Most Intense Soundtrack in a Video Game?

ThatOneGamingDude // T1GD

ThatOneGamingDude // T1GD
What is the most intense sound track you've ever heard in a video game? For me, it has to be Plok's boss theme. I've never actually played Plok, but damn, the goosebumps I got from listening to this! What's your opinion on the most intense video game soundtrack? Leave a link so I can listen to it myself.


Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
Oh man, I gotta dig inside my memory banks for this. I still haven't fully updated my music library since buying this laptop, so I'm going to be referencing mostly 16-bit and 8-bit OSTs. Let's see what I can come up with....

Shovel Knight - Backed Into a Corner - Boss fight in the optional haunted Hall of Champions. Almost entirely in Locrian, incorporates lots of different kinds of meter (goes back and forth between 6/4, 11/4, and 4/4), overall just extremely high and chaotic energy.

Yoshi's Island - Baby Bowser - Maybe kind of a derivative pick at this point, but it's worth a shout out just considering it's the single hard rock tune in the game and is entirely lead by guitar and organ solos.

Super Bomberman 2 - Dastardly Bomber - This soundtrack is a one-off composed by Hirohiko Fukuda, when the vast majority of other Bomberman soundtracks around the time were composed by Jun Chikuma. It sounds much different from the standard fare as a result of that, trading away the simple quirky melodies for much more elaborate, jazz-fusion inspired roller coasters. I chose this track in particular because it sounds the most chaotic, but Battle Theme 1 and Dastardly Bomber's Machine are also pretty intense.

Bomberman 64 - Masker - I have similar thoughts on 64 as I do for Super Bomberman 2, only difference being that this was composed by Akifumi Tada and that his direction is a bit more towards electrohouse and drum'n'bass. Fantastic use of hits in both the intro and the song itself, a playful and fully-engaged bassline, cool atmosphere provided by pads in the second half, and an elaborate composition structure that manages to stay centered thanks to its persistent melody line. I think that overall Bomberman 64 has similar qualities to the Super Bomberman 2 but with the added bonus of it being a little easier for untrained ears to process. Likewise, its battle and big boss themes are notable highlights. Unfortunately I'm unaware of these two artists producing anything else that would be worth sharing, which is kind of a shame.

Emerald Dragon - Battle with Zandigue - This is the only other soundtrack I'm aware of Hirohiko Fukuda (of Super Bomberman 2) composing, at least for the SNES. I've never played this game personally, but I figured this was another useful highlight of his compositional style. Intro is certainly pulling some of the weight with a very discordant string fade-in to set the mood; the rest of the song is basically all over the place and never lets up (just the way I like it!)

Star Fox - Boss (Corneria, Planet Battle) - The intro puts chills down my spine every time... then it breaks into rock and roll and from there the rest is history. Not much else to say here, just a classic.

Star Fox 64 - Boss B - This one's another classic. Very similar in setup and tempo to SNES's Corneria battle, the main differences being that it's all-orchestral and the tempo is in 5/4 instead of 4/4. A similar great track that I think is often overlooked is the pinch theme for versus mode, which is a little more straightforward but has more twists and turns in its chord progression, and I enjoy how it endlessly pelts the listener with staccato and accents.

Solstice - Title Screen - Composed by Tim Follin. The intro fake-out makes this one of my favorites of his, otherwise it's the typical rambling prog rock he's known for.

Silver Surfer - Level A - More Tim Follin. As far as "adrenaline" goes, I think this is one of his most definitive works; got a lot of really cool breakdowns here, but otherwise it's basically almost all in the melody, a rambling solo that goes as far as to slave the second pulse channel into a delay track for half of the tune.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fighting Edition - Dragon Space Platform - Lord Zedd's stage. The soundtrack as a whole isn't particularly notable, but this tune has a lot of motion in it and seems to make use of some locrian harmonies, so it's got a neat feel to it while being appropriately high-adrenaline.

Mega Man X - Final Boss - In contrast to a lot of my other picks, this one doesn't rely on adrenaline at all and instead slows things down to elevate the gravity of the encounter. A neat direction for the final boss.

Kirby 64 - Zero-Two - The definitive Kirby game eldritch horror. The contrast to the rest of the OST really helps this piece stand out, but it's also a really solid piece in its own right. Bone chilling intro thanks to great use of pads, fading into ride cymbals; the rest of the piece holds up with a mixture of synthetic timbres (bassline, drumline) with highly orchestral ones (choir, strings, horns, tubular bell) for a uniquely fitting high octane, dramatic thriller epic.

