Top 5 Songs That Remind Me Of Games

Got your headphones ready? If not then stop right now and go and get them, because this is a musical Top 5!

Sometimes when I hear a song, I find that it conjures memories or images that do not directly relate to the song itself. So for May’s Top 5, I’ve picked 5 songs that remind me of video games.

I will admit straight away that this is a self-indulgent list. It’s just me rambling about why these songs remind me of particular games. I’m aware that many of my readers won’t have shared these experiences, but I also think it is an interesting phenomenon.

Listening to a song and playing a video game might seem like completely unrelated tasks, but I don’t think our minds work like that. We don’t always file our experiences into separate boxes, but instead our enjoyment of one thing can directly influence and contribute to the way we feel about something else.

You will notice in this list that, somewhat unusually for me, I haven’t included any references to Final Fantasy. This isn’t some kind of strange oversight, but rather that I managed to think of so many songs that remind of Final Fantasy games that it would be better to give it it’s own Top 5 in the future.

Anyway, enough explanation! Let’s get into the list:

Angel Witch (by Angel Witch, 1980) – Bayonetta Series

This one doesn’t really need any explanation, so just give it a listen and decide for yourself. I know she is really half Witch/half Sage, not an Angel, but the Angels seem to like hanging out with her, so it works for me! For some reason I now picture Angel Witch’s lead singer as looking like Luka.

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Not strictly an Angel, definitely a Witch. Close enough!

Don’t know about Angel Witch but this has tickled your fancy? Well make sure you head on over to their (slightly antiquated) website, or their Facebook page for more info!

Ghost in the Rain (Beast in Black, 2017) – Xenoblade Chronicles 2

*Light Spoilers*
Songs can often come to remind you of particular times in your life, but with this song I will always be taken back to the world of Alrest.

The song is written from the perspective of “a Warrior on a journey home” searching for the “Ghost in the Rain” from the song’s title. I imagine the character Jin as this warrior and his Driver, Lora as the Ghost.

The song speaks of storms, never-ending stories and destiny, which fit nicely with the themes of the game as a whole. The frequent mentions of rain conjure a specific scene from the game where Jin is at his lowest ebb and is found trying to shelter from a rain storm. The song also speaks of an undefined ‘great mistake’, which fits well with Jin’s story, although I shall leave the details of his mistake for you to discover for yourself.

The warrior in the song asks if the ghost will “show me the way to you once more” and in the game Jin clearly wants to see Lora once more, although his reasons are slightly opaque. The game is littered with flashbacks, but there is one point where Jin imagines she is actually standing in front of him in the present day. He is almost willing her to appear, and so as the song says “You’re here again before my eyes, A ghost within a dream”. It’s emotional stuff.

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Jin practicing for his future modelling career

New to Beast in Black? Maybe you like a bit of Euro power-metal with heart wrenching ballads thrown in? Go check out their tour dates and pick up a copy of their album! They are touring across Europe (and also Japan) in 2018.

Dead Skin Mask (By Slayer, 1990) – The Evil Within

*Caution  – this is a pretty scary song, don’t listen if you are easily disturbed. Maybe also don’t play the game*

If I were to pick one line from Dead Skin Mask to really sum up why it reminds me of The Evil Within, then it is “In the depths of a mind insane, fantasy and reality are the same”. The majority of The Evil Within’s game-play doesn’t take place in reality, but instead in a world created by the insane mind of the main antagonist, Ruvik. The thing is, perhaps on it’s own that isn’t a very specific link, however, the thing that really connects the song with the game is that both seem to be trying to portray the feeling of insanity.

I don’t understand the lyrics to Dead Skin Mask. At all. At the end there is a screaming child demanding to be let out. It talks of dreams, it talks of the dead, it talks of people’s “hallowed screams”, but it doesn’t matter how many times I hear it, a real understanding of it eludes me. I think this is how it is supposed to be, and I think that the creators of The Evil Within are trying to do something similar. After finishing it, I couldn’t retrace the story in my mind. I had so many questions and no answers. What was real? What actually happened at the end? What happened to Ruvik and how did Sebastian end up there in the first place? This combination of confusion, terror and the lack of explanation give the listener and the player a flavour of what it is not to have a grasp on reality. This idea strikes me as difficult to portray, and both do so rather harrowingly.

