High Scores: Song of Storms

It’s a song of not knowing what to do with what you’ve just encountered. No matter how obviously meaningful the thing in front of you appears, there is no way you can learn its meaning. Not yet. It’s a tease, a feeling Zelda fans at least tolerate and likely love.

High Scores: So Many Men

Ostensibly, the song is heterosexual: a female singer lusts for the opposite sex, conjuring a world of endlessly disposable dudes. But “So Many Men” in any version is so very gay, the single gayest song I’ve heard on a videogame soundtrack, which might mean I’m not playing the right games. Nevertheless, even in DDR’s 90-second sample of Me & My’s cover of Brown’s original record—whose gayness was veiled, however thinly—the song’s call to my community comes through loud and queer.

High Scores: Factory Songs

Factory songs have many influences: synth, techno, heavy metal, and industrial music. One sure progenitor of the videogame factory song is Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse,” composed in 1937 and used in Looney Tunes as early as 1943. Madcap and sinister, “Powerhouse” has become synonymous with satirical representations of industry. Most videogame factory music strikes a similar tone, though often much darker.

High Scores: Bonetrousle

“Bonetrousle” deserves a spin in the spotlight. It’s a bop and, unlike “Megalovania,” not a bummer. Without going into too much detail, the narrative context of “Megalovania” captures Undertale at its darkest. The situation is macabre, as good death metal tends to be. “Bonetrousle” is relatively uncomplicated fun. It makes me wanna dance.

High Scores: Hymn of the Fayth

It’s the only song the Spirans get, and they are obsessed with it. By limiting the diegetic music in Spira to a single song while making the game’s non-diegetic music rich and varied, Uematsu succeeded in conveying the bleak monotony of Spiran life while still evoking a complexity of emotions in the player.