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Game music of the day: Super Metroid

Game: Super Metroid

Song: "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area"

Composers: Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano

Above: "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area" from Super Metroid

What do you get when you combine a blonde bombshell in a power suit, space pirates, a kick-ass soundtrack by Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano, and an adorable little jellyfish creature that has been known to suck the life out of you? Why, Super Metroid, of course! With the recent release of Metroid: Other M, I've observed a lot of discussion (read: flamewars) about which game takes the podium as the series' all-time best. While many people are raving about the gorgeous graphics and action-packed gameplay of Metroid's latest edition, the general consensus seems to be that Super Metroid remains the tried and true champion.

Why? Graphics aren't everything, for starters - and for its time, Super Metroid was definitely state-of-the-art. The subtle yet dramatic plot was something gamers could really latch on to, though... and nostalgia certainly plays a role, since many of us Generation X and Y-ers were playing the game at the peak of our most formative years. But to me, the music is the real clincher. Super Metroid was the very first game soundtrack to prompt a collaboration album on OverClocked ReMix (Relics of the Chozo (opens in new tab), released in 2003) - and years later it even merited a second album (opens in new tab), as a get-well gift to one of the community's most beloved artists.

I've always considered "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area" to be a standout theme from the game. It's eerie, it's minimal, and the off-kilter time signature makes the perfect complement to a level in which you're plunging deep into an alien world littered with ruins, completely isolated... *shiver*

Above: Chilling vocals - "Kindred" OC ReMix by Andrew & Jillian Aversa (zircon (opens in new tab) & pixietricks (opens in new tab))

Another personal favorite is "Brinstar Red Soil Swampy Area." I love the ominous bass line, choir stabs, and ethnic flute melody, which serve as the foundation for a great atmospheric track. This source tune has been a particularly popular one on OC ReMix.

Above: "Brinstar Red Soil Swampy Area"

Above: High energy electronica - "In Your Prime" OC ReMix by Jimmy Hinson (Big Giant Circles (opens in new tab))

All in all, I hope you'll agree that the Super Metroid OST has stood the test of time... and how!

Jillian Aversa is a composer, vocalist, OverClocked ReMixer (opens in new tab) and music judge at OC ReMix. A classically trained graduate of Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute, Jillian's game soundtrack credits include Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, Pump It Up Pro 2, and the soon to be released God of War: Ghost of Sparta with composer Mike Reagan. Jill + Kratos = Heaven and Hell. LET'S ROCK!

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