Napalm Theft: Video Games’ curious obsession with “borrowing” their music.

Stone cold crazy… ya know?



Ever since the NES era when Video Game Music went from being beeps and boops to achieving genuinely beautiful compositions, I can remember being fascinated by recognizing the similarity of the music in certain games to “real songs” that I was familiar with. Here are the ones that have stuck with me throughout the years:

One of my earliest memories of this comes from Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for NES. I loved that game, despite the fact that I could never beat that damn uh… Dam level. Every time I’d boot the game up I’d let the attract scene run long because I loved the opening music as well, which was a carbon copy of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy.

Believe it or not, one of the best original beat ‘em ups of the 16 Bit era was LJN’s Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage for SNES/Genesis. Alt Metal Pranksters Green Jell-O/Jelly provided the soundtrack, so they really should’ve known better than to directly lift the Rooftop Level’s music from Dio-era Black Sabbath’s The Mob Rules.

Being a huge fan of fighting games and metal, I can’t help but be intimately familiar with ARC System Works’ Guilty Gear series. Genius game designer Daisuke Ishiwatari also writes the game’s hard rockin’ music, but sometimes he wears his influences a little too on his sleeve. Case in point, Guilty Gear XX track “A Solitude That Asks Nothing In Return”, Venom’s Theme, is a pretty shameless rip-off of Napalm Death’s Breed to Breathe

Lots of people have also mentioned over the years that “Solitude” also resembles Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood.

But I disagree; the real Motley homage comes from “Fuuga”, Anji-Mito’s Theme, whose opening riff is strikingly similar to the Crue classic “Live Wire”.

And call me crazy, but I’ve always thought that Super Mario 3D World’s Main Theme sounds a lot like a jazzy, slowed down version of Billy Idol’s Dancing with Myself.

Have any more hilarious examples of this phenomenon? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.

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