Jan 012012
 

With just minutes to go until the credits roll for 2011, I thought it’d be fun to share a handful of my favorite 8 and 16-bit ending songs. Kicking it off with Yuzo Koshiro’s Actraiser ending, which starts off suspiciously like the 20th Century Fox theme!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Didn’t cover this back in Episode 8, mainly because the credits is a “megamix” of every other song in the game. So, with only so much room in a given episode, I left it out of the rotation – but in the spirit of ending 2011 in style, I present it for your listening pleasure. It’s interesting because it may be the first time a game compiled all its music into one unbroken track, creating something of a remix single out of the entire soundtrack.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2

Same deal as Sonic 1, including the slightly sped-up nature. This megamix contains music from the main game, as well as a few songs taken from its weirdo 2-player split-screen mode. Never really did understand that part of the game. As for which Megamix is better, I personally think the first game handles the concept seamlessly, while Sonic 2 feels forced at times. Still good, but damn that first game is super nice.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3

Covered this in the aforementioned Episode 8, so I won’t repeat much here. Suffice to say, this is one of the greatest ending songs of all time – even with absolutely no visual to go along with it.

AIR COMBAT

Covered this back in Episode 4, but I still stand by this Top Gun Anthem-esque closer to the very first Ace Combat game.

KIRBY’S DREAM LAND

Oh man, such a peppy, upbeat way to send off an already joyous adventure. Still one of my favorite endings.

BATMAN

Up until Arkham Asylum, this was arguably the best Batman game out there. While it’s easily been dethroned at this point, I still its ending – including a great fake out, suggesting the song is over – holds up 20 years later. There’s just something so… meaningful about it. In less than two minutes you get a sensation of closure, sadness, death, futility, all from a licensed NES game!

STAR FOX

Cinematic and stirring before such terms were regularly thrown around in reference to video games, this ending song is fit for any Hollywood end scene. I still have a great deal of love for this series, most of which stems from how impactful this song was way back in 1993.

BLASTER MASTER

Hard as hell game, for sure. But this ending song made it all worthwhile, easing the frustration and confusion I’d had after hours of mindless wandering. Truly one of the best NES ending songs, a template that so many other games follow.

METROID

Take everything I said about Blaster Master, and repeat it. Only in the case of Metroid, this delightfully uplifting track is the odd song out – the rest of the game is pretty dire and serious, as we talked about in Episode 5.

SUPER STREET FIGHTER II

If you beat the console versions of SFII (or Super SFII, in this case) on a harder difficulty setting, you’d be rewarded with an extended credits sequence featuring this song. It’s slightly different in Super (compared to SFII or Turbo), but I feel this one’s slightly better.

MEGA MAN 2

The best ending of all time? Maybe. Made me honestly cry as a kid. This is a song made for funerals, and expect to hear it at mine.

MARIO KART 64

But we can’t end on a sad note! This is without a doubt the most inspiring ending song I can think of off the top of my head (I did a lot of research for this article, as you can tell. Totally didn’t write it while getting ready for a NYE party!) and we talked about it quite a bit in Episode 7. Please give it a listen, and let its majesty flow over you as we enter a new year. Your move, 2012!

  15 Responses to “A year-end look at some of gaming’s best ending songs”

  1. A delightful capstone to the year.

  2. Worth every second of my time..
    Cool, blow me.

  3. Hahaha yeah! A good end indeed!

  4. Excellent choices Brett. Your website is a delight to read and listen to. Thanks.

  5. The blaster master one is probably my favorite. I appreciate you not going for something easy like either of the portal ending songs. Happy new year Mr. Elston

  6. End credits are usually the happiest the soundtrack gets, so and end credit podcast must be orgasmic delightful. Now if only Zune Marketplace would update faster…

  7. I hope there’s going to be more articles like this one. Always been a fan of podcast supplementals.

  8. Awesome work Brett

  9. Also I think someone was running a vacuum during the starfox credits

  10. “Requiem” from Castlevania (and at least one of the Simon’s Quest endings, I think) is my favorite ending song.

    I always listen to the ending of games, even if I’m listening to podcasts throughout the game, but they’re rarely that interesting these days, and they’re SO LONG, why the hell do I care who did the voices in the Czech version of the game? Focus, credit writers, just tell me who was in charge of my version.

  11. Sunsoft Batman was is so cool.

  12. Victory Lap will always make me feel sad, and although I’ve yet to beat mega man 2 but after hearing Brett’s story from his final days of talkradar about beating the game as a kid, I get emotional too…

  13. I used to let the end credit song in Chu Chu Rocket (GBA) loop for hours. I just found the game on android the day. Fastest dollar I ever spent.

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