#GuelphMusicClub, Pt. VII: Video Games


(no Lana Del Rey)

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I was pretty excited to partake in this week’s #GuelphMusicClub assignment.

I’m going to go in a whole bunch of directions with this one so bear with me.

When it comes to my favourite video game music, it would be impossible to narrow it down to only one song.

Saying that, there are two choices that immediately came to mind and I have to acknowledge them both here.

To start, let it be said that the Legend of Zelda series has already been listed and rightfully so.

A lot of people will immediately think of Super Mario Bros. when it comes to legendary video game music, the impact of which cannot be questioned.

However, the score to the Zelda games are just as iconic, perhaps even more so in the eyes (ears?) of the really nerdy 80s babies.

I have never owned a Nintendo 64 so while I hear many people say that Ocarina of Time represents the pinnacle of the series, I am partial to A Link to the Past from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console.

Many hours were spent playing this game to completion. To this day, I consider it to be one of the most perfect games ever made.

Whenever I used to bring Link to the Great Fairy Fountain, I would take some time to reflect and listen to this loop over and over..

“Fairy Fountain”
from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES – 1991)

Dreamy, huh?

Am I just on some nostalgia shit or is that not a great fucking melody!?

Actually, if you wanna get familiar with some awesome Zelda music in an unconventional way, check out Team Teamwork‘s awesome free tape, the Ocarina of Rhyme.

Here’s the remix they put together using my pick as the main sample:

Slim Thug & Mike Jones – “Still Tippin’ (Team Teamwork remix)”
from the Ocarina of Rhyme (2009)

And just in case you want to compare it against the original.. 😀

Mike Jones – “Still Tippin'” (feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall)
from Who is Mike Jones? (2004)

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As I implied earlier, this is going to be a very self-indulgent post..

Keep in mind, Zelda was my 1A, so to speak, with this next one serving as my 1B.

MATTAFAK, I guess that means these picks are kinda like the Leafs (@MapleLeafs) goaltending situation, except not shitty. U MAD???

My next pick is taken from one of the most badass games of the 90s, Donkey Kong Country.

Nintendo really turned a corner with this game. You could say their partnership with Rare was the video game equivalent of Disney linking up with Pixar.

You remember how crazy those graphics were?

I mean, they managed to make a gorilla riding a big-ass ostrich look realistic as fuck.

my man ride a rhino no sweat too tho

rhinos ain’t no thing neither

I always fucksed with the underwater levels pretty heavy in this game.

And that leads me to..

“Aquatic Ambience”
from Donkey Kong Country (SNES – 1994)

Honestly, I still listen to this track to this day.

I like to claim responsibility for introducing this one to the Ambient Chillout & Trip Hop room on turntable.fm (@turntablefm) back when that was still the spot.

(that goes double for Blue Sky Black Death [@BSBDmusic] but I digress)

Can you believe this game was so popular that they actually pressed the soundtrack to disc under the name DK Jamz?

And it sold fairly well, I remember when it was on the walls of my local HMV (@hmvcanada).

Talk about different times!

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I also just wanted to touch upon how rich the audio side of video game development has become.

In his latest #GuelphMusicClub contribution, Mat Calverley (@matcalverley) was the first to mention composer Jeremy Soule, a man who I became familiar with upon the completion of Skyrim – the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series.

The music was so integral to the experience of that game that I didn’t think it could be topped.

And surely not so soon.

But Gustavo Santaollala may have done just that with his score for the Last of Us.

Please watch the following video:

The soundtrack in its entirety is something else. I highly recommend checking it out.

These video games are really upping the ante now that the original scores are coming courtesy of Academy Award winning composers!

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Just for kicks – some select video game samples in RAP!!

Camu Tao – “Death”
from King of Hearts (2010)

sample taken from Ranger X
(Sega – 1993)

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Statik Selektah – “Punch Out” (feat. Big Shug)
from Spell My Name Right (2007)

sample taken from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
(Nintendo – 1987)

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People Under the Stairs – “Gamin’ on Ya”
from FUN DMC (2008)

sample taken from …
TOO MANY TO COUNT!! YOU TELL ME!! (in the comments, perhaps?)

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Kudos if you got to the end of this post!
I had fun with it!


2 thoughts on “#GuelphMusicClub, Pt. VII: Video Games

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