You might be wondering what happened to Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level 12, all I can say is that strange things happen around Halloween. And 13 is a lucky number right? Nothing bad has ever been associated with the number 13 here at OSV that I’m aware of…yet.
In this edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I’ll be looking back at some of the scariest game music I’ve ever experienced. Scary games aren’t my thing, but that didn’t stop me from playing quite a few. So read on if you want to see which game tracks freaked me out at different times in my gaming life, and be sure to share your favorite creepy tunes. I’m not sure what will happen once this post hits 13 comments…
Friday The 13th – NES
The first game that I can recall that didn’t so much scare me, but gave me a sense of uneasiness was Friday The 13th on the NES. I remember sitting in my friends living room as they fired up the game and began to play. I would have been 7 or 8 years old at the time. I had never seen a Friday the 13th movie but I had seen the covers at the local video store and I had a rough idea who Jason was. I also never really thought at that time that a video game could be scary. When Jason first appeared on the screen not only was I surprised I was shaken by the music by Hirohiko Takayama in the above YouTube clip. It’s almost laughable and mild today but at the time it was terrifying.
Jaws – NES
Jaws was probably the first horror related game I owned. Today I wouldn’t even consider it a horror movie, more of a thriller or because of a famous John Williams quote a bout composing some of the score – a pirate movie. At 8 years old I was fascinated by sharks and I absolutely loved the movie. The game on Nintendo at times I found scarier than the movie because as the player you are the diver in the water fighting against the Jaws shark. The above YouTube playlist offers the whole game soundtrack, and for me the part that always made me jump was the “You’ve Hit Something!” which thrust you as a player into the unknown depths and sometimes it would say – “You’ve Hit Jaws!” Sometimes you could see the shark fin coming, other times it just hit you out of nowhere. 8 year old me was creeped out at times playing this game. Shinichi Sakamoto composed the music and according the Wikipedia page for the game musically only references the music from Jaws in the “You’ve Hit Something!” composition. In the playlist it’s track 4, it’s only a couple seconds long and named “Found Something”.
Silent Hill – Devil’s Lyric
Silent Hill is the only game in the series I’ve actually played and thinking back on it it still gives me chills. The opening scene still haunts me where you’re chasing your daughter Cheryl through the fog and end up in alley, lighting a match in the darkness and getting stabbed by little monsters. As for music the one track that I found most terrifying is “Devil’s Lyric” it combines what sounds like radio transmission feedback with a variety of sounds including banging. Listening to Akira Yamaoka’s music today still brings back some of the terrifying imagery of the original PlayStation game.
Fatal Frame – PlayStation 2
Fatal Frame on PlayStation 2 was a game I never wanted to play alone. I think the fact that you had to use an old film camera as a means to defeat ghosts also played a huge part of the terror factor in the game, no guns? So I often played with friends, in the dark and we had to pressure each other into actually taking the controller and getting through the game. When ghosts appeared on screen or something incredibly ghoulish happened it was usually accompanied by a variety of curse words, many many curse words. The creepiest moment in the game that I can remember was when you came across the children’s room. In horror films, the ghosts of children were always the most terrifying. I often think back to the George C Scott horror film Changeling. Ayako Toyoda’s above track “Children’s Room” in my opinion in the scariest in the game.
Resident Evil 4 – Gamecube
Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube forever changed the Resident Evil series for many of us, simply because of the controls. It was the first game in the series that I ever committed some serious game play time to because the controls were so great. The moment I will always remember is accompanied by the above music composed by both Misao Senbongi and Shusaku Uchiyama. When you hear “Granado I” at first it doesn’t sound too bad – until you add the sound of a revving chainsaw getting closer to you, a face covered maniac surprising you, attacking you and cutting you to bits! I remember it like yesterday, sigh – scared the crap right out of me!
So now dear OSV readers, I think I’ve gone pretty easy on myself over the years playing scary video games and experiencing their music. I’m challenging you to make up for the musical nightmares that I missed out on. What are the scariest, most terrifying pieces of game music you’ve experienced? I can’t wait to see what happened when we hit 13 comments…I dare you to find out!
Tags: Akira Yamaoka, Ayako Toyoda, Fatal Frame, Friday The 13th, Game Soundtracks for Your Soul, Gamecube, Halloween, Hirohiko Takayama, Jaws, Misao Senbongi, NES, playstation 2, Resdient Evil 4, Shinichi Sakamoto, Shusaku Uchiyama, SIlent Hil