Oh Star Fox, how I loved playing you at other peoples houses.
It’s interesting to note however, that in the case of the latter, it was never the sounds of the game itself that would wake people up.
It couldn’t have been, I was always careful to keep the TV volume down low when I was up too early/late, scouts honor.
No, as it turns out, it was me that would always wake people up.
As a child I was what one would call a “hummer,” and wouldn’t you know it, Star Fox’s soundtrack was one of the most hummable I can recall.
Looking back, aside from being pissed at me for waking them up as I ducked, weaved, and hummed the shit out of whatever stage theme was playing, I’m sure at least one of my friends’ parents must’ve thought I was retarded or something.
Well guess what? I was a fucking kid! I didn’t give a shit about “3D”, I didn’t know what the fuck 3D was! All I remember caring about was the fact that the manual said there was a DRAGON in the game somewhere called the “Monarch Fucking Dodra.”
Fuck, I remember being more impressed by the construction of the clay puppets they used for the pictures in the manual than anything I ever saw in the game.
Graphical jibber-jabber aside, Star Fox was a solid game.
It wasn’t perfect by any means, but humming along with the soundtrack while entertaining the prospect of letting Slippy get shot down always proved enough to keep me coming back for more.
I didn’t own the game until much later in life, and it took many years for me to actually sit down and beat it, but Star Fox was a game that I just plain loved to play… at the expense of other peoples’ beauty rest.
Anyway, without further ado…
The Best Track in the Game is…
Intro Stage – Corneria
Oh really now, how could I not pick Corneria as The Best Track in the Game?
It’s easily one the most energetic and bombastic compositions in the game, not to mention it flows with the action almost note for note.
Well, provided you aren’t slowing down the pace of the game by mashing the air brake like a noob.
Part of the enjoyment of listening to the Corneria theme for the first time, is the incredible build up leading up to it.
When you first boot up the game, you are treated to an impressive homage to the opening sequence of Star Wars: A New Hope, although with much more ominous background music.
This tune is repeated in many of the various “tunnel” sequences in the game, to much greater effect, most notably preceding the final boss.
After the intro we are taken to the Title Screen.
The tune is bold and dignified, which as a kid was all I needed to get me stoked about saving the universe from a space monkey in a Rubik’s cube.
From there the game takes you to the Setup Screen and Training Stage, both of which greatly contrast the Title Screen tune in the sense that they are comprised of calm and inviting melodies, the sort of stuff that makes you smile and rock back and forth while humming along… or something like that.
And then they hit you with this:
WOAH! Shit just got real!
For a game about anthropomorphic space fighter pilots blowing up geometric shapes, Star Fox had some seriously moody and atmospheric moments to it.
Outside of the overall kick-ass, Top Gun-with-a-fox tune of the Corneria stage, I think the Emergency Call sequence preceding it was the biggest factor in making me select it as The Best Track in the Game.
The Corneria Boss Theme will always stick with me because of one hilariously bad judgment call.
The first time I ever got to see Star Fox in action was when my brother rented it for the weekend.
He fired it up and I quietly sat beside him, taking in the spectacle.
I remember we both laughed at the voices for the characters, imitating them whenever they’re speech windows would open up onscreen.
To us, Falco was always yelling: “Farther wing damage!”
Anyway, as soon as the ominous build up tones of the Corneria Boss Theme kicked in, and the radio clicked on saying, “Incoming enemy,” our laughter and excitement ceased, instantly replaced with the cold tinges of fear.
“BUM, BUM, BUM! BUM, BUM! BUM, BUM, BUM! BUM, BUM!”
My brother turned to me, and for probably the first time I can recall, asked me:
“What should I do Trevor?”
I was stunned. My older brother was asking me for help?
“Uh… Go… Go, up!”
My brother’s first life in Star Fox was cut short just before even getting to see the first boss.
Yeah, I caught a beating over that one.
The Corneria Boss Theme is not nearly The Best Track in the Game, in fact its repetitive and dull when heard independent of gameplay, but for me, those ominous opening notes are simply unforgettable.
The Venom Base Theme however, is not one that holds any sort of special place in my heart, rather, it is simply a damn fine piece of music.
The Venom Base Theme is one of the fastest-paced tracks in the game, however it belongs to a stage I rarely ever played in my youth.
It’s an energetic, kick-ass piece of music, but definitely a little too obscure (from my standpoint) to call it The Best Track in the Game.
That being said, I will conclude this post with an image that haunted my dreams as a child, and always gave me incentive to turn off the console before getting a “Game Over.”