Game music of the day: Air Combat

Game: Air Combat

Song: Level Three

Composer: Kazutaka Fujimoto, Keiichi Okabe, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Hiroyuki Kawada

Above: Level Three from Air Combat

To celebrate the earlier announcement of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, I thought it'd be nice to dip way back into the PlayStation launch library and drum up a couple of tracks from the very first game in the series. First, because it's home to some extra cheesy guitar wailing that goes great with multicolored jets screaming through the air, and two because those first-gen PS1 games look so hilariously bad.

This song plays during the game's third level, which as you can see is a very exciting pile of rocks in an unmoving ocean blanketed by fog. Ah, barely capable 32-bit hardware - how did we ever think this looked good? Unlike the graphics, however, the music can last forever, provided you never tire of this specific type of guitar noodling.

Here's the game's intro and ending cinematics, which both have equally fun/ridiculously cheesy music backing them up. The movies themselves are a great throwback too - when I took Air Combat home on 9-9-95, I probably watched that intro a dozen times. At the time it was so very cool. Today, well, it's easy to poke fun at.

If you're even 1% interested in the series, be sure to check out this cool feature from 2007 where I interviewed the teams behind all the Ace Combat games up to that point. There are some fun nuggets of info on there, plus shots of each game so you can see the visual progression. And if you couldn't care less... well I hope the goofy music did it for you.


Game music of the day: Gradius III
Inspiring "choose your weapon" music from a classic SNES shooter



Game music of the day: Mario Kart 64
Equally inspiring credits music. How can kart racing be emotionally moving?



Game music of the day: Mass Effect
Two powerful tracks from one of this generation's best games


Game music


  • elpurplemonkey - August 12, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    I was thinking the same thing MassSaber. The first twenty seconds are almost identical to Swat Kats, but with a lower pitch. The whole thing sounds like a mix between Swat Kats and Top Gun.
  • BodyDamage - August 11, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    rockin tune, id fly a jet to that music any day
  • Modroneman - August 11, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    Great song. Havn't ever played any of the ace combat games, but I hear they are really good.
  • MassSaber - August 11, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    It reminds me of the opening theme to Swat Kats anyone remember them?
  • philipshaw - August 11, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    I had this game when the PS1 launched, I was only 4 but somehow seeing that intro and ending brought back memories of the awesome music
  • JohnnyApplesperm - August 11, 2010 5:08 a.m.

    Totally cheesy but totally awesome. The first one makes me feel like I'm starting some incredibly badass actiony secret mission that involves nothing but running and things blowing up and explosions and awesome. Sweet. And in response to juicenpancakes, I shit you not on one of my reCAPTCHA's, the first word was upside down... WTF?!?
  • jpalz - August 11, 2010 3:40 a.m.

    I like this cheesy metal soundtrack, so thanks for the picks Brett. In the same style, why not something from the Devil May Cry games? Those are totally cheesy :P. Or one from the modern Sonic games, like "Live and Learn" from Sonic Adventure 2 :P
  • juicenpancakes - August 11, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    Dammit, it makes me cry when I only see 5 or 6 comments on GmotD, as I shall henceforth call it. People need to read/listen/comment on these. I don't want it to die!
  • juicenpancakes - August 11, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    Game Music of the Day has become part of my daily routine. When I get home from school or work, I love listening to one or two tracks that I have incredible memories from, or am just discovering for the first time. I love you Brett. I hate these new reCAPTCHAs, I swear to God I can't read them.
  • TheWoolyMammoth - August 11, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    Hehe I've had this burried on my PC for years now. Never played the game, but I just loved the tune. I knew you'd pick this one :P
  • 510BrotherPanda - August 11, 2010 12:02 a.m.

    The graphics aren't as bad as you made it sound, Brett. I think for an early polygonal flight combat game, it's alright. Maybe it's just because I only have a Wii and haven't been HD-conditioned to call everything from the past "cheese grater-shaped".
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - August 10, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    The file has some weird tagging info I never changed from back in the day. It was labeled level theme 2, as in "one of X songs that would play in a level," even though it's specifically from the third area. At least that's my recollection...
  • Metroidhunter32 - August 10, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    Everything's says that it's level 3 theme, but the file itself says "level theme 2" Is that a typo or did you grab the wrong one?

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