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Game soundtracks inspired by prog music

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MarketSquareHero View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:01
So I don't know that many games whose music I can relate to prog, but I'm sure that games like Pokemon and Legends of Zelda have a Genesis influence, with Pokemon having a theme song almost the same as I Know What I Like

Also a popular game nowadays called Fortnite has a song that plays when you are waiting for a match that sounds similar to Watcher of The Skies, although I'm not really sure if the autor was really inspired by this music style

What are your examples? :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tboyd1802 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 20:05
this track from the Diablo 2 game soundtrack is in my opinion a great prog track; after the first minute it gets really interesting:








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 21:30

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HemispheresOfXanadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 22:31
The Halo soundtracks by Martin O'Donnell maybe. He's a prog fan. Also Steve Vai plays on a track in the second game's soundtrack.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 23:37
Ha, I first read that as “...impaired by prog music” and was thinking of beefs from gamers that a flashy keyboard solo had distracted them at a crucial moment in the action and their little man got killed.

Edited by Mascodagama - June 28 2018 at 23:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 07:15
I didn't know all these, since I'm not into video games. Good thing to know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iancat87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 08:07
Nobuo Uematsu (the man behind the music of Final Fantasy games through FFXII, as well as Chrono Trigger) is a very big 70s prog guy. You can hear lots of Genesis stuff especially in FFVII: "Aerith's Theme" SO CLEARLY lifts from Hackett's "Hands of the Priestess," and the after-battle music is highly reminiscent of Banks' keyboard parts on "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." I feel like his boss fight music tends to feel a lot like ELP, too, and he's gone on record talking about them and King Crimson.

The dude is one of my favorite composers. Back when he was on his golden run (and Square too) of FFVII, FFVIII, and FFIX... phew! I remember playing those games as much for the stories as I was for the music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Skybird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2018 at 07:05
(Long time lurker, first time poster, as this thread mixes my two main hobbies. Hello everyone!)

Nobuo Uematsu also was involved in The Black Mages, his hard rock band, listed here at ProgArchives as progressive metal, but I'm not too familiar with either FF games or his music. 

Another Japanese composer between prog and video games is Motoi Sakuraba ( http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=6843 ). His album list here is incomplete, as it's not featuring some but not all of his video-game OST (here's a complete-looking list : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoi_Sakuraba ). Many RPGs, starting at the PlayStation golden age of Japanese RPGs, such as Baten Kaitos, Valkyrie Profile, and many Tales of... games features his bombastic keyboard-heavy style, à la ELP. Compare for instance the game-ripped version of track Heartless wilderness from Beyond the Beyond:


with the re-recorded and expanded version from the OST CD (love the galloping bass!):


In the 80's, Motoi Sakuraba was a member of the band Déjà Vu ( http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=75 ), with the (according to me, cult classic) Baroque in the Future album.

Peter Gabriel was also involved in video-game music, contributing several tracks for the Myst games series (in Uru: Ages beyond Myst and Myst IV: Revelations). Lookup the word "Myst" in his wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gabriel

Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame (referenced here as Crossover prog http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=5427 ) was also involved in the soundtrack for the classic Quake ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Reznor ). Here is a Nine Inch Nails rendition of the Legend of Zelda theme :-)


Last thing that comes to mind: a number of composers in the wide array of recent genres related to electronic music (synthwave, chiptune, etc.) contribute to video-games, and some have clear prog-rock influences. The main contender here would be Disasterpeace (Rich Vreeland), famous for the Fez and Hyper Light Drifter soundtracks. Here's an interview where his prog-rock influences are discussed: http://gameumentary.com/place-infinite-possibility-rich-vreeland-talks-disasterpeace-early-prog-influence-composing-orchestra/  His work is better appreciated when you get the appeal to video-games nostalgia, heavily referenced in the sonority and sound modulations he uses, but even then, I believe some tracks really stand on their own regardless. For instance, the Majesty track from Fez:


I'm trying not to fall into the trap of "if I like it it must be prog", but I'll mention some close-cousins. Some video-game composers like Ben Prunty, Daren Korb, are responsible for some outstanding games OSTs, that I find original and "outside the box"; but I have no idea whether prog-rock is in their influences or not. On the other way around, there are some synthwave composers that output excellent material, clearly influenced by video-game sounds and tropes, but that are not necessarily tied to prog-rock. For instance, the Sunset Dreams track by Natural Phonograph could be construed as a close cousin to prog:


This area, of "instrumental synthwave meets so many things it sometimes feels proggy" is definitely currently exploding; that ProgArchives does not reference them makes its exploration more complicated to me. :-)

Finally, there were of course music games such as Rock Band or Guitar Hero that featured tracks by Dream Theater, Rush, Kansas or Yes, and they seldom were easy to play... ;-)


Edited by Skybird - June 30 2018 at 07:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2018 at 07:54
There is at least one video game that has been soundtracked by an actual prog band, the indie retro-game Epic Loon for which French avant-metal nutters Pryapisme provided the music:


They always had a strong influence from old video game tunes, so not that surprising a development really.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2018 at 11:07
Of course Video Game and Anime music is a whole (high profile) genre in Japan!
 
