I love video game music! I have a 6-Disc CD changer in my car, and 5 are exclusive to video game music soundtracks or mixes I’ve made with video game music on them (the 6th CD is some crap my wife put in there. I have to give her something). I’m also a huge fan of Heavy Metal. In my spare time, I go on the ol’ YouTubes and find talented guys and gals that metal up some of my favorite gaming tunes. But I got to listening to some of my 8- and 16-Bit library the other day and thought, “Wow, some of these tracks are already metal enough!” Today, I’d like to acknowledge these tracks for the badass chiptune pioneers that they are! Here’s the rules:
1.) Only 8- and 16-Bit games are eligible.
2.) Only 1 track per franchise.
3.) No CD games! They’re too high quality; plus, they can actually hold recordings or real instruments. That’s cheating!
4.) They have to be METAL!!!!!! If that needs to be explained to you, then please leave. That is all.
10.) Soldier Blade – Operation 1
Soldier Blade on the TG-16 is an amazing shmup with some outstanding music. I picked the first level’s track because I love the percussion. You can actually hear that simulated bass drum in there as well as a faux cymbal splash every so often. The energy from this track is also amazing. A great intro to a great game. Space explosions should always come with a Metal soundtrack. Always.
9.) Space Harrier – Haya-Oh Theme
This track plays during the final boss fight in Space Harrier. This music rocks while you fight a huge dragon made of fire, so it’s only appropriate that it kicks ass. The rhythm tune is fast and constant, making it perfect for Metal. And the lead tune at the very beginning sounds like it could make for some sweet vocalizing, sort of like that sweet part in “Faithfully” by Journey. Get ready… FOR METAL!
8.) Double Dragon – Mission 1
This track is legendary! When I listen to the music played during the Mission screen and then listen to this track, it makes me want to run my car into a gas station pump just to watch the impending explosion, it’s so awesome! It’s upbeat, lively, and even has a few freaking solos in it! It definitely gets me in the mood to knee people in the face until they die!
7. ) Final Fantasy VI – Atma Weapon Theme
That intro is so epic! I don’t care if it sounds like most of this track can be played on a pan flute, it rocks so hard it hurts my ball sack! Those drums beating in the background really add a lot to this track. They’re incendiary, as if to ready you for battle and strike fear into your enemies! The fact that you’re fighting a ridiculously huge ancient best atop a floating island just makes it more Metal!
6.) Megaman 3 – Title
Speaking of epic intros, this track. The slow intro is pretty good on its own, but when the track opens with that amazing percussion and the badass upbeat part kicks in, you know you’re about to kick some ass yourself! I love when the lead tunes start a counterpoint melody with one another about 40 seconds in. It’s just so awesome! This is indeed a track worthy enough to introduce one of the Blue Bomber’s greatest adventures. Fight for everlasting Metal!
5.) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island – Final Boss Theme
If you’ve heard this track, then you know why it’s here. If you haven’t, then you may be thinking to yourself, “A track from a Mario game?” Yes, a track from a Mario game, you jerk. Just listen to it! Is Koji Kondo not trying to shred your face off with this? That intro is a warning. A warning that you’re about to get your face shredded off. To think that a game with child-like drawings as graphics could hold a track so Metal is astonishing. I love how freaking fast and furious it is. The rhythm just pounds it while the lead keytars the ever-loving shit out of your eardrum! I mean, seriously! It goes all over the place! This is a great, if not slightly out of place, track for a final boss. Just remember: Baby Mario is more Metal than you.
4.) Bad Dudes – Stage 2 Theme
This track starts out with authority and sets the mood. And that mood is Metal! But what would you expect from a level on the back of a speeding semi-truck? The best part is about 30 seconds in when it starts playing a meaty riff that just feels like a sweaty dude in zubaz pants punching a ninja in the face! If your track is somehow conveying that feeling, then you win. Are you a bad enough dude to appreciate this Metal?
3.) Golden Axe 2 – Ravaged Village
This track starts out like a march out of Hell, which is exactly where Metal comes from, incidentally. Then there’s the build-up riff that gets your adrenaline pumping as that sweet percussion keeps a steady cadence, simulating the drums of war. Finally, there’s that haunting lead that intensifies the satisfaction of the epic beatings you’re obviously giving as you listen to it. Thoroughly pumped, you ready your axe and run toward the village ravaged by bandits, your majestic dwarven beard flowing in the wind as the sun glistens off your horned helm. The only thing that will satisfy you this night will be listening to the lamentations of your crushed enemies’ women! That, or this track again. BECAUSE IT’S SO AWESOME!
2.) Valis – Frash of Sword… I Mean, Flash of the Sword
When this track starts, it starts hard! The lead comes in welcoming enough, but the rhythm is just brutal! JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT! It’s fast and constant, and it kicks ass! And that percussion! None of it relents! Then, about 30 seconds in, the rhythm slows down and forms an almost whimsical melody with the now prominent lead. Then the rhythm and percussion amp up again to melt your brain! It’s exactly everything I’d expect from a game about a school girl killing monsters. Really, a sexy woman in a form-fitting breast plate holding a flaming sword aloft embodies everything about Metal, except the music.
1.) Devil’s Crush – Main Stage Theme
Just listen to it. For a pinball game to be this Metal is beyond belief. It’s as if the Rock Gods themselves crafted this masterpiece for all the lonely kids who bought the TurboGraFX-16 in order to say “Do not listen to them, child. You have made an excellent console purchase. Now, allow us to rock off your face!” This track starts like all great Metal tracks: with kick ass percussion! The rhythm kicks in as a Gothic wailing from the lead sets the tone. Once the atmosphere is established, the lead drops that pretentious shit and proceeds to hammer on like it was hammering your mom! And from there it just gets better and better. The track is 3 1/2 minutes long and is filled with a ludicrous amount of solos, which is the exact amount necessary! About 2 minutes in, the track slows down with a short reprieve and slowly builds back up to an amazing solo and badass ending. This actually feels like a true track from start to finish. This track is METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for your Playing! Let me know of some sweet Metal tracks I may have missed below! I’m always looking for more music.