G-E Presents: The Shizz Top 30 NES Soundtracks
By Bucky Sunday, 31 May 2009

-An introduction to the June, Top NES soundtrack countdown-

A couple months ago, members of the Minibosses / shizz message board cast their votes for their favorite classic Nintendo soundtracks. Inspired by previous polls held like the top 10 SNES games, I organized two rounds of voting. The first was a week long open vote, where members were asked to choose and rank their favorite soundtracks. Everything was fair game, including Japanese and European exclusive titles. A total of 44 members contributed a list of 203 unique titles. The second round was for breaking ties, which I will explain a bit more further below. Starting tomorrow, June 1st, we will reveal one of the top 30 every day this month, counting down to the #1 favorite NES soundtrack.

-Why 30?-

As a fan of classic video game and chiptune music, I would feel incomplete without scratching beneath the surface a bit. There is this sort of inevitability in top lists turning into a popularity contest, but I wanted to help ensure that this list would offer at least a couple entries that dive beyond the most obvious of nostalgic selections. I figured that a top 30 as opposed to a top 10 list would open the list up beyond Super Mario Bros. and Contra.

I think the list does a pretty good job at recognizing a lot of titles that most people will agree with, but also manages to sneak in a couple more controversial selections here and there. Without giving too much away, there is a game that made it into the top 10 which I wouldn’t expect most readers to have even heard of! Way to go, shizz.

-Tie Breakers and Honorable Mentions-

As mentioned above, there was a tie breaking round. If two games took the same spot I wanted a simple way to pick one of the other instead of having gaps and ties. Just one game per entry,

clean and simple. The votes from the tie breaking rounds won’t affect the original number of votes however, so you will still be able to discern which game soundtracks were voted as equals initially.

Speaking of which, there was one three-way tie that made the list, and it happened to be for the #30 spot! You’ll find out which one tomorrow made the cut, but we couldn’t start this off without giving the two that got bumped an honorable mention:

#32 – Final Fantasy (24 votes)
#32 Final Fantasy

Developer: SquareSoft
Publisher: SquareSoft (JP), Nintendo (US)
Year: 1987 (JP), 1989 (US)

This classic title probably needs no introduction. It is the first entry in the famous RPG franchise Final Fantasy, scored by the much loved Nobuo Uematso. This score no doubt helped inspire many conventions of RPG music, as it is an early example of an aesthetic absolutely nailed within its genre.

Listen to a selection of tracks on youtube here.

#31 – Mega Man 6 (24 votes)
#31 Mega Man 6

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Year: 1993 (JP), 1994 (US)
AKA: RockMan 6: Shijou Saidai no Tatakai!!

Mega Man 6 again represents itself as an underdog of the series by just missing the top list. It’s nearly impossible to stack something against nostalgic perfection, and it should be of no surprise that earlier Mega Man games hold that position for many. In some cases I’ve even seen pure hatred expressed for this title, to the best of my understanding, simply because it isn’t the holy grail that is Mega Man 2 or 3. Ignore those titles, however, and consider how this may compare to the rest of the NES library. Mega Man 6 simply has some of Capcom’s best music of the era, and this is what makes it a highly respectable selection in the grand scheme of things. Heck, it’s even loved as much as the Final Fantasy soundtrack, at least to members of the shizz.

Composed by Yuko.

If you don’t mind spoilers to a 15 year old game, I recommend checking out the ending sequence. It wraps up portions of the boss themes and a set of final credits into one long medley.

That about wraps up this introduction, so check back every day of June for a new entry starting tomorrow!

2 Responses to “G-E Presents: The Shizz Top 30 NES Soundtracks”

  1. Zach Patterson Says:

    Really thought Final Fantasy would place higher just due to the name, but I’ll admit it’s not my favorite. It laid the work for some traditional themes in the series, but I think it’s placed about right here.

  2. bucky Says:

    I was happy that Mega Man 6 made it as an honorable mention. While I spent half of the post preemptively defending it, it really is an excellent soundtrack.

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