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Friday, January 17, 2014

Abelhawk's Top 10 Most Nostalgic Computer Game Songs of All Time (Part 2)

Click here for the first 5 of the list!

#6: Xargon Map Screen

I'm venturing into territory that's really hard to narrow down. I played so many DOS shareware games as a kid that there are a lot of nostalgic ones that could replace this one. I guess I may make an Honorable Mentions section bonus post sometime. Anyhow, this game was an odd one. Its genre was hard to narrow down. Epic fantasy? Science fiction? Acid trip dreamworld? It stood out to me, though, because the graphics were VGA instead of EGA, and the music used a sort of synthesized wobble bass that made it very mysterious—your character was definitely entering a new world. I remember playing this and wondering about the lore of the game with my brother. I remember in particular nerding out at the preview for the full version of the game, which I, sadly, never played.

#7: Commander Keen - Hillville

No nostalgic computer game list of mine would be complete without a reference to Commander Keen. There is a lot of good music in this game, some of it that scared me as a kid. But this one was almost like an easy-listening musak of a background music that was on easier levels. This game was one of the earliest I ever played, and I actually beat it when I was like five years old. I also enjoy reminiscing about Commander Keen because my mom, who never liked computer games, would play this with me all the time. Someday I would love to dress up like Billy Blaze for Halloween.

#8: Tyrian, The Level

This was one of the only arcade-style shoot-em-ups I ever liked, mostly because it was multiplayer. My brother and I would crowd around the same keyboard and play co-op together: he would play the Player 1 ship with the arrow keys, and I would play Player 2 with the mouse. This game was also only at our grandparents' house, so we never mastered the game (or even made it very far), but I look back to the times we shot down enemy ships side-by-side with fondness. So much, in fact, that this song happens to be my brother's ringtone!

#9: Runescape Main Theme (Original)

Runescape was a fun time in my life that I miss. I was in junior high when my brother introduced me to the game, and I had many fun hours on it together with my friends. It was back in the days of Dial-Up connections, so we had to make sure not to pick up the phone or we would lose the game connection. This particular song was the original theme of Runescape "2," the massive graphics and gameplay overhaul that came after Runescape Classic. Since they changed this theme later (twice, in fact), this song reminds me of the way Runescape used to be—simple, fun, and social, like my life at the time.

#10: Heroes of Might and Magic III Menu Theme

I've saved one of the best for last. This song, like all songs in this game, is a beautifully orchestrated masterpiece. Few other title themes have made me more excited to go on a medieval adventure than this one, with its baroque-sounding, elegant feel. It has always sounded to me like walking through a gallery of golden artifacts. This game was one of the most interesting and influential on my middle-school self's art and projects, and I still proudly own it today.

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I think what makes songs nostalgic is the way it makes things seem simpler in former times. All of these songs remind me of when my world was less full of technology, when graphics cards and powerful CPUs didn't matter so much, and when my friends and I were closest.

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