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  #601  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:05 PM
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#3 — Katamari Damacy
475 points • 18 mentions • Highest rank: #3 (Büge, Gringr, Kirin)

Featured Track:

Lonely Rolling Star

Que Sera SeraKatamari on the RocksThe Moon and the Prince

Composed by:

Yuu Miyake
Asuka Sakai
Akitaka Tohyama
Yoshihito Yano
Yuri Misumi
Hideki Tobeta

Platform: Playstation 2 • Release date: March 18, 2004
Let's roll up to be a single star in the sky

Na naa, na na na na na na, na na na na na na…

As soon as you hear that, you know you're in for something different.

"Katamari Nah-Nah", as it's officially known, is how the game opens. On the face of it, it seems like a curious decision; where most games would entice the player with something mysterious and intriguing, or grab them by immediately blasting something exciting, Katamari Damacy opts for… a man humming. And yet, it's undeniably charming. It's a strange way to introduce what would become an iconic theme— but, well, Katamari is strange.

The theme immediately re-appears as the grand and celebratory "Katamari on the Rocks", to score the pre-title movie; and finally, it receives a gentle piano rendition in the title screen theme, "Overture". The repetition can be seen as a way of hammering home "Nah-Nah", but with three wildly different variations on the same melody, it also serves to hint at the variety of the music to come.

Katamari Damacy's soundtrack draws upon a huge swath of genres, including j-pop, electronic, jazz, lounge, samba and rap. It's an eclectic mixture, and yet nothing feels out of place; partly because the game inherently lends itself to a zany and unpredictable soundtrack, but also because the music is tied together with a common subject matter and general silliness.

But don't take that silliness to mean Miyake and company just tossed the songs out! Miyake's guiding motive was to make music that sounded "familiar, but not trendy", so they wouldn't feel immediately dated. To accomplish this, the soundtrack takes classic genres and puts them in a new light. Songs like "Que Sera Sera" and "Gin and Tonic and Red Red Roses" take lounge and jazz and coat them in a glossy pop sheen. On the other end is "The Moon and the Prince", which is a fairly standard j-pop song that incorporates rapped vocals and faux-disc scratching. The culmination of this melding of American and Japanese music is surely "Cherry Tree Times", which— according to Miyake— is essentially a 70s American sitcom theme reworked into a faux-Japanese folk song.

Of course, there's more at play than just an East-meets-West sensibility. "WANDA WANDA" is an electronic track built entirely around a vocoder-distorted phrase— wanda, as the title suggests— repeated endlessly, like a pastiche of Daft Punk's "Around the World". Meanwhile, the King of All Cosmos' theme, "Fugue #7777", is done purely with vocalizations, making it both grand and silly— perfect for the kind of character he is. And closing the game is "Katamari of Love", a grand, heartfelt ballad that references the main theme. It's cheesy as all get out, but for a game— and soundtrack— like this, that's actually a positive; it fully embraces the cheese and makes for a truly emotional closer… that it plays as you roll the countries of the world into a katamari is the icing on the cake.

Our featured track is "Lonely Rolling Star". Is it a coincidence that the Tyrant favourite is the song that plays on the first stage you can roll up humans? I'd wager no. At least, that's why it resonates so strongly for me: the moment I rolled up my first human is the moment that Katamari Damacy's concept revealed itself to me for the absurd horror it truly is. That that moment is scored by an upbeat, encouraging song makes it a truly unforgettable moment. You're lonely rolling star!

Aside from the main theme, "Lonely Rolling Star" was the breakout hit of the game (so to speak). It appeared (unchanged) in Me & My Katamari; was remade into "Sayonara Rolling Star" in Beautiful Katamari; and Katamari Forever featured two versions: a remix of "Sayonara" and another new take in "Lonely Rolling No More". Truly, "Rolling" is what Katamari's all about.

~ conchobhar

Last edited by conchobhar; 10-10-2017 at 03:34 PM. Reason: missed a link
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  #602  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:09 PM
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I had Katamari Damacy at #5. It was kind of a stand-in for the entire series; I think I actually like We Love Katamari's soundtrack a little more.