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The lantern may light your path, but what dangers lie behind you, Sebastian?

Everyone likes Slayer already, but if you are not so familiar, do go and check them out on their FINAL WORLD TOUR!

levan Pollka (Hatsune Miku, 2007), Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

The first time I heard this song it had a very strange impact on me. It was around 07:30 on a weekday morning and I was listening to an anime themed radio station whilst having breakfast with my partner. It was all very civilized…until this came on the radio. We then sat listening to the song with our eyes spinning anime-style. It took over our brains and transported us to a different universe. Honestly, try listening to this and then tell me it isn’t stuck in your head for the rest of your life! I still haven’t worked out where or what that universe was, but it could well have been the bizarre Real Life X Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensai universe of Tokyo Mirage Session #FE!

I say this, because my all-time favourite utaloid person thing is Tiki from this game, who bears something of a resemblance to Hatsune Miku. Tiki is quite familiar in her other form (as a dragon), but not so many people are aware of her alter ego as a programmable J-pop star who is pretending to be a hologram but is actually a Mirage (No, I’m not explaining what that means.) She, like Hatsune Miku has songs programmed for her remotely by talented composers such as the particularly successful *ahem* Tiki=Waifu.

This is quite a different type of connection, as it is really just that the idea behind Tiki’s character was probably based on Hatsune Miku (or something similar), and therefore the song reminds me of Tiki every time!

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Looks nothing like Hatsune Miku, right?

 If you haven’t already heard of Hatsune Miku then it’s maybe a bit too late to try and explain, but if you’re in Mexico or the USA she may be ‘appearing’ on a stage near you sometime in 2018

Through the Fire and Flames (by Dragonforce, 2006) – Guitar Hero

I’ve written previously about my love of Guitar Hero, but this track sums it up well. Originally included as an unfailable bonus track at the end of Guitar Hero 3, I thought it was a bit of a joke because it is so ridiculously complicated. It was so hard, that I thought trying it without the protection of no-fail mode was a bit pointless. However, it was included in my favourite Guitar Hero game – Smash Hits, where it added multiplayer options, including singing. My partner is by all accounts a very good Guitar Hero player, but even he couldn’t complete it on expert by himself. However, add me on vocals (apologies to my neighbours) and Star Power happened – we finally managed to crack it!

However, I wasn’t going to include songs on this list just because they feature in a games’ soundtrack, so there is another reason to include it here. Dragonforce are themselves quite influenced by video game music – which leads me to believe that at least some of them may be gamers. The lyrics of this song read like they are about a game, and as someone who sees the ‘game-over’ screen a lot, I take great inspiration from the lyrics: “So far away, we wait for the day, for the lives all so wasted and gone. We feel the pain of a lifetime lost in a thousand days, through the fire and the flames we carry oooooooooooooonnnnn!!!” (emphasis added by author for effect).

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Dragonforce definitely qualify as ‘the best of guitar hero music’

Dragonforce really need to be seen to be believed, so why not go support them on their European Tour this year!


So what do you think of my choices? Do you have any songs that remind you of video games, or understand how we form these connections in our minds? If so, lets discuss below!

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001 x

14 thoughts on “Top 5 Songs That Remind Me Of Games

Add yours

  1. Two songs which remind me of games really stick out:

    1. Teardrop by Massive attack- Resi 2. Long story short it came out around the same time we were playing the game. Plus the feel of the song including the recurring heartbeat and the ghostly ethereal vocals seem strangely evocative of the game environment.

    2. Stars by Dubstar- FF9 specifically the Burmecia realm. Can’t explain this one. I think there is a motif in the realms music which is reflected in Stars.

    I am sure there are more but they completely escape me right now.
    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you hun 😀 They are really interesting picks! Like the idea that the atmosphere of Teardrop is what makes the connection. Stars for FF9 is a great shout! Burmecia is one of my favourite places in any game. Might publish my Final Fantasy song list soon.

