The Secrets of Video Game Soundtracks

by Joseph Prince

Video game soundtracks were once 8 bit blips made up of short beeps of different pitches. From there, they’ve grown to be on par with movie soundtracks that enhance the atmosphere of the game. Whichever era of these songs you like best, we bet that you don’t know these facts:

The Metroid Soundtrack was Slated by Nintendo

Metroid the game was one example of the work of a composer that their client hated. Instead of the light and fluffy tunes that Nintendo had expected, the composer created a dark theme. While this fit in well with the game, it was so outside of what the company would usually boast.

Imagine if some of the best bingo sites suddenly switched to an ethereally dark soundtrack or if you opened up a site like and were greeted by operatic music. This is what Nintendo felt that their customers would feel, a strange disconnect with their family image and the theme of the game.


The Tetris Theme Didn’t Make its First Appearance in Tetris

Who could forget the infuriatingly catchy tune that went along with the Gameboy version of Tetris? Just hearing a few snatches of the song will be enough for most gaming fans to find themselves with PTSD style flashbacks. It’s synonymous with Tetris, but it’s actually based on a song named Korobeiniki.

Doom’s Theme May Have Been Plagiarised

As heavy metal fans, we see hardcore tracks popping up all over the place. The theme for Doom was just that but it has a lot in common with existing tracks. No Remorse by Metallica is all too familiar when you hear it in the context of the game, though the creator always insisted it was original.

Pokémon Didn’t Drive Kids to Suicide

Metal has always been a pariah when it comes to what influences suicide but Pokémon was the subject of another such rumour. The Lavender Town theme was said to have tones that would mentally affect children, which was of course nonsense. Though this urban myth had no concrete basis, it hasn’t stopped people from still believing it.

Rock Band Overtook Guitar Hero

Though Rock Band came after Guitar Hero and appeared to emulate the same game, the former overtook the latter in terms of hits. Featuring tracks from The Beatles, Soundgarden and Nirvana – we can’t say we’re surprised.


A High Profile Composer Gave Square Enix Tips

Ever filled in a feedback form from a game? Us neither but one composer felt like it was his duty to. Koichi Sugiayama was the person to go to for all things TV and film music in Japan in the 70s. He checked out the title Shogi Sim Morita Kazurou No Shogi and gave the developers feedback.

Japanese employees were in awe of the feedback, realising that they should have designed the soundtrack in a different way. Then, imagine their surprise when they figured out who it had come from! Funnily enough, this resulted in a new job for the conductor as he consulted on future titles.

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