Happy Halloween, dear readers! To celebrate this most macabre time of year, Charlie and I each selected five spectacularly spooky video game tracks. As a trick for this musical treat, we hid any identifying information from the track names and traded our mystery mixtapes.
In addition to exchanging songs, we provided each other with a tasty brew to accompany the haunting melodies. What follows is our gut reactions to these gifted beers and ballads, along with the reveal of each track above our initial thoughts from a blind listen. Please enjoy our inaugural collaboration!
Charlie’s Spooky Beer and Haunting Mystery Mixtape from Chip
I’ve only recently gotten into sour beer. I remember the first time I had ever even heard the term, at my pre-wedding bachelor dinner in the summer of 2015, when my friend John ordered a sour beer at the pub we were patronizing. I was up to my eyes in Scotch tastings that evening, so I didn’t try one, but I did file it away. It wasn’t until this past summer I tried my first sour, Rosetta by Brewery Ommegang. I was immediately hooked. I’ve been spelunking into the mantle of this genre of beer, and so far it’s been an incredible journey.
The Devil Made Me Do It, a golden sour aged in bourbon barrels by DuClaw Brewing Company, definitely lives up to its name. It’s got a sharp, lemony taste, but not too harsh or biting like your average IPA. This citrus flavor gives it a nice strong sour, not overpowering or unpleasant, but also clearly a sour beer. It doesn’t ever come close to Shandy territory, which is a good thing. It’s got a nice full taste, not watery or thin. This brew is very refreshing, with each beer imbibed inviting the next. This is where this sour ale fulfills its name, you could easily get in trouble with how easy and tasty this is to drink!
I can highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes a solid, traditional ale. The Devil Made Me Do It is great for those in love with sour beer like I am, or for folks looking to try their first.
This song really feels like Halloween to me… starting off with a melancholy music-box theme, and ramps up into a more intense, epic feel. It gives off the joy and slight creepiness of this time of year, without being downright scary. It feels very appropriate to a spooky game, maybe with a child protagonist, and I really liked it!
This song, which I’m going to guess is a from NES game because of the sound palette, is a stark contrast to the first. This is a evil sounding 8-bit track, with a lot of menace. Things are coming for you, the situation isn’t good, and you’ve got a long way to go through a harrowing adventure. I’d peg this as a monster themed 8-bit action platformer tune. It’s simple, but effective. I wouldn’t listen to this track on its own, but I want to play the game!
Now we’re talking. This track messed me up, in the best of spooky ways. That ambient scream-wind, a dreary pipe organ, and a harp-y pizzicato melody. It even has church bells! I’m still working on this title, but I’m going to make a firm guess on this one. I’m saying Final Fantasy III, since the melody feels like SNES Final Fantasy to me, and I know Final Fantasy II forwards and backwards. This track is morose in the best of ways, you’re down and out, and things look so very hopeless in that was only a JRPG can convey.
This song is creeeeepy. The reverb seems endless, and the distant war drums and noise harken to dark, hopeless times in the Mines of Moria. This song would set me on edge as a soundtrack piece, and really make me nervous about the level I just entered. The repetition grates on you like sandpaper, raising the tension with each iteration. This really conveys a sense of hopelessness about the situation, being lost in the dark, and the reality of no escape.
This tune is something I’d totally listen to outside of a game soundtrack. The guitars and general soundscape screams anime to me. The lyrics are pretty spooky, with some interesting imagery about metamorphosis. This song feels really epic and has gotten me completely hype to find out what game it’s from. It’s got a very fun James-Bond-intro-song feel to it, and leaves me wanting to get into this world and see what I can discover!
Chip’s Spooky Beer and Haunting Mystery Mixtape from Charlie
For my creepy chill-out, I enjoyed a tall bottle of The Greater Pumpkin from Clipper City Brewing Company. Already a rather glorious gourd, Clipper City took their Great Pumpkin Ale and aged it in bourbon barrels. The syrupy sweet flavors of baked pumpkin and brown sugar are spiked with spicy notes of ginger snaps and bourbon on the rocks.
The Greater Pumpkin is a delicious spiced brew with some added boozy oomph, and an awesome accompaniment to the rather haunting tracks provided by Charlie.
Total 80’s synth horror themes. I love the foreboding tinkles against an oppressive bass. I am picturing a hunted encounter. You cower in the corner, trying not to make a sound as the monster lurks nearby.
Ooh, I know this track, The Forest Temple from Ocarina of Time. After the Gerudo Valley theme, this is probably my favorite song from that game. Druidic, ancient, and mystical. The rattle of wood sounds like wind blowing through dead trees. The lilting sound builds, like some ancient spirit calls you deeper into their domain.
Something is coming. Atonal drones with crunchy rumbling. The seal is broken and a dark force rises again. The sudden passing of the track reminds you that your existence is meaningless to the behemoth that comes to devour.
The delirium sets in. You can’t remember how long you’ve been trapped here, listening to the discord. Each of the noises is haunting on its own. Combined, they sound like the oppressive madness of an otherworldly force, driving you insane.
A glimpse into a scene of carnage. Screams of a tortured populace punctuate the air. You are powerless against the muted percussion. Your only option is to bear witness as the ghouls revel in this ruined world.
We hope you found these terrifying tracks to be an ideal treat for your frightening festivities! What are some of your preferred spooky video game songs? Let us know in the comments!
As always, stay safe and Happy Halloween!