RPG and pop: inspired

Written in 2018


On this page you'll find some songs that I think have some similarities to certain RPG tunes. To be perfectly honest with you, I haven't found out if this connection really does exist or if it's just a mere coincidence. Feel free to find out for yourself, and if you have any feedback, just let me know! Contact options can be found here!

Beggin (Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons) / Breath of Fire III battle theme

This was the song that brought up the idea to this report. Well, not exactly this song, but its remake. In 2005, an artist called "Madcon" released his version of "Beggin" and I was surprised how similar the beginning of the song was in comparison to the Breath of Fire III battle theme.

Since the two guys at the beginning of the 2005 "Beggin" are playing a console game, I initially thought that this song was inspired by Breath of Fire's soundtrack. But as it turned out to be, the original song, recorded in 1967, has the exact same beginning.

So it appears that Akari Kaida and Yoshino Aoki indeed took their inspiration from "Beggin". Breath of Fire III's soundtrack is pretty jazzy which fits to the atmosphere of the original song.

Listen

Original: Beggin (1967)

Inspired: Breath of Fire III Battle Theme (1998)

Complex Thoughts (Suikoden III) / El Manana (Gorillaz)

Now we're getting a bit more into trickier terrain. In the example above, the chords and melody are a clear inspiration, but this time we need to dig a bit deeper. When I first heard "El Manana" back in 2006, I was immediately reminded to the last dungeon theme of a game I just played: Suikoden III.

It's not so clear at first glance, but if you listen to the beat very closely, you can hear a connection between the two songs. The atmosphere and melody is somewhat similar, but the beat really bears a striking similarity, if you ask me.

In "Complex Thoughts", there is a congo drum that plays in the background of the whole song, and you can easily add the rhythm of that congo drums to the other song. I wonder how many of you feel the same.

Listen

Original: Complex Thoughts (2001)

Inspired: El Manana (2005)

One (Metallica) / Ultima V: Intro

This one is quite interesting, since the songs sound pretty much alike if you listen to the first few chords and considering the fact that they have been released only months apart in 1988.

Ultima was released later on and the tune was used on the title screen, so maybe the track was really heavily inspired by "One". David R. Watson, the guy that composed the soundtrack of Ultima has no ties to Metal or Metallica whatsoever though.

I checked if there might be some involvement in one of the participating bands, but it doesn't seem to be the way. Anyway, it's nice to see that inspiration of pop music in video games dates back as early as 1988.

Listen

Inspired: Ultima V intro (1988)

Original: One (1988)

Gimme More (Britney Spears) / Nightmare (Breath of Fire II)

Another one of those songs where I start humming the game melody over the pop song whenever I hear it. In fact, "Gimme More" reminds me so much about "Nightmare", that I actually bought the song on iTunes and put it in my "Favorite songs" playlist. And just to make sure: pop music is definitely not my cup o' tea.

Britney Spears is around my age, but her career and song performances do not show any special connection to video games whatsoever. And I especially doubt that Ms Spears has ever played such a niche RPG as Breath of Fire II - so "Inspried" is a bit of a stretch here.

"Nightmare" is the music that plays during the final dungeon in Breath of Fire 2. It is a very sad and somber melody that just underlines the tone of that game in that stage. Interestingly enough, even if "Gimme More" tries to be seductive and erotic, it also has a somber, dungeon like feeling to it. Just listen and tell me what you think!

Listen

Inspired: Gimme More (2007)

Original: Nightmare (1994)


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