Well folks, summer is here and it’s not getting any cooler. Well personally I think it probably would, maybe with some pop and beer stashed inside – but nevertheless, I thought why not make a compilation of some chill, refreshing water themes to fight against the increasing summer heat, which I hear is cracking the 90s in a lot of places. y(es that was one sentence!)
Well, to start I thought I would open up with one of the most well known and easily one of the best: “Dire, Dire Docks” This classic out of Mario 64 is one of those themes that sticks with you. It’s just so well done, and (I’ll elaborate more on it in a later article) it features -something you can’t appreciate without an N64: dynamic sound. So the song will reflect your location and actions in the level – something that always made me stare at the screen (not that I wasn’t already) and just enjoy the subtle changes in style.
Then next up, I of course have to throw in another classic, “Aquatic Ambiance” from Donkey Kong Country. The entire soundtrack is just a marvel of Wise’s skill and experimentation, but the track itself is one of the standouts from an already great OST. There’s just something timeless in the song as it changes instruments (and certainly get’s aided by the beautiful backgrounds in the gameplay)
Then I wanted to throw a ‘new comer’ into the ring. This track comes from none-other than the infamous Maple Story. I will say, for a repetitive, yet delightfully cartoony MMO, it turns out easily some of the best music in all of VGM. This particular one is called ‘Boat Quay Town’ (it’s a water theme too, I swear, I looked up Quay in the dictionary to be sure)
This next track comes from one of the best Doujin (VGM Cover) albums that I have ever heard. It’s this magical blend of Jazz and solid instrumental meshed together to take one of the greatest Zelda Games (that I’ve never played) Link’s Awakening, and really bring it to life. This particular track makes the album for me (and it happens to be sizably long to boot)
This next track, “Drowned Valley” doesn’t really need much of an intro or a discussion to it. I can state it in about 3 lines: Chrono Cross OST. Yasunori Mitsuda. WIN.
Next up we have a track from one of the masters of western VGM, Jeremy Soule. The track, “Crystal Oasis”, comes from the Guild Wars OST. A work that I think can easily get looked over, but with tracks like this, man that would be a mistake.
One MMO that I always keep coming back to is Runescape. I enjoy the game in general, but what really hooks me is the music. The quality just never drops off, this particular track, “Mellow” plays at the fishing guild, and it has always been one of my favorites. Unfortunately I could only find an 8-bit cover, but it’s not half bad.
Of course, what would any playlist be without, “Zora’s Domain” I couldn’t dare leave out this relaxing masterpiece. It’s one of those tracks that I can always get behind. Especially in Zelda Re-orchestrated, when they do it all on steel drums.
And then I couldn’t skip over another good, classic mario water theme, so we’ll go back to the SNES to listen to the “Water Theme” from Super Mario World.
Then I’ll finish with one of my favorite series for music, Sonic, and also I’ll take the track from one of my favorite OCRemix Projects, Project Chaos. The track is, “Hydrocity Zone”
Ok, I lied. Finally, I’ll put up the king of all water tracks. This song has been a favorite of mine for years. Not only because of how calming it is, but also because it’s such a long track that it’s great for falling asleep to. “Aquamarine Bay” is easily one of the best songs in VGM, and another notch in the starry (yet undercelebrated) career of Tim Follin.