Any good video game gives epic music to its bosses. Midbosses, end-of-stage bosses, final bosses – hell, even the stages leading up to any of aforementioned bosses! There are time-honored classics that are still observed today in some form: Ganondorf’s Theme from the Legend of Zelda series, Star Wolf’s Theme from the Star Fox series, Koopa’s Road (the song that plays in Super Mario 64 – the first two “Bowser” levels, recently resurrected in Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2), Gruntilda’s Theme from the Banjo-Kazooie games, Ridley’s Theme from the Metroid games, the infamous Skull Castle Stages 1 & 2 from Megaman 2…everybody knows these songs, and they’re all awesome.
But what about the little guy? Not every villain can be as prolific as Bowser or as time-honored as Doctor Wily. Their themes, while awesome, are unfortunately lost to time – heard in one game and eventually forgotten, save by those who really appreciate them. These songs are the true gems, be they catchy or intense or ambient – they lay the groundwork for the bosses they represent, putting you in the appropriate mood, building tension. In honor of these unique, fantastic, forgotten songs, I present you TEi’s Top Eleven Most Underrated Video Game Boss Songs. Why top eleven? Because I can’t resist ripping off previously-established, successful memes. Also, it was way too hard limiting this to just ten. >_>
11// Purge: Report 6 – Connected Hearts / Report 6 – Finale ~More Happy More Crazy~[Space Channel 5 Part 2]
I love the Dreamcast. I mean, this isn’t exactly a mystery, I’ve already expressed how squishy I am for the console and its fantastic, far underappreciated library…but to be honest, my favorite part of the console is its corny endings. I’m being 100% serious; I’m a sucker for cheesy, wholesome endings, so long as A// the game is kind of silly anyway, or B// the game is more serious, and the corny ending compliments the game, provides believable closure, and comes about after the characters earned it, by God. Space Channel 5 (and its sequel, Space Channel 5 Part 2) fits the former of those two examples.
Developed by United Game Artists, the first Space Channel 5 chronicled the adventures of super-hip space reporter Ulala, working for the titular news station as it attempted to uncover the Morolian Invasion – a wave of small, multicolored aliens that look like squished bits of Laffy Taffy that brainwashed the masses to follow the whims of Blank, Space Channel 5′s CEO. Ulala, alongside rival space reporters Pudding and Jaguar, danced, sang, and chu’d their way through the Morolians (who had also been brainwashed by Blank), rescued the innocents under the Morolians’ control, and even saved Space Michael Jackson before taking it straight to Blank himself. Ulala came away victorious, but peace wasn’t going to last long in the galaxy.
Enter Purge, a metrosexual man in a black trench coat and with more gel in his hair than scatological references in the Angry Video Game Nerd’s videos. Purge’s motives, while different from Blank’s, still has the same ideal end: to take over the galaxy (OF COURSE!). To be fair, though, Purge actually secures a definitive victory; after kidnapping the president of the galaxy, President Peace, Purge manages to “destroy” Ulala’s cameraman/spaceship Fuse (I’ve never understood if Fuse was an actual person or just an AI built into the ship), eliminates Ulala’s allies (including Space Michael Jackson, and new allies Pine and the Morilian leader) one-by-one, and secures 86,429 “fans” of his show, planning to use their emotions to power his Ballistic Groove Gun, which will…uh…okay, to be honest, I never played this far into the game, so I have no idea what the thing does exactly. He even succeeds in defeating Ulala – something Blank failed to do.
Even if he looks kind of wussy, Purge is badass.
Anyway, Ulala manages to pull through, and with her newly-rejuvenated allies, challenges Purge to a dance-off, wherein they free President Peace and bring sense to Purge’s fans. Returning to reality, Purge turns his Galactic Groove Gun – now a massive dish – towards Ulala and the others; at Fuse’s behest (yeah, he survived too somehow, kind of out of the blue), Ulala “focuses the power of the 86,429 fans into one funkified force” and (after a super-corny “every important character delivers a line of dialog to the final villain before killing him” moment, another soft-spot I have) blasts Purge out of the sky, sending him back into the depths of space. You really get a sense of grandness from this finale, and once the line “Chu chu chu / Sing with us / Chu chu chu / Sing with us / Sing with us / All at once / Sing with us / Heart-to-heart” chimes in, with hoards of people at Ulala’s back, supporting her, you know the crescendo isn’t far off, and it will be awesome.
