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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Abelhawk's Top 10 Most Nostalgic Computer Game Songs of All Time (Part 1)

Time to get nostalgic! For an optimal experience while reading this post, I suggest you play the song while reading each description. It may help you understand what makes the music so memorable to me.

#1: Rat Poker Title Theme

My uncles had this game on the computer at my grandma's house, and I loved listening to it. I didn't much understand the game, but I liked to stand nearby just to listen to the charming MIDI tune. The reason I put this as #1 is because of a single memory in my mind: When we were planning to stay at Grandma's house for a week or so while my mom went into labor, I distinctly remember thinking "If we run out of things to do, I can just listen to Rat Poker all afternoon."

#2: Lords of Magic - Order

Listen to that. Just listen to the calm, noble chords of that mandolin or guitar instrument. Every time I hear this song I can feel myself transported to a medieval fantasy world where times are tough but magic makes things easier. This is another song that not only brings me back to simpler times, but also is just a really touching, soothing song. Again, a memory about this song qualified it for second place. I remember once while listening to the song on the game thinking "I'd like to die while listening to this music." Decades later, I still agree that this song's melody would be a peaceful way to slip into the afterlife.

#3: Wacky Wheels Intro Theme

What memories! What a fun title theme! What—is that a camel in a go-cart? This is possibly the first multiplayer game my brother and I played together when we were kids (and back then, that meant sharing one keyboard). I have many memories of this game, and all of them began with firing up the game and listening to this exciting tune that just makes you want to put on a raccoon suit (just kidding, the raccoon was the retail version and we just had the shareware) and race other animals while throwing hedgehogs at each other.

#4: Treasure Mountain

This song probably wins the award for the furthest-back-reaching nostalgia. This game was in the school computer lab where I went to first grade. I still remember back when bright colors (especially cyan) were so widespread in EGA graphics games, including this one. This game actually had some sequels that were equally nostalgic, but none so much as this lilting, AdLib soundblaster refrain.

#5: Age of Empires - Conquest

This song is gorgeous. Ensemble Studios did an incredible job on the music of this game. Even though it's synthesized, it sounds like the birth of civilization, like hunting and gathering to survive, like waking up after a dark night. It's easy to imagine tribes trying to survive in the prehistoric world to this music. These songs are especially nostalgic because I haven't played this game for so many years. Even when we were playing it, I remember more of my time was spent reading the extensive strategy guide during free reading time in fourth grade.


That's all for today. I'll continue the top ten songs on a future post!

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