Game Music 4: Thunderdome Eternal

Welcome to the fourth Game Music Thunderdome!

What is the Game Music Thunderdome? The rules are simple:

  1. Everyone nominates four pieces of game music
  2. They’re shuffled up and pitted against one another in bloody single combat (ie. we vote on our preferred tunes until there is only one victor)

It’s fun and a great way to get exposed to some new music. We’ve done three before:

Enter the Game Music Thunderdome
Game Music 2: Beyond Thunderdome
Game Music 3: A Sound of Thunderdome

Nomination Process

  • Nominations are open from now until Saturday 29th May. Voting will start the following Monday, 31st May.
  • You may nominate up to 4 tracks of your choice.
  • All tracks must be original to a video game (no licensed tracks or remixes).
  • Do not re-nominate tracks from previous Thunderdomes! Yes, Lonely Rolling Star should have won last time, but it’s time to let go, geggis. You can find a list of all previously nominated tracks here: Qt3 Game Music Thunderdome MASTER LIST - Google Sheets
  • To nominate your tracks, enter them into this sheet: Qt3 Game Music 4: Thunderdome Eternal SIGNUP - Google Sheets. Feel free to post or discuss your nominations in this thread as well, but the sheet is the source of truth for compiling the bracket.
  • When adding nominations, please CTRL+F and make sure nobody else has already entered them.
  • Nominated tracks must be in a format that can be embedded in this thread. This can be a YouTube or artist Bandcamp/Soundcloud link, for example, which should automagically embed a player. People need a super simple way to listen to each nominated track within the thread.
  • If you want to nominate a track that is not currently available to embed, you can upload it yourself to YouTube. A painless way to do this if you have an mp3 is to use
  • If you want to nominate a single track that is part of a longer video on Youtube, the best solution is to re-upload it yourself a la carte. If you aren’t able to, you can specify the start and end timestamps in the link itself. For example, ‘&start=1m20s&end=3m05s’ placed at the end of a Youtube link will run from the 1 minute, 20 second mark to the 3 minute, 5 second mark.

Tournament Structure

  • The tournament will have a group stage, followed by a single elimination bracket.
  • All voting rounds will be posted on weekdays and open for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • In the case of ties, they will extend for an additional 24 hours in sudden death. If nobody breaks the tie we’ll enlist The Tiebreakers–three maybe five hired guns outside the competition who will determine the victor.
  • All nominations are shuffled into groups of 4. In the group stage, we will post one group at a time. Give each track a fair listen, then rate it from 1-5 in the poll.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the whole scale! Seriously, it helps avoid ties. As a quick guide:
    1 - make it stop!
    2 - general feeling of dislike
    3 - well it’s OK I guess
    4 - this is good
    5 - hot damn I love it!
  • Voting is public, and light banter and trash talk is encouraged. However, if anyone is uncomfortable with this, you may PM either @geggis or @krayzkrok your votes and we’ll incorporate them manually.
  • Please rate honestly, use the whole scale, and do not game the system by artificially downvoting other tracks to boost your own nominee’s chances. It’s totally fine and expected to give your own nominee a 5 though, as it’s assumed that you nominated it because you love it.
  • At the end of the group stage, the track with the highest score in each group will advance to the single elimination bracket.
  • To catch any high scoring losers from the group stage, there will be ‘wildcard’ slots to get the single elimination bracket up to a tidy number. Never underestimate the wildcards!

Good luck, and have fun!

  1. Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura - Main Theme
  1. Disco Elysium - Krenel, Downwell, Somatosensor
  1. The Last of Us - The Path (A New Beginning)
  1. Gods Will Be Watching - The Face of Genocide

Yay! I’m in. I’ll post my nominees sometime this week. :)

A million songs enter!
One song leaves!

Not going to lie: I did laugh! :-)

It’s not my fault it has such a good soundtrack! What choice did I have?

Here are my selections… I’ll throw them in the spreadsheet soon!

Ultima VI: The False Prophet - Intro Music (Kenneth Arnold)

Zoids (Larry Fast arr. Rob Hubbard)

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Dalentarth (Grant Kirkhope)

Outcast - Talanzaar (Lennie Moore/Moscow Philharmonic)

I had to choose from a bunch of songs I’d noted down during Thunderdome 3, but two of them I was able to eliminate because it turned out they were in previous Thunderdomes. (“Hong Kong Streets” from Deus Ex and “Brinstar Theme” from Metroid.)

Anyway, I think I’m happy with my nominees here… I thought about nominating more Tomas Dvorak/Floex stuff, but decided there’s so much music I love, I’d bring some variety.

1. Final Fantasy X - The Sight of Spira

I’ve never actually played FFX, but I watched my husband play a bit of it, and was immediately smitten by this song when it played in the town he was in. It’s a staple of my chill playlists.