Again, it’s really cheesy and dorky, but SC5 is a cheesy and dorky game. I’m sure we’ve all had similar fantasies, teaming up with our friends to take down a greater evil, all the while looking stylish and awesome, leading the charge like this. Such an electric, if not quirky song, is a perfect start to lead us into the list.
10// Damien Robot: Vs. Damien Robot, for the Damien Robot
We’d never think an innocent game like Snowboard Kids – featuring children with gigantic noses in a Mario Kart-styled downhill racing game – would make us shudder during a boss encounter, but Atlus’ music team was more than willing to prove us wrong. Snowboard Kids 2 on the Nintendo 64 is full of creative, colorful levels with matching music to set the stage, so it really shouldn’t have come as any surprise that when the final boss of the game arrived to challenge you that you’d be clenching your toes as you tore down the icy slopes of the Ice Land track. The main antagonist of the game is a child named Damien – a demon kid sent to conquer the snowboard kids’ home of Snow Town, but when his presence is all but ignored, he changes priorities to get revenge for being embarrassed. Resorting to trickery, Damien’s plans often (re: always) backfire on him, and it’s only at the end of the game that he challenges the snowboard kids directly, in a massive mech that has access to various “annoyance” weapons the game has to offer, like bombs, parachutes that launch you up into the air to slow you down, and snowmen mines that turn you into a snowman and prevent you from steering. It takes a lot of hits to take the Damien Robot down, and by the time you reach the final stretch of the course, you’ll be one big ball of nerves because you’re almost there and the music isn’t helping put you at ease thankyouverymuch. (Lord knows how many tries it took me to do it properly.)
9// Hairdresser Octopus: Hair Scare [PaRappa the Rapper 2]
Not every boss encounter has to be a serious one. NaNaOnSha’s PaRappa the Rapper series (and its spinoff title, UmJammer Lammy) is a perfect example: most of its songs are upbeat and thematically eccentric, ranging from rapping over priority to use a public restroom to putting an end to a food war between noodles and, well, every other food. The PaRappa games have no problems making light of themselves, and their music just skips right alongside it, enjoying the ride. My favorite of the songs is, admittedly, the song everybody thinks of when thinking of PaRappa the Rapper – Chop Chop Master Onion’s RAP from the first game, but still, this is about underrated boss songs, which is why I’m going with my second favorite, Hair Scare.
Hair Scare is probably the outright weirdest song of all three games, which ought to say something when it has to contend with cutting down a tree to make a guitar, a life-or-death tennis-meets-R-Type Atari-styled game, and aforementioned bathroom rap. PaRappa and his friend, PJ Berry, are going to meet their friends at a hair dresser, only to find that the stylist, Hairdresser Octopus, has gone insane while listening to a radio and is giving everybody in his parlor afros that grow to prodigious sizes. In order to save his friends, PaRappa has a rap-off with Hairdresser Octopus, a spicy, salsa-styled tune complete with 80′s synth horns. I can’t make this shit up, and this sort of off-the-wall humor is what draws me to this series so much, and as such is why Hair Scare takes up the number nine spot on this list.
8// Beastector: FIGHT! [Mischief Makers]
I have superhearts for this game and its soundtrack. It’s hard to find a soundtrack that can go from bouncy, to intense, to atmospheric at the drop of a hat and still match the tone the game is trying to set. While not as outright bonkers as PaRappa, Mischief Makers is nonetheless eccentric, a pastiche of the anime tropes we’ve all acclimated ourselves with, yet all the while staying unique. To that extent, it’s only fitting that the final boss of the series is a giant robot made from three smaller, individual robots, all piloted by Power Ranger-like freelance operatives, collectively known as the Beastector.
Starring Intergalactic Cybot-G, Marina Lightyears, Mischief Makers was a platform for the Nintendo 64 produced by Treasure and published by Enix, before the merger with Square. Marina’s creator, Professor Theo, after landing their flying space-house on the planet Clancer, gets kidnapped – repeatedly – by the order of a mysterious, black obilisk. (See what I mean about anime tropes?) Marina has to save Theo and prevent the destruction of Clancer, fighting through civil wars, caves, theme parks and the Clancer Olympics. Now I have to admit, Mischief Makers’ story isn’t told very epically, and the conclusion comes a bit suddenly, though I chalk this up to potential translation issues. But to be honest, it’s not about the story that drew me into the game; the gameplay and aesthetics were what pulled me in, and it was so unique that the music has stuck with me, even years later. In my opinion, Treasure made the best third-party platformer on the Nintendo 64 (because really, there’s no matching Super Mario 64), and their musical staff deserve a commendation for the soundtrack’s versatility.
