Videogames: Midi Metal

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Like (probably) many of you, I discovered tons of music by playing videogames. Game developers didn’t take much time to figure out that shooting nazi-demon-aliens in the face could be enhanced by putting killer riffs in the background. In fact, my first encounters with metal came through videogames. Here are some examples of both overlooked tracks and those that might make you get “them feels” and waste your day on nesbox.com.

Super Mario World

The Mario games are generally all about pretty colors and tunes, and in Super Mario World you go playing in jolly rainbow-puking worlds until you hit that first castle and listen to the music. They were probably going for an organ kind of sound, but that theme and the Ghost House theme  are straight up Black Sabbath. This was the audio queue that said “This isn’t happy anymore”.

 

Doom I and II

Doom is about shooting demons from Hell that came through a portal on Mars. It was meant to be metal from the drawing board. This is kind of cheating because a lot of music from the Doom games is made of stolen material taken from other songs: you’ve got Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Slayer’s Behind the Crooked Cross, Pantera’s Mouth of War, Alice in Chains’ Them Bones and Black Sabbath’s After all (The Dead), to name a few. The thing is that the 6 year old me didn’t know that, he just knew the music from Doom was the shit.

 

Donkey Kong Country II

This may not sound very metal due to the sounds they chose for the music (this is a game about monkeys doing somersaults, after all), but make some arrangements and they wouldn’t be far from Iron Maiden songs. Most people who talk about Donkey Kong Country’s music only talk about that final boss song from the first one, but I didn’t play that one so I didn’t listen to that song until the Internet became a thing. Instead, I remember finishing every level as Dixie to listen to her play guitar.

 

Earthworm Jim II 

This game and Donkey Kong Country II were my favorites on the SNES as a kid. You play as a worm in a spacesuit. Every level is filled with “What the fuck did I just do/see?” moments. This game used very different styles of music on each level, mostly for a comedic effect, but “Anything but Tangerines” stands out for being genuinely great. I’ve posted the PS1 version of this song because I must admit it’s the superior version.

 

Pokémon

There seems to be a generation gap depending on how old you were when Pokémon came out. There are people who look at it and just don’t understand what’s going on, and then there are people who refer to it as “my childhood”. If you’ve played any of the games then you’re familiar with the simulated-by-chiptune electric guitar solos designed to get you pumped. There’s also that feeling when you cross Victory Road in Pokémon Gold & Silver to battle the Elite Four and the League Champion (the final bosses), after you’ve defeated Team Rocket, captured a legendary, and raised wimpy critters you caught on the beginning of the game into solid fighters, to be treated to this song.

 

Super Metroid

While I believe Metroid Prime is a better game with better music overall, Super Metroid gave us Ridley’s theme song which is insanely metal.

 

Starcraft

The races in Starcraft have their own different styles of music, but never going too far away from the game’s general eerie theme. While the Zerg brood got synthesizers and the systematic Protoss got orchestral, the trigger-happy Terrans got their Rock ‘n’ Roll.

 

007 Goldeneye

Fuck Tina Turner. I don’t even consider this sampling.  The theme for Goldeneye on the N64 is pure genius. Nothing beats gunning down waves of square-faced soviets than doing it with this playing in the background.

 

F-Zero X

If there’s a game that needs an HD reimagining, it’s this one. You can race at more than 1000 mph, and that’s not an euphemism. The music on this game kicks an amazing amount of ass, even with the limited audio capabilities of the N64. “Endless Challenge” and “Decide in the Eyes” became well known because they appeared in Smash Bros., but every track in this game, even the menu, is metal as fuck.

I’m pretty sure I’m missing A LOT of examples, considering I stopped paying too much attention to videogames after the Gamecube and there are games that look like they have lots of metal in them, like Splatterhouse or Twisted Metal (haven’t played ’em). Maybe you guys can post your examples of nostalgia boners in the comments.

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  • Mr. Bojangles

    Doom is my favorite game of all time. First video game I ever owned. I wonder if that contributed to me getting in to metal?

    Nothing like eradicating things.

    -Mr. Bojangles.

    • Probably too much catnip.

    • UnamusedMusician

      Mine is Quake and it definitely helped me get into metal. I used to listen to Helmet’s Meantime on repeat while blasting multiplayer caps. It was rad because the track would change with the maps. That was the gateway to heavier and heavier bands.

    • Poop Mango

      Doom is also my all-time favourite. Everything about it is perfect. I still play it pretty regularly on just about every new device I get.

      • Xan

        I just recently did a run through with the Brutal Doom and Doom Metal mods.

      • Ace Ventura

        The pottery is lovely

        • NDNOvHell

          Guano Bowls. Collect the whole set!