Last edited by conchobhar; 10-10-2017 at 12:33 PM. Reason: I did not have it at #3.
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  #603  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:16 PM
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The entire Katamari soundtrack is incredible and maybe the chief contributing reason the game ended up being a hit, but "Lonely Rolling Star" specifically is the reason I started crying while playing a video game about rolling a ball
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  #604  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:19 PM
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I just want to mention that the two best Undertale tracks are amalgam and your best nightmare. It didn't make my list though.

Katamari. there's a soundtrack I've never heard in full and a game I haven't actually played but know 100% I'll adore. Well anyway, I don't have much to say and I'll only have quips for the next two barring surprise but hey...
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  #605  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:23 PM
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Rolling! I dunno if I really need to say much about Katamari; it was a revelation. I was also tempted to put We <3 Katamari (and heck, even Forever) but went with the original at #3 for its iconic impact.
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  #606  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:23 PM
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Katamari Damacy was my #12, though I almost forgot it and had to send in a revised list. It really is something special. I chose The Moon and the Prince because it was the first track I encountered in game that made me take notice of the wonderful quirkiness of the music.

While it looks like this will be the third game list with the same two games in the top slots, at least this time it wasn't a foregone conclusion.
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  #607  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:33 PM
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It's become apparent I should have stopped checking the countdown after #5.

#1 is probably a safe bet but my assumptions about #2 have been thrown right out the window.
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  #608  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by four-so View Post
It's become apparent I should have stopped checking the countdown after #5.
If you don't have anything nice to say…
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  #609  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:07 PM
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I was thumbing through the list today and noticed that Katamari wasn't present. This seems weird, but... I wouldn't have been surprised to see it not place, and yet am also not even a little bit surprised that it was top 3. It's a phenomenal soundtrack that is a perfect fit for the game it comes from.


There are two slots left and two rather conspicuous absences, so it's a pretty safe bet what #1 and #2 are. Which means that ____________ didn't make it. Blasphemous!
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  #610  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:10 PM
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Oh cool I guess I'm listening to Lonely Rolling Star on loop all day again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozacrot View Post
The entire Katamari soundtrack is incredible and maybe the chief contributing reason the game ended up being a hit, but "Lonely Rolling Star" specifically is the reason I started crying while playing a video game about rolling a ball
100% agree with all of this, even the crying bit.

My favorite part is at 5:15, right at the very last chord of the vocals, when they close out the song by reintroducing the main Katamari Damacy nah-nah theme in the synth right alongside the running synth line that's driven the rest of the piece, and it fits so perfectly and elevates the whole thing and my heart just soars listening to it, every time.
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  #611  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
If you don't have anything nice to say…
Nothing nice or mean about it intended. Just dismay and bewilderment.
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  #612  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:27 PM
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I for one am glad the top five has some surprises in it. I hate when it's a forgone conclusion.
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  #613  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
[CENTER]#3 — Katamari Damacy
475 points • 18 mentions • Highest rank: #3 (Büge, Gringr, Kirin)
It was also my #1...

Katamari Damacy is a brilliant game that is bolstered by its equally brilliant soundtrack. It's extremely diverse but always bursting with fun, creativity and catchy, creative hooks. Almost every track on the OST is great and it's one of the most listenable soundtracks out there. I just don't think you can do better, overall.
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  #614  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:37 PM
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Also want to mention that I am beyond impressed at the write ups for all of these. Kudos to all involved.

Makes me embarrassed at how anemic mine was by comparison.
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  #615  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
Also want to mention that I am beyond impressed at the write ups for all of these. Kudos to all involved.

Makes me embarrassed at how anemic mine was by comparison.
These lists are an arms race. I assume that in a year's time we'll have the hosts releasing daily podcasts or staging/recording daily stage plays.

(Nothing to be embarrassed about. Your list was super fun!)
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  #616  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
These lists are an arms race. I assume that in a year's time we'll have the hosts releasing daily podcasts or staging/recording daily stage plays.

