Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Top 10 Beautifully Composed Video-Game Boss Soundtracks

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)  

- Blog #4: Many of my blogs will consist of music-related topics, especially when it breaks down to the passion of video-game music. Whether it's a mix of favorites or a collection of is just amazing, isn't it? This time, the "Top 10" list will be showing off some of the most beautiful pieces of music, brought on by an EPIC boss battle. There is an erratic amount of sheer epic proportions, when defining what makes a boss battle theme an epic one. Just like the last blog, I'm only allowing one song per video-game franchise. So, here we go.

1. Super Mario 64/DS: Final Bowser Battle - What better way to start off a collage of boss battle themes than with a boss that so many video-game fans will recognize? Bowser is up to no good, once again, and has stolen Princess Peach out of the Mushroom Kingdom's hands. "Here we go!" Mario sets off to save the day, the kingdom, and the princess! Throughout Super Mario 64, Mario will be traveling from world to worlds, all while inside a castle and jumping into paintings. Once you receive enough Star Power, you will have a chance to fight Bowser. Mario will have to fight Bowser three times, before you can win the game. The first two times, you get a rockin' theme that displays Bowser's rampage towards Mario and his heroic antics. Once you've reached the end, and you fight "Bowser in the Sky", you get this. Unexpected, but very appreciated...ORGAN MUSIC!

2. Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts II: Sephiroth Battle ("One Winged Angel") - How often does anyone hear opera-like music and video-game boss battle music clash? Well, it happens more often than one may think, but I never anticipated games like these having such a quality. Appearing to be a song taken from "The Messiah", "One Winged Angel" belongs to the ever-daunting character of Sephiroth. This individual was born from an experiment and was developed into a divine figure. With his long-sword and his single wing, Sephiroth becomes spiteful toward the human race and wishes to control the planet. Sephiroth also made a special appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, as an obstacle in Sora's path at Hollow Bastion castle. This theme is catchy, cool and gives opera music a good rep.

3. Sonic & Knuckles: Doomsday Fight - Now, I know I titled this blog as "Beautifully Composed...", but there is a reason why I wanted this one on the list. I wanted to be fair to the readers and not have every single song be something organ-like or classical (not that I don't think it's appropriate). Some people may see other kinds of music as "beautiful" and something like techno rock could fit into that category. There was even a rock remix made for the YouTube series, called "Super Mario Bros. Z!" So, Sonic is basically saving his home from the works of Dr. Robotnik/Eggman (again). This time, the final battle battle involves Sonic going "Super Saiyan" and the battle must be waged against a massive robot holding the stolen Master Emerald. The Master Emerald is the source of survival for the planet of Mobius. I included links to both the original song and to the rock remix, just because both themes are so awesome.

4. The Legend of Zelda-Twilight Princess: Final Ganondorf Battle - Here comes a rant...people who have played Twilight Princess and have reached the final battle must have had the same feeling I had. Why was the final battle so disappointingly easy? Most Legend of Zelda bosses have noticeable weak-points, but Ganondorf did not. So, why is this a bad thing? Well, if you know what to do or have played the game long enough to figure it out, this battle was just a 2-3 minute sword-fight. I, honestly, had a harder time beating the final boss of Sonic & Knuckles than I did this game. Anyway, once you've realized that Ganondorf was the one who again shrouded Hyrule in darkness, you must fight him 3 times (somewhat like Bowser's situation, except in a row). First, you battle Ganon in his beast form. It's the one that's dearly noted upon, by classic Zelda games. Once you win, you then fight Ganondorf on horseback, with Princess Zelda alongside shooting Light Arrows at Ganondorf. Then, you knock Ganondorf off the horse and are forced to fight him, one-on-one, in a sword-fight to the finish. This battle was pretty easy, but the conditions of the fight (the thundering fields of Hyrule and the sword-fighting) somewhat made up for the quick victory. However, what REALLY caught my attention...was the battle music in the background. It just fit so perfectly for this epic (but easy) battle.

