Saturday, 14 March 2015

Final Boss Music - my opinion

One of my favourite games of all time is "Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse" for the Sega Master System.  The boss music and the castle theme in particular are my favourite parts.  Of course, the game completely messes it up at the end, with the Phantoms Castle having some very shoddy music and the final boss theme being forgettable compared to the main boss theme.  The main boss theme gets me all pumped up to kick some backside (even though due to repetition I can now beat nearly all the bosses in my sleep, except for that god-forsaken Crab at the end of the Sand Castle!) whereas the final boss theme is kinda pale in comparison.

Funnily enough, its prequel, "Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse" gets it right in my opinion. The boss just before the final boss has a rather, well, lacklustre music whereas the final boss has the awesome regular boss music which is a lot faster paced and gets you in the mood for battling.

A lot of games do this horrible thing where they have awesome battle/boss music, but then decide to go for something "epic" to finish the game.  Note to game developers - this only works if the final boss music actually gets you in the mood to battle!  The Final Fantasy games are NOTORIOUS for this, I can't even remember the final boss music to Final Fantasy 8, yet I listen to the regular boss theme regularly on the way to work.  Final Fantasy 7 is the same, "One Winged Angel" is great if you're just wanting to chill out, but it doesn't really get me pumped the same way the main boss theme does.  The original Pokémon games suffer this too, the main battle theme being better than both the Gym Leader theme and the final battle theme.

In fact, the only game I can really think of that does final boss music well is "Sonic 3 and Knuckles", provided you DON'T get all of the Chaos Emeralds, because that theme while you're fighting 'Botnik in space kinda blows.  There are 3 different boss themes, the first act boss theme from Sonic 3, which is awesome (anyone who's listened to the Knuckles Rap knows what I'm talking about), the first act boss from Sonic and Knuckles (which is meh) and the second act boss battle theme which is downright awesome.

As far as I'm concerned, music is a major part of the game, and if I don't enjoy the music, I won't enjoy the game as much.  If you're going to do final boss music, it had better be on par or better than the regular boss music or I will be quite annoyed.

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