7//Metal Overlord: What I’m Made Of [Sonic Heroes]
I’ll be honest: I love Johnny Gioeli’s collaborative works with Jun Senoue in the Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Working together, the pair brought us the super-memorable themes from the Sonic Adventure games (Open Your Heart for Sonic Adventure, Live and Learn for Sonic Adventure 2), but not many seem to acknowledge the pair’s outing in Sonic Heroes. Now to be fair, Sonic Heroes didn’t boast a fantastic soundtrack; it certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t memorable, either, and that’s a problem. Sonic Adventure’s score ranged from atmospheric to bouncy, always a perfect fit for the levels you found yourself in, and Sonic Adventure 2′s, while not as sturdy, had its strong points as well, providing the infamous E.G.G.M.A.N. as a theme for Doctor Robotnik, for example. Sonic Heroes, unfortunately, fell by the wayside.
Still, that doesn’t mean it was completely out on its ass. There are two songs on the soundtrack that I really like: This Machine, the theme for Team Dark (composed of Rogue the Bat, E-123 Omega, and Original the Character), a dark, gritty techno beat that complimented the team well, and What I’m Made Of, used when Super Sonic, Tails and Knuckles face off against Metal Sonic’s final form, the winged, bestial Metal Overlord.
What I’m Made Of is awesome. Of the four lyrical songs Gioeli and Senoue composed together (the fourth being the Sonic Heroes main theme, which I’m not a fan of), this one is the one that gets my heart pumping. The guitar riffs, the lyrics, everything about this song is powerful, supercharged, putting a cap on the first leg of Sonic’s transition into 3D gaming. That doesn’t mean it’s without its problems, though; the only thing keeping What I’m Made Of from taking a higher spot on the list is the fact that Sonic Heroes’ story does little to rope the player in. This isn’t unexpected, since Sonic games have weak stories by trade, but a theme this rocking really feels like Sonic Team could have put more effort into the plot and pacing, at least engage us and make this awesome audible payoff that much more worth it. Kind of funny how that works, isn’t it? A single song being the basis upon which one can judge the storytelling methods used.
Nonetheless, What I’m Made Of is killer if you’re a fan of Sonic or 80′s rock in general, and well deserving of the number seven spot on the list.
6// Super Dimentio: The Ultimate Show [Super Paper Mario]
Super Paper Mario gets its fair share of flack from the gaming community. Sure, it’s never that prevalent, and if anything the naysayers are countered by the people who support the game.
Okay, what I’m trying to say is that the general consensus is that the game is average, and I’m inclined to agree. I love the premise, and I love most of the characters, but the gameplay is a little awkward and honestly, the story is predictable and boring. The “platforming RPG” concept is interesting, but it’s been done before and Intelligence System’s take on it is so-so at best. How does this factor into SPM’s score? Well, lending credence to these feelings of ambivalence, I have a love-hate relationship with it. There are a handful of pretty awesome songs, but the rest are either charming-but-forgettable, or outright intolerable. But if it’s one thing they did get right, it’s the theme songs and battle music for the villains.
That’s where this song comes in. After the “final battle” of the game, and in tradition with most RPGs (even plaforming ones), there’s always more than one form or boss to fight before you clear the game. In this case, it’s Dimentio, a minion of the game’s main antagonist, Count Bleck. A sinister court jester with strong magical attacks and ulterior motives, Dimentio has planted seeds throughout the game from the very start, ensuring that all worlds crumble beneath his feet. To seal the deal, after Mario and company have thrashed Count Bleck, Dimentio appears and takes control of Luigi, forming Super Dimentio, seen above. Yes, it looks absurd, but damn does the game do everything to make you acknowledge that this is a genuine threat. This is where the game’s music comes in full-force; not only is the battle hectic as Super Dimentio rains a merciless barrage of attacks down on you, but the music is intense and dramatic, merging Dimentio’s already unique circus-liketheme with various high-intensity melodies used earlier in the game. If you doubted that everything was on the line when tussling with Count Bleck, this song will coerce some sense into you. Never has fighting a giant Luigi head wearing a cravat been so outright frightening.
