Tag Archives: soundtrack

The Original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Soundtrack Is Still A Blast

Gaming series known for their superior soundtracks often have one thing in common — a wide array of powerful or catchy music orchestrated to fit a specific environment. Though plenty of games (mostly annual sports series) have used popular prerecorded tunes as part of their soundtrack in the past, they rarely stand out from the crowd. But Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater did, and two decades later it remains one of the most iconic game soundtracks of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.

While the popularity of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games may have made it seem like the only decent skateboarding series in existence, the first entry was actually inspired by games such as EA’s Street Sk8er for the original PlayStation and Sega’s Top Skater arcade machines. Top Skater, which featured a full-sized mountable skateboard as a controller, was an especially big influence for the original Pro Skater team at the now-defunct Neversoft Entertainment.

When it came time to choose the music that would accompany each two minute skate session, the Pro Skater team decided to follow both Street Sk8er and Top Skater’s use of legitimate alternative and punk rock tracks. Straying away from any unnecessary applause or obnoxious announcers, their game would feature the two types of audio that truly mattered — realistic skating sound effects and funky fresh jams by bands like Primus and The Dead Kennedys.

Growing up in a strictly Nintendo household, Pro Skater was far off my radar when it launched in the August of 1999. Luckily, a neighborhood friend with access to a PlayStation and a copy of the Jampack Summer ‘99 demo disc was already hooked on its arcade-style gameplay. After he acquired a true copy of the game we spent an entire weekend catching sick air and tracking down VHS tapes. Pro Skater’s realistic physics and showy tricks wowed me, but it was the upbeat soundtrack (with just a few swears thrown in) that really embedded itself into my adolescent brain.

And look, the Pro Skater soundtrack isn’t as hardcore or punk or metal as rock gets. I’m well aware of that now. But for a nerdy kid growing up in the suburbs of Indiana, it was far more extreme than, say, Air Bud or Rocket Power. Maybe not Rocket Power… those kids could shred.

In my mind Pro Skater was the epitome of cool, and when word got out that the game was coming to the Nintendo 64 in March of the next year, I began scrounging around the house for loose change. Featuring one of the few blue cartridge casings, the game was soon added to my small N64 library with the help of my older brother (who had taken up actual skateboarding at the time).

Though the tracks sounded much less crisp on the Nintendo 64’s compressed cartridges, and some of the vocals had been completely removed, Pro Skater was still a monster hit in my household. The game was one of the few games my family owned that required a memory pak for saves, a fact we realized only after we had brought it home. Instead of buying one, my brother and I decided we would just sit and play through the game in its entirety whenever possible. From the warehouse to downtown to Roswell, we knew all the best combos and the location of every secret tape.

Of course, playing a game that much really ingrains the soundtrack into your subconscious. Today, as an adult, I still find myself humming many of the Pro Skater tunes I listened to for hours on end as a child. Sometimes I even boot up my worn N64 copy and skate around for old times’ sake.

Having played through every Tony Hawk game up through Underground 2, none have stuck with me quite like the very first. Even though other entries may have featured improved skaters, venues, and tricks over the years, it’s hard to top the the soundtrack that started it all.


The three tracks embedded in this article were my favorites growing up. The entirety of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack can be found here.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Chill YouTube Comments On Game Soundtracks Are A Pleasant Surprise

This hour-long video on YouTube, whose title roughly translates to “One hour corridor ‘Chrono Trigger,’” plays the same three-minute “Corridors of Time” track from the game over and over again. It has over 1 million views, and it also has one of the most pleasant comment sections I’ve seen, full of viewers devoted to celebrating the music and the game it’s from. Some people replay games, others watch replays on Twitch, and others—like me—enjoy collectively remensicing to a 16-bit tune.

“Am I butterfly dreaming I’m a man? Or a bowling ball dreaming I’m a plate of sashimi? Never assume what you see and feel is real,” reads one of the 759 comments currently under the video. It’s a quote from Doreen, one of the characters who lives in the Kingdom of Zeal where the Corridors of Time music plays. This line of dialogue is a reference to the writings of the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi, and it perfectly captures the vibe of the music and the original location. Another person responded with the quote “All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu. This is the truth! This is my belief!…At least for now.”

Dozens of highly trafficked gaming music videos were taken off YouTube earlier this week following copyright claims by Nintendo. An entire channel, BrawlBRSTMs3, was taken down by its owner who cited concerns over Nintendo’s new crackdown. While a lot of video game music has moved to Spotify, where it’s officially distributed by the game publishers that own it, there’s no easy replacement for the experience of listening to beloved soundtracks on YouTube.

One of the special things about listening to video game music on YouTube is users’ ability to upload customized tracks, specifically looped versions of tracks that extend the listening experience uninterrupted (with the exception of the occasional rogue YouTube ad). Most video game music is designed to be played in perpetuity. Who knows whether you’re going to finish the dungeon or beat the boss in a few minutes or a few hours. In arcades, the music loops until the lights shut off. Even at home, with endless distractions only a few swipes or clicks away, video games provide soundtracks for more than just what’s happening on screen. More than once I’ve let the Persona 5 song “Tokyo Daylight” loop for hours after I’ve fallen asleep on my couch.

Game soundtracks on YouTube lend themselves well to late night study sessions, ambient background music for work, or in my case, falling asleep. But they’ve also become home to some of the loveliest gaming communities I’ve ever encountered. Far away from the snark on Twitter, the toxicity on Reddit, or the outrage across so much of the rest of gaming YouTube, soundtrack pages tend to be a place where you can fall in love with something all over again and share it with others simply by listening to a few tracks.

In the comments section under a 12-minute version of Silent Hill 2‘s “Promise Reprise,” people quote letters found in the game. Some share stories of their own losses that they’ve coped with while listening to this music.Others offer one-off lines of improvised poetry. Others just want more. “Make a 10 hour version,” asked one person.

On the page for an extended version of “The Opened Way” from Shadow of the Colossus, people share stories about listening to this music as they waited for school to be over so they could go home and play the game. On the page for a 10-hour version of “Zora’s Domain” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, people share stories about the passage of time. “This brought a tear to my eye. All the sad memories of being a child. Loving my parents. Enjoying the serenity of the game, while not having a care in the world,” writes one person. “Played this game as a kid. Zara’s domain was always my favorite song. Now it’s my 8-month-old’s lullaby. Amazing,” writes another.

The hour-long cut of Corridors of Time video is still my favorite. The looping graphics of a city floating in the sky, the music, and the people who have converged there are one of the more beautiful social happenstances I’ve ever witnessed. Some of the commenters have been around long enough to remember posting on earlier uploads of the video that were subsequently taken down. Hopefully they will always keep coming back. 

Source: Kotaku.com