          • Ace Ventura

            I was just…practicing my mantra….

    • RomuluxX

      I love Doom, but Duke Nukem 3D is the game with which my heart resides.

    • Lacertilian

      Quake 2 had the most METAL music of all the video games I played after Doom.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY6yBTYxLko

      Fucking awesome riffs for a fucking awesome game.

  • I love the music in Earthworm Jim 2 so much. Every single little thing is just perfect.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0jaWKpEUyE

  • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

    I enjoyed this post very much while stroking a massive nostalgia boner.
    I’d like to write a post about video games that don’t actually have metal in them, but would go great with certain metal bandz.

    • Howard Dean

      A not so flaccid Ann Coulter? Hmm. The world now knows that vintage gaming is Frau (Herr?) Coulter’s aphrodisiac-of-choice.

    • MartBart

      It’s a wasteland over there. The comment section was pretty much the only reason I bothered to look at MetalSucks. The pay-for-coverage shit they pull nowadays is ridiculous, and I’m sure the idiots over there think they’re being covert about.

      Long live the porcelain throne!!!

      • MartBart

        Looks like I replied to the wrong comment, oh well. MS still hella weak.

    • Ace Ventura

      I WAS JUST…PRACTICING MY MANTRA

  • NDNOvHell

    Pokemon Silver and Gold was my shit. I didn’t realize how hard Golden eye was until I played it again recently. Pissed me of!! Haha

    Edit: Also LOL at the Vinnie Paul picture

  • Howard Dean

    The picture up top of the glam Dimebag/Diamond Darrell is actually the glam version of Vinnie Paul.
    Goldeneye multiplayer deathmatch was amazing. Reminds me of seventh grade. And campaigning for President.
    Byyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

  • W.

    One of my favorite bit-tracks is the Boswer theme from Yoshi’s island. I could actually see a modern band blasting along with this and laying down a blazing solo.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TElSf4rixgQ

    • Yoshi’s Island is one of the best games ever made.
      *AND I headbang to this song.

      • Paris Hilton

        This is probably one of my favorite boss fights of all time

    • Renan Ribeiro

      I played it until the cartridge fucking melted. One of the top games of my childhood.

      • Paris Hilton

        Don’t let the cute look fool you, it gives a pretty good challenge!

    • I never got this far on Yoshi’s Island, this song is amazing

  • Mook Styfawker

    Fitting something like this comes up during my current Black Mages binge. I enjoy a decent chunk of the Final Fantasy series, especially the music, and it’s nice that the long time composer of the series, Nobuo Uematsu, is a big fan of hard rock and heavy metal, too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msbiZ6VLK_U

    • Steve Smithwick

      Uematsu is the man.

      I’m extra partial to this piece of Uematsu’s, Otherworld, from FFX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVls2heTbU

      • That song rules. This is my favorite Uematsu. Not metal by any means, but it’s the feels, man:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKyvAjoIvAI

        • Steve Smithwick

          That is also a gorgeous track. FFX is just so good. I liked XII also, but XIII was pretty lacking to me. IX and X are my shit.

          • Mook Styfawker

            Agreed, though it’s tied with IX for me. I’m playing through FFX HD Remaster right now. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into all the bonus stuff that was left out of my inferior North American copies.

          • I’ve been wondering if I should snag that. Do you recommend it?

          • Mook Styfawker

            If you can get it cheap and have any ambition to play the game again, yes. Can’t recommend the FFX-2 part of the pack, though, as I couldn’t muster up a care about that game if I tried.

          • Keegan Lavern Still

            X was fucking awesome! I remember XII getting flack for the real time combat when it first came out, but I think it was actually a well thought out and executed idea. At least until XIII fucked it up.

        • Mook Styfawker

          Feels indeed, man.

    • I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts but this sounds exactly what I would it expect it to sound like.

      • Neither have I. I don’t really play video games. I just love this song.

        • Paris Hilton

          Really? I LOVE video games. I’m like the laziest fitness nut ever.

          • Don’t feel like spending lots of money on new consoles and games just to have racist 14 year olds yell at me. Doesn’t sound like fun.

          • Paris Hilton

            Yeah I hear ya man! Like I have absolutely no desire to drop $500+ on a new console to play the same fucking Call Of Duty game.

      • The Black Dahlia Burger

        The KH fanbase is embarrassingly terrible but I swear the games are pretty great

        • Fromwisdomtohate29

          ^This exactly.

    • The Black Dahlia Burger

      DUDE. I have so many memories with this song and game. I know it’s Disney and whatever but seriously, it’s a very good game to this day.

