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Rohil’s Essential Video Game Soundtracks (Part 1)

Tony Hawk’s Underground

The original THUG game was a pivotal entry point for kids into punk and hip hop in the early 2000s. It was the first Tony Hawk game to be narratively driven, centering on the journey of an up-and-coming skater, making it out of their hometown in Jersey and going pro. The soundtrack complimented the story’s grit perfectly, particularly in early stages, New Jersey, Manhattan, New York, Tampa, Florida, and San Diego, California.

The stand out cuts, all iconic hip hop tracks:

Jurassic 5 – A Day at the Races (ft. Big Daddy Kane & Percee P)
Busdriver – Imaginary Places
Lif – Phantom (ft. EL-P)
Nas – The World Is Yours
Herbaliser – It Ain’t Nuttin’ (ft. MF DOOM)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

An iconic Nintendo 64 title, I first played on the GameCube at the homie’s studio in New York. The score, composed by Koji Kondo, is ethereal and surreal. Grand pianos, domineering strings, and inquisitive chimes come together to create something orchestral and playful, ideal for an epic.

Eternal Sonata

The game takes place in the mind of Polish romantic pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, his final dreams before passing away from tuberculosis. If you’ve ever watched a YouTube video essay, chances are you’ve heard Chopin’s Nocturne op.9 No.2.

The soundtrack, “Trusty Bell ~Chopin no Yume~ Original Score” composed by Motoi Sakuraba, is earthy and vibrant, capturing Chopin’s whimsical dreamscape. A meditation on and acceptance of death and letting go. There is a divine serenity flowing through the sonic palette.

DOOM 2016

Mick Gordon’s score for DOOM’s 2016 remake is a cacophonous war-cry. The djent and industrial metal burns in hellish-tumors and cyberpunk textures. It’s high-octane and great for getting pumped and finding a fully immersive flow, whether slaying demons or simply working out.

Scott Pilgrim VS. The World: The Game

Anamanaguchi’s loving throwback to 8-bit gaming. It’s earnestly enthusiastic, surging with energy, and unapologetically nostalgic.

Nintendo Wii Sports Resort

This sh–– just go hard.

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