🎵 Best 8-bit vidya songs

Because we are a team of Serious Professionals, there was a debate over the best 8-bit game songs on Slack today, and thought I’d seek some alternative opinions. Avoiding the obvious choice of a Chip and Dale song, I had to go with this little tune. Was very tempted to go with something from Mega Man, but I just love the intro of this song too much - can’t listen to it enough.

Whaddya think? It felt like something people here might have an opinion about. :slight_smile:


This is tough.

The Moon theme from DuckTales, for sure. I like the music from the African Mines and Transylvania stages as well.

The Legend of Zelda title them and overworld themes will always be at the top of my list. The Palace theme from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is also up there.

The Metroid title theme and Brinstar.

The overworld theme from Super Mario Bros 2.

That’s just off the top of my head. So many NES songs are just so good.

I have a strong preference for tunes from the Castlevania series. I particularly enjoy these two:

Vampire Killer

Bloody Tears

You guys might know the C64, best 8 bit sound chip around…


Interesting, hadn’t even considered the C64 (never had one). It had a really impressive music chip. For the synth nerds:

I think you might appreciate this cover of the song. It’s probably my favorite one.

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@WinterM and samples, due to a way the volume register on the original version of the sound chip had a bug. So sampled sound was possible, and speech. Just witness Impossible Mission from 1984…


A bug in the volume register made the use of samples possible? I don’t know if I’d understand it, but I’m curious to at least try, if you’d like to explain.

(Sorry if this is too offtopic.
Though I have just done a bit of research that told that the Gameboy was 8 bit, so perhaps I’ll think of something from that to contribute to the thread, at least as something for group consideration if not as a personal candidate for “best” due to a perceived insufficient breadth of experience. (My first console gaming was, IIRC, on the Genesis and SNES; the only NES games I played were on the Gamecube, and I didn’t do much of that.))

(Hm. How about this?)

edit: Ah, right, exposed links make the videos appear.

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Wow ok, did not expect samples like that from that system - that’s pretty cool.

This is great!

Also great, and I can’t hear it without hearing that damage noise of the whip hitting monsters. I think Simon’s Quest was the second game I ever got.

Nothing offtopic there, I honestly keep forgetting the gameboy existed. It’s funny looking at it now - it’s like a precursor to things like the Switch as a system that’s not honestly as technically advanced as the competition, but still somehow manages to sell really well.
Anyway, nice tune!

And raw technical stats aren’t everything. :slight_smile:

I LOVED the Commodore! It’s one of my all time favorite systems (and I’ll always consider it a game system since that’s all we used it for).

The music and sounds it was capable of producing were so good

I still listen to the music from various games from time to time, especially the opening music to Maniac Mansion and Zak McCracken.

A lot of our games were cracked/pirated since that’s the scene my dad was in, and the music that played on those “cracked by” screens was a part of the gaming experience for me. I didn’t realize that those screens that played before the game started weren’t a part of the normal boot sequence.

The guitar in Arcade Classics above is technically a sample as well, played at different pitches to simulate the notes.

If you don’t mind the long winded technicals, here’s a link


…Well, thank you for providing the information at least. :smiley:
Given my current tiredness, time shortage (which meant I only read part of it), and somewhat iffy understanding of a number of facets of the background, I don’t think I have a full understanding, but, well, I said that going in, and it looks like there’s a fair bit of information behind that link.
So, as I said, thanks. :slight_smile:

I see a lot of NES in this thread, but you’re leaving out the superior console despite the higher quality of its soundcard capabilities. So I’ll have to give some representation to SEGA. For comparison with the Mega Drive version:

As well as the original soundtrack for Bridge Zone…

…and the Jungle Zone theme.

The Lucky Dime Caper had some great tracks for the Northern Woods (3:18) and my favourite, the Tropical Islands (15:34).

Because there are no bad Disney titles, the Master System version of Castle of Illusion has more great tracks, such as the rendition of Enchanted Woods (3:36), Toyland (7:29), the ominous Clock Tower (21:35).

The Boss fight music might be the exceptions where I prefer the non-PAL version.

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StarTropics is my childhood favorite. Still my NES favorite today.

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Never even heard of StarTropics! Was the game good?

It’s the best non-Zelda game with a similar formula. Tropical islands, yo-yos, and aliens. Challenging but not infuriating by NES standards. Worth a try.