Like all Mario games, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story doesn’t boast a very impressive story. The premise is interesting, and it’s incredibly fun to play (as Mario & Luigi games are wont to be), and the soundtrack is enjoyable and catchy…the problem is that the final boss just comes out of nowhere. Upon defeat at Bowser’s hands, the game’s main antagonist, Fawful, merges with the Evil MacGuffin of the game, the Dark Star – and the whole shebang is swallowed by Bowser. As a result, Bowser horks up a truly evil incarnation of himself: Dark Bowser, boasting the King of Koopa’s brute strength, the Dark Star’s natural, ruthless desire to destroy the shit out of things, and Fawful’s trademark fury. While menacing in ability and appearance, Dark Bowser himself is unimpressive just because of how contrived his creation is and how suddenly he’s introduced. Seriously: he appears, and not five minutes later you’re battling him for the fate of the Mushroom Kingdom. If I remember right, he barely even says anything, so calling him a character is being generous.
Still, I have to give credit where it’s due. Dark Bowser might be a tacked-on final boss, but damn, his music is something to be reckoned with. I’ve mentioned countless times in this article that these boss themes can be intense, but Last Boss is by far the most pulse-pounding of the lot. The immensity of this final threat that Bowser, Mario and Luigi must face together is conveyed so perfectly through this song that it makes up for Dark Bowser’s flaws, leaving the player with no doubt of how much is on the line. Dark Bowser, I don’t like you very much, but your music is ballin’, which is why you take the number five spot on this list.
And before anybody mentions it, I am aware of this hypocrisy, as the reason What I’m Made Of only made it to number seven was because of lackluster storytelling. To be honest, even if Mario & Luigi 3′s storyline is about as weak as Sonic Heroes’, Last Boss is much more powerful than What I’m Made Of, and the game’s overall premise is much more memorable.
Taking two songs from one game feels sort of like cheating, but to be honest, I believe Super Dimentio and Count Bleck both deserve to be on this list. Even then, I’m using two songs for Count Bleck – but why? To be honest, they’re both the same melody, adjusted to fit the appropriate situation. Champion of Destruction serves as Bleck’s primary theme throughout the game’s story, and just listening to it gives you the chills; you know that he’s a bad motherfucker who will stop at nothing to see the destruction of all worlds. It’s grandiose and flamboyant, much like the Count himself, not to mention memorable and catchy.
Opposite to that is Closing Battle, signifying the fight between Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser as they square off against Count Bleck at the end of his castle. It’s the same tune, but it’s got a much higher tempo than before; it leaves no doubt in your mind that this is the final showdown with the Count, that all of the destroyed worlds hang in the balance and it’s up to you, the player, to set everything right. While a lot of the songs on this list are awesome, Closing Battle is one of a minority that drives home a sense of desperation and finality, making you curl your toes and draw your legs in as you near victory.
3// Ramirez: Last Battle (Opportunity) [Skies of Arcadia]
I’ve mentioned before that the traditional JRPG and I have trouble seeing eye-to-eye, but I’m glad to say that Skies of Arcadia is one of the few exceptions. This Dreamcast title, made by OverWorks, a second-party company that was at the time owned by Sega (and has since been absorbed into the corporation as a whole), was very much “the game that dared to dream.” The story begins as the main protagonist, Vyse, his best friend and fellow party member Aika, Dyne, Vyse’s father, and Dyne’s pirate crew board a naval skyship from the nation of Valua, which has been at war with the rest of the world for years. Successfully raiding the vessel, sending its owner, Grand Admiral Alfonso, packing and saving a mysterious girl dressed in strange robes, Vyse, Aika and the rest retreat to their home, a small island in the sky simply known as Pirate Isle.
Vyse and Aika befriend the girl in the strange robes, whose name is Fina. Though at first shy and wary, Fina eventually warms up to the two sky pirates, but her presence in Pirate Isle – on top of the raid performed on Alfosno’s ship – has drawn the attention of Valua. While Vyse and Aika are away, searching a nearby island for a raw Moonstone (stones that fall from the six moons above that can be used as fuel, can imbue weapons with elemental properties, provide magical abilities, give alcohol flavor…man, talk about all-purpose!), Valua razes Pirate Isle and kidnaps Fina, Dyne’s father, and most of his crew.
