Today we’ll be unveiling the Top 5 of the Top 10 Runner-Ups, so get ready kids, ’cause we’re:
Anyway, let’s get down to the Top 5 Runner-Ups!:
#5. Double Dragon 2: The Revenge
“Theme of The Double Dragons”
I’ve loved Double Dragon series ever since I first played the second one with my brother in my early childhood, and it’s a game series that I continue to treasure to this day.
Chief among my reasons for loving the Double Dragon series, is of course the fact that it possessed one of the most memorable and enduring theme musics in gaming history.
It’s a tune that’s been used in nearly every game in the series, with each iteration making slight changes to the table.
While Double Dragon 2 is definitely my favorite game in the series, I feel I should go on record and say that my selection of it’s version of theme for this list added no bias to my decision.
Believe me when I say this, I went out of my way to listen to all of the NES versions of the Double Dragon Theme back to back just to come to this conclusion.
The original version was too uppity for my tastes, feeling more appropriate as the background music for the 2 player game mode than a theme music for a pair of characters.
The version used in Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones was extremely well-composed, with the most intricate instrumentation of the 3 NES versions of the theme, but honestly I felt that this resulted in it having a somewhat cluttered and “loud” sound to it that was a little bit too overbearing.
The version featured in Double Dragon 2: The Revenge, the slowest and most laid back version of the Double Dragon Theme on the NES, and yet it feels most right.
Unlike the original version that feels too fast, the Double Dragon 2 version of the theme has a more subtle instrumentation to it, but as a result it sounds the most like a theme music for Billy and Jimmy Lee as opposed to a single scene in the game.
Anyway, those are my thoughts, hopefully they make sense…
#4. Journey To Silius
More specifically, it’s a Sunsoft game I’ve never played.
In fact, the first time I ever heard of Journey To Silius was less than a year ago, when I stumbled across a video about produced by LordkaT for his Until We Win series.
Speaking exclusively from what I saw in that video, I thought the game looked pretty fun.
The jumping mechanic, as described by Lordkat, sounded somewhat Castlevania-ish to me though, so chances are I’d probably hate it if I played it…
Anyway, while watching that video of the game, I happened to notice some of the background music playing over Lordkat’s narration.
While he is known to sometimes use music tracks from other games in his videos, I obviously didn’t recognize the music, resulting in me Youtube-ing the Journey To Silius soundtrack to find out what it was.
Sure enough, it was the “Stage 1” theme.
While this is indeed an amazing piece of NES music, I felt it inappropriate to list among the Top 25 due to my lack of history with the game.
Even so, making the Top 5 of the Runner-Ups despite me never having played the game is still quite an accomplishment.
#3. Mega Man 2
“Dr. Wily’s Castle 1”
Among Mega Man music, this one is my #2.
#1 was my pick for the Best NES Track EVER, as well as part of one of my favorite game series ever, so I feel it goes without saying that being my #2 of the Mega Man series is not far from being #2 in all of 8-bit music.
This track was, in many ways, the reason why I instigated the “1 track per franchise” for this list.
Even so, though I like both tracks just about equally; deep down I knew which is one was better, and therefore most appropriate to represent Mega Man on the Top 25.
That being said, “Dr. Wily’s Castle” is an exhilarating piece of game music that was incredibly complex it’s time, and still holds up to this day as one of the better gaming compositions throughout history.
#2. Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest
Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, like Journey To Silius, is another game on this list that I have never played.
That’s actually kind of interesting to note, as back in the day Simon’s Quest was regarded as one of the finest games on the NES.
Despite actually wanting to play Castlevania 2 in my youth, like many great games back in the day; I ended up passing it over in favor of repeatedly renting Snow Bros. every weekend…
Regardless, sometime in high school I took the time to check out the soundtrack of Simon’s Quest, and lo and behold, there was gold in them there hills!
While the game might have a bit too much of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sound to it, (understandable, seeing as Konami was cranking out those games like crazy back in the day) like any Castlevania, it truly has an awesome soundtrack.
“Bloody Tears” was my favorite track I ran across in the soundtrack for Castlevania 2.
I have no idea what point of the game it’s used for, but it’s a simultaneously energetic and haunting tune that was this close to usurping the original “Vampire Killer’s” position on the Top 25.
Like Journey To Silius though, I simply couldn’t justify placing it on the list without ever having actually experienced the track in-game.
#1. Ninja Gaiden
Is it just me or do the Ninja Gaiden games on the NES all have fuckin’ brilliant ending themes?
Ninja Gaiden 3 had a pretty decent ending theme, which was appropriate given that it was a “pretty decent” game.
Ninja Gaiden 2’s ending has the distinction of holding the #2 spot on my Top 25 NES Tracks list.
And the original Ninja Gaiden’s “Ending Theme” gets the #1 spot among the Top 10 Runner-Ups!
The composers over at Tecmo deserve a pat on the back, ’cause damn they did a great job.
The “Ending Theme” of the original Ninja Gaiden was a fantastic piece of music that I only recently rediscovered.
I heard it when I was very young, and I remember liking it, but for whatever reason I simply didn’t remember it.
Boy am I glad I did, ’cause it is one hell of a roller coaster ride of 8-bit goodness.
As much an action piece as it is an ending track, the “The Ending Theme” of Ninja Gaiden is a terrific composition that really gets your blood pumping.
Honestly, if not for Ninja Gaiden 2 having a slightly better ending track, this tune would’ve made the Top 25 in a heartbeat.
Damn sequels… Bein’ all better n’shit…
Well folks, thus concludes the Azn Badger’s list(s) of the Best NES Tracks!
Tune in tomorrow for… Something other than NES music!
Seriously man, I’m done with Nintendo music for awhile…