Readers discuss the most iconic sound effects and jingles in video games, from the Doors of Doom to the sounds of Yoshi.
The topic of this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader D Dubya, and includes regular sound effects, short jingles, and even the sound of the consoles themselves. Readers were also encouraged to share a clip on YouTube, to help remind everyone of the sounds in question.
As many had predicted, various Nintendo games received a lot of mentions, just like retro games in general. There were also a few more recent titles and console noises such as rare achievements.
You know the one
Best video game sound effect? Easy: that noise when Mario starts to ride Yoshi. I don’t even know how I would describe this sound effect to someone who had never heard it without just making some noise.
Also, the Zelda sound effect when Link opens an important chest – it was in Ocarina Of Time but I’m sure it’s in most? The little construction music is awesome and full of suspense, then duh-duh-duh-duuuuuh as Link holds the object above his head. Unbelievable.
Jingle All the Way
I have long had two favorite sound effects. The videos below are time-stamped moments in the longplays where they occur, as the sound effects rarely make them soundtracks:
The first is the jingle that plays in Thor’s story when you save.
I guess it was done by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro, because it was his soundtrack (and indeed his company that made the game!). It’s just such a flippant little sound. I had a lot of trouble finding a video of it because almost everyone is recording with the save states on YouTube plays.
The second is the jingle that plays in The Legend Of Zelda Link’s Awakening when you have the compass and enter a room that has a key that you can collect.
I love pretty much all of the sound effects in this game, Link’s Awakening is some of the best uses of Game Buy audio material that I have heard.
My all-time favorite sound effect in a game is the sound of doors in Doom on PC. It looks like a cat torn apart by pneumatic pistons, it’s not something I would like to hear in real life, but it’s great for the atmosphere of the game.
I remember being annoyed that this was not the sound used for the doors of the otherwise superior PlayStation version.
I don’t know if Doom was the first game to use this effect as I heard in other shareware games of the time, notably a shoot ’em-up called Raptor.
I also love that Sonic bong sound. Sonic has a lot of great sounds actually.
CG: They probably stopped using it because it’s a storehouse of sound effects; you can hear it in dozens, probably hundreds, of TV shows and movies.
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As a Nintendo fan, I’m spoiled for choice when it comes to iconic sounds, but I’ll go for The Legend Of Zelda, especially the chime that sounds when you solve a puzzle.
I often find myself humming or whistling when solving puzzles in other games, and I probably will if I ever achieve something in real life.
Full of nostalgia
Most of my favorite sound effects are from old arcade games as it still reminds me of the audio and visual overload of your local arcade. From the OutRun splash screen, the death cries of the Alien protagonists to the sneering villain on Mike Haggar’s monitor, all of them are imprinted in my memory and are easy to remember. Even junk like Hard Drivin ‘can be semi-nostalgic for sound effects.
I’ve always thought Lisa’s hauntingly sad crying in the PT demo was remarkable in recent years. Just like everyone who went blind on its first outing, those pitiful screams far too close for comfort really called out the terror hotline and made you fear for your underwear as its ghostly hindered gait slowly crept in. in this infamous long corridor.
Navi the hero
Favorite video game sound effect has to be “Listen! by Ocarina Of Time. People have said Navi is boring, but I think she is one of the iconic parts of the game. The sound effects in the game are tied to the sense of discovery. Nintendo really knows their positive feedback.
What an addicting game, Navi was the key.
To be fair it wasn’t just Navi, as I type I can hear the chest opening music and new sound effects. A pure level of play, creating little rushes that kept you playing.
When I saw this week’s Hot Topic question, a few contestants immediately amazed me. Before I saw it referenced in the description, The Legend Of Zelda item find jingle popped into my head. Likewise, I find the vintage Zelda ‘puzzle solved’ jingle just as iconic. The pitch and loyalty may have evolved over the years, but the fact that they’re both such iconic features of their franchise that they’re still used more than 30 years after the series began says so. long on their quality (here is an evolutionary montage of one and a vintage example of the other).
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of my favorites were older titles, from the ’80s or’ 90s. Even in the modern age, there can’t be many players who can’t hear sounds. as classic as the jingle from Sonic The Hedgehog’s ring collection, Mario’s mushroom power-up sound or any of their “jump” sounds and can’t instantly identify what they are.
There’s also the sound of Pac-Man’s death, which is surely so iconic that it transcends gaming entirely. For me though, it’s the Nintendo games that seem to have the most “noise” that I love. a lot. I always really liked the sound Yoshi made in Super Mario World / Kart to begin with.
However, the one I’d really like to name for this topic is another “puzzle solved” chime, this time from Metroid Prime. For some reason, I really enjoyed triggering it and really enjoyed discovering a new puzzle or barrier that would lead him to play. I think part of the reason this particular sound clip appeals to me is that it reminds me of a section of one of my favorite Curve tracks, Recovery, from their 1998 album, Come Clean.
In general, the whole sounding ambience of Metroid Prime really impressed me. If I remember correctly, all three Prime games had extremely atmospheric electronic soundscapes. Some time after playing the third game, a guy I worked with introduced me to the band / DJ / producers Kryptic Minds. Some of their stuff really took me back to exploring the worlds of this show, like this track, Fade To Nothing from their second LP, Can’t Sleep.
I’m sure there are plenty of modern games that feature sounds that could become just as timeless and iconic as some of the ones I mentioned (who doesn’t love hearing the sound of the freshly picked souls accumulated in Dark Souls games?), but as someone who started playing in the early 80s, they were the ones who really carved their audio claws into me over the years.
your house is at risk
One of my all-time favorite sounds was leveling up in Diablo 2, which was invariably followed by typing “ding” into group chat, to which the correct answer was “gratz”.
I’m pretty sure they unfortunately changed the sound of Resurrected.
I like all of the different sound effects in No More Heroes like when you perform a wrestling combo and also the cool way you get a phone call on the Wii version you put the Wii Remote to your ear and use it like a phone!
I also love the success noises on PlayStation and Xbox, they are silent on Steam. The Epic Games Store is showing some achievements soon, but we’ll have to see if they’ll have sound or not. I especially like it with the rare achievements on Xbox because you get a different sound from a regular achievement. It always makes me smile when I think I have an achievement, but it’s actually a friend appearing online on the Xbox.
I quite like the speaker on the Wii Remote and the PlayStation 5 controller as the sound generally sounds good enough for a small speaker, I’m wondering if the Xbox Series X will add a speaker at some point. I have the Xbox One X and I love the sound it makes when you press the power button on the console or the controller to turn on the console, unfortunately I couldn’t find a YouTube video for that -this.
I remember playing Sonic The Hedgehog 1 with stereo headphones 30 years ago and getting the rings back looked amazing compared to the mono sound that came out of our 14 inch CRT TV. I stuck with mono sound because at the time it was what I was used to, so stereo was pretty foreign! I didn’t want to mention Zelda in my letter as I’m sure a lot of people will mention Zelda as it’s one of my favorite games for sound effects (and also music) so I thought I would mention others. games and sounds.
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