(Nothing to be embarrassed about. Your list was super fun!)
I meant my write-up in this thread. My thread about heroines was great!
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  #617  
Old 10-10-2017, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
These lists are an arms race. I assume that in a year's time we'll have the hosts releasing daily podcasts or staging/recording daily stage plays.

(Nothing to be embarrassed about. Your list was super fun!)
I wanted to do interpretative dance for this one, but couldn't find my tutu
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  #618  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:16 AM
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We'll be hard pressed to see another gem like Katamari Damacy again. Not saying it'll never happen, but we've got a bit of a wait...
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  #619  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
We'll be hard pressed to see another gem like Katamari Damacy again. Not saying it'll never happen, but we've got a bit of a wait...
But Wattam comes out next year!
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  #620  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:25 AM
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Both of these last two entries were on my list and are wrapped up with intense emotional experiences.

Undertale is just the game, but Katamari is also intertwined with my trip to Japan in 2006, which I talked about in our last "best video games" list. It's just, such good stuff.
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  #621  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:59 AM
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I voted UnderTale on #6. It's definitely one of the best OSTs of all time. It's not just a single song that's good, but rather every single track is absolutely amazing. It's also brilliant from an artistic viewpoint as many melodies are recurring.

On a sidenote, I voted for the wrong best track. Of course the best track is one hardly anyone hears: Battle Against A True Hero

It's one of the very few songs I listed to in endless loop for over 8 hours.

It's of course still a popularity contest, because otherwise, we would also see Touhou at about the same rank.


Katamari Damacy is a surprise. I didn't expect anyone even thinking of voting for it. I didn't vote for any Katamari, but I actually put Beautiful Katamari on my #32 spot. It's not a very good game but I think I like the OST more than the one of the original.


Also assuming #2 and #1 are Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, it's quite a bit sad, that none of the OSTs of the composer I actually consider the most talented one actually made it into the top 50 at all. (Masashi Hamauzu)
At least with SaGaFrontier, my personal favorite composer Kenji Ito made it.
My third favorite Motoi Sakuraba also most likely didn't make it.

Now I kinda want a top 50 composers voting.

Last edited by Rya; 10-11-2017 at 09:12 AM.
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  #622  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:18 AM
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I had at least one Hamauzu entry on my list, but yeah, it's not gonna be top 50. But I was just looking at his list of works for confirm and was amused to discover he worked on Classicaloid.
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  #623  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rya View Post
Now I kinda want a top 50 composers voting.
A composer Top 50 would be interesting. I'd also be interested in a Top 50 Video Game Soundtracks That Do Not Belong To RPGs.
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  #624  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:31 AM
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I know it seems like there's a lot, but I just counted and it looks like RPGs are slightly under half of this current top 50 (and that's going with the foregone conclusion that the last two are). So as long as C & PB post the full list at the end you can just count up another 20-ish non-RPGs below 50 and get that list...

(Composers would be interesting though, and would collapse a lot of entries so we'd get some deeper cuts. Would also require more research so I bet we'd have a small-ish entry pool though.)
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  #625  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:50 AM
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I can live with mainly JRPGs in a top 50 OSTs lists because that genre is generally known for its good OSTs.

It feels a lot weirder to me to have so many JRPGs on best games lists.
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  #626  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rya View Post
Katamari Damacy is a surprise. I didn't expect anyone even thinking of voting for it.
I did expect to place.... I didn't expect it to place so high. As a matter of fact, for about the first third of the voting period, it was #1 in the list, but our Top 2 slowly but surely surpassed it in mentions and points.

Speaking of which....
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  #627  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:50 AM
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#2 — Sonic Eraser
599 points • 21 mentions • Highest rank: #2 (conchobhar)

Featured Track:

Versus Game


Puzzle Game

Composed by:

Bosanova Oyz (Masaru Setsumaru)

Platform: Mega Drive / Genesis • Release date: 1991
Sonipede Hz

Exclusive to Sega's short-lived, Japanese-only, proto-online service Sega Game Toshokan, it quickly disappeared into the ether. Yet, it was not forgotten; in 2004, Sega of Japan granted it a reprieve in the form of a browser game. It was only at this point that the English-speaking world was even aware of this game— and they were immediately taken with it. Specifically, with its music.

