Soundtracks you didn't know were stolen

Sunsets, love, war, babies, baby war… There’s just no telling when and where exactly musical inspiration will strike. Well, with the exception of this here article. Using GamesRadar’s collective knowledge of games and music, we managed to scrape together numerous instances of game soundtracks that were, let’s just say, all too familiar for an expose decades in the making.


Latter day 8-bit soundtracks certainly did their part in squashing the stereotype that game music had to be a horrifying cacophony of bleeps and bloops, but the tech specs of the next generation ushered in a new era of polyphonic potential. Although, with 16-bit composition still in its infancy, it seemed aspiring maestros weren’t above borrowing the occasional tune. Especially in Japan.

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

Chrono Trigger – Robo Theme

“I’ll just rip off this one forgotten, one-hit-wonder from 1987… who’s gonna know?” Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger’s composer, probably thought. And he almost got away with it, were it not for a mammoth internet meme almost fifteen years later. Upon meeting Robo in 2008’s Chrono Trigger DS rerelease, it finally dawned on millions of gamers that they’ve been getting Rickroll’d as far back as 1995.


While we can’t really take credit for all the revelations in this feature, we certainly feel like we blew the lid off this one. It all started when we had Capcom Community Editor Seth Killian on our filthy, stupid podcast during the recent TalkRadar 45. Simply bringing up the innocuous Wii game Major Minor’s Majestic March, and its designer Masaya Matsuura, prompted Killian to say, “I have issues with that guy.”

Hear the truth slam into GamesRadar LIVE!

Above: Punch-Kick-STEAL! 

Turns out, Matsuura hadn’t accounted for our guest, the lone gamer who also happened to be into German experimentalist rock groups of the 1970s, when composing his immortal gas-brake ditty.

Can - Turtles Have Short Legs

Parappa the Rappa - Instructor Mooselini’s Rap

Oh, he almost got away with it! Obviously, we’ve never heard of Can, but the band is said to have influenced artists like The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and The Talking Heads. Go ahead and add Matsuura and Instructor Mooselini to that list, because after hearing Can’s 1971 song “Turtles Have Short Legs,” the similarities are undeniable.


If The Rock’s recent celluloid tribute taught us anything, it was just how synonymous Doom is with the nineties. In fact, try blaring Doom II over a television playing VH1 Classic mid 90’s metal meltdown. We’ll wait…

Alice in Chains - Them Bones

Doom II - Map 23 Barrels ‘O Fun

Alice in Chains is one of the more blatant jacks, but you’ll also find both Dooms had no problem pilfering riffs from Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and just about any other metal band infinitely worthy of accompanying battling the forces of hell.


  • DreAlb - September 18, 2010 5:18 a.m.

    The first level theme in doom sounds like Painkiller by Judist Prist
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - September 10, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    I love this article I must re-read it every month or something
  • Gogolor - June 10, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    This more of a "significantly inspired" than a direct rip off, but Doom level 1 and Judas Priest's "Painkiller"
  • RFswitchBlade - May 28, 2010 9:47 p.m.

    The jackie's cafe music used to scare the sh*t outta me. That, and every time I get on the sky runner, I yell YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at the top of my lungs.
  • solsurvivor - March 5, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    Can't believe "Let My Love Open the Door" wasn't mentioned in this in regards to Final Fantasy's main theme. It's a straight rip-off. Check it out:
  • olio - October 16, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    I agree that all of these sound similar, but I'm still having a hard time hearing the similarities between Your Name, Please and that Monty Python track. They sound completely different to me...
  • kinterq - May 18, 2009 1:18 a.m.

    The Parapa the Rappa and Can are WAY to simular, it's creepy. Plus the Muse and Top Gear one was ftw.
  • Spybreak8 - May 17, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    Listened from the podcast and had to check it out, great article!
  • Grundler24 - May 17, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    them bones was also in atv offroad fury. recaptcha:cranker danger
  • Demonflare - May 15, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    Ahh! I hate rip offs! I cant believe they put Rick Astley! "Never gonna give you up" was in my head for 2 days, and now he in this article yo!
  • marioman50 - May 15, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    There's actually another one I know of, and it's from pokemon. Either in ruby or diamond (I forget) On one of the routes, there is an obvious version of "all the young dudes" by "mott the hoople" playing. If somebody can confirm this for me and tell me what part it's from I'd appreciate it.
  • Gsindahouse - May 15, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    Duuuuude... (the megaman boss names) ....Duuuuuude.... Anyways, Glad I didn't see Rayman on here, ha ha
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - May 15, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    @Sonnelion Your memory serves you correct! But it actually was Soundgarden, fully licensed and not an imitation. Rusty Cage is the song, and Road Rash is the only reason I love it... Dee-Ner Nee-Ner-Neeee...
  • mentalityljs - May 15, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    What about one of the tracks on Eternal Champions? That was a TOTAL rip-off of Bone Thugs & Harmony's "Land of the Heartless" off their E. 1999 Eternal album.
  • someonetgsn - May 15, 2009 12:02 a.m.

    Im sorry, i just had to comment after i saw ur flag alexmdy, that is awesome! I never would have thought i would see someone with a newfie flag for their profile.
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - May 14, 2009 10:13 p.m.

    @hagelbreaker I've actually never seen that article before... but I really wish I had! Golly, then I could've included all the stuff I found but didn't have time to post while doing exhaustive research and personally cropping each and every mp3. How about next time, instead of accusing me of plagiarism, just say what you really wanted people to know: "I already knew that."
  • GiraffeeDreams - May 14, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    the muse bliss / top gear comparison is good, the music that accompanied one of the in game race tracks had the same sort of tune, but, it was im my belief the last boss of thunder force 4, where the boss is fought in a vertical tunnel and upon winning whites out into nothing, the video to bliss is just this, and quite a few sonic 3 tracks remained similar to mj's music but jun senoue was accredited with it and has since done just about every sonic game after that.
  • Squander - May 14, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    the comparison: chrono trigger - rick astley is awesomely hilarious - how's it possible that I have never observed it myself
  • Conman93 - May 14, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    cool article
  • Zaphers - May 14, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    Good ears Antista.

Showing 1-20 of 78 comments

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