Welcome folks, to the Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks!
After weeks of preparation, carefully researching and measuring untold numbers of musical pieces against one another, I’ve finally managed to put together a list that meets my ridiculous standards.
I’ll admit, there’s sure to be an odd pick here and there, but bear in mind:
This is my list, and I honestly couldn’t give 2 shits about what you think of it.
That being said, much of the difficulty I had in crafting this list of music, came in the form of a very specific ground rule I decided to lay out for myself from the get go.
Said rule required that I would be restricted to choose only 1 track per game franchise.
I know what you’re thinking:
“Azn Badger, why on Earth would you place such a horrible restriction on yourself, won’t that just make you all nerd-rage-y n’shit?”
While I did in fact have a hell of a time with this, I decided to abide by this rule because I felt would force me to truly pick the cream of the crop for fear of dishonoring long-standing game franchises with sub-par tracks.
Yeah, believe or not, I actually care that much…
Not only that, said restriction also kept me from making a Top 25 of Best Mega Man music, ’cause to be honest, this list could’ve easily been made up exclusively of Mega Man music had I allowed myself to do so.
Anyway, we’re gonna’ do this 5 tracks at a time, so without further ado, here’s tracks #25-21 of The Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks!:
#25. Skate or Die 2: The Search For Double Trouble
“Skate or Die 2 Theme Song”
Skate or Die 2 was one of those games that I remember for all the wrong reasons.
I remember it as a game that my brother rented one time that had shitty controls, shitty graphics, and…
Did I mention it was a shitty game?
Anyway, the one positive memory I have of Skate or Die 2 was of course, the title screen music.
How many NES games can you think of have their own theme song?
With actual digitized lyrics?
Well, Skate or Die 2 had one, a SHITTY ONE, but it was the good kind of shitty.
Y’know, shitty in that Mystery Science Theater 3000 way, where it’s terrible, but in such a way that you can laugh at it.
Anyway, this is the closest this list has a to a “joke” entry, so brace yourself for SERIOUS BUSINESS for the rest of it.
#24. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
Ah, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, how you shat on me in my youth… And continue to do so to this day…
Punch-Out!! is a gaming classic notable for it’s bold-faced racially stereotyped cast of boxers, intuitive gameplay, and out-of-control difficulty level.
Anyway, I loved Punch-Out!! as a kid, but to this day, I suck balls at it.
I was tempted to put the standard “fight music” that plays throughout the game on this list instead of the “Training Theme,“ but after careful consideration I think I made the better choice.
Both tracks are heavily inspired by Bill Conti’s work on the Rocky films, and as such, are FUCKING AWESOME, but in my opinion the “Training Theme” just has that little extra something, a little extra swagger in it’s step, that makes it the flag bearer for Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
#23. Fester’s Quest
Fester’s Quest is a shitty game.
Thanks to the Angry Videogame Nerd, everyone is now aware of this.
What most people don’t know however, is that I spent most of childhood thinking it was actually pretty decent.
For whatever reason, my brother and I owned Fester’s Quest back when it was brand new.
I don’t think either of us knew who the Addam’s Family were at the time, (I don’t even think the AWESOME movie had even been made yet) so I can’t explain what compelled my family to possess the ‘ole Quest of Festering, but I digress…
As a kid, I played a lot of Fester’s Quest.
With my poor sense of direction, inability to grasp the control scheme during the “3-D” segments, and acute fear of the green blobs in the sewer levels though, I didn’t really manage to get anywhere in the game.
I just sort of wandered around and died, over and over and over again…
Anyway, on 1 or 2 occasions though, I actually managed to get to the first boss.
I never beat him, however the musical memories of said moments are something I treasure to this day.
That being said, Fester’s Quest was, and is, a truly horrible game, however it had some seriously boppin’ tunes, and the “Boss Theme” was easily the boppin’est of the boppin’.
“Streets of Desolation”
How could I have a list, any list; without Batman?
Obviously, I couldn’t, ’cause Batman’s stage 1 theme “Streets of Desolation” is a wonderful piece of music, wholly deserving of a place in the Top 25.
To be honest, I didn’t actually play Batman until very recently.
As in, within the past few months or so “recently.”
In my youth, I had a cheap-ass bulk strategy guide to NES games that my mom gave me to shut me up during a flight to Hawaii.
It was one of those “hint books” that gave you shitty advice like:
“In Fire Man’s stage in Mega Man, don’t touch the fire!”
“In Bayou Billy, shoot your enemies quickly or they’ll shoot you back!”
Even as a kid, it was pretty fuckin’ lame.
Anyway, Batman was featured in this guide, and from the pictures, I always thought it looked really fuckin’ cool.
Unfortunately, I was too busy renting Snow Bros. every weekend to remember to give Batman a try, so I never really got around to playing it…
Boy am I glad I took the time to seek it out and give it a whirl.
Batman really is a great NES game.
It’s final stage is too hard, and the game is way too short, but for the most part it’s a fun and graphically intense game that deserves all the praise it receives.
That being said, “Streets of Desolation” is a fantastic piece of gaming music that, had I any nostalgia for the game it’s from, would probably be ranked much higher on this list.
#21. Gremlins 2: The New Batch
“Office Stage Theme”
Gremlins 2: The New Batch scared me as a kid.
Not the movie mind you, the movie was hilarious.
No, I’m talking about the game.
Oh yeah, and this one fuckin’ picture book of the movie that had a close-up of Mohawk in his spider form, that was some scary shit…
Basically, every Gremlins 2 related product, except for the movie itself, creeped me out something fierce.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the (quite good) visuals that bugged me in the Gremlins 2 game, rather it was the music.
“The Office Stage Theme” scared the piss out of me as a kid.
Sure it has a goofy, cutesy note here and there, but the overarching theme of the music is one that struck terror into my soul as a child.
I remember my brother rented this game exactly once.
I liked playing it, as it had good graphics and controls, and I always thought Gizmo was cool, (my brother preferred Mohawk, as he was the badass Gremlin…) but the music just made me too anxious to play it for more than a few minutes.
That and the fear of running into one of the scary looking bosses…
Like a stunning number of games in the #25-21 bracket (Fester’s Quest and Batman) Gremlins 2 is a Sunsoft game, and as such; it’s music has that wonderful Sunsoft flavor to it.
Something about the way they do their bass work is just wonderful to listen to.
Anyway, “The Office Theme” might be a little obscure to some, but it’s on the list for scaring me to death as a child…
Check back tomorrow for #20-16 of the Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks!