Video Game Music of the Week - 303

Metroid (NES)


Title, Brinstar, Kraid's Lair, Victorious

Hirokazu Tanaka

Metroid released on the NES in Japan in 1986. It later came to North America in 87' and Europe and Australia in 88'. The game delivered an atmospheric setting with clear inspirations from the 1979 film Alien.

The dark, horror elements found in the game are immediately presented in the opening moments of the song. However, the track does shift gears after the introduction, showing a strange sense of light through the darker elements of the game.

Over the years, this specific theme has been present in multiple Metroid games and spin-offs. It is one of the series' most well-known themes, for obvious reasons. It's is one of the games few upbeat themes, in a soundtrack of predominantly atmospheric tunes.

Kraid's Lair
This theme is very peculiar and mysterious in nature, giving the player a sense of loneliness and unknown forthcomings. It feels as though it doubles in tempo at a certain point in the track, giving an almost stressed feel to the player.

Victorious is a final theme track in the game that gives players a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. It features many of the same musical tropes that can be found in other NES finale theme.

Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 302

Arrow Flash (Genesis/Mega-Drive)


Opening Theme, Stage 2-1/5-2, Stage 5-1, Ending

Hanauri Musume

Arrow Flash is a scrolling shooter that released on the Sega Mega-Drive & Genesis in 1990 and 1991.

Opening Theme
Like so many great soundtracks of the era, Arrow Flash features a very melody focused set of music that delivers a memorable score. The short, opening theme sets this idea in notion from the get go, with a great melody.

Stage 2-1, 5-2
While Arrow Flash features a more rock centric selection of themes, this specific song also delivers some funk elements that help create diversity in the action-oriented soundtrack

Stage 5-1
This track has a great, slow build up, with a steady introduction that shifts its sound as it progresses from each section. Its melody, yet again, is a focal point of the theme.

This song has a slightly different sound to the rest of the game's music, with a very catchy chorus-like section, a neat bass line and a very jazzy solo that comes in at around the 2 minute mark.

Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 301

Gunstar Heroes (Genesis/Mega-Drive)


Stage 1, Stage 5, Boss 5, Ending

Norio Hanzawa

Gunstar Heroes, a run-and-gun shooter for the Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis, released in 1993 and later was ported to the Game Gear. The game has since been re-released in numerous forms, with a 3D version that released on the Nintendo 3DS.

Stage 1
Gunstar Heroes has a very well-crafted soundtrack that features various melodies and intense themes. The opening stage is a prime example, showcasing the games unrelenting search for musical greatness.

Stage 5
The fifth stage theme has a pulsating bass that becomes the themes motivating drive. However, the tracks melody balances perfectly with this, playing off it at times in clever ways.

Boss 5
Each Boss theme in Gunstar Heroes is different, and this specific version is a definite stand out. It has a wild drum beat that is littered with drum-fils and rapid snare hits.

The Ending theme has a more reserved and simpler sound than many of the other themes in the game. There is a main section of music that plays throughout the whole theme, but it' s the realistic drum percussions that give life to the theme.

Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.


Video Game Music of the Week - 300

Psychonauts (PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2)


Title & End Credits, The Catwalk Phantom, Whispering Rock

Peter McConnell

Psychonauts is a Platform game developed by Double Fine Productions and well-known game designer, Tim Schafer. The game released in 2005, with a sequel currently in development.

Title & End Credits
This theme plays during the title and end credits. The song has very cartoonish elements to it with its wild orchestration.

The Catwalk Phantom
This cunning theme has obvious elements of deviousness and trickery. It jumps from low-key moments to grand, quick-hitting sections.

Whispering Rock
This western-style theme has a very gentle and harmless melody. It has some assorted guitar moments that remain unique as the song progresses.

Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.