2. Toejam and Earl - Jammin’

Love me some Toejam and Earl, and the Sega Genesis had some great music. The whole soundtrack for T&E is groovy, but this is my fave. This song is my ringtone for specific people in my contact list, so I know whether I want to answer or not. ;)

3. Animal Crossing - K.K. Groove

Inspired by Armando’s nomination in Thunderdome 3, I decided some more Animal Crossing music was in order. But not the hourly music.

K.K. Slider is a recurring character in the series… a dog with a guitar who visits every Saturday and does a concert. There are 95(!) K.K. songs in New Horizons, and K.K. Groove has been my favorite since New Leaf.

There are two versions of every K.K. song… one that is the “live” version that is performed by K.K. (with lyrics in “Animalese”, the Animal Crossing language) and the “aircheck” version, a bootleg copy that you can put into a music player and play in your house (or on your island, in New Horizons).

Anyway, I’m going to post both, because they’re both excellent, though I love the aircheck version, so I’m posting that one first.



4. Thief: The Dark Project - Intro

Ah, Thief… one of my favorite games of all time, and the game that led to me meeting my husband (and we’ve been married 14 years now). Eric Brosius did a masterful job on the Thief soundtrack, and I can’t listen to this intro without getting pumped.

(Ignore the first 10 seconds of the Eidos logo - it seemed every version of the intro on youtube had it in.)

I will get them in the spreadsheet posthaste!

Same here! A truly formative game for me that I was absolutely obsessed with at the time. The intro is one of my all-time favourites and I just love the 90s graphic design overlays and that techno-rock sound (I have some System Shock 2 techno from Brosius on my thunderdome master list!). The soundtrack to Assassins, from start to finish, is incredibly atmospheric but the only real mix on YouTube is perhaps a bit too ‘spread out’ for a thunderdome nomination, I think. (That and the quality is a bit crackly in places.)

A friend and I started making a fan mission together around '99/the early noughties, but university happened and the whole thing went off the boil. I have the mission file kicking around somewhere but here are some screenshots of what we created but were never able to finish! I also have a physical folder somewhere full of map notes, sketches and scribbles :-)

FM screenshots


Great to see some Grant Kirkhope finally make it into the thunderdome (at least, I don’t think he’s been in it before). I’ve nearly nominated some of his music from Mario + Rabbids the last couple of times but it’s a tough space! Maybe this time! :-)

Wow, that looks fantastic! I’m disappointed you never got around to finishing it! I’m amazed at how alive the Thief FM community is still after all these years… I still play some FMs occasionally, if I hear about really good ones. Thief may not be graphically advanced, but the game still holds up well after all these years, in my opinion. (Still leaps and bounds better than Thi4f.)

EDIT: Maybe you’ve seen this, but this still cracks me up every time I watch it:

How many times will I look up a song on the Master List to discover that @CraigM has already posted it?

Running total: 3 times

CraigM also previously posted one of the tracks that was on my short list too. No fair hoarding all the music! ;)

I have not seen that! I was preparing for cringe but I laughed out loud several times. Amazing.

I picked up Thief Gold and The Metal Age very recently for FMs but ended up getting sucked into The Dark Mod which is just a staggering achievement, game and toolset for fans. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already!

Oh and yeah, totally, I think it’s aged very gracefully!

I’ve got to keep up with the new Disco Elysium metagame. I’m late to the party, as I tend to be, but the soundtrack has been playing almost permanently at my house since I completed the game a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad I waited for the Final Cut, as the full voice acting with uniformly better actors across the board (including Cuno, don’t at me) really elevates the entire experience. I’m now on my third playthrough.

Disco Elysium - Precinct 41 Major Crime Unit

Disco Elysium - Off We Go Into The Wild Pale Yonder

Also, the Lonely Rolling Star pick from the last Thunderdome made me remember my favorite Katamari song. It’s got a different feel to it than most of the Katamari music. I was always happiest to hear these piano chords and this goofy Japanese man at the start of a level.

Katamari Damacy - Que Sera Sera

And rounding us out is Moon from Ducktales Remastered. The original is iconic, but I think the remastered version brings a little more energy to it. Also, this theme pops up in the new Ducktales show from 2017 in a very tender way, so it’s got some additional significance for me lately as well.

Ducktales Remastered - Moon

High five!

Ok, fine

Hyper Light Drifter - Titan

Quake - Hall Of Souls

Distance - Storming The Horizon

Minecraft - Taswell

Oh, did they replace some performances then?

Yeah, Cuno, Klaasje, Lena, Evrart, and a few others were replaced. Part of it was some of the original voices were done by Chapo Traphouse people, who were all replaced. But I think some others might have just been because the original actor wasn’t available.

Lena is the only one that really bothered me. The new performance really sounds like a young person pretending to be old.

Yeah, I’m doing a Classic voiceover playthrough this time, and while it’s kind of cool to hear Chapos, they are definitely NOT trained voice actors. Their replacements are miles ahead of them.

But that aside, just having the narrator/skills be fully voiced adds a lot. My Classic voiceover playthrough just feels so QUIET.

I forgot to mention, I love that there are loads of KK Slider covers out there!

From the comments:

when your favorite villager moves to your friends town