What entails is at first a simple enough story: Vyse and Aika, with the aid of an old fisherman with a nasty cyborg arm named Drachma, sneak into the heavily-armed continent of Valua, saving Dyne et al from being executed, and liberating Fina from the clutches of Galcian, the leader of Valua’s Grand Admirals (of which Alfonso is a part of). Fina joins the party, but not after laying out the game’s quest: finding the six Moon Crystals, powerful gems that can summon and control giant monsters called Gigases and rain large meteors from the moons down to the surface of the planet, essentially making them this game’s magic MacGuffins.
As you advance in the game, you are introduced to Ramirez, a platinum blond-haired man with an unusual rapier and serving as Galcian’s second-in-command. An old friend of Fina’s (in fact, her only friend before Vyse and Aika), Ramirez descended to Arcadia in order to retrieve the Moon Crystals before Fina, but became entangled with Valua and learned of the empire’s dark, evil nature. Ramirez, at first innocent if not slightly naive, became twisted and dark, following in Galcian’s footsteps and taking swiftly to the belief that the only infallible thing is power, and to be powerful, you must be ruthless. While this information is revealed over time in the main storyline and in bits and pieces through sidequests, Ramirez leaves the immediate impression that he’s not one to be fucked with.
Ramirez’ theme is…okay. I love the Skies of Arcadia soundtrack from start to finish, but it’s not without its weak points, and I feel like Ramirez’ theme is one of them. It’s an excellent reflection of the character – dark and cunning, always planning for inevitable victory, and immensely powerful. I applaud OverWorks for the theme, especially since the first two times you engage Ramirez in combat, he mops the floor with Vyse and company, thrashing them with vicious quicksilver attacks, but the song never struck much of a cord for me.
I’m not about to leave Ramirez out in the cold, though, and the reason I’m putting him in the number three spot in this list is because of the song that plays during your final encounter with him. This battle is likewise the final one of the storyline, and damn. This entire game is about victory against all odds, and Ramirez spends the entire last leg of the game stacking the deck in his favor. This music reflects a lot of important themes in the game: desperation as you surmount the supposedly impossible, bravery as you stand up for what you believe in and hope as you see the light at the end of the tunnel, amongst other things. You get a real sensation of just what the outcome of this battle entails, down to your very bones, electrifying the air around you, and when you finally win – when Ramirez is defeated and the world is safe after all of your efforts – you get the corny ending many a Dreamcast title were known for, and by damn is it worth it.
2// Mithos Yggdrasill: Last Battle ~Decision~ [Tales of Symphonia]
As mentioned in my Tales of Symphonia edition of Fantastic Fictional Females (holy shit, has it really been six months since I did that? I’m way behind, I need to release my next one soon), this game has incredible music. Sure, it’s not orchestrated – in fact, falling just on the tail end of the age where RPGs could get away with relying on synthesized music – but it’s memorable, and Namco (before its merger with Bandai) knew just how to play up the game’s atmosphere by complimenting its characters, levels and events with fantastic tunage.
I could go on and on about this game. The characters are absolutely fantastic and probably my favorite aspect of the game, each one bearing not necessarily realistic problems, but the way they deal with those problems makes them easy to empathize with. This combination of issues meant for the fictional worlds Tales of Symphonia takes place in and the believable methods employed to cope with/combat them reminds the player that, despite all of the fantasy elements effecting these people, they’re still people, no different from you or I when you boil them down to their essence. It’s not just the protagonists, either: many of the villains are also characterized just as the heroes are, most especially the main antagonist, Mithos Yggdrasill.
Without giving too much away, Mithos was a hero whose ambitions over thousands of years twisted and ultimately became evil. Not in the “MUWAHAHAHA!” sort of evil, but a very soft-spoken one – he wants what’s best for his worlds, but also what’s best for himself, and the dichotomy ultimately drove him to madness. You actually start to empathize with him near the game’s finale, knowing his past and the ideals he adhered to despite learning that the path he chose was dark and vicious. The music both leading up to and during your final encounter with him is fitting – twisted, but also somber, as you know who Mithos is and his motivation for doing what he did.