Earthbound - Giygas's Intro - I've never played more than a little bit into Earthbound, but I have to say that, context aside, consuming any of Giygas's music on its own is kind of a fucking terrifying experience. There's clearly a ton of musical influences in the rest of the soundtrack as well, but this track in particular does a good job of highlighting the prog influences (e.g. Pink Floyd style) that the composers use to capitalize on this whole fight's aesthetic schtick of "bad acid trip". The actual boss fight is also worth listening to; Pokey Means Business, the theme for Giygas's henchman is an immediate contrast, preferring to take a faux-8-bit approach just before turning heel and going full metal halfway through the song. The rest of the themes afterward go right back to being nightmare fuel, starting with the next cutscene (Giygas Stirs), full static for the first phase (Giygas's Intimidation), a panic of noise in the second phase (Giygas is Wounded!), progressing into full meltdown (Giygas is Fatally Wounded!), and finally leading into the collapse of what may as well be reality itself (Giygas Disintegrates).

Kirby Star Allies - Vs Void - The first half of this is pretty standard Kirby final boss material -- the reason I bring this track up is specifically the extension, which transitions from being a high-octane electronic rock frenzy into an incredibly dramatic choir and piano reimagining of the final boss theme + Green Greens in minor key. The action that simultaneously happens onscreen and all of the sound effects that come with it simply serve to give sharpness and clarity to the sense of finality of the fight. I believe Jun Ishikawa did this track, really cool direction he took it in.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Just to close us off, here's some Ryo Nagamatsu, doing what I'd say probably just amounts to typical orchestral film scoring. You can kinda sense a hint of the main Super Mario Galaxy motif in the song, but it mostly keeps to its own identity, which I think is great too. The chord progression is kind of ingenius; it somehow finds its way through the circle of fifths one half-step lower than the pitch it started with, and then it simply gracefully steps back up to its original key when it's time to loop. I have to imagine that worked out the way it did partly out of both planning and luck, but who knows.

I think I can list off some more, but I've already been here for at least an hour writing this out, so I'd probably better stop.
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*is trash at Splatoon 2*
I don't play many shooters, but it doesn't take a genius to deduce that the DOOM 2016/ Eternal Soundtracks are on a whole n'other level of intensity.

Saturn Ross

The Local Bird-Brain
I don't want to go into deep spoiler territory here, but the theme of the Butterfly Effect, "Painful Determination", and the later theme of the true final boss' second phase "Avalanche Breakdown" (with the first theme Thunderstorm as my runner-up) from Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX are the most intense for me, both by themselves as themes and the context they're in. Both themes are remixes of important past pieces of music from Azure Striker Gunvolt 1 & 2, and if one's played them both before iX, the meaning behind why these themes are remixes of past songs will make a lot of sense and really get you emotional during the battle. The other themes in the series are also intense and fast paced as well- the opening stage theme to Gunvolt 2 in particular is hype, and the various songs your partner will perform for you make you feel badass! I really recommend the series to platformer fans as well as those who want a really interesting plot to follow.

There's also the soundtrack to Distance. It builds up tension constantly in the adventure campaigns, mixing into each track with your gameplay and progress. "Isolation" is set alongside exceptionally tough obstacles, with fittingly gritty music. The peak of intensity in the main campaign's music hits with "Ascension", as you push ever closer to the violent alien core on it's way to Earth. The second campaign, Lost to Echoes, has music all remixed from the team's previous (and free game!) Nitronic Rush, and really hit a powerful note with "The Sentinel Can Only Watch" which came in at a point where I felt like I mastered the insane difficulty LtE throws at you. It and the rest of LtE's music is a lot more upbeat than the previous tracks too~

Lastly, I can suggest music from Under Night In-Birth, my fave Arc Sys fighter- which already should signal how good the music is, knowing their track record. "Beat Eat Nest" AKA Byakuya's theme sets you up for not only his chaotic gameplay style of both setting up web traps, but also rushing down the opponent with his spider leg-esque weapons, but fits his inner turmoil well. I don't have much to say about the rest of the OST intensity-wise, but it's a great listen!!

There's a lot more music I could choose from other sources, but I'll leave it at this for now. This is already a lot to sift through as is!


"In a world ablaze with war...Heroes must unite.."
For me it's gotta be Trails of Cold Steel 3 - Spiral of Erebos ( Seeing all the chaos that it's happening in the city as then you try to solve the mystery of the appearence of the things that are on the city as you walk down this spiral tower thing as it looks like you're walking on a path to hell. If you reached this part you would understand why

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