RPGS were a big part of my gaming life, especially when I was a teenager. While I still like RPGs today, I just don't play them like I used to. Maybe someday I'll really get back into the genre and rediscover my love for it. Until then, here's a selection of ten tunes from one of gaming's greatest genres.
Main Theme - Monster World IV (GEN)
Why this game initially never saw release in Europe and America is beyond me but at least Sega has fixed that this year. On the Wii's Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade (in the Sega Vintage Collection) and PlayStation Network, Monster World IV can be experienced in full English glory. You play as Asha, a rookie warrior that the Queen entrusts to save the world. Asha is armed with sword, shield and her trusty pet Pepe, who, despite his small stature, is incredibly useful. Monster World IV has fantastic visuals, topnotch dungeon designs and a grand main theme. After a few short listens it got stuck in my head. This theme can be heard in numerous songs throughout the game. I can honestly say I never get sick of it.
Battle 2 - Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES)
If you ever pick up Luifa & the Fortress of Doom and Luifa II: Rise of the Sinistrals, here's a tip: play the second game first. The second game is actually a prequel to the first game with the first gaming picking up 99 years after the events of the second game. Confused? Anyway, Luifa II's second boss theme humbly titled Battle 2 is one sick theme. It makes each boss encounter feel like it should be an edge-of-your-seat struggle.
Cerulean City - Pokemon Red/Blue (GB)
*Sigh* Man, remember the days when there were only 151 Pokemon? Now how many of them are there? Way too many for me to keep track of. OK, so I'm not a huge Pokemon player, but even I got sucked into the hype back in the day and had his faced glued to his Game Boy the same as anyone else. Cerulean City was one of my favorite towns to hang out in, largely for it's calming theme.
Epoch - Chrono Trigger (SNES)
After using gates to navigate time, it was pretty sweet to get your own time travel machine. You could even name the thing, though I do thing the default name Epoch sounds pretty cool. You gotta hand it to Chrono and his buddies. With time travel so firmly in their grasp, they could do all kinds of things like depants Hilter in front of his troops, or invest stock in Barbie. Instead, they use it to save the world. What a bunch of goody-too-shoes.
Enemy Attack - Final Fantasy X (PS2)
I think I played around 20 hours of Final Fantasy X, long enough to see that awful laughing scene between Tidus and Yuna that everyone talks about. For all it's imperfections, I found myself enjoying this game. I love Nobuo Uematsu's music, but it was nice to give the man a break and have some other composers help bear the load. Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu helped write the score for Final Fantasy X and they hammered out some incredible battle themes. Enemy Attack is X's standard boss theme, which was handled by Junya Nakano.
Chomp Attack - Paper Mario (N64)
Want instant fun? Just add Mario. Seriously, Mario's mere presence can make just about anything better. But really, credit must be given to Intelligent Systems for making Paper Mario such an enjoyable game. Mario flips and turns just as he would as if he were paper. And he does since, you know, he is. Um, anyway, this is unquestionably my favorite boss theme from the game.
Decision - Breath of Fire III (PS)
Breath of Fire III is quite the gut wrenching game. Without spoiling too much, as a young lad, main character Ryu is separated from the only family he's even known only meet back up with them as an adult where much has changed.
World of Loudening Screams - Wild Arms (PS)
After the sky opens up over the kingdom of Adlehyde, a ton of metal monsters start tearing everything up, setting the kingdom ablaze. Naturally panic ensues and there are quite a bit of causalities due to the creature's attacks. All of the music was redone for Wild Arms remake Alter Code F, but I find myself preferring the original score, especially when it comes to this track.
Barren Fields of Mist - Legend of Legaia (PS)
Nothing beats a good world map theme. Legend of Legaia's world map theme does not fill one with a sense of adventure and exploration as most world map themes do. Instead, it's a reflection of a land, shrouded in mist. You might want to leave your character idle so you can hear the song in it's entirety during gameplay. The random encounter rate is rather high in this one.
Sky Garden - Illusion of Gaia (SNES)
And we close out on an action/RPG. How's that for bookends? Will was quite the cool character. He was telekinetic and he could transform into two different beings to become even more powerful. But even in his original form, he was formidable. It takes guts to use your own flute as a weapon. In the Sky Garden dungeon, Will did the unthinkable, where he traversed the top and bottom half of this enormous complex. When traveling on the bottom half, he was walking upside down with the Earth thousands of feet below him.