Gaming's most incestuous soundtracks

Shadowgate -> The Uninvited


Anyone remember these two point-and-click adventures? Guessing not. Know then, that Shadowgate has some of the absolute best NES music. Haunting melodies and catchy tunes blend perfectly together as you trudge through the ominous lair of a rogue warlock, though nothing was as moving as the main theme, which showed up briefly in The Uninvited.

Above: Main theme from the NES Shadowgate. Love it!

Above: A broken radio in The Uninvited screeches the theme before dying

Fun soundtrack fact: We could gush all day about Shadowgate’s soundtrack, and beg you to play the game just to experience the music, but instead you can just download virt’s hyper badass Warrior King remix.

Myth -> Halo trilogy

We covered this way back in 2007, with our Halo 3 Easter Eggs roundup, but it bears repeating. Before Halo, Bungie was known for its real-time-tactics series Myth. Its piano theme “Siege of Madrigal” is cleverly tucked away in Halo 3, seen in the videos below.

Above: “Siege of Madrigal” as heard in Myth

Above: 45 seconds in, you’ll hear the same theme in this Halo 3 vid

Fun soundtrack fact: The Halo 2 soundtrack not only compiles the in-game tracks, but also includes songs from Breaking Benjamin, Hoobastank and a bitchin’ four-part instrumental from Incubus. Check it here.

Totaka’s Song -> Everything

The above video explains it best, but basically there’s this tune that’s been hidden in various Nintendo games for decades, all thanks to composer Kazumi Totaka. Sometimes it’s in plain sight (Mario Paint), others you’re forced to wait for several minutes before it appears (Super Mario Land 2).

Above: He’s also said to be the inspiration for Animal Crossing’s KK Slider 

Fun soundtrack fact: Totaka has contributed dozens of long-lasting game tunes over the years, but did you know he’s also provided us the voice of Yoshi? No, not the “breee-booo” sound effect – the actual “Yoshi!”

Legend of Zelda -> Super Mario Bros 3

And now, because this whole “soundtracks that cover soundtracks” idea lacks enough proper examples to continue, I’ll reach a bit and mention this well-known cameo from one of Nintendo’s most popular properties.

Above: Link’s warp whistle jingle that summons a whirlwind

Above: The same tune played in Super Mario Bros 3

Fun soundtrack fact: Mario and Zelda aren’t just household names; they also contain some of the most memorable and world-famous videogame music. One man, Koji Kondo, is responsible for just about every piece of Mario and Zelda music that matters.

Know of any other instances of one game’s music appearing in another? Let us know in the comments below.

Aug 12, 2009

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  • Hellwilder - April 9, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    Culex's theme from Mario RPG also appears in the Haunted Mansion boss fight (Big Boo) in Mario Pinball
  • RushofBlood17 - October 15, 2010 4:11 a.m.

    I swear I have heard Luigi whistle Totaka's song in Luigi's Mansion. Like if you walk around doing nothing for too long or something like that.
  • PivotPlurals1 - September 27, 2009 5:41 p.m.

    In Link's Awakening DX U.S. Version, if you name yourself ZELDA in all Caps, you get some alternate music which i don't know what it is
  • AntistaFartedOnMyMom - August 17, 2009 1:55 p.m.

    Loved this article. FFIV fan and Mario RPG are my number 2 and 3 rpgs, and loved that song. Just wondering though where the fuck do you find your soundtracks? That stack is crazy.
  • Nintendroid426 - August 17, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    totaka's song seems really interesting topic for wii/DS owners.
  • ieatchocolate - August 16, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    Phoenix Wright... come on!
  • revenge - August 14, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    i could have sworn to have heard totaka's song in luigi's mansion, i wish i rembered where
  • kingWIIthe3d - August 14, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    the race/challenge music from mario 64/ocarina of time/ majora's mask is the same. the penguin race(mario galaxy, the mountaain with the penguins and the house), the races on epona(both majora's and ocarina's) are the same. it's just fan service probably
  • TedDidlio - August 14, 2009 7:50 a.m.

    Fantastic Article Beebop. The Halo thing seems a little more like an easter egg than ripping itself off, but that could be just me.
  • FinalGamer - August 14, 2009 1:16 a.m.

    Quite a few surprised me, but I know an odd leap of music. The Caves theme in Pokemon Snap is a remix of The Goddess Appears, the fairy's theme from Zelda: Link to the Past.
  • IIIIIACEIIIII - August 13, 2009 11:52 p.m.

    You forgot one, the Great Fairy music in LoZ and the map music for world 3 in SMB 3.
  • MechGyver - August 13, 2009 10 p.m.

    @hazent I own your sweet ass.
  • Fizzmonkey - August 13, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    me and my friend were messing around and found the easter egg on halo(too bad we weren't the first)
  • TheNinja - August 13, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    i am 37th to care
  • waynski1457 - August 13, 2009 6:13 a.m.

    Learn something new every day. I didn't know about the Myth egg in Halo 3 (the same egg is in Halo 1 though). Awesome article.
  • Queepo50001 - August 13, 2009 5:19 a.m.

    FF does have a few recurring themes (Battle of the Big Bridge). DQ normally has amazing but anemic soundtracks that are padded down by songs from earlier games. One thing that's cool is that the orchestra versions of the FF music has some micro-shoutouts to DQ's. For instance, the main theme of Final Fantasy actually has the (daaa) da-da-da-da da daaa from the Dragon Quest theme in the backgrround, and FF4's Theme of Love, in the 20020220 recording at least (I don't know about the others) actually has the opening notes of DQ5's theme of love in the background at about 3:45. And DQ4's soundtrack, though amazing, rips off two well known Christmas jingles in its town and Balloon themes. WTF?
  • Hobojedi - August 13, 2009 2:16 a.m.

    The pic for Doom 2 isn't from Doom 2, it's from the Ultimate Doom (ie Doom 1).. not to be picky or anything, just pointing that out. :}
  • somthing42 - August 13, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    ooooooohhhhh someone beat me to it.
  • lovinmyps3 - August 12, 2009 11:38 p.m.

    Nice article Brett! I enjoy VGM and this article brought back some memories.
  • Defguru7777 - August 12, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    Cool article. I love game music, but I don't own much of it (Halo, Gears of War, Castle Crashers). I knew about the Halo/Myth one, but I frequent Halo sites a lot.

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