For The Nerds: 4 Amazing Covers of Classic Video Game Soundtracks

#FTN (for the nerds)

If you know me well enough, you know I grew up on video games. Not outside. Not with many friends. Not in front of a piano or other musical instruments. I grew up in a 2-D world where I helped 8-bit heroes side-scroll their way to victory. Yes I mean heroes; and “NO, YOU’RE LAME!”

Honestly though, my love and infatuation with video games only grew stronger when I connected to the music behind the side-scroller. Besides all of the musicals Mom and Dad took me to growing up to expose me to culture and get me outside, the video games I played were in a way, my gateway into music.

So walk with me down nostalgia-filled memory lane as we take a look at some epic recreations of classic soundtracks from yesterday performed a little differently from what we all remember.

4. Super Mario World Overworld Theme
This is one of the first soundtracks that really stuck with me. …I guess you can say this song struck a… chord with me?

david-caruso-sunglasses_400_260_c1_center_top_0_0Insert The Who’s, “We Don’t Good Fooled Again” Scream

Anyway here is the original: If you haven’t heard this then congratulations, you probably have more friends than I do.

Ah, memories… Especially when the bongos come in @ 00:44… it just brings me back to the beautiful point in the game when you get to meet Yoshi… The developers decided, the first level is when we meet that lovable, ridable green dinosaur! I jumped on that green reptile’s back and let the bongos play me out as I licked my way into a seizure and obesity.

Here is an updated version.

Am I cool yet? See, a hipster with a trendy beard played the song I knew!

Video Game theme or not, it’s a fairly complicated piece and this guy pulled it off with a ukulele and other natural instruments. That is something I would tip a white, “M” branded, red hat at. … a Mario hat. I was looking for a clever way of saying Mario hat.

3. Mega Man 2 – Dr. Wily
Mega Man. The half boy, half robot that I can attest my anger problems and loathe for all Robocop movies…

robo cop
 Me -“When does he steal the bad guy’s powers, Dad?”
Dad – “This isn’t Mega Man, Ben”

Here is the theme song we all know and love:

Here is the updated version.

A few things come to mind here:
1. Russell Crowe and Jason Statham fight off a battalion of bears wearing gas masks with their fists and light sabers.
2. If this version of the song replaced the sports center theme for just one week… I could die a happy man.

Pretty epic isn’t it? Kind of gives you a new appreciation for game soundtracks?

2. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow Battle Music
What I learned from these games:
1. Pikachu isn’t nearly as good as the TV show makes him out to be
2. Choosing Charmander is basically choosing expert mode
3. 8-bit music at its best. Maybe a metal band should cover it….
Not too much needs to be said here.

Here is the original:

Here is what it sounded like in my head (nice intro into the song on this one…)

1. Donky Kong Country 2 – Stickerbrush Symphony
If you stuck around long enough in Donkey Kong Country 2, you would find yourself in the last world of the game that happens to be surrounded by bees and giant, green, thorned stalks.  It is one of the most frustrating levels where you spend most of your time in barrels NOT pushing ‘A’ at the right time, causing you to hurl yourself into a giant bee or demon asparagus (the giant stalks). In spite of the stressful environment the Japanese developers put us and the Kongs in, this level has the BEST ambient music of its time.

True Story: As a child I had a ‘boombox’ with a record function on it. I started the level and let go of the controller so that I could hold my ‘boombox up to the tv speaker to record the song. I did this so that I could play and listen to this jam in my Mom’s car… It is pathetic, I am aware.

Listen to it for yourself:

You feel better about yourself don’t you? Now, what happens if you give that piece a modern twist and have it performed by a few dudes who CLEARLY know how to do justice to an ambient song like this?


Until next time, nerds. Please like the article if you enjoyed, and thanks to the artists who made these covers. Simply brilliant.