VIDEOS: Best retro gaming music picks
With the news just in that the Ivor Novello Awards has announced the Best Original Video Game Score as a new category for this year's awards, it got us thinking wistfully about memorable music from video games past.
In this vein, we've knocked up a quick playlist showcasing five great retro gaming music tunes, which can be found below. By no means a definitive list, have your say in the comments box below about your favourite musical accompaniment as far as the games world goes...
Mega Man II
We dare your thumbs not to start twitching along to this particular track from Mega Man II, in this example used to accompany a boss fight with Dr Wily. A stellar example of video game music from the 8-bit era, the game's chirpy chiptune sound could well be said to epitomise such audio and is instantly recognisable as of the time.
While we think the sinister-sounding opening bars of Metroid's music sound like Portishead might have borrowed a little inspiration from the game, the score soon starts to fray on your jangled nerves with its tense high notes, looping scales and intimidating bass, so also a little like Portishead. Although dated, you can still see how this would have added to planet Zebes' creepy atmosphere.
Taking the video game music of the time and somehow turning it into a cross between bad elevator music and worse lounge cheese, Outrun's soundtrack and use of music was none-the-less influential as it allowed the gamer to change imaginary radio stations in the car, something later used - with arguably better tunes - in the GTA franchise, among others.
Super Mario Bros
Said to be composed on a small keyboard (we'd never have guessed) the Super Mario Bros theme tune is embedded deep in millions of people's subconscious owing to the fact that the game was only recently usurped as the best selling video game of all time. Actually made up of six songs, composer Koji Kondo told 1Up.com he's not sure he'd ever be able to write anything that catchy again. We certainly hope not, for the sake of our sanity.
Perennially popular and amazingly addictive puzzle game Tetris' Music A option was enough to melt your brain if played at any great length. Based on a Russian folk tune, the game's popularity and the music's stick-in-your-head memorability spawned a dance song of such immense awfulness we can't bring ourselves to name it.