5. Pikmin: Emperor Bulblax - Yes, indeed. Pikmin is on this list. For such a seemingly innocent game, in which Olimar is saving the Pikmin race and finding parts to fix his spaceship, the final battle just threw this gigantic final boss at you. Although not so tough in his returning performance in Pikmin 2, Emperor Bulblax was a beast here. The Bulblax community has taken over the Pikmin ecosystems and eat every last living thing in sight, almost leading the Pikmin to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, large bomb plants were growing around this battlefield. This battle was very hard and it actually took me a few days to beat. The music gave this glutenous-feeling of doom and gave the impression that you would be fighting something huge. It did not disappoint.

6. Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen: Champion Gary Oak Battle - Who needs an epic battle against a champ, when you can have an epic battle with the greatest rival ever? Debuting in the first ever Pokémon games, Gary Oak becomes the first known rival to the hero (an annoying one, at that). What's so great about this rival? He becomes Pokémon Champion of Kanto...before YOU! After humiliating insults from this loud-mouth Gary, it's time to face him and shut him up once and for all. Having, basically, the same 6 Pokémon in the classic series, you receive an essence of nostalgia like never before. The only reason the remix theme topped the original was because it combined the ideals of #2 and #3 on my list.

7. Star Fox Assault: Aparoid Queen Battle 1+2: As stated in the previous blog, this game has an amazing orchestrated soundtrack, produced by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. The storyline behind this game is that the Cornerian army is ending battles with an old foe's remaining forces. After appearing to have a complete victory on the team's belt, a new enemy force emerges. A parasitic group of cyber-bugs called "Aparoids" invade and destroy much of what is the Lylat System (Star Fox's version of our Solar System). The Star Fox team learns of the cause of the infestation. The insects are produced by their leader/breeder, the Aparoid Queen. She controls every single mind slaved to the Aparoids and is able to access memories, abilities, and even machinery with utmost ease. Star Fox's Slippy Toad invents a self-destruct program, which would be launched inside the Queen's hive. It's up to Fox McCloud to defeat the queen and activate the program. I included both themes, seeing how both refer to the same boss and both have the same amount of awesomeness, without too much continuity.

8. Ninja Gaiden-Dragon Sword: Nicchae Battle - Another great game for the Nintendo DS, Ninja Gaiden-Dragon Sword holds true to the powers of a ninja. Ryu Hayabusa, the hero, rebuilds a village after an incident that happened 6 months ago. His apprentice, Momiji, is kidnapped by the Black Spider Clan and Ryu sets off to rescue her. Ryu is forced to travel to different dimensions, in order to find Momiji. After collecting the powers of gems called "Dark Dragonstones", Ryu is sent to the gates of Hell. Two evil spirits of ancient fiends appear to face Ryu. Ryu easily defeats the first one (Ishtaros). Then, when Ryu thinks he has won, Ishtaro's sister summons herself to fight. Nicchae brings a new meaning toward evil, as she planned to "create a new world"...destroying it was the real intention. Unlike Star Fox: Assault, this game's soundtrack was not recorded by an actual orchestra, but it's very convincing.

9. Megaman Network Transmission: Life Virus R Final Battle - The Megaman Battle Network series didn't hit it off with many Megaman fans. They felt that the game-play didn't feel as classic as the original ideas of "Classic Megaman" or "Megaman X", but it still was a hit to other Megaman fans (like myself). While being a game with stereotypical Japanese styled pop/techno music, the music was very appropriate for the actual plot of the game. You really felt as though you were exploring the internet or a digital world. Megaman had just defeated the WWW's Life Virus R, after it threatened to destroy the networks. However, the threat returned and the Life Virus R was being re-build by the powers of the protege of Dr.Wily. Megaman must now stop the attacks of rampaging NetNavis, whom were infected with the Life Virus poison. Then, you reach the Undernet (the supposed Internet's Hell) and are forced to fight every boss you've fought. Then, you fight the Life Virus R, for the final time.

10. Kingdom Hearts-Chain of Memories: Marluxia Battle  - Ok....I'm only partially breaking my rules for this one. Technically, #2's music resided over the Final Fantasy series and only appeared once in the Kingdom Hearts series. Also, this is from KH1 and not KH2. So, this counts as being a pick in my book. I won't go into detail with the storyline of the game, but just imagine fighting someone with a scythe and hearing this in the background. Hearing it, you'll feel the same sense of judgment and battle mixed into one. Isn't that how a boss music should be?

- Done.

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