      • Keegan Lavern Still

        Listening to that theme gave me a gigantic nostalgia-kick to the groin. Now I have to get that from my dad’s house and binge on it for a week or two.

  • “poser” ahaha thats great.

    • the Palmeri one is good too

      • lol good point, i missed that one at first.

    • Pierre Generic

      “Vince” and “Table” got the biggest laughs from me.

    • I liked it all, but seeing Lambesis behind the bars and Dio as Osbourne made me laugh uncontrollably.

  • Mook Styfawker

    Also, dibs on playing as Tom Araya for that metal musician brawl.

    • That’s a sucker bet. Anselmo all the way.

      • Mook Styfawker

        Fool, I know the combo for Araya’s hardest move, Mandatory Suicide. Makes the other players character kill themselves for you.

      • Sponge Of Mystery

        idk..Palmeri’s lookin pretty strong up there

    • Abbath is the obvious choice as he commands the frozen north.

      • The Satan ov Hell

        I’m going with Varg, he can summon “the fourth reich”- a move where his kids and wife set fire to the enemy

    • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

      Palmeri is OP. Dat retard strength ain’t nothing to fuck with.

  • Keegan Lavern Still

    Seeing Vince represented as Pedobear in the Smash Bros. character select made me do my first genuine spit take laugh in who knows how long. For that, Mr. Stone, you have my thanks.

  • “everyone like us!!! no discussion about our desperation!!!”

    • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

      I feel like we’re vultures, just circling the dying animal that is MS, ready to pick it’s bones of worthy commenters to join our legion. I almost feel sorry for them.

      Just kidding. Fuck ’em!

      • Mook Styfawker

        To be honest, I for one don’t see it dying anytime soon. But do I care if it does or doesn’t? Hell no, I’m just glad I’m out of there and we have this place now.

        • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

          Judging by the comments sections on their articles, they just need to give in and turn into a dedicated babymetal blog.

          • Between The Buried & Smee

            So many commenters with anime profile pictures

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            Holy christ hand-hole fucking. I had no idea there were so many people on there that are legitimately defending babymetal. It’s time to abort this fucking planet.

          • TrickleDownTacoRiff

            Most of the “defenders” and more recent commenters appear to be newly created discus profiles with about 50 comments. Coincidence? perhaps but I think not.

  • Negrodamus
  • UnamusedMusician

    I consumed many years of my childhood on these games.. except Pokemon which you can promptly flush a million times over.

    • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

      Don’t you fucking dare flush them pokeymans. That’s my fucking childhood, right there.

      • UnamusedMusician

        Generation gap FTW.

        • I’m gonna generation slap you in the face if you flush Ash and his pals again!

          • UnamusedMusician

            No shirt, no shoes, no service!

          • Paris Hilton

            I have a lvl 100 Latios and a Celebi. My X team is fucking unstoppable!

          • The Black Dahlia Burger

            Celebi from Bank, right?

          • Paris Hilton

            FUCKING RIGHTS hahah

          • The Black Dahlia Burger

            I may or may not have bought a 3DS specifically for the new Pokemon games.

  • Stockhausen

    I loved that Ghost House music. And when it comes to Donkey Kong, I always hyped the Blue Rondo ala Turk in the ship levels.

  • Paris Hilton

    DK 2 is the fucking best in the series! I have beaten that game so many times (including the Lost World). The soundtrack of the game is absolutely stellar, too!

    • I somehow missed out on 2 and 3. I need to… acquire those games and give them a try. The DKC music was so damn good tho.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4XCk2HFdNc

      • Paris Hilton

        Man you’re missing out! The second one is SOOOOO much better than the first! (Not to say the first one is bad by any means)

  • NDNOvHell
  • DANG. If we’re talking about evil midi tunes – Any of you guys start to drown in Sonic the Hedgehog? Or play all the way through Ecco?

    • Drowning in Sonic actually gave me nightmares.

    • NDNOvHell

      I recently bought The Sega Genesis collection on Xbox 360. Sonic 1 through 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic Spinball!

      Sonic The Hedgehog FTW!!

    • Spear
    • Sight Vnseen

      Ecco is the scariest fucking game ever made. Really unsettling. Enter the machine followed by the final boss still gives me nightmares. Yikes.

      • I’m not sure what kinda sick bastard thought to unleash that on millions of children. (Or maybe like a few thousand. Ecco was really hard)

  • Gobshite

    Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a thoroughly overlooked game. This ‘ere furry fellah could run as fast as Sonic, jump as high as Mario and was packing more heat than frickin John Matrix! To top it off, the soundtrack was nothing short of bitchin’. This needs to be covered. Now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlgeS_Sxkh0

    • W.

