thread.


Take it to the unpopular opinions thread (chuckle hut)
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#11 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:54 AM

You mean the same swing Afro Cuban bass rhythm they’ve used all game - 2 square waves detuned to emulate a steel drum - but now with a dramatic chord progression to give a sense of urgency

What you see is repetitive, I see is strong thematic reprises through expert level sound design and Caribbean influence.


I don't see a thing wrong with, for example, Inside The Whale. Creates precisely the kind of sense of tension and peril you're speaking of without needing to be a rehash, and one with a clearly inferior melody to the overworld theme and the Sub-C theme at that.


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#12 VikingGuitar

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:00 AM

Gonna go ahead and hold firm on that one

 

Especially with Area 8 being by far the least creative and blandest looking stage of the game 

"I can't defend my original argument so I'm going to change the focus."  ;-)


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Good lord, the fucking


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#13 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:01 AM

"It fits the stage" isn't an argument for it being good. :B
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#14 Cursed Lemon

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:08 AM

Oh, and I'm calling this the fuck out.
 

- Castlevania




Easily the worst tune in the game.


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#15 Tina

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:10 AM

Boo this man.

 

Final area themes and final boss themes are often among the best in their games. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest says hello.


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