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Game Soundtracks for Your Soul: Level Three

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In this edition of Game Music for your soul, I am sharing more examples of Game Soundtracks that made an impact on me. Interestingly, UK composer David Wise wrote all of this music. This time I will be sharing some thoughts on the Pause music of Battletoads, and Donkey Kong Country’s “Aquatic Ambiance”. Does the music from these games mean anything to you?

Battletoads – The Pause Screen Music

If you owned a copy of Battletoads for the NES and never made it past stage three, you feel my pain and can remember all of the music from ONLY the introduction and the first three stages of the game.  I have no memory whatsoever of the music featured in later stages because I never reached them without the power of my my golden Galoob Game Genie. The Angry Video Game Nerd has also covered this frustration perfectly. The music of Battletoads was groovy, and the Pause Screen music was no exception. You can listen to it here, posted on YouTube by GBelair it has a natural almost repetitive wet clapping sound, with a bass beat that just won’t stop. There’s just no pause screen music quite like it and is the most memorable pause screen music for me. It has also caused in my case, some serious in-hand controller swaying, and couch grooving.

Youtube user GBelair has uploaded the entire Battletoads soundtrack including the pause music. If you don’t remember any of the music past stage three, here’s your chance to hear the rest of it.

Donkey Kong Country – “Aquatic Ambiance”

The soundtrack to DKC was phenomenal  and still remains as one of my all time favorite game scores. Some of my favorite tracks include “Mine Cart Madness”, and “K. Rool’s Cacophony” which plays during the final boss fight and is pirate music that gets turned up to 11 when the battle gets heated.

“Aquatic Ambiance” however in my humble opinion is by far is the best track in the game.  SupraDarky has uploaded the OSV version to YouTube. It’s a very laid back theme for a level where there’s a lot going on. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a great track YouTube user scrapper9000 has created a 10 hour version that is perfect if you wanted to setup a dedicated soundtrack system for your aquarium.  This is definitely one track I recorded on my tape recorder and listened to over and over again on my Sony Walkman. The music is soothing, and plays during an underwater level which traditionally from Super Mario Bros. experience can be quite tasking.  The music was so good I would just play the level over and over again to experience it.

When Donkey Kong Country Returns was announced for the Nintendo Wii I was excited at the possible return of this music. Not only was it absent, so was any semblance of a water level. I later learned that David Wise didn’t work on the score either.

All of this seems to have been remedied for Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze where David Wise returned to composing and provided a new version of Aquatic Ambiance. The FranChannel has uploaded it to YouTube. Compared to the original, the use of bells give the song an icier feel. But it is a welcome return of the music that has been absent since the original Donkey Kong Country. Thank you David Wise for bringing this music back.

Lastly, I wanted to see if anyone had done arrangements of the theme, and there are a few. User Fredbaty performs my favorite rendition on YouTube. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with this one, above or underwater.

Do you have fond memories of this music, or any other tracks from these games? Let me know.

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