Dec 302015


Our second Album of the Year award goes to Undertale, which lovingly combines the sounds of the NES and SNES with modern chiptunery. The result is a 100-track OST that can’t be missed – but be prepared for some light spoilers!

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We all kind of agree that RPG battle music rules, right? Well, the Undertale OST is largely comprised of unique battle songs that live up to whatever high expectations you may have for this type of tune. They’re all pounding, driving tracks that are uniquely tied to the enemy you’re fighting, which gives the battle tunes an extra emotional layer that is perhaps lost in typical JRPGs where the same battle tune will play over a given boss, a given enemy and so on. Imagine an OST that’s almost entirely final boss tracks and inspirational anime montage music… and that’s kinda what Undertale is!

BUT it’s not all battle tunes – we also explore some of the map / overworld songs and explore how the OST directly references 16-bit soundtracks. I know this may read like a nostalgia bomb – which it kinda is – but at its heart the Undertale OST is its own thing. It may reference and pay homage to the greats, but it offers its own stamp on the genre and stands tall even if you’ve never played a single Squaresoft / Square Enix game in your life.

And that makes it our top album of the year!

00:00 – Once Upon a Time

06:47 – Ruins

08:19 – Another Medium

10:42 – Core

22:47 – Enemy Approaching

23:43 – Heartache

25:32 – Bonetrousle

31:10 – Spear of Justice

33:06 – Metal Crusher

34:09 – Spider Dance

42:41 – Death by Glamour

44:55 – ASGORE

47:31 – SAVE the World


  11 Responses to “VGMpire AOTY 2015 – Undertale”

  1. I kept hearing so many great things about Undertale, and Tim introduced me to “Megalovania” which I was really blown away by, but Toby Fox’s tweet about the “only inspiration you need to know for my game” is what broke the straw on the camel’s back and I immediately purchased the game afterwards on Steam.

    Tweet in question:

    Obscure Breath of Fire II reference? TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!

    I decided I’d get the album after playing the game through first, just so I can leave some surprises for myself. But I also couldn’t help myself and just had to listen to this episode. Thanks for not spoiling anything major on this podcast.

    Also jeez, this music really is wonderful. I can hear the Mother 1 Intro influence in the first song played, and of course all those wonderful homages to Square SNES titles. I only wish the best for Toby Fox on his future projects.

    Soooo yeah I should finally start this up on Steam, shouldn’t I…???

  2. Yes. YES!

    *looks at track list*

    What? No “Home” “Snowy” or “Undertale” ???


    • I’m glad he left out “Undertale” at least. That song is amazing, but I think you need to have heard all of the songs that come before for it to really hit you the way it does in the game.

  3. Spec Ops: The Line actuly has an amazing licenced soundtrack so you sadly won’t be able to make an episode about it

  4. The only correct choice for AotY.

  5. Thank you for doing the Undertale soundtrack justice. Never have I been so enamored by a game in recent memory, and the music is a good reason why. It’s strong melodies and use of leitmotifs makes me weirdly nostalgic for a game that came out a few months ago. Toby Fox, you sexy dog you.

    ps. The main battle theme Enemy Approaching is the same melody as Dogsong.

  6. Finally picked this up with the soundtrack bundled. Reminds me of a mix of Faxanadu, that rescue ranger NES game and wizards and warriors. Also finally grabbed Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (2 copies) so I can play local co-op with my son (thanks Vidjagame Apocalypse!).

  7. Good choice.

    I could be imagining things, but I thought of the song that plays in Nastablook’s house as a sort of homage to the K.K. Song, because of it’s simplicity, and because Nastablook is an audio engineer.

  8. […] Undertale ended up with VGMpire’s 2015 AOTY award, Splatoon was so goddamn close. It did, however, get a whole episode earlier this year and I […]

  9. […] also important to note that the AOTY 2015 episode – the one award Undertale my tippy top accolade of the year – has cleared 10k […]

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