In the late 80s, I received a Game Boy and I was instantly addicted to Tetris. I would photograph my high scores and submit them to the Nintendo Magazine. I saw the huge rocket launch several times after completing level 9 high 5, and I would play matches with a friend at school.
What stuck with me until today is the video game music and that’s true for most video games I played throughout my teenage years.
Remember the sound of Tetris? Or the popsong “The Postal Service” from Brand New Colony that was inspired by the Super Mario music? And did you see the Peter Gabriel video “Curtains” in the Myst IV game? Would you like to create the soundtrack to your own video gamer career?
There are plenty of sites where you can download music online for free legally, but here are sites where you can specifically download free video game music.
VGMusic has been around for 13 years. With that, it’s one of the oldest video game music archives, covering consoles from Nintendo, SEGA, SONY, Microsoft, NEC, SNK, ATARI, as well as computer systems, and several more. Among the sites presented here, this one is the most widespread and possibly the largest archive. The Nintendo Game Boy directory alone contains almost 2,000 MIDI files.
All music files are provided in MIDI format.
ASMA is by its own description “the biggest and only official Atari XL / XE music archive.”
The start page contains a comprehensive list with information, including a zipped version of the complete archive, player and plugin downloads, tools, and a FAQ.
The archive can be searched by clicking on the ASMADB (ASMA database) button and entering a search query. If you leave the search field empty and hit the “Search now!” button you’ll be able to browse through all files in the archive.
The free video game music index at Autofish provides three music boxes dedicated to different game systems: Commodore 64 (C64), Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Each box contains a table with games and the respective music files.
The C64 SID music files come in ZIP archive. To play these tunes in Winamp, you need to install a SID plugin, which can be downloaded from the this plugin was installed. SNES SPC files require this plugin for Winamp. To install plugins close Winamp, copy .dll file into Plugins folder, start Winamp and play file.. NES NSF files work with Winamp if
Another resource for Commodore 64 music is the High Voltage SID Collection (HVSC).
The site was founded in 1999 and is “dedicated to the appreciation, preservation, and interpretation of video game music.” This archive contains free video game music of almost all systems, including Nintendo, SEGA, SONY, Microsoft, and many more.
Each ReMix receives a short evaluating article that may also uncover some of the song’s or game’s background.
RKO calls itself “The Definitive Guide to C64 Remakes”.
It contains over 2,500 tunes by over 700 artists. The archive can be sorted by date uploaded, title, arranger, composer, or rating.
There are two files for each song: the original SID and the remix as MP3.
What’s your favorite video game music track?
Image credits: yoshiaka