Game music of the dead: Terminator 2

Game: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Song: The Hospital

Composer: Tim and Geoff Follin

Above: The Hospital from Terminator 2

Day three of our weeklong tribute to scary game music comes from an unlikely source - the NES tie-in to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The movie, while undeniably amazing, isn't overtly frightening, and the game is a typical side scrolling run and jumper, so how is it these two things come together to form a surprisingly eerie piece of game music?

First, you get the talented Follin brothers to score your game. Second, you let them run wild with bizarre NES effects and weird whistling noises that sound more like a haunted house than 8-bit videogame. Throw in a simple backbeat and you've got a remarkably unsettling piece of VGM that plays over an equally creepy hospital level. Something about the opening... I picture some kind of legless horror floating outside my window, peering in, ready to crack through the glass and eat my face.

Above: More icky awesomeness from T2. As with Hospital, it starts with inhuman noise and then turns into a pretty catchy tune (and then back to psychadelic clatter)

Above: A kickass OverClocked ReMix version that combines the classic Terminator theme and the first level of the NES game

It's really surprising how effective these 8-bit songs are at creating an oppressive, moody environment. Makes me wish they were in a game that was actually trying to be scary and not another movie crossover title. In the right context, these songs could have made an NES game some kind of landmark frightfest - instead they're just forgotten relics from the NES-SNES transitional period. But that's why we have Game Music of the Day!

October 27, 2010

Game music of the day: Pokemon Red and Blue
Suicide-inducing theme from Lavender Town, by Masuda



Game music of the day: Silent Hill 3
Sickness Unto Foolish Death by Akira Yamaoka



Game music of the day: Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow
Dracula's Tears by Yamane and Kimura


  • Strangleme - October 29, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    Very nice. love the OC Remix version!! That site is just simply amazing.
  • philipshaw - October 28, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    That's some creepy stuff
  • FauxFurry - October 28, 2010 1:04 a.m.

    I remember the soundtrack and the unintentional amusement factor derived from playing a fragile T-800(a Terminator needing fisticuff proficiency or more than one punch to kill/knock out a man or ever needing to dodge a biker's punch kind of defeats the whole purpose of an invasion by killer robots by SkyNet before said invasion begins.)being the only real reasons to try to slog through this game. That and rentals had late-fees back then,so one had to play without delay or take it back away. What was it with the Follin brothers being pulled in to score mediocre NES games,anyway? Oh,right,I answered my own question back there. Would that tactic work in today's videogame market? What effect would their music have on good/great games?Follins on FallOut? Should one dare imagine such a thing?
  • gmknoble - October 28, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    I totally forgot how good this music is. *eyes roll back in head as memories flood in*
  • Imgema - October 27, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    Ah, the hospital tune. I thought i was the only one who noticed how amazingly atmospheric that was...
  • ThatsWhatSheSaid - October 27, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    usually Nes tracks loop at like 1min to 1min15secs right!??, to save on space probably!? just shows ya how good those Follin boys wer. it wasnt till 3mins 15secs that i could notice a possible loop ... just brilliant stuff
  • batmanboy11 - October 27, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    HELL YES!!!
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 27, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    I was gonna mention that OCR. Love it. Can we just take a second to thank OCR? How fucking amazing are they for starting and, more importantly, hosting a shit ton of music I now love. Also, T2 is a great movie. Gonna have to see it again; it's been a while.

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