It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeks straight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
[ Company: Nintendo | Year: 1989 | Console: Game Boy ]
While not the world's first puzzle game, this Russian export is best known for popularizing the genre. No matter what platform, Tetris is a hit. It turned Alexey Pajitnov into a household name and was the first must-own product for the Game Boy. Sadly, Alexey would spend the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to recapture the magic of Tetris. Depressing career retrospectives aside, this theme is about as memorable as any song could ever hope to be. Judge for yourself below ...
Okay, so it's probably not fair to include the Tetris theme. After all, this isn't a song originally created for the popular video game. Instead it's a Russian folk song called Korobeiniki, and there's a reason it has been around for two hundred years. But let's face it; this is the first time most Americans heard this song and, for better or worse, it will always be linked to Tetris. As a theme, this is one of the catchiest we've heard yet. Although simple enough to whistle, this theme is more complicated than it lets on. There's a lot of fun back and forth between the lead instrument and the bass. Better still, it knows a thing or two about structure. We get two memorable verses before jumping into the downbeat chorus. The result is a song that is impossible to hate.
Tetris brings us an interesting theme in the form of an old Russian folk song. Unsurprisingly, many people don't know that the song wasn't written for the game. Korobeiniki, or 'Peddler,' is actually quite a bit more complex than the Game Boy can handle. You can hardly tell, as it's still a very busy piece of music, but we do of course only get the most interesting part. Although in many ways the song sounds upbeat and exciting, the folk tale behind it is actually a bit sad, as lyrics tell the story of a peddler boy and the girl he desires. It's not that he gets rejected, but rather that his chasing her seems neverending. Perhaps the neverending chase is why it was chosen as the theme; how many years now have we been chasing high scores?
He was created to stop a mad scientist. Unfortunately this just escalated the war and now we're locked in an endless robot versus robot battle. I hope you're happy, Dr. Light.