Despite its synth veneer, Sonic Eraser draws upon genres not often seen in video games, like industrial, drone and even black metal. It is, to be sure, a challenging listen, and it's tempting to write it off entirely as "unlistenable rubbish"; but to do so would miss the artistry contained within.

Masaru Setsumaru was credited under the pseudonym "Bosanova Oyz", and I think that's the key to understanding this soundtrack. See, Sonic Eraser is not meant to be taken at face value; it's a meta-concept, as indicated by how each staff member is credited under a fake name. I posit that the staff are masquerading as a group of aliens who have— by fluke— intercepted Toshokan signals, and found themselves so enraptured by these strange sounds and visions that they desired to create their own. This is why Sonic Eraser is already a bizarre concept, and why its music is marches to its own, completely alien beat— because it literally is alien. The low production quality is an intentional flourish, to signify the degradation of the waves as they traveled across the universe.

Sonic Eraser may only have two songs, but it's an unforgettable soundtrack— whether you like it or not.

~ conchobhar
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  #628  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:53 AM
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*extremely mr burns voice* Excellent
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  #629  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:03 AM
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i did not have undertale on my list. I've never played it, but I have listened to several songs that I enjoy.

I did have Katamari. Its one of my favorite tracks of music. I hum it pretty frequently. I could easily have seen myself voting it number one. I too think the sequels might do it better but the first is a good representation of the whole series on this list.
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  #630  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:28 AM
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#1 — Mario Paint
646 points • 34 mentions • Highest rank: #15 (Positronic Brain)

Featured Track:

Never Gonna Give You Up

The Final CountdownBohemian RapsodyTake On Me

Poker FaceCall Me MaybeGet LuckyFunky Town

Composed by:

You

Platform: SNES • Release date: July 14, 1992
Of mice and men

This was unexpected. Everybody but one tyrant voted for this one (you know who you are, you rebel, you) so it managed to make it all the way to #1.

And I’m not surprised, because while all the other picks were good, they had one minor inconvenient - all of their songs were "fixed". Over. Done. No matter how many times you play Chrono Cross or Final Fantasy Tactics, you’ll never discover one more song.

But that’s not the case with Mario Paint - here you can write your own songs. You’re not limited by what the sound team programmed in, you can use your imagination, creativity and skills to write your own songs! Granted memory space is limited and you can chain tracks so they created a Windows tool called Mario Paint Composer and I had to use those songs in this writeup and hey look over there.

So if you’re tired of hearing “Aria de Mezzo Caratere” or “Lonely Rolling Star” for the umpteenth time, you just have to write your own music. No song is off limits. Perhaps you want to pull of a Beethoven and write “The 5th Symphony”, or maybe you want to take down the bricks in “The Wall”. Maybe you want to rock to that rebel anthem “Smells Like Nirvana”? Or go to someplace where everybody knows your name. You can do whatever you want! Even rock to Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations”. Nobody’s judging you! Openly, at least.

Our featured track is the paragon of western music, the one work of art all that the whole history of music had been building to - I’m talking, of course, of the #1 hit, Best British Single of 1998, Winner of the prestigious Best Music Act Ever award “Never Gonna Give You Up”. It starts simple enough, with an energetic rhythm by a deceptively uncomplex beat (marked first by mushroom/mushroom/mushroom but then quickly switching to airship/airship/airship in an unexpected sequence) and segueing into a piano segment that climaxes into an unforgettable chorus. You can’t help but tap your feet along while the swiftly layered music warms your soul. Yes, this song will certainly never let you down.

But this is only one of the infinite number of songs you can listen to in this game. Mario Paint means that every song, every dream you can represent in the form of flowers and mushrooms and moustached italian plumbers, is yours for the listening. All the best songs are in this game, thanks to you. And that’s why this game has the best soundtrack of all time.

Uh. Turns out the best soundtrack was inside us all along.

~ Positronic Brain
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