Soundtracks add depth to video games, and can make us feel all sorts of emotions. However, not all soundtracks are made up of dramatic or melancholic compositions. These ten video game songs are just as ridiculous as they are loveable and memorable. Accordions, polka and swearing squid-kids are the last things you’d expect when you’re shooting zombies or fighting wars!
You Are Dead – Total Distortion
Composed by Joe Sparks
Easily the greatest ‘game over’ theme you’ll ever hear in a video game. In Total Distortion, you gotta visit Heavy Metal-themed planets in order to make the greatest music video ever for fame and cash. It’s only appropriate that the developers decided to add a song that reminds you how much you suck at it when you fail. The chants of “You are dead! Dead! Dead!” are so infectious that you’ll be singing along, too.
Critics’ Choice – House of the Dead: Overkill
Composed by John Sanderson
Parodying B-horror movies, blaxploitation films and ‘video nasties’ of the seventies and eighties, House of the Dead: Overkill is a rude, crude ‘n’ hilarious twist to the otherwise-overtly serious zombie-slaying series. In fact, it’s so good, the announcer of the game decides to talk about what all the critics (and a few other unlikely people) are saying. All to the tune of a deliciously funky track.
Like a Monkey – TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
Composed by Goteki
TimeSplitters 2 may be a fan favourite (hey, it did throw over 100 playable characters at us, one of which was a monkey), but TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is easily the most polished title in the series, not to mention the funniest. One reason is that there’s a catchy dance-song called “Like a Monkey” that you play on any custom match you wish. Don’t expect any thought-provoking lyrics. It’s all about going crazy with guns… like a monkey.
Fish Polka – Rise of the Triad: Dark War
Composed by Lee Jackson
If you decide to cheat and go to the level warp menu in this old-school shooter, you’ll hear some silly polka music. This is a reference to the Dopefish, “the second-dumbest creature in the universe” from id Software’s side-scroller Commander Keen 4. According to the composer, the song is deliberately goofy so that anyone nearby knows you’re cheating.
Secret Area – Battleblock Theatre
Composed by Patric Catani
Once you stumble across a secret area in this dopey side-scroller, you’ll hear this play. The narrator sounds like he recorded himself improvising “lyrics” in one take after chugging six strawberry and vodka milkshakes.
Composed by Ryo Nagamatsu
There’s a big emphasis on music in Nintendo’s beloved team-based shooter Splatoon 2. Pearl, the pint-sized pop princess from Off The Hook was, according to the Octo Expansion DLC, previously the lead singer of a punk rock band that likes to smash things after their performance. She’s also the only character in the series to say a bad word, aptly censored.
Surf No Mercy – Command & Conquer: Red Alert
Composed by Frank Klepacki
On the official Command & Conquer: Red Alert soundtrack CD, there was a hidden song on the final track. It’s a bodacious and radical surfer-themed cover of the sinister song “No Mercy” from the original Command & Conquer. Was it supposed to be the theme that plays during the Brotherhood of Nod’s holiday? Who knows…
Mall Music 3 – Dead Rising
Composed by Hideki Okugawa
Have you ever booted up a game hoping to massacre the undead to some atmospheric, eerie tunes? Imagine everyone’s surprise when this played in the background. Just the thing to get your spirits up!
Pizza Time – Spider Man 2
Composed by Michael McCuistion & Lolita Ritmanis
No explanation required.