Classic video game music evokes a special kind of nostalgia, a mixture of childhood whimsy laced with pixel-fueled frustration. For musicians, sampling video game music adds an extra layer of fantasy in otherwise hardcore genres like rap and metal. Spin even compiled 50 Rap Songs Based on Video Game Samples (Some are NSFW. All are awesome). In metalcore, sampling video game music resulted in an entirely new genre in the late 1990s at first jokingly called Nintendocore. Wizards and Warriors is pretty great, as are most of the songs by Horse the Band. Themes from the NES and Super Nintendo eras are especially popular. I tapped into my Nintendo nostalgia for some of the best classics (and admittedly my favorites):
The theme from Super Mario Bros. is probably the most widely recognized. Catchy and easily hummed, it will stick with you long after you've finished playing.
The more epic styling of Zelda is the kind of music that'll make you want to don a green night cap, wield a sword, and chop down some menacing-looking shrubbery.
The raw, brute feel of The Lost Vikings' theme is like the "bro" of classic video game music.
And the earworm to end all earworms: the Tetris theme.
For more on video games and video game music, check out the show post here.