VGM Playlist #9 – ‘Summer’

As regular readers will be aware, this series of posts began as a way of showcasing video game alternatives to Classic FM’s weekly film music show Saturday Night at the Movies, with the theme derived from their selection. This Saturday on their show it’s actually a video games special, which means my list this week could be slightly redundant. As such, I’m not going to follow their set theme this week and instead I’ll focus my attention on one of my own choosing; Summer.

Summer in video games can be represented in a few ways; the most popular of these by far is through sun-drenched beaches with the occasional palm tree or tropical resort thrown in for good measure. The orchestra will usually take a backseat for these parts of the score, instead giving way to acoustic guitars, ukuleles and steel drums to deal with most of the work.1174606-sms_a015

Perhaps the best example of summer in a video game comes from one its well-known mascots – Super Mario Sunshine. The whole game is set on resort island of Isle Delfino where, apart from defeating Bowser again, your main aim is to collect sun sprites in order to bring the brightness back to the world. The hub world and and various locations across the island are colourful and the music brings a summer holiday mood to proceedings (and would be my go-to in-game holiday destination).

Another of Nintendo’s most famous sons has a good history with the Summer too. In The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Link travels across the oceans visiting numerous bright and balmy islands, all of which give of a warm seasonal vibe thanks to their music. There are numerous RPGs too that take their characters to tropical climes for a respite from the often daunting and overbearing weight that has been put on their shoulders; this is evident in games like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Lost Odyssey and more.

Away from the beaches, the sun travels to the countryside without its steel drums and focuses more on piano and strings. Grant Kirkhope’s Oven Fresh Day from Viva Pinata punctuates the start of another sunny day farming (and mating) pinatas full of sweets, while the gentle piano at the start of Vincent Diamante’s score to Flower compliments the bright visuals you create in the grass as you bring other flowers to life.

As usual, please leave your suggestions below the jump and enjoy the sunshine!

Viva Pinata – Oven Fresh Day
Flower – Life as a Flower
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – Outset Island
Chrono Cross – Time’s Grasslands
Final Fantasy X – Besaid Island
Kingdom Hearts – Destiny Islands
Ni No Kuni – Castaway Cove
Tales of Symphonia – Dance in the Sunshine
Lost Odyssey – The Capital of Numara
Skies of Arcadia – Sailor’s Island
Rayman Origins – Lums of the Water
Transistor – Sandbox
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed – Samba Studios

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