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Gaming's greatest victory jingles

The Legend of Zelda

Aha, you were about to go running to the comments to start writing “You forgot…,” weren’t you? WEREN’T YOU!? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. One of the very first sounds you hear in the first Zelda is also one of the best: the four notes that play whenever you find an item, which have all remained more or less the same, starting with the bleepy familiarity of the 1987 original:

       

Things got a bit more orchestral over the years, a trend that culminated with the ethereal tones in Twilight Princess:

       

It’s even consistent in 2009’s Spirit Tracks, which ups the tempo and sharpness a bit, in keeping with its slightly more manic cartoon-train theme.

       


Grand Theft Auto

The GTA series doesn’t just feature some of the richest, most varied licensed soundtracks in gaming; it’s also sported some memorable original tracks, which help shape the tone of each game, and tend to form the basis for their mission-complete jingles. The best examples, unsurprisingly, are the “main” games in the series, starting with Grand Theft Auto III’s deep, funky loops:

       

Things got a little more refined in 2002’s Vice City, with a synth-heavy jingle that perfectly suited the gritty, Miami Vice-inspired setting:

       

That was replaced a few years later, with a vaguely sinister hip-hop riff that was more appropriate to San Andreas’s early ‘90s West-Coast gangsta narrative.

       

Finally, Grand Theft Auto IV went a little crazy with the mission-complete themes, sporting no fewer than five, each of which was tailored to the tone of the mission. That number grew even further when The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony came along. We could track them all down individually, but in the interest of time, here’s a YouTube video that collects them all:


Bully

Bully might seem like a weird fit on a page full of Zeldas and Grand Theft Autos, but it nonetheless features one of our all-time favorite victory jingles: the one that comes whenever you successfully complete a classroom minigame.

       
Above: If our actual classes had rewarded us with this instead of a shrill bell, we probably wouldn’t have spent that sixth year in third grade

Dec 3, 2010

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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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