For us at Bitmob, game music lingers within our minds as much as in our ears. We've talked about how worthy (and unworthy) soundtracks aurally sculpt a game's content. We've pleaded with Hollywood to stay its insipidity when turning its profiteering gaze upon our most beloved musical memories. And, of course, we've stamped our (invisible) seal of approval on games purely for their songs alone.
For every Journey and Bastion, however, you'll encounter a composition or remix accomplishing nothing but a scratch of the head and a jarring jolt out of an otherwise enjoyable reverie. Strangely enough, Japanese games frequently slot these oddments next to masterful works. Thus, we've collected five confusing selections from various titles that cause your eardrums to say, "What was that noise?"
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night — "I Am the Wind"
You are the spawn of Dracula. You've endured the unholy and undead horrors of your father's titular domain, waded through demonic monstrosities, and faced evil incarnate in a climactic showdown. Your reward? A visit from the sexophone and Cynthia Harrell's lullaby lyrics. True, the stark differences between "I Am the Wind" and Symphony's heroically grandiose music signify the end to the struggle, but did it have to sound like something ripped from Kenny G's penthouse elevator?
Deadly Premonition — "Life is Beautiful"
The survival horror genre's staying power revolves around atmosphere. Gruesome imagery, psychotic episodes, and yes, nail-tearing music imprints an escape into profane surrealism. Or, in the case of Deadly Premonition, sequences of people getting bloodily torn apart accompany what you just heard above. No one knows why developer Access Games thought jaunty whistling worked well for its game, but one theory remains popular.
Silent Hill — "Esperandonte"
Gamers still cherish Silent Hill's disturbing visuals and composer Akira Yamaoka's engrossing ambient soundscapes, but the single track Yamaoka didn't create — the end-credits theme "Esperandonte" — traded barbed wire for bandoneons in a lustful tango set to Argentine singer Vanesa Quiroz. The only possible thing stranger than someone crooning for your love in Spanish within a series featuring monster rape and split-head lizards are aliens. Oh, wait.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater — "Snake Eater"
Confession: I adore this song. By the time Cynthia Harrell whispers her last "snake eaterrrrrr" at the fanfare's culmination, I'm pumped for some stealth-action…er, action. Still, the James Bond-esque bravado of the sneakster classic's theme music doesn't jibe with the rest of the series' high-tech and electronically infused soundtracks. But I'm not fazed. I'm hitting that play button again.
Dragon's Dogma — "Into Free"
Nothing seems out of the ordinary for the first 40 seconds or so of the introductory theme for Dragon's Dogma. Afterwards, you'll feel like Japan pulled up beside you, rolled down its window, and smacked you with a guitar amp. J-rock band B'z pulled together the shred-tastic chords and lyrics of Dogma's main menu music, and they don't stray far from something you might hear during some anime's opening sequence of sakura blossoms and windblown hair. Don't miss touching lyrics such as "be sure to drink your iodine" and "I'm breathing life or death, are we making progress?"
Know of any more games with strange song selections? Share them in the comments!