Video games are successfully beginning to pioneer visual imagery, graphics, and even sound design. Yet one thing they rarely do is have your characters spontaneously burst into song and dance.
There's probably a good reason for that.
Here are gaming's top 10 musical number sequences!
#10 |Â "KLOGG IS DEAD" -Â SKULLMONKEYS
Skullmonkeys featured a hidden cut-scene at the very end of the game, where the claymation citizens of The Neverhood rejoice at the death of antagonist Klogg. Their over-elation and sudden use of vocals (which had previously been absent for most of the gameâ€™s soundtrack) is an amusing shift, and made the incredibly difficult platformer all the more rewarding to complete.
#9 | "THEREâ€™S A ZOMBIE ON YOUR LAWN" -Â PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES
Players who complete PopCapâ€™s explosive tower defence hit Plants Vs. Zombies are treated to a special treat at the defeat of the evil giant robot zombie. Sunflower takes the stage, and never since Thriller have there been more animated undead shaking their rotting booty. Laura Shigihara, the woman responsible for composing the rest of the gameâ€™s music, provides the vocals, though even the zombies get their moments to shine. So much so, that â€śthereâ€™s butter on my headâ€ť zombie manages to steal the entire song in one clean swoop.
#8 | "CHOP CHOP MASTER ONION" -Â PARAPPA THE RAPPER
With PaRappa the Rapper making a triumphant return (only two generations later) in Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale, itâ€™s good to go back to his roots and remember the training that led him to become the rap master that we know and love today. PaRappaâ€™s sensei and master of the rhyme Chop Chop Master Onion kick-started his quest to winning Sunny Funnyâ€™s heart, and it all began with a â€śKick, Punch. Itâ€™s all in the mind!â€ť
#7 | "THROUGH THE FIRE AND FLAMES" -Â GUITAR HERO III
Is it cheating a little to include a song from a music game in this list? Maybe, but if you grab a copy of Guitar Hero Smash Hits, you can technically sing along, making it the most interactive musical number of them all! However Guitar Hero III is where this song first reared its ugly head, and it set out to slaughter you. Considered by many critics to be the hardest song available in the series, finishing this song was a badge of honour. Only immortal gods (and Freddie Wong) were capable of surviving the entire journey on expert.
#6 |Â "DK RAP" -Â DONKEY KONG 64
No monkey mo-fo has ever brought it down harder than Donkey Kong. And when players booted up Donkey Kong 64, they were greeted with the ultimate smack-talkinâ€™ display of bad-assery. What started out as a joke ended up becoming the intro to Donkey Kong and his crewâ€™s grand return to Nintendo flagship console.
Funnily enough, Donkey Kong 64 was the first Nintendo 64 game to require the use of an Expansion Pak to run. If the processing power required for the awesomeness of this rap was the reason why, then it was all worth it.
#5 |Â "ARIA DI MEZZO CARATTERE" A.K.A. "OPERA" - FINAL FANTASY VI
One of the more serious items to grace this list, itâ€™s also one of the most poignant. The Final Fantasy seriesâ€™ arguably most revered entry features â€śAria di Mezzo Carattereâ€ť (literally â€śair [aria] of the half characterâ€ť in English). Composed by Nobuo Uematsu and performed by Celes, the musical number is not only plot-essential and interactive, but actually extremely captivating. Whatâ€™s crazy about it is that, although the SNES limits the use of a vocal track, you can very clearly hear the expressions the characters are attempting to demonstrate through the on-screen lyrics.
#4 |Â "GOOD FOR YOU (GOOD FOR ME)" A.K.A. â€śWARâ€ť -Â SAM AND MAX: ABE LINCOLN MUST DIE!
â€śWar. What is it good for?â€ťÂ Well, if the unexpected musical number from Sam and Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die! has anything to say about it: itâ€™s good for everything!
Immediately after the Dakotas go into civil war, Agent Superball turns the Oval Office into a star-spangled spectacular in celebration. Copy/paste versions of Superball back him up as he dances and prances in front of a bewildered freelance police team, who can only stare back in horror at the chorus line of typically-sombre secret agents. Itâ€™s one of the most memorable parts of the series, so thank God the game automatically saves prior to the sequence for instant replay value.
Unless you share Maxâ€™s sentiments, in which case, â€śLetâ€™s not do that again.â€ť
#3 |Â "A PIRATE I WAS MEANT TO BE" -Â CURSE OF MONKEY ISLAND
Guybrush Threepwood has faced a lot of puzzles and challenges through his buccaneering career, but none quite as fearful as this. At the beginning of disc 2 of his Curse of Monkey Island adventure, Guybrush is seeking to rally his crew of scallywags into a journey to Blood Island.
Unfortunately, all they want to do is sing.
Itâ€™s a hilarious scene, and one that surprisingly is able to present itself as not only a musical number, but a puzzle. No matter what you say, the crew will consistently begin a new stanza of their melodyâ€¦ unless you trip them up by getting them to rhyme with â€śorangeâ€ť.
#2 |Â "SLOPRANO" A.K.A. "THE GREAT MIGHTY POO" -Â CONKER'S BAD FUR DAY
Rare made something extremely unique with the N64â€™s Conkerâ€™s Bad Fur Day. A foul-mouthed, alcoholic, and violent squirrel whose only quest involves getting home to his girlfriend after a night of heavy binging? Yup, this game didnâ€™t hold back any punches. But the piĂ¨ce de rĂ©sistance that topped off the incredible hilarity of this unique game was a giant singing pile of shit. Literally.
The Great Mighty Pooâ€™s boss battle consists of you taking down the Sloprano in between verses of his operatic performance. When heâ€™s not shit-talking you down (pun very intended), heâ€™s exchanging verbal assaults about shoving you up his butt. â€śMy butt?â€ť â€śYour butt.â€ť â€śMy butt.â€ť â€śYes, your butt!â€ť Phenomenal.
Sadly, the song was censored in the Xbox remake Conker: Live & Reloaded, but it was (weirdly enough) refreshing to see a giant glob of turd re-rendered with prettier graphics.
#1 |Â "STILL ALIVE" -Â PORTAL
I think itâ€™s pretty safe to say that going into this article, this is the one song you knew was a shoe-in to make this list. But thatâ€™s the very reason it in fact DID make this list: video game history will forever hold this song in high regard as one of the most iconic compositions to ever grace our screens and ears. The entire game, in-game radios teased you with a samba version of the song, but to hear it finally fleshed out at the end led to minds being blown.
Valveâ€™s platforming puzzle-based epic Portal came from out of nowhere back in 2007, and along with it came the iconic credit sequence. Written by geek songwriter Jonathan Coulton and performed by the gameâ€™s main antagonist GLaDOS, Still Alive plays over the credit sequence of the game. Mere moments ago you had escaped the Aperture Science facility and died in a fiery explosion (though this was altered in a later patch), for GLaDOS to come out mocking you with her survival seconds later. Itâ€™s cruel, sinister, and yet strangelyâ€¦ adorable.
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