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!