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.
Challenger 1985 - Gradius (ARC ver.)
Almost every Gradius game after this one starts out with a track that uses a quicker pace. The original Gradius starts things out a bit slower and I'm perfectly fine with that. Challenger 1985 is one of the more cheerful Gradius themes and will have you humming along as you blast enemies and power up the Vic Viper. I love the old synth the first Gradius game uses.
Lakeside - Sparkster (SNES)
Sparkster is a follow up to the Genesis Rocket Knight Adventures game, which was a Genesis exclusive. Sparkster, however, is on the SNES and Genesis, But while the share the same title and music, they are both two completely different games. The SNES version of Sparkster opens with this beautifully triumphant, heroic theme. If Sparkster was given a designated tune, I think this should definitely be it.
Got2BAStar - Mighty Switch Force! 2 (3DS, Wii U)
The good news is that the Hooligan Sisters have reformed. The bad news is that they are still getting into trouble. You've got a whole planet on fire and like a bunch of dumb blondes, all of them are smack dab in the middle of the inferno. Everything is burning to a crisp and the game starts off with this oh-so-lively beat. Well the original Mighty Switch Force was known for it's upbeat music, so, no surprise that this one keeps that same quality.
Corneria - Star Fox (SNES)
Do a barrel roll! Oh wait, that phrase came about one game later. Regardless, barrel rolls, could still be done in the original Star Fox. I can still hear those garbled out voices just listening to the game's opening theme. You can pick from one of three routes, with each path serving up different stages, you'll always begin on some version of Corneria.
Splash Hill Zone Act 1 - Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (Multi)
Sonic 4's music may not have been Jun Senoue's best work, but it was hardly terrible. It has a distinct
Genesis flair but with a modern touch. The opening act of Splash Hill Zone is like a homecoming to the blue blur and no whinny fans complaints about the physics not being like the Genesis games is ever going to ruin that for me.