Overlooked Music Mix: Vampire TMB, DOOM, Legend of Mana, Vigilante 8

Note from racketboy: This feature is written by racketboy.com contributer, Mozgus. If you would like to know more about our plans for this series, please join in on this forum thread.

Video game music has traditionally been thought of as nothing but clusters of nonsensical beeps and bloops. While this statement no longer holds merit in today’s gaming world, the general public still avoids or remains oblivious to this genre, often assuming that there lies nothing worth hearing within. I truly believe that there are countless gaming tracks out there that deserve a place amongst your more mainstream “normal” MP3s. With that being said, each installment of this series will sample just three inconspicuous songs which, in my opinion, are worth your time. They may be retro or modern, official or produced by fans. Regardless, please give them a listen.

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines – Downtown Theme

I have far too many great things to say about this game and it’s composer, so I’ll keep this short. Rik Schaffer provided all the original music for this game, and last year he was kind enough to provide me with plentiful amounts of the game’s music, including unused songs, to form the ultimate downloadable soundtrack for Bloodlines, which you can still find over here. His official site has additional tracks to stream, and an overview of what his company does. I have a lot of respect for people in the industry who respond to their fans, as well as understand the importance of file-sharing. The torrent alone has had 13,000 downloads to date, so I like to think I contributed to his recent boost in popularity.

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DOOM – The Dark Side of Phobos

OCRemix, for those not familiar with the site, is one of the leading resources for classic game track remixes. Every now and then, the community releases an ambitious album release that centers around a single game or theme. Back in 2005, DOOM: The Dark Side of Phobos remix album was released and remains as one of their most popular works. Instead of trying to do this particular track justice, I’ll share an except from the project’s official writeup… “OCR’s fifth site project is our first from a computer as opposed to a console title, and tackles Bobby Prince’s beloved soundtrack to the game that vaulted id to worldwide fame and fortune (even though Wolfenstein deserves some lovin’, too); with a name nod to the classic Pink Floyd album, DSoP features work from 19 artists, many of whom are no strangers to the premises of ocremix, and while not every track may end up here, as always we can start you off right with the title track from Mr. Baranowsky, whose menacing, cinematic orchestral arrangement would be right at home in, say, a Doom movie… This mix injects the dark, hell-infested world of Doom directly into your cerebral cortex and intravenously feeds you both apocalypse and requiem in lethal doses; Dan’s done an excellent job of providing the project with a memorable and appropriate opening mix.”

You can download the Full Album at OCRemix’s project page via a torrent or listen via the last.fm player embedded on the page.

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Legend of Mana – Bedight Orbit

It’s been a long time since I played this little gem, so I can’t remember where this music was used. The track makes me imagine an assortment of tribal, mask-wearing goblins dancing maniacally around a bonfire. I’m sure that’s exactly what happens in the game, but on the off-chance that I’m wrong, at least it’s a pretty wicked little tune. The Mana series is yet another franchise where I see nothing special about the most popular installment, (Secret of Mana), yet I love one of the most neglected installments, (Legend of Mana). It’s kind of like how I find Link to the Past extremely dull, but I think Adventure of Link (Zelda 2 on NES), is enthralling. Maybe I just look at these neglected games like battered orphans. They all need love, ya know?

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Vigilante 8: Second Offense – Obsession in D-

Among all the funk in V8, you’ll find this little number. It’s an energetic remix of Toccata and Fugue in D minor traditionally used for representations of Dracula and the such. What happened to the vehicular car combat genre, anyway? Twisted Metal 1 and 2 brought it into the mainstream. Then came an endless supply of crappy sequels and copycat attempts. Before you knew it, the entire genre crashed. Maybe it was just fused in with sandbox games like GTA3. I feel that the two V8 games were the only post-TM entries to stand on their own feet, and a sequel right about now would be just fine. If anyone else has a thirst for some automobile annihilation, allow me to point you in the direction of the Half-Life 2 mod known as D.I.P.R.I.P., set to be released very soon.

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Metal Sonic says:

Great theme — this has been one of the best installments so far.

The Mana track is an excellent pick even though you wouldn’t think of it as a “halloween”-type track.

Keep up the good work, Mozgus!

mozgus says:

The Doom piece was inserted by Racketboy. The other 3 were picked by me. Also this seems to have been posted a day early. I thought we were sticking with Sundays…

racketboy says:

Yeah, I threw in the DOOM piece because I wanted to start doing 4 tracks to beef it up a bit and add some variety.

If we’ve been doing Sundays its only be a coincidence — my intention was just “weekends” 🙂

mozgus says:

Oh ok, I thought you said Sundays in a PM a while back, but whatever. It just surprised me.

Douglas says:

Racketboy is a damn good site. I didn’t know there was much for gaming culture sites besides the popular (sucky) ones like gamespy.com, gamespot.com, and ign.com. Good stuff, thanks for doing it.

Jimmy says:

Thanks for featuring Vampire… I think I’ve seen it before in a couple ads, but this (and you review link) is making me itch to check it out.

Keep up the great work!

philipofmacedon says:

Great work guys. I just can’t get enough game music.

Caleb says:

Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines –

I always wanted this game but my crappy ‘puter couldn’t run it when it first came out.

I really enjoyed the first one.

Now unless they release a slim edition I will have to wait until I can get a copy online.

mozgus says:

Caleb: A slim edition? What do you mean?

Anyways, Bloodlines was using an extremely early build of Source, and back then, Source wasn’t all that optimized or impressive. Unfortunately, despite all the unofficial patch work, there’s no real way to insert a newer build of the source engine in hopes of improving performance.

But today, you can build a PC that can run Bloodlines relatively easily.

d says:

secret of mana on SNES, best music of any SNES game. Together with Castlevania IV on SNES

Arion says:

The soundtrack from bloodlines is simply great i´ve listened to that many times.

btw thanks for including Dark side of phobos i had never heard of OCremix until now and the remix for e1m1 makes me wanna play doom again 😀

all in all great post guys

breakwind says:

My favorite(in-game)video game music titles(non-licensed) are Rage Racer,V8:2nd Offense,Ridge Racer Type 4,Tekken 2,Twisted Metal 4,Daytona USA games,Killer Instinct,Tomb Raider 2,Resident Evil:Code Veronica X,Super Mario Land Series,The Legend Of Zelda:Link’s Awakening.

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