Game Music

Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level 16

December 23, 2017 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level 16on Twitter

I’ve read before that being stuck on an airplane is a great thing for writing. I recently flew and had time to dwell on the music video games that dealt with flight. In this long overdue edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I take a long back at some of my favorite video game scores from flying games.

Read on as I look back at the music of Captain Skyhawk on the NES, Pilotwings on the SNES, Aero Fighters Assault on the Nintendo 64, and the legendary Eternal Arcadia, also known as Skies of Arcadia which appeared both the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Gamecube.

One of the first flying games I ‎have vivid memories of was Captain Skyhawk on the original Nintendo. I loved upgrading my cannon until it fired like a machine gun, doing barrel roll docking in outer space, and that sweet victory melody that sounded like a slot machine going off after winning a jackpot. You can listen to the soundtrack composed by David Wise below. My favorite track is the boss battle music with the rapid beat bass line, followed by that sweet victory melody. I’ve cued the video to start with those tracks.

Next up, Pilotwings was a game I was pretty awful at. I had no problem beating the first couple of levels, but after that I crashed and burned a lot. The games redeeming feature for me was the password option. In gaming guides a whole new world was opened up when I found out there were two helicopter levels. Don’t get me wrong, the simple tutorial music in-between flight lessons is forever stuck in my head, even more the sombre music of disappointment where my instructors told me I’d failed yet again. My favorite track by far is the helicopter track that features a militaristic snare drum ‎throughout. No matter how many times I was gloriously shot down, those first few moments of revving up the chopper was enhanced more so by this music composed by Soyo Oka.

Aero Fighters Assault was a guilty pleasure of mine on the Nintendo 64, I think I was the only kid in my town who rented it from the video store and subsequently purchased it when it went up for sale. It wasn’t the best flying game, but it was all I had at the time. The game in Japan was the last in the Sonic Wings series, and featured some great tracks. The track I remember most is the mission briefing music which featured a sick bass groove. Please take a moment and listen to it for yourself above. The soundtrack was composed I believe by Kouji Shinna (as they are credited for the game’s audio) and was a big part of the reason I loved this game.

Last but not least, Skies of Arcadia composed by Yutaka Minobe and Tatsuyuki Maeda, featured an expansive symphonic soundtrack fitting for a game about sky pirates, adventure and countless air battles. From it’s glorious brassy opening theme, to its pulsating battle theme, to its character themes. There is so much to love about this soundtrack. When it was released on CD, many fans were upset that some tracks were too short or not presented well. It’s not an extremely rare CD but it was slightly expanded and released by SEGA digitally on iTunes. I’m sure many‎ of you enjoy this soundtrack, and for me it’s one of the best. My favorite song is “Military Facility Dungeon” for its incredible layered melodies.

So now that I’ve shared my thoughts on some of my favorite soundtracks from games that feature flight. What are yours?

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