Hallowed Be Thy Game: Pupil Slicer’s Kate Davies and Josh Andrews’ Favorite Video Game Music
(Editor’s note: Let’s face it — most metalheads are a buncha nerds. To that end, Hallowed Be Thy Game is a weekly feature here on MetalSucks where we’ll highlight some of the metal-as-fuck board/video/tabletop role playing games we’re playing or have played in the past.)
For the traveling band out on the road, there’s a lot of time spent between gigs. Lots of time sitting on a tour bus with nothing to do except rest up and pass the time as you travel to the next venue. For many bands like the folks in Pupil Slicer, one way to pass that time is through their passion for gaming. For this iteration of Hallowed Be Thy Game, we got Katie Davies and Josh Andrews to share the video game music that sticks out in their minds as their favorites.
So without further ado, here’s two-thirds of Pupil Slicer and their favorite pieces of video game music.
The world of video game music is incredibly rich and storied. They help convey emotions, help drive a story forward, and ultimately make you feel things as the soundtrack ebbs and flows over what’s happening on screen. As life-long fans of games, we have each been tasked with choosing our five favorite pieces of video game music.
Keep in mind that this is by no means is a final list, though — ask us another day and you may get completely different selections. Both of us could have gone on to make hundreds of choices each, to be honest, so these are our favorite tracks whilst on the road with Boris for their Heavy Rocks Breakfast European Tour.
Akira Yamaoka – “True” (Silent Hill 2)
Katie: The Silent Hill series has bangers after bangers but “True” is my pick here. Following the devastating revelations towards the end of Silent Hill 2, this track perfectly sets the tone for the iconic image of James in Room 312.
Norihiko Hibino – “Arsenal’s Guts” (Metal Gear Solid 2)
Josh: The Metal Gear Solid 2 soundtrack uses electronic music, orchestral music, mixed with elements of jazz. Norihiko Hibino and Harry Gregson-Williams did an amazing job bringing together such an eclectic but concise soundtrack, that suits the futuristic/cyberpunk story perfectly. “Arsenal’s Guts” comes at the games emotional climax and hits like no other song in the series.
Andrew Prahlow – “Echoes of the Eye” (Outer Wilds)
Katie: Everything in Outer Wilds builds to a point as the adventure concludes in “Echoes of the Eye,” the title track of the expansion encapsulating the entire journey thus far as the cycle comes to an end one last time.
Koji Kondo – “Ganon’s Tower” (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Josh: It was difficult to pick a single track from the legendary Koji Kondo. His work across the early N64 titles has never been matched in compositional skill, versatility, and emotion. As you battle through the tower at the climax of the game, to find the man who has destroyed your home and taken your childhood, an organ grows in volume and climax. When you reach the towers roof, a shocking revelation unveils.
Masayoshi Soken – “Endwalker – Footfalls” (Final Fantasy XIV)
Katie: The theme to the concluding expansion of Final Fantasy XIV, “Footfalls” serves to set the stage for one of the greatest stories told in video games, bringing 10 years of FFXIV to an end and wrapping up four expansions’ worth of story content in an incredibly satisfying way. With motifs borrowed from Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers, the theme also pays homage to the path taken as well as the road ahead.
Jan Valta and Adam Sporka – “Poverty and Famine” (Kingdom Come: Deliverance)
Josh: One of KC:D’s best features is the immersion created in the games world. This wouldn’t have been possible without the games amazing soundtrack. “Poverty and Famine” is a catchy and powerful Memento Mori/drinking song, which makes you wish you lived in a simpler time, war torn 1403 Bohemia, drinking your troubles away as this day may be your last… almost.
Piotr Adamczky – “The Rebel Path” (Cyberpunk 2077)
Katie: It took a while to win me over but once the heist was underway in Cyberpunk 2077, it had me fully in its grasp. The following section that introduces Johnny Silverhand musically accompanied by “The Rebel Path” was a highlight in recent gaming memory, a fantastic jumping on point for a surprisingly emotional and deep story.
Marcin Przybytowicz & Percival – “Merchants of Novigrad” (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
Josh: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is another game that is synonymous with its iconic soundtrack. You first hear “Merchants of Novigrad” as you enter the game’s second act, whilst exploring the games big city for the first time, with a sense of wide-eyed excitement and wonder at what’s to come.
Yoko Shimomura – “The Other Promise” (Kingdom Hearts II)
Katie: Basically any song Shimomura has ever worked on could make this list, but today I’m going for “The Other Promise” from Kingdom Hearts II. Arriving in The World That Never Was, the beginning of the end kicks off with a gut-wrenching boss fight that comes out of left field, with complimenting track that you’d never typically expect for such an intense battle.
Yumi Takahashi – “10am” (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
Josh: Like many, AC:NH was the soundtrack to the global pandemic. Locked away, I spent hours exploring my island, listening to the calming tones of the soundtrack, and building my own peaceful world. A number of composers worked across this game’s amazing soundtrack. But nothing quite hits the same as Yumi Takahashi “10AM” to start the day correctly.