Game music of the day: Theme of Laura from Silent Hill 2

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.

May 19, 2010

Game: Silent Hill 2

Song: Theme of Laura

Composer: Akira Yamaoka

Above: Theme of Laurafrom Silent Hill 2

This week's release of Alan Wake has stirred up discussion as to how it stacks up against Silent Hill 2, arguably the best game in that series and one of the strongest survival horror titles of all time. Naturally the arguments teeter back and forth (even in the comments ofour review), but there's one thing Alan Wake doesn't have, and that's Akira Yamaoka's consistently movingmusic.

Yamaoka produced dozens of memorable songs across several games, but this Silent Hill 2 opening still ranks near the top for me. I'm no expert when it comes to music terminology or even accurate analysis. Butmy primitive brain cansay the song is deeply emotional, conveying James Sunderland's sense of loss and frustration, all with a feeling of ominous dread and crushing sadness. Yet, it remains upbeat and catchy, and that lead riff is just amazing. Sounds like a first-rate Hollywood theme song.

There it is in context. Fantastic opening, and the start of one of thebest videogame storiesthere is. If you're eager for more Yamaoka, Iinterviewed himback in 2008 to discuss his role in Silent Hill Homecoming and his past work on the SNES and Dance Dance Revolution. In there he confirms that this exact song was created in just three days, a musical feat that blows my mind. I assume stuff like this takes forever to pull together.

Yamaoka has since left Konami and Silent Hill (after 16 years) and is now working with Suda 51 on another horror title. At least we know the music's destined for greatness.

Los Angeles theme by Geary and Turner

Chillaxin' beats from Yuzo Koshiro

I promise this doesn't suck

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.