While many gamers seem to take it for granted, a good video game soundtrack can set the mood and bring much more value to the experience of a game. I have always been huge fan of video game music, and I think a good soundtrack is one of the most important parts of a good game. The sound chip used by the SNES may have been fairly primitive by today’s standards, but there are still some really amazing songs that still sound great after all these years.
Super Metroid is an amazing game that tells a story with very little narrative and no dialogue. The story of this game is told through the setting and the action going on within, and this is greatly helped with an amazing soundtrack. From daring escapes from exploding space stations to exploring the hellish depths of lava-filled Norfair, the music always sets the perfect tone for every area and moment of this game.
Playing Legend of Zelda on the SNES almost seemed like a treat within itself at the time it had been released. One of my favorite moments of this game was hearing an upgraded version of the famous Zelda theme song while traveling through Hyrule. The greatest part of this game’s soundtrack, however, was painting the contrast between the normal world and the murky “dark” world.
The Final Fantasy games are famous for having amazing soundtracks, thanks to the amazing work of composer Nobuo Uematsu. Even though this game featured simple graphics, I was drawn into the story by the incredible music that filled this fantasy world of swords, magic, and airships. A heavy metal band known as “Powerglove” does an awesome tribute to the music in this game, a medley of several songs named “Red Wings over Baron”, featured on their studio album, “Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man.”
Secret of Mana’s soundtrack was perhaps one of the most memorable SNES soundtracks. The theme that plays right on the title screen instantly draws emotion from the player. I can remember playing through this game multiple times simply to hear the scores throughout different points in the story. There is a song to set almost any mood within this game, ranging from the upbeat tunes that play through a happy village to the ominous chimes that ring through the halls of temples occupied by a dark cult. Much of the mystique and beauty of this magical world is enhanced by the amazing music that fills it.
Chrono Trigger’s epic soundtrack was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda (composer of Xenogears, Xenosaga ep.1) and Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. The result is the perfect soundtrack to this game’s blend of fantasy and science fiction settings. From the tribal beats of pre-history to the mystical sounds of an age of magic forgotten by time, this is one soundtrack you won’t be able to forget. Still to this day I find myself humming the tunes from this game, and cherishing the fond memories around that music.