      I think I played the first one.

      • Gobshite

        Never had/played the 1st one as my folk didn’t even have a PC at that point. 2 came with our very first PC, along with Tonic Trouble, RedLine Racer and G-police. All were fucking class aside from Tonic Trouble, which was ported from the N64 and was buggy as fuck.

    • Ryan Cowdy

      On my old Windows Phone…I had it setup with Jazz Jackrabbit tunes for rings tones.

      Man, I miss that phone

      • Gobshite

        You have my condolences.

  • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

    This one’s a favorite of me and my metal-loving friends, although it doesn’t have much to do with midi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWh9l8RSkPk

  • Scrimm

    CASTLEVANIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Poop Mango

    youtube.com/watch?v=IRsPheErBj8

  • MartBart

    The lost world theme from DKC2 is metal as fuck! Kinda has a Meshuggah vibe to it. David Wise is the god damn man.

    • Paris Hilton

      Even getting into the Lost World was metal as fuck! A giant, buff-ass crocodile with scars and a huge club with nails that hits you into oblivion is FUCKING METAL in my books!!

      • MartBart

        My pal and I have a yearly play through of DKC2, it’s just…the best, hands down. DAT BRAMBLE BLAST. We did a cover of that song on drums and midi keyboard haha

        • Paris Hilton

          Ah sweet!!! I usually do a yearly play through of DKC 2 as well! Finally someone else who understands just how FUCKING GOOD that game is haha. Bramble Blast has some killer music, but seriously, fuck that level hahaha

          • Fromwisdomtohate29

            As much as I hated those Bramble levels, it was worth slogging through them just to hear Stickerbrush Symphony. That theme is so goddamn good.

  • ChuggaChuggaDeedleyDoo
    • UnamusedMusician

      One of the best games ever made.

      • Scrimm

        Damn right. I still play it all the time.

  • Paris Hilton

    16-bit music can be done VERY WELL, especially for its time (Anyone who’s played DKC 2, or F-Zero knows that the soundtracks are fucking unreal). I think these games paved the way for a lot of electronic music that we enjoy today!

    • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

      You lost me at “a lot of electronic music that we enjoy.”

    • Fromwisdomtohate29

      Port Town theme = love.

  • Spear

    Kinda surprised not to see any Mega Man or Castlevania on there. If Bloody Tears isn’t metal, then nothing is.

  • Poop Mango

    Here’s one that was both underrated as a game and as a soundtrack: http://youtu.be/OAxahmyG0Dg

    • Ryan Cowdy

      UN Squadron kicks massive ass!

    • Fromwisdomtohate29

      YAAAASSSSS!!!

  • Mother Shabubu III

    Megaman ZX had a lot of songs that could be metallized fairly easily.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kYw5LmneOw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG_5YnGwEEQ

  • KJM

    Looking forward to Alien:Isolation.

    Doom & Quake were both great, especially once I found the hidden Wolfenstein levels.

    • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

      Just FYI if you haven’t yet, you should play the newest Wolfenstein. Just beat it a couple days ago on PS4. Holy shit that’s a fucking good game. Metal as fuck, also.

    • The Black Dahlia Burger

      Alien:Isolation looks creepy as fuck. And since I just recently beat Outlast, I’ve been craving some horror

      • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

        I have yet to finish Outlast. I like to play it at night, with all the lights off and my headset on. I can’t afford all the new pants I have to buy anymore 🙁

        • The Black Dahlia Burger

          How far did you get?

          • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

            I’m right after the part where the dude chops your finger off. I’m where he starts chasing you. The first time I played that part, I was searching for where to get out of that room, and turned around to realize he was standing right behind me and he killed me. PANTS WERE SHAT ON THAT DAY.

          • The Black Dahlia Burger

            I remember that part, pretty intense as you’re strapped to the chair. I’m assuming you got this through PS+, right? If you end up liking the game, I’d really suggest getting the Whistleblower DLC for like $8 or so; that way you get the full game plus DLC for really cheap. And, believe it or not, it’s more fucked up than the base game.

  • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

    I never owned an N64.

    • Ryan Cowdy

      You honestly did miss much.

  • Spear

    I think a lot of people tend to forget about this one, too. Earthbound had all this weird quirky music the whole way through, and then you get to the final boss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1QfIbLulf8

    • Man. Everything was all cute and fun then DAMN. Nightmare city.

      • Spear

        I’m kinda glad I only recently played through it. Probably would have messed me up as a kid.

