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Gaming's greatest victory jingles

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Final Fantasy

This is the first one you thought of when you clicked on this article, isn’t it? Oh, all right. Here:

       

While the above sound is from Final Fantasy IV (released in the US as FFII blah blah history), it’s been with the series since its inception, and with a few exceptions (the most recent being Final Fantasy XIII), it’s been used in nearly every game in the series since. It’s also become widely accepted shorthand for something awesome happening, which is probably why so many people use it as their ringtone.


Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior is an older, more venerable series than Final Fantasy, but it doesn’t enjoy anything close to FF’s worldwide popularity. Maybe that’s because its victory sound is a simple trill that hasn’t changed since 1986.

       

If you want a real victory fanfare, all you need to do is level up – which ,for those of us who got heavily invested in the Dragon Warrior series, temporarily became the Best Sound in the World:

       


Above: That sound was all it took to make hours of grinding feel well-spent


Pokemon

What’s more satisfying than winning a battle or leveling up? Capturing an opponent for the dual purpose of filling out your catalog and your roster of fighters, that’s what. For hardcore Pokemon trainers, the following 10 notes are among the most sought-after sounds in the universe:

       

Perhaps realizing their appeal, the series’ creators have kept that simple, iconic jingle through every single Pokemon incarnation (Pokemoncarnation?), changing only the instrumentation as the hardware improved:

       


Kirby

Another theme that’s stayed pretty consistent through the year’s is the chirpy tune Kirby dances to at the end of every level. And whether he’s dancing alone, with a prince made of yarn or with several identical clones of himself, it’s somehow never gotten old.

       


Adventures of Lolo

As long as we’re talking about adorable blobs created by developer HAL Labs, we may as well plug an old favorite here. Aside from its occasionally insane puzzle rooms, Lolo was a game known mainly for its endlessly repetitive (but still maddeningly catchy) theme music. Far more rarely heard (and therefore far more rewarding) was its victory theme, which came whenever Lolo found a set of stairs to the next level.

       


Patapon

Even though its second sequel is just around the corner, there’s still nothing else quite like Patapon, Sony’s side-scrolling rhythm/action RTS. Being primarily a rhythm game, it features some incredible music, not the least of which is the cheerful-yet-somehow-grim tune you’ll hear after completing a mission:

       


Metal Gear Solid’s VR missions

Being a relatively modern game, Metal Gear Solid didn’t really have victory jingles, choosing instead to reward progress with long monologues about nuclear proliferation and statements about what Konami games you liked to play. Its non-story-based VR missions didn’t have that luxury, though, so instead they went with something that sounded a lot like the game’s death theme, but was much cooler given the context:

       

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93 comments

  • grizzly311 - December 11, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    Great article. One of my favs in recent years is the Mass Effect 2 end of mission jingle.
  • bekkilawrence - December 8, 2010 1:28 p.m.

    Excellent, Snake :)
  • thefarkinator - December 7, 2010 9:20 p.m.

    Immediately when I saw this topic I started singing that ED-E fanfare to myself. I've played waaaay too much of that game.
  • mrm1138 - December 7, 2010 1:36 a.m.

    I may be showing my age a bit here, but when I saw the title of the article, the first thing that popped into my head was the victory music from Forbidden Forest. I was a little disappointed to discover that it wasn't included. You can hear it about 1:10 into this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j86veyiIcS8 This game has great music all around.
  • Darkhawk - December 6, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    FF7 = #1. Where were the two from DKC2? Diddy hip-hopping, and Dixie absolutely shredding that electric guitar she carried around in her pocket the entire game.
  • Letter11 - December 6, 2010 7:48 p.m.

    Articles like this are why I love this website. Nicely done man.
  • MegaInferno124 - December 6, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    I played Metroid II! Awesome game... Never got round to finishing it though... Damn me!
  • DrIntrigue - December 6, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    Nice article.
  • Sinnott - December 6, 2010 11:11 a.m.

    What about the simplicity of red dead redemption's mission complete?
  • Soulmantle - December 6, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    Q3 Arena, after you defeat Xaero
  • ventanger - December 6, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    How accomplished do you feel after writing this? I'd add in the guitar riffing victory sound when you're in the safehouses in Left 4 Dead 1&2.
  • Stahlbrand - December 6, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    Great list, but I would have like to have seen the 'success.mp3' jingle from TESIV: Oblivion - played when you level up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEP63Ss5aik
  • foxmcjoel - December 6, 2010 5:03 a.m.

    What about the fanfare from Chrono Trigger? That one is better than most of these for sure. It's known as Lucca's Theme, but used a lot throughout the game as a victory theme.
  • OHMYGODIMONFIRE - December 6, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Thank god, some appreciation for the Bully Soundtrack. Really, that's one of the most under-appreciated games in the history of the universe.
  • FamousMortimer - December 6, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    I've always liked Left4Dead's end-of-level guitar sting.
  • Batman - December 6, 2010 1:03 a.m.

    No chrono trigger chrono cross victory theme???? really
  • philipshaw - December 5, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I only know like half of these,but I'm only 19. Good to see what games some of the talkradar sound effects are from
  • bonerachieved - December 5, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    These articles are why i love you guys so much.
  • beN7jamiN7 - December 5, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    Another more recent one that I remember would have to be ME 2 when you complete a mission
  • thebigtarget1 - December 5, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    I feel like Donkey Kong 2 should have been mentioned :( Those were some of my favorite jingles of all time!

Showing 1-20 of 93 comments

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