To tell you the truth, though, both Mithos’ theme and the songs that play while you fight him are only pretty good. Granted, most of the characters’ themes are subtle (except for Zelos’, but he’s so flamboyant and gaudy that you expect his music to reflect those traits), and neither song in question is really bad…just, like Ramirez’ theme, it’s just there. No, the one song that catches my interest the most when on that final leg of the journey is the song playing in Mithos’ castle in Derris-Kharlan, the last dungeon before facing the final boss himself. Though eerie and suspenseful, the tone and tempo set the stage for just how important this confrontation will be. The violin, piano and bass mesh so well together that you know that this is the end, that this is the point of no return, that everything you fought for, every ideal Lloyd, his friends and the player strove for, all comes to a head right now.
1// Goji Rokkaku: Grace and Glory [Jet Grind Radio]
I love this game. Seriously. Produced by SmileBit and published by its parent company, Sega, in 2000, Jet Grind Radio featured style and soul never seen before in the American gaming market. Set in the fictional “city that can’t be found on any map,” Tokyo-To, you play as a gang of rollerblade-wearing street punks, whose goal is to express themselves on the walls of the city with their graffiti. It’s a pretty simple premise, right? It was fresh and new and to this day, no game has managed to recapture that essence, though many have tried. As I mentioned in my Fantastic Fictional Females article centering on the women of Tales of Symphonia, Jet Grind Radio spurned the Cel-Shading Madness Era, where suddenly every game needed to be cel-shaded. Often imitated and rarely duplicated (I feel that the most successful application of cel-shading following this game was Capcom’s Okami, another game near to my heart), Jet Grind Radio set the bar for visual style in its era.
While JGR’s visuals are fantastic even today – bright and colorful and so very urban-Japanese – they weren’t the sole draw to the game. A large part of the game and its story was underground music, played by the game’s narrator, Professor K; featuring hip-hop, techno and rock songs from composers Hideki Naganuma and Richard Jaques, accompanied by fully-fledged bands like Guitar Vader and Deavid Soul, JGR’s score was unique and atmospheric. It really drew you into the world and this fictional city of Tokyo-To, and it opened so many doors. Before JGR, I had no idea that there were different kinds of hip-hop, and in fact I absolutely loathed the genre, but SmileBit put me in my place and now west coast rap is my favorite kind of music – that’s how powerful it was. JGR’s soundtrack was stupendous, and with the exception of two songs (Mixmastermike’s Patrol Knob, and Rob Zombie’s Dragula – both used in levels added exclusively to the US and PAL versions of the game), I have nothing but love for it, and its songs have stuck with me even to this day.
That’s what makes Goji Rokkaku’s theme different, though. The entire game boasts four different musical themes prevalent from start to finish: hip-hop for the daylight district of Shibuya-Cho, rock for the sunset district of Kogane-Cho, techno for the nighttime district Benten-Cho, and Very American Music for the Grind City levels. These lines are distinct and compliment their areas incredibly well, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that the song meant to match the surreal final confrontation of the game would be equally as strange. Grace and Glory’s haunted wailing strikes you immediately as you begin the level, with Goji spinning a turntable in a DJ booth that is located on top of another turntable that is located on top of a skyscraper. The background is dark blue, and your character is swathed with blues and greens, making the already unique visual style twisted and downright intimidating. Your goal in this final level is to tag over four glowing glyphs on pylons attached to this turntable of evil via piles or spinning gears, all the while avoiding a giant, fire-breathing, bipedal golden rhino statue wearing overalls. (Yeah, if this wasn’t weird enough already…) You can tell that there’s a lot on the line, and Grace and Glory serves almost as a tribute to how mad Goji has become in his quest for power.
I could go on for hours on just this one song, so I’m going to cut it short while I can. That should be a testament to why Grace and Glory made it onto the number one spot on this list.
And so this list comes to a close, but I would be remiss to not give credit where it’s due. Placing these songs in the order they are was hard as balls, even Grace and Glory; they’re all awesome, and for the most part, so are the games they’re tied to. And if anybody is wondering why these songs seem to fall in one of three categories (the N64 era, the Dreamcast era, and contemporary), the reason there isn’t anything more vintage is because I only really got into the gaming scene come the Nintendo 64. Sure, I had my Gameboy and Game Gear, but I was never allowed to own a proper console, and to be honest, nothing stuck with me as much as the titles mentioned above. The best part is that many of these games are being given a second life, what with the Wii’s Virtual Console and GameCube backwards-compatibility, and various Dreamcast titles appearing on XBox Live Arcade, so they either still are or will soon be accessible.
Oh, and even though this is a Top 11, I feel like this song in particular bears honorable mention: please click the link to enjoy the glory that is Space Channel Robotnik.