Finding that bit of common ground with something can make all the difference when pursuing a new hobby or interest. That’s why we started Beyond the Console. We’ll help you explore mediums away from your controller all while keeping it connected to what interests you the most: Gaming!

Today’s Beyond the Console let’s you get to know the team over at Girls on Games a little better through our favourite video game songs!

Leah: Kingdom Hearts

“Simple and Clean” by Utada Hikaru

Back when I was in highschool, I got really really ridiculously into Jpop and Jrock. Ayumi Hamasaki, Dir en Grey, Gackt and Megumi Ogata were constants on my mp3 cds (yep. iPods didn’t exist yet). When I found out that Utada Hikaru was doing the theme to Kingdom Hearts, I just about lost it. I loved the game (which was Final Fantasy meets Disney meets Zelda) and the amazing song was just the cherry on the top. Here are both the English and Japanese versions of the song. I cannot even pick which I like better 🙂

Catherine SD: Final Fantasy IX

“Eternal Harvest” by Nobuo Uematsu

It was a close call between this song and Chrono Cross’ ‘Another World’. This piano version performed by composer Nobuo Uematsu is just breathtaking. I just love the energy of this song. Each stroke of the key reminds me of the Cleyra’s dance step.

Catherine Ashley: Crazy Taxi

“All I Want” by The Offspring

Music is just so damn important to gaming. Everyone has those few soundtracks you find yourself humming long after you’re done with the game, or that you stash away on your iPod and listen to on repeat while riding the metro. There were a few contenders for my pick (including Halo 2, especially “Outskirts”, the techno beats from WipE ‘out, anything from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) but the one that has glued to my brain is “All I Want” from The Offspring. I was just a kid, and The Offspring was the “cool” band of the late 90’s, so having them in one of my favourite games solidified it in my memory. It was the perfect music to go with what you were doing: causing havoc in the streets of San Francisco so ‘Betsy’ can go eat ice cream. Whenever I see a series of “yeahs” written down, I start singing.
Good times, good memories.

Alicia Alexandra: Runescape

“Newbie Melody”

My first true MMO love was Runescape. I’ll never forget the first character I made or the time I spent in the (now defunct) starting area. While Runescape’s entire catalog of music holds a lot of pleasant memories for me, the Newbie Melody is special. It fills me with the same excitement I felt the first time I heard it and reminds me of the thrill of starting a new game and embarking on a new adventure (be it shooting rats or something a little more impressive).

Devin: NieR

“Snow in Summer”

A great deal of songs could have filled this spot for me. The theme song for every Legend of Zelda ever, Ain’t no Rest for the Wicked in Borderlands, and most of the songs in the Halo OST have shared a special moment for me. Nothing has quite matched up to this song from NieR, an almost forgotten game that can’t be found anywhere and received far too little love at the time it came out. Each tune in the NieR soundtrack has been stunning and brilliant in its own right, but none more than Snow in Summer. The song is as much a buried gem as the game, and I haven’t heard anything as captivating as this in a long time.

Simon: Final Fantasy X

“To Zanarkand” by Nobuo Uematsu

Rarely has a song strung such a strong chord as To Zanarkand did. Final Fantasy X is by far my favorite in the series and the unthinkable hours I’ve put in this game always bring back great memories. There’s something special in this piece, something that I can’t quite put my fingers on. Maybe it’s the fact that, you know the journey is almost over, but is also beginning. So many hours past, so many connections made, so many quests done. It’s hope for the future and nostalgia all in one. It is, in my opinion, Uematsu’s masterpiece.