“Robo’s Theme” – Chrono Trigger
“Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley
Perhaps the most famous bout of potential videogame music borrowing from its source material. This was a time before Rick Astley’s tune became infamous on the internet, so it’s just a coincidence that Yasunori Mitsuda was just a huge 80s pop fan. Though to be fair, if you played the two tunes simultaneously, I’m surprised Sony Music Entertainment hasn’t made any brou-ha-ha about this.
“Bridge Zone” – Sonic The Hedgehog (Master System)
“Together Again” – Janet Jackson
Here’s a reversal in the formula; artists who coincidentally has the same kind of jingle as a videogame from years back. While Sonic 3 had Michael Jackson involved in the game’s music, his sibling’s 1997 hit single (among many) has a chorus that rings familiar to the game’s Bridge Zone music back in 1991.
“Jungle Zone” – Sonic The Hedgehog (Master System)
“Accidentally Kelly Street” – Frente!
It may not seem obvious the first time you hear both of these tracks back-to-back, but Australian group Frente!’s one hit wonder back in 1992 is a slower and low-fret version of Jungle Zone’s theme in Sonic’s 8-bit debut on the Master System.
“Ken’s Theme” – Street Fighter 2
“Mighty Wings” – Cheap Trick
Capcom may have jumped the gun with this one: why use one of Top Gun’s theme songs on a dockside area backdrop for your awesome fighting game when there’s already an airfield backdrop available? Still, if that were the case, we wouldn’t have been subjected to the awesomeness of Guile’s theme. Which goes well with everything, in case you haven’t heard.
“One Winged Angel” – Final Fantasy VII
“Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix
“Carmina Burana” – Carl Orff
Saving the best for last, the prominent theme for one of JRPG’s poster child for evil is anything but wholly original. It’s essentially a melting pot of rock and opera; the first part of the song sounds like the opening to a famous Jimi Hendrix song, while the opera tone is channeled directly from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (which you’ve probably heard from a bunch of movies, most notably the intro to Jackass: The Movie); right down to the similarity of the lyrics. It’s no surprise that composer Nobuo Uematsu takes inspiration from the best of both worlds in the realm of music; that’s why One Winged Angel is pretty dang memorable to Final Fantasy fans.
So guys and gals: know any videogame music that sounds a little too familiar to popular music?