28/10/2010

VGJUNK MUSICAL HALLOWEEN PLAYLIST PART 3

With only two days to go until the big day, I won't waste any time. Here's part three of the VGJUNK Musical Hallowe'en Playlist! If you need to catch up or you want more, then here are Part One and Part Two. Onwards, to horror!

Dark Carnival, Blood, PC



Is there any type of music creepier than carnival music? I'm pretty sure there isn't, and if there is it must exist in some alternate dimension which, thank God, our ears are just not evolved enough to perceive. There's glockenspiels, accordion and at around the 2:08 mark there is the laughter of what I'm sure you'll agree is a clown that wants to eat your liver. A good track to play if you have any coulrophobic guests, then; also useful as music to have in the background whilst you tell your children why you're not taking them to the circus because Daddy can never go back there.

Title Screen Theme, Super Metroid, SNES



Some of the most utterly sinister music ever produced, I swear. Just this and a shot of some corpses, and Nintendo's reputation of only producing family-friendly games seems very odd indeed. Very (and one assumes deliberately) reminiscent of the themes of films such as Alien, it's the perfect mood-setter for Samus's adventure, filled with fragility and loneliness.

Intro Theme, Devil's Crush, PC Engine



When I wrote about Devil's Crush earlier in the Hallowe'en season, I mentioned that the main table theme was fantastic, and so it is. I'm also a big fan of this intro theme, a sort of John Carpenter / Planet Terror-esque slice of creepiness. Much more suited to a slasher film than a pinball game, even a horror-themed pinball game, and I guarantee that when you hear it you will be compelled to dress like Michael Myers and sneak up behind clueless sorority girls. Please don't though, and if you must, don't tell the authorities it was me that sent you.

Computer Station, Doom, PS1


One thing that the PS1 version of Doom had that was far, far superior to the PC version was the music. Gone were the hard-rockin' MIDIs ripped off from the heavy metal classics of the day, replaced with twitching, groaning ambient soundscapes that enhanced the playing experience massively. Much like the Cathedral music from Fallout that I mentioned in Part One, the PS1 Doom soundtrack overcame my usual apathy toward ambient soundtracks and lodged itself permanently in my cortex. I had trouble chosing a favourite, but in the end I settled on Computer Station, mostly because it has some wonderful sound effects, notably the indecipherable howling at the beginning and strange metallic scratching noise heard throughout, for example at 1:20. If you're looking for some ambient background music for a Hallowe'en get-together or even a game of D&D or something like that, you could do a lot worse than the Doom soundtrack, and you can download it all here.

The Oracle, Secret of Mana, SNES


Finally for this installment, and indeed this year, wrap your ears around the all-out sonic madness that is The Oracle. Chanting, heavy metal, glockenspiels, drum n' bass, it's all here, all crammed into one track that could have turned out to be an unlistenable mess but is, in fact, creepy as all hell and truly bad-ass at the same time. A lot of its charm lies in the samples; those gongs at the start that make it sound as though it's going to a standard "oriental" type theme (when it isn't), the clanging industrial steel, the chanting. The whole track really is a tribute to composer Hiroki Kikuda and his dedication to collecting the best samples and not just settling for pre-made MIDIs. A real-nerve-jangler as opposed to the slow burn of the Metroids and Dooms listed above.

Well, that madness seems like a fitting way to end the VGJUNK Musical Hallowe'en Playlist. Give them a listen on Hallowe'en night, and possibly rig your doorbell so that it plays The Oracle whenever someone presses it. That'll give the trick-or-treaters something to think about.

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