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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fantastic First Level Themes Vol. 4

They say you never forget your first. First kiss. First car. First level of a video game. We're here to focus on that last one. The first level of a video game can say a lot about the rest of the game. It can be a great way to grab the player for invested play time. For a lot of us, not only do we remember the first level because it is the start of a game, but because the music with that beginning level really stayed with us.

Scene 1 Stage 1 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (ARC ver.)

Most would agree Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games were at their peak when Konami had the license in the late 80s and early 90s. The first beat 'em up is widely considered one of the best in the genre and probably the second best TMNT game. The first level has you charging in to save April from an out of control fire. The music which use cues from the main 1987 TMNT cartoon show (something you find a lot of in this game's soundtrack) fills you with the overwhelming urge to kick the crap out of anything in your way. Good thing there's a near endless wave of Foot Soldiers to slay, eh? For the record, the NES version of this theme is also pretty boss.

Billy and Jimmy's Theme - Double Dragon (NES ver.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really don't care for the arcade score for Double Dragon. I've nothing against arcade beats, but Double Dragon's arcade music sounds like horrid, twangy synth. Double Dragon's NES tunes are a vast improvement to it's arcade cousin and really do this opening level theme the justice it deserves.

Good Egg Galaxy - Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy was the first game in the Super Mario series to use a full on orchestra. Not every track is orchestrated but when they do bring out the big guns, you'll know it. A nice touch to Good Egg Galaxy is that the music actually doesn't begin playing until Mario touches down in the first official course. When the music starts, you know you're in store for something truly special.

The Shinobi - The Revenge of Shinobi (GEN)

Ninjas are freaking cool. That's not an opinion, that's a freaking fact of life. Revenge of Shinobi was one of the earliest games available for SEGA's 16-bit console and it turned out to be one the best looking and sounding games to boot. Scored by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro, the first level theme to the game isn't a guns blazing or in this case, sword swinging adrenaline filled piece one might expect, but rather a silent but deadly sounding tune. Quite fitting for a shinobi.

Theme of Simon Belmont - Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

The first Castlevania began with Vampire Killer. Castlevania II started with Blood Tears. Castlevania III opened with The Beginning. All splendid starter themes. How do you follow tough acts like those? By giving Simon Belmont his own empowering theme. Its perfectly fit for storming castles and dishing out justice the only way a Belmont can. You know you've made an impression in the gaming world when your own theme has your name in it and it sounds this awesome.

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