Game music of the day: Skate or Die 2

Game: Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble

Song: Title Screen

Composer: Rob Hubbard

Above: Title Screen from Skate or Die 2

Skate or Die 2's opening song is a thrashing punk blast of 8-bit noise and neon colors the likes of which the NES had never seen, so if you have even the slightest interest in game music or chiptunes, sit the hell down and listen to this insanity.

Cool as this song is, it's on the extreme side of game music; unlike the pleasing notes of Mega Man or hummable tunes of Mario and Zelda, Skate or Die 2's raw and screeching noises could be grating to some. I happen to friggin' love what Rob Hubbard did here, which echoes his earlier work with the first Skate or Die on the Commodore 64. That system's powerful SID synthesizer was able to pump out incredible songs, though in this case I've gone with the NES version, as it's the one I'm most familiar with.

Above: The best part is the title screen animation, which highlights the words like a "follow the bouncing ball" singalong. D-D-D-D-DIE!

Above: The credits music, far too awesome to play over simple text

Above: An example of the C64's SID chip at work, from the first Skate or Die

Skate or Die was one of the most popular games in my schoolyard, so it always confused me why the franchise disappeared by the end of the 16-bit days. When EA announced the first Skate, several of us at GR assumed "oh, like ...or Die!" but that isn't quite what happened. Then Skate 2, now Skate 3... maybe the fourth game will revive a name that meant so much to easily entertained kids of the early '90s?


Game music of the day: A Link to the Past
Hyrule Castle by Koji Kondo



Game music of the day: Bomberman Hero
Kickin' drum and bass tunes from the N64 days



Game music of the day: Jurassic Park
Gate Area by Jonathan Dunn


  • FauxFurry - March 24, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    I always liked to think of CJ from Skate or Die 2 as what Ariel from the Little Mermaid became after she realized how boring life in the castle with Prince What's-His-Face really was. Might as well put those new legs to the test, eh? I wonder how these pieces of music would sound if performed acapella in a redo of the game titled Scat or Die...or if said game was about a constipated skater trying to perform an extreme enough stunt to loosen his bowels. It certainly took long enough for this game's music to end up on Game Music of the Day. Will Street Fighter 2010 be far behind (and a year late)?
  • philipshaw - March 24, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    Good choice Brett, and at least the Skate games kept the tradition of great music of the skate or die games (although it was licensed music in the Skate games)
  • Cleanser247 - March 24, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Nice choice Brett!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - March 24, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    So THAT'S where it's from... Awesome music, especially the last one. Sounds like Megaman, but on the C64.
  • AntistasMetroid - March 24, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    Cant believe how many people haven't played skate or die 2! Rodney?! Lester?! The damn mayor tore down the half pipe after you kill his wife's stupid poodle in an unfortunate skateboarding accident?! collectible cassette tapes, cds, tacos and french fries? Christ I'm getting old... Love it Brelston. Good call on the half-pipe monarch. NO WAY DUDE!
  • TheMonarch - March 24, 2011 4:05 a.m.

    Got this on my phone, I just like hitting select at the start and going straight to the half-pipe. That's where the fun is at.
  • NdIGiTy - March 24, 2011 1:39 a.m.

    Wow, that last tune is pretty appealing. I definitely need to fill the dearth of C64 music in my library.
  • Baron164 - March 24, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    Ah this brings back memories. I loved these games.
  • kingsmikefan - March 24, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    more game music from a game i've never heard about haha. cool shit though. Brett, do you only do NES music, or would you ever do shit with an orchestral sound to it?
  • Japanaman - March 23, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    I found a copy of this game lying on one of our trash cans back in 1996. It was dirty and the plastic started to bubble, but I cleaned it up and it worked. The game wasn't that good, but the music was epic!
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 23, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    @Austin: ROB Hubbard. Reading is a valuable skill. Never played it. However, it does bring back memories of TalkRadar, which are comparable to childhood memories.
  • Tenfey - March 23, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    I remember I had this game back in the day. The only enjoyment I derived from it was resetting the title screen over and over.
  • DirkSteele1 - March 23, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    I am going to continue my trend of ignorance about the C64. First you bring the graphics to my attention (through Nebulus in the Fez article) and now the sounds capabilities.
  • GayforGilbert - March 23, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    I've often spoke of my dream that EA and Black Box will do a modern remake of Skate or Die.
  • batmanboy11 - March 23, 2011 10:51 p.m.

  • santaclouse37 - March 23, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    I always wondered where the music from that one TDar bumper came from. And now I know! Awesome music, awesome post. Thanks Brett!
  • Austin_SJ - March 23, 2011 10:38 p.m.

    Ron Hubbard? Unlucky name.
  • ultimatepunchrod - March 23, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    i was a T&C surf man myself. but this music is pretty crazy. cool choice.

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