    Like

  3. Great article Pix! For some reason, the beginning of Like To Get To Know You Well by Howard Jones always reminds me of Monkey Island…maybe I’ve just got Guybrush on the brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol! And thank you!

    I just went and listened to it and I can totally see that! It sounds just like the music from the start of the game.

    Like

  5. (Prepare for a rant, I apologise in advance!)

    Oh man so many songs remind me of games but there are two that I have consciously spent time thinking about and how much they remind me of games I’ve played. And it’s not because they remind of a theme in the game or the theme song but because I listened to them so much while playing the games that the two experiences are linked in my memories. I have something of an annoying habit, in that if I like a song I can listen to it 17000 times in a row without tiring (it’s annoying for everyone else around me haha).

    the two songs come from anime, I have a gigantic playlist (on winamp!) with upwards to 85 hours of anime and game songs, more the former than the latter.

    The song Kimi ni Fureru Dake de (Just Touched By You) by Curio, 3rd intro to the anime Rurouni Kenshin reminds me of Mega Man Battle Network, any of them. I used to play them in emulators when I lived in Venezuela and buying the games was nearly impossible in terms of stock and financial feasibility. The song played on loop many a time and so now I can’t listen to it without seeing MegaMan.Exe running around the internet and fighting viruses.

    The other song is from another anime, this time Shama King, the song being Oversoul by Megumi Hayashibara. This song reminds me of the Unreal series, mostly Unreal 1 and 2, not so much Tournament. Once again, song played on full blast while playing them.

    Speaking of Mirage Sessions, I love the songs in that game, Tiki’s song, Not a Mirage World is just phenomenal. But if it’s a song reminding me of a character, it’s this opening from the tokusatsu series Kamen Rider Agito reminding me of Touma, since he’s pretty much the tokusatsu fan of the game, playing Masquerider Ouga. The theme just seems perfect for him!

    If it’s a song reminding of a game because of the rhythm or feel, I have to go with this traditional Japanese game/song, called Kagome Kagome. It’s a song I heard a long time ago and kinda stuck in my head, and it’s sung as part of a children’s game, and now every time I hear it I think of Fatal Frame, because no matter what, any and all versions of the song just sound freaking creepy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! That was an epic response Kevin, thank you (it has taken me THIS long to respond to it!!) – just goes to show the real depths of connections you can make between songs and games!

    Really like the fact that your songs not only remind you of games but are also already the theme tunes from anime – that is adding a third layer of connection.

    I had a listen to the Kagome Kagome song, and it is TERRIFYING, makes sense it reminds you of Fatal Frame! Liking that song that reminds you of Touma as well, it definately makes sense. I miss those guys!

    Totally agree about the Mirage Sessions songs, I have the Fortuna All-stars album (just the songs, not the rest of the soundtrack), and I still listen to it all the time!
    Nice also to see Winamp getting a bit of love 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Was actually thinking today reading your response that being the two people in our little community who’ve had the pleasure of playing and listening to the wonder that is Tokyo Mirage Sessions, we should do something related to it together, maybe rank the songs or something similar!

    I’ve recently picked Xenoblade Chronicles 2 up again (had left it alone for a few months at chapter 5 because I didn’t have the time to give it my full attention), and I adore the music. In fact, all three Xenoblades have had wonderful music.

    I miss X while playing 2 though, the running speed and jumping in that game was crazy and I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fab idea, lets do it! You never know – we might even be able to tie it in with it being announced for Switch (that’s definitely going to happen, if only in my head)
    The music from XC2 is probably my favourite of the series so far, hoping to pick up a copy of the soundtrack when it comes out (which I think is next week). Game wise I’m not sure which is my favourite, I love them all a lot! I’m thinking of playing X again at some point soon.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of 2!

    Like

  9. Oh you’re not the only one that wishes that. It has to come to Switch or get a sequel. I can live with a sequel. The concept was too good not to have a sequel.

    Same for XCX, the people at Monolith, when interviewed have said they’d be interested in porting it over, which would be great.

    And yeah, I’ll be in touch and we can discuss what to do haha

    Liked by 1 person

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