  • Ryan Cowdy

    Surprised by the Battletoads omission

    http://youtu.be/sw3bp0Of_ys

  • Guppusmaximus

    Seriously how could you forget Actraiser?! I’m pretty certain that the OST the whole Viking Metal genre (I love “Birth of the People”)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQQ_NO9xcM0&index=4&list=PL052270D1F0DC6595

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx2Yq6FZqcM&index=5&list=PLE490BF44CF84602D

  • Ryan Cowdy

    Ugh! You guys got me listening old NES tunes now.

    http://youtu.be/CASP099mHxg

    • This is the single hardest game I think I’ve ever played. I tried beating it as an adult not too long ago. Shit is full on impossible.

  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    Earthworm Jim is life. Evil the Cat and Bojangles would be good human hating friends. Maybe.

    Also Stickerbrush Symphony. Nuff said.

  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    If were going to talk about vidya games and metal, you can’t go without mentioning Megadriver.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pumteMRAmQA

  • Renan Ribeiro

    I gotta put this here – Megaman X series had killer tunes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTJ_aKkBmVQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uYeags6JMw

    This shit gets you pumped

    • Poop Mango

      In general, Capcom games had the best music back in the day.

  • Renan Ribeiro
  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    Strider is my favorite game series of all time, with part 2 for the Ps1 being my favorite (I refuse to acknowledge that godawful remake that came out this year.). Among many things, it had an awesome soundtrack that just begs for a metal upgrade.

    This song in particular.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BJcUCYj7a0

  • Metaphysical Anus

    Damn you for mentioning pokemon. Now I remember how much I’m waiting for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

  • Xan

    Doom is fucking great. I’ve played Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, and Doom 3 as well as just about every mod out there for them. Hexen was a pretty good one. Brutal Legend is another really great metal game. I’d highly recommend getting it on whatever platform you use to play games. That’s what got me into Judas Priest, Motorhead, 3 Inches of Blood, Angel Witch, and Accept.

  • I used to play Twisted Metal 2 on my PS (or PS2; don’t remember which one it was), and on that system, you could load the game, take out the disc, and then put in a CD to have your own soundtrack to vehicular mayhem!

  • RomuluxX

    This is one of my favorite games themes. It’s just so goddamn epic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqq8uqSDnk

    • The Satan ov Hell

      MGS- a classic. And somehow Kojima got me, and so many others to connect to the most generic action hero alive, Snake. MGS4? Tears.

      • RomuluxX

        When he was crawling down that hallway I thought I was going to break my goddamn finger from mashing triangle so fast. I refused to let a national goddamn treasure like Solid Snake go out like that.

        • The Satan ov Hell

          I kept expecting it to end at any point past there with Snake dead/dying.

  • Gorgasm

    It’s definately not from a video game, but since you guys pretty much covered all the good ones, here some 8-bit tunes from Unraveller aka Mr. Gunface McKenzie, himself.

    http://youtu.be/SaafieMsySE

  • Gloryhole Castration
    • Gloryhole Castration

      Mega man 2 FTW.

  • Xan

    By the way, the thumbnail for the article is legendary.

    • RomuluxX

      My favorite part, easily.

      • Xan

        I lost it when I saw Haxl’s picture under Poser.

        • Ellipsis

          It’s like a Where’s Wally? of douches…

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    For the swarm!

    Not really metal, but the Dark Souls sound track is killer. Every fight is perfectly scored, and having consumed many an hour to learning the lore inside and out, the final boss theme hits home even harder.

    Actually hacking apart bosses sometimes the size of small houses while wearing naught but a loin cloth and wielding a blade fit for Cloud Strife is actually pretty damned metal.

  • Anthrallica

    I was introduced to Static-X from the PS1 game Omega Boost.

  • LOL at those pics of vince,axhole, table, tim LOL

  • Psh. You’re just like my 7 year old son. A Nintendo Fan boy. Na, those games are all sweet.

  • Quarter Ounce Harrell

    can some one make that super smash pros brawl metal edition happen? thats something id drop 60 bucks on for sure

  • heyaqualung

    This isn’t metal related, but gotdamn, Danny Brown uses the FFVII main theme as a sample. So rad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UFtpSebfdg

  • Count_Breznak

    Console scum…
    Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBFxvelfVM
    There a vids of the single tracks arround, but most are of completely shitty quality.

  • Link D. LeonhⒶrt V.

    F-Zero X have a really nice OST. Very japanese sounding guitar-tone

  • Veldar

    Fun fact Grant Kirkhope took the bassline for “we care a lot” by Faith no More and used it in the Golden eye song ‘La Fayette’

  • Ellipsis

    MetalSucks has shamelessly copied the premise of this article. Get your plunges Toiletees, there’s flushing to be done…