In my previous two posts on Metroid I ranted about the games and how they manage to be a little bit creepy by invoking a sense of vastness, mystery, and loneliness. They couldn’t succeed in this task without their awesome soundtracks. This post is just a little sampling of the music of Metroid, which hopefully will send a happy little shiver up your spine on this frosty post-Valentine’s evening. (I don’t know if these all of these are the proper titles, but they at least give some idea where each song appears in the series.)
Metroid (NES): Title Theme
It started with this one, the opening theme song of the original Metroid on NES. In this version of the theme it’s really just that initial, dirgy bit that’s creepy; but this theme would be a recurring one throughout the series, and it really effectively captures that weird, hostile universe vibe that is such a part of the franchise.
Super Metroid (SNES): Title Theme
In this iteration the theme is pared down to its creepy skeleton, with some jarring static effects thrown in for good measure. That image is a still of the actual title screen. The Metroid hatchling in its stasis tube, and the dead bodies on the ground, make it pretty clear that this series is going in a very different direction from Nintendo’s other flagship franchises, Mario and Zelda.
Super Metroid (SNES): Maridia Theme
Not much to say about this one, except that it’s awesomely creepy.
Metroid Fusion (GBA): Environmental Disquiet
It’s hard to choose just one piece from Fusion, as the whole game oozes a kind of biologic dread. This one is a good example, though. You can check out the entire soundtrack here.
Metroid Prime (GameCube): Title Theme
This one has a nice combination of military cadence and early science fiction silliness (either a theremin or a theremin effect) that together somehow fit the larger aesthetic of the Prime trilogy.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii): Title Theme
This is my favorite of the bunch. It expresses the vastness of the Metroid universe and the tragedy of Samus’ situation in a way that few other pieces in the series can match. Also it sort of plays around with the dirgelike qualities of the original title theme.
Fan Tribute: Prime Reborn
This isn’t actually from the series. Rather it’s a fan remix of the Metroid Prime 3 theme above by Youtuber Steven Maribojoc. I think it’s a nice companion piece to the official song, and it really hammers home the sadness that defines Samus’ character.