An there are many artists involved that also have a Prog life.
 
Motoi Sakuraba was already mentioned and his live album is bombastic Prog of the highest
order. he also plays a lot with the drummer of White Fang and the short time Bass player of Ars Nova
(two other great Prog Bands)
 
 
 
From the live album: Tracks from Star Ocean and Valkiery Profile Video Games


Edited by TheH - June 30 2018 at 11:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2018 at 16:24
Hi,

Haven't heard all of these yet, but if there is one thing that I have found somewhat sad in so much of the music used for many of these games, it is how short and designed to repeat it is, rather than also being shown as serious music.

Loved the music in Final Fantasy, and it was just sad for me to hear it over and over again, when there were some wonderful passages, and little development after it.

Reminds me of the guy that made an album of music for EVERQUEST, and Sony promptly ignored him, and the work he put together, though not to be used in the game itself, I do not think, was very good. 

Conversely, Blizzard put together some nice things for various zones and areas, and they did not expand on it, either. They put it on a loop, and that has a tendency for me to not enjoy it anymore.

There were also some really nice Anime stuff that had great music, but again, it was all in small Hollywood snipets, and for me, a progressive listener die-hard, stuff like that has a tendency to kill the music. It's bad enough they cut up Mike Oldfield for a lousy movie, but at least Vangelis has survived that in several films.

But I am not quite comfortable discussing music for games. I do not consider that kind of stuff "serious" music that deserves more attention. Maybe it's too commercial for my tastes and I prefer the development of the themes and such.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clegg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2018 at 19:04
Contra 3: The Alien Wars for SNES is probably my favorite video game soundtrack. The music to me sounds like it was inspired from 70s Jazz Rock/Fusion. Mainly a mixture of Jean-Luc Ponty, Herbie Hancock (early 70's - Headhunters era), Mahavishnu Orchestra and some Return To Forever. All with a Sci-Fi influence added into the mix.

Listen and compare for yourself:







This one always reminds me of Contra 3

There's also this Return To Forever track where in the first minute and elsewhere, sounds like it came from a Sonic The Hedgehog game for Genesis.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 03:55
I was thinking of doing an up to date version of the theme from Syndicate. ;-)

I've actually hem hem used some themes from Magic Carpet, again by Bullfrog, in one long piece I did. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raccoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 06:52
Originally posted by Skybird Skybird wrote:

(Long time lurker, first time poster, as this thread mixes my two main hobbies. Hello everyone!)Another Japanese composer between prog and video games is Motoi Sakuraba ( http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=6843 ). His album list here is incomplete, as it's not featuring some but not all of his video-game OST (here's a complete-looking list : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoi_Sakuraba ). Many RPGs, starting at the PlayStation golden age of Japanese RPGs, such as Baten Kaitos, Valkyrie Profile, and many Tales of... games features his bombastic keyboard-heavy style, à la ELP. 



In the 80's, Motoi Sakuraba was a member of the band Déjà Vu ( http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=75 ), with the (according to me, cult classic) Baroque in the Future album.



Wow, thanks for the awesome recommendation of Baroque. I Love Motoi Sakuraba, I even own the Baten Kaitos officlal soundtrack. Never even heard of this album from him though!

I'd add in UNDERTALE as one, each song is pretty much a different style. Arguably one of the BIGGEST soundtracks from a game ever, from arguably one of the best games ever. 



Just about the only game soundtrack I can easily listen to from START to FINISH and enjoy every bit of it. 

Also, I'll throw in Stewart Copeland with these prog folks for his Police-to-SPYRO OST's. Keyboard-led, insanely CATCHY and DREAMY 



And a quick warning to those thinking about the new PS4 Spyro Re-Release.. They completely changed the soundtrack, so I'd advise against it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raccoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 07:22
I'd argue that Stewart Copeland's work on the Spyro games were way more ambitious than anything The Police ever did. He really shined solo. And it left us with truly timeless, dynamic music
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2018 at 11:20
Nice to see Motoi already get a mention. Those are great silver platters.

That said, here's Tangerine Dream's official GTA 5 score.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarketSquareHero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2018 at 10:42
So only now I remembered that the famous game Minecraft has some passages that it seems like the Mellotron is being used.
Some songs that I can't remember (sorry) have an instrument that is very similar to the Mellotron used in "Los Endos" or in the end of "Blood on The Rooftops", by Genesis

Links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EWa_yV1JDE&feature=youtu.be&t=15
https://youtu.be/EeZRdd_1b4g?t=299
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2018 at 18:37
The Mortal Kombat team was inspired by a lot of 70's prog bands. Dan Forden (lead sound design for MK1-MK4) was a HUGE Jethro Tull fan. Ed Boon admits to being a massive Genesis fan, even adding the easter egg "blood code" for the Sega Genesis home version of MK1: "ABACABB".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2018 at 10:37
I'm not much of a gamer, but I do know that when the progressive band "An Endless Sporadic" released their first EP that 3 of the 4 songs on it were used in various video games.
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