Top 5: NES Tunes

Welcome back my dear island guests. Today I am exploring Movie Park Germany in the real world looking for some of the remaining halloween spooks. The visit is a surprise gift for my birthday next week though so I had little time to make a sunday blog. That was when I figured….my paradise could use some music.  What better way to start then the console I grew up with. The NES. Everything is allowed Main theme, stage themes and boss themes. I will however only use only one entry per franchise and only use their original version. So unfortunately no Excitebike remix from Mario Kart 8..but that is an honourable mention. Additionally , this is not the list of most catchy themes since that would result in just naming the classic main themes.  It’s a list of memorable and engaging songs of my first owned console.

Tune Number 5:
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – Bloody Tears

What a terrible night to have a curse , these words linger through everyone’s  head who played this game. Incredibly cryptic and even broken in terms of ending and Dialogue , Castlevania II : Simon’s Quest is a game of debatable quality.  However those who who love or hate this game alike all are in agreement. Bloody Tears is a brilliant song. While many consider Vampire Killer to be the superior track, I would have to give the title to the doozy in this sequel. There is more build up to it more, more structure. The track feels more leveled and captures the gothic feeling of the series just a bit better.  While Vampire Killer stands for Simon Belmont, Bloody Tears to me stands for Dracula. Since, Castlevania is more about Dracula then it is about Simon to me I always found this one to be the more fitting one to represent the amazing franchise.

Tune Number 4 :
Silver Surfer – Stage 2

Now this is a weird one, the game itself is not a very good game, the angry video game nerd even deemed it a bad game. However I would not go that far… as long as you have a turbo controller.  The game is insanely hard even ridiculously, I managed to finish about three stages but I was never able to finish the entire game because the trick is to finish this game on a single life.. to keep your shooty  upgrades. Dying once.. and dying means hitting a single thing, means losing it all which makes somse stages virtually impossible. Meanwhile everything wants to kill you.. Touhou before Touhou. However what was excellent about this game was it’s sound design.  The soundtrack of the entire game was worth a listen but this one has that particular earworm vibe. Check out the game if you like a challenge and check the soundtrack if you are into 8-bit master pieces.
The box-art was pretty amazing too!

Tune Number 3:
Super Mario 2 – Overworld

While I vastly preferred the original Super  Mario over the second one gameplay wise that overworld theme of the second game is just soooo good. It’s quirk and fun and it has this level of ‘swing’  where you can tap your foot on the beat when your playing or swing your hand while snapping your finger when you are just listening. It might lack the iconic  level of the first one, but this one sweeps me away and I often linger in the first stage just to catch some more of tune. The way the sounds interacted with the theme, from when your climbing on a vine to opening up a door, it all seemed to harmonise together so greatly. A symphony of gameplay and soundtrack. Now I have to admit that I might favor the rendition of Doki Doki Panic (the game Super Mario 2 is a reskin for the western world off)  a bit better. It feels more tranquil less hard, due to the lack of one additional sound channel the NES had compared to the famicom. Adding in the sound of my jumps and climbing though the victory still goes to the NES. Even the way the stage progresses to the boss theme, where we fight the first Transgender character in video gaming ever… in the form of Birdo seems well done. This song blends with everything.

Tune Number 2:
Mega Man 2 – Dr Wily Stage 1/2

Albert Wily is a briljant but dangerous man and the antagonist of Mega Man since the earliest consoles. In the second adventure the first two stages of his castle got a simply briljant theme. I listen to this soooo much  be it in a remix or just the classic. Mega Man 2 was one of the first games I played and got good at. Being a bit of lonely kid as I walked funny and did things weirdly I spend a lot of time with my games and Mega Man was one of my top three games. I honed my craft and one by one.. over the terms months if not even years I got closer each time to defeat more Robot Masters. The first time I reached Wily’s castle I went a little queasy at how awesome this music was. I was overwhelmed and it made me feel really badass for reaching it. The music in itself was a reward and it highlighted perfectly how far your journey had gone.. how good you must have gotten to make it this far, how badass Megaman was by now. Even to this day I feel there is this “anime’ quality to it, I could easily see it being used as an opening for some kind of cyber-punky shounen show. It feels like more than just an 8 bit track. It has some amazing remixes out there as well so be sure to check those out! They are definitely worth your time. The box-art of the megaman games is notoriously bad though.

Tune Number 1:
Ducktales – The Moon

In 2017 the new ducktales animated show began to air, in which Huey Dewey and Louie move in with their uncle Scrooge. At the end of season 1 I cried.. like a baby.  We simply got a pan-shot to the moon that played a remix of this song after which a big reveal was made. The tune made it’s return in the second season.. and I cried even harder. It was beautiful.
A few years earlier, a remake of Ducktales the NES game came out on steam, I bought it and when I reached the moon stage..I cried, I had to pause my game to cry away my joy. The Ducktales game was based on the Disney afternoon show in my youth, my favorite tv show and favorite video game .. quite possibly ever even inching ahead of Pokémon.  Ducktales made me a gamer, Ducktales made me feel good about myself for the first time.

Even if it was just a video game, there were obstacles I could overcome. The theme from the moon is universally beloved and just so incredibly good that I could never forget it.  If I had to tell you how nostalgia would sound I would hum this tune. While I claim Pink Fluffy Unicorns is my anthem and signifies my mindset , The Moon represents my journey through life. Or me as a gamer. This to me is not just the best NES track ever, it’s one of the if not THE best  (game) songs ever. Whenever I feel sad about my life, I listen to this song and I am that little girl again who can enjoy herself with a cookie and this gem of a game. One day I hope to get a copy of the game again. Just as a keepsake. I would build a little display for it like the moon, and see if I got some techno friends that make the display play the moon theme. That’s how good this one is.

2 thoughts

  1. Omg bloody tears is one of my favorite Castlevania songs ever! I didnt grow up on retro games but I recognize many of these titles, Ive played mainly the newer Mega man games though and as for Castlevania, I got into it after the anime and its successor Bloodstained. Yet I still love Bloody Tears. This is a good list!

    Liked by 1 person

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