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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Top 10 Stage Clear Jingles

Victory! Your mission has been very success! A winner is you! OK, that's enough Engrish. These short and often sweet tunes are our audio cues that we're winners. These are truly the unsung heroes when it comes to video game music.

10. Course Clear Fanfare - Super Mario Bros. (NES)

I know what many of you are thinking. And yeah, I suppose it does seem criminal to have such an iconic jingle placed last. No matter how many times I hear this them, it always gives me a sense of accomplishment, especially after some of the more frustrating levels later in the game. This jingle is just about as famous as the Ground Theme, also from Super Mario Bros. Course Clear Fanfare is often used whenever ending medleys whenever someone plays Super Mario music at live concerts. As good as this theme is, there are honestly jingles that I'd place above this one.

09. Power Star Get - Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy has a lot of Power Stars that are easy to obtain. But much later in the game, the kid gloves come off and reaching those coveted stars becomes quite the uphill battle. How many of you lost a ton of lives during Melty Molten Galaxy's Daredevil Comet run? But when you finally grab that Power Star, all the anguish you've felt disappears.

08. Act Clear - Sonic 3 & Knuckles (GEN)

At the risk of stepping on a lot of toes, I'm going to go ahead and say that I think the Act Clear theme used for Sonic 3 & Knuckles onward is better than what was used in Sonic 1 & 2. Nothing against that theme, I just prefer what Jun Senoue came up with compared to Masato Nakamura. The original version also happens to be my favorite.

07. Stage Clear - Mega Man X (SNES)

One might think that if I were to include a stage clear jingle from the Mega Man franchise that it would be from the Classic series. I think the Classic series has some nice stage clear themes but I think Mega Man X's rousing stage clear jingle trumps them all. It's even better when you take into account how much stronger X becomes as he progresses through the game.

06. Stage Clear - Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

Super Castlevania did a lot of good for traditional Castlevania games. It gave Simon the long overdue ability to jump off of stairs. He could slightly influence the direction of his jump. His whip, the Vampire Killer was more versatile than ever before. But arguably the most important thing Super Castlevania IV did for the most famous member of the Belmont clan was giving him his very own theme and part of Simon's leitmotif just happens to be incorporated into the stage clear jingle.

05. Contra III - The Alien Wars (SNES)

I firmly believe that the NES Contra has the best six second title theme in the history of video games. Those few notes couple with those explosions are the epitome of video game manliness. How do you top that or even come close? With a rad victory theme, of course! The sound quality of the SNES makes it sound better than ever.

04. Course Clear - Super Mario 64 (N64)

Twirling around, throwing up the victory sign and shouting "Here we goooo!" Mario has the uncanny ability to make anything ten times cooler than it has any right to be. In this case it's twenty times cooler with Koji Kondo's celebratory tune that plays whenever Mario snags a Power Star.

03. Victory Fanfare - Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

Like several other themes listed here, the Victory Fanfare is not exclusive to Final Fantasy VI. It's been present since the very first game in the series. In fact, the original jingle almost took the spot of this one on the list, but I really like the way Nobuo Uematsu made the SNES sound chip bring this rendition out. Jumping up and down next to other people while lifting your arms up and down has never been so glorious, even if it does look like they're exercising.

02. Zone Clear JP - Sonic CD (SCD)

"Best Sonic game ever," says  many a Sonic fan. There are reasons I could go into as to why I think this game is good but ultimately overrated, but I'll steer clear of them. Having said that, Sonic CD does have my favorite stage clear jingle of any Sonic game. It's a bit take from Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself, the Japanese ending theme. This thing is just sooooo dance-centric! If not for the upcoming jingle, this baby would be my number one choice.

01. Stage Clear - Gunstar Heroes (GEN)

This is it. My all-time, number one favorite stage clear theme of any video game. Listing the other themes was the real challenge. I already knew ahead of time that this one would be number one. Treasure's run 'n gun classic is in my honest opinion the most finely crafted game the company has ever produced. When all the dust is settled and all the bad guy butt has been kicked, each level ends with that most badwesome level clear themed in the history of the gaming medium. This is the only theme that super charges me with unlimited amounts of pure energy. Every time I hear it after finish a level, I feel like such a BAMF. Yeah, Contra III's level clear tune makes me feel like a BAMF, but Gunstar Heroes? One hundred times the BAMF, easily.

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