Game: The Lost Vikings
Song: Factory Area
Composer: Charles Deened
Above: Factory Area from The Lost Vikings
Long before Blizzard became the WoW / Starcraft giant it is today, and before Warcraft even existed, it released this 16-bit plaformer starring three vikings who are tumbling through time. It's an unlikely game concept that on paper shouldn't sell - three buff hairy dudes solving puzzles - but the genius level design and snappy dialog brought it all together, creating an instant classic that's been referenced in WoW and even in the brand new Starcraft II. Is it any surprise the music was also extraordinarily awesome? How about the fact it's all '90s upped with record scratches and hip-hop beats?
The Factory theme plays across the bundle of levels that take place in, derp, a giant factory. It's filled with various hazards that can smash, cut or gore the trio, leading to plenty of try-again deaths. But damn is it ever toe-tappingly catchy. And the guitar solo at 1:10? Fabulous. Just try to hate it.
Possibly even better than the Factory Area is this kickin' song from the Egyptian levels. How can you listen to this and not sway back and forth just a little bit? This, right here, is why more games need actual game music. I sure as shit don't mind solving puzzles and figuring things out while stuff like this is playing the background.
The game begins and ends on a spaceship, which of course lends itself to an even dancier tune than those above. In fact, this sounds a bit like every single dance song from the early '90s, with echoes of the Mortal Kombat Techno Syndrome to boot. If you didn't play this back in the day, a fairly good port was released on GBA in 2003 and is completely worth your time.
Game music of the day: Professor Layton
Layton's theme by Tomohito Nishiura
Game music of the day: Shadowgate
Main theme by an unknown artist
Game music of the day: Star Fox
Ending theme by Hajime Hirasawa