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Metroid Soundtrack

METROID SOUNDTRACK (GAME RIP)

Metroid's score was the brainchild of Hirokazu Tanaka, a veteran composer at Nintendo who cut his teeth on Donkey Kong and Balloon Fight. Metroid was composed in direct response to the standard fluffy pop soundtracks of the time. Tanaka-san instead created a score that was largely amelodic, tense, and discordant, treating the music and sound effects together as a living creature, rather than as separate entities. It was clearly a soundtrack like no other by a man who would be known in the credits simply as "Hip Tanaka" - and he is certainly worthy of the name. Indeed, the "Title" theme and "Brinstar" have since become two of the Metroid series' most representative tunes, and are true icons of game music.

Hip Tanaka's score made music essential to the atmosphere of Metroid. Players understand from the very first notes of the "Title" theme that the world of Metroid is a cold, forbidding place, and Samus is the sole ray of hope. When the bold march of the relatively comforting "Brinstar" stage sinks into the bubbly and syncopated quagmire of "Norfair", we are just a stone's throw from the twisting, maddening abyss of Ridley's Hideout and the drooping, eerie catacombs of Kraid's Lair. Meanwhile, the solitary tones of the "Item Room" theme ooze mystery from the enormous bird statues sealed within. And who can forget the venomous bubbling of "Tourian", the grueling intensity of the boss theme, "Zebetite", and the hair-raising "Escape" theme? With Metroid, Hirokazu Tanaka helped game music hit its stride as evoking the mood and atmosphere of a level rather than simply providing happy background music for players to enjoy, so while it doesn't necessarily sound great on CD, it makes the game perfect.

The final key to Metroid's score was the relative absence of melody and harmony from the very beginning until the "Ending", when all four of the NES's sound channels come together in joyful and triumphant celebration, each instrument engaged in its own melody, a masterpiece of game composition. This transition from darkness to light has been at the heart of the philosophy behind every Metroid soundtrack, and that contrast with the dark intensity of each game's final moments makes the ending even more brilliant. This version was recorded here using NEZplug v0.9.8+3+21.00 to cleanly and accurately emulate the sound of the original hardware. Scroll below for the Famicom Disk System version of the soundtrack.

No. Title Size Length
Download all 12 tracks in one zip as MP3 16MB 14:30
01 Title 2.0MB 1:48
02 Samus Appearance Jingle 250k 0:08
03 Brinstar 2.3MB 1:56
04 Item Room 720k 0:31
05 Item Obtainment Jingle 213k 0:06
06 Norfair 1.6MB 1:28
07 Kraid 1.8MB 1:43
08 Ridley 1.1MB 1:05
09 Tourian 739k 0:39
10 Zebetite 780k 0:27
11 Escape 2.5MB 2:22
12 Ending 2.5MB 2:17

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Metroid Famicom Edition Soundtrack

GAME SOUND MUSEUM ~FAMICOM EDITION~ 12 METROID

This is the original version of the Metroid soundtrack, for the Famicom Disk System. Considering the FDS had a superior sound processor to the NES, the original version sounds much cleaner, with better instruments from the FDS's wave table, and sound channel, which allowed composers to use sequenced music rather than analog. These can be clearly heard in "Title BGM", "Samus Appearance Jingle", "Item Obtainment Jingle", and "Ending". Note the NES version used arpeggios to emulate the bells and trumpet found in the FDS version. Another major change is the original version of the "Escape" theme is 1/3 shorter, creating a far more intense sequence. This version of the theme has been reused in Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid: Zero Mission, and may be considered the "official" version of the theme. Finally, the SFX for the FDS version were more graphic, particularly Samus's audible (and manly) "UGH!"s that play when she gets hit. Some of these can be heard in the "Game Play" track. The other tracks sound identical. Although we may have become attached to how the NES version sounds, these differences clearly illustrate how much Western audiences were missing out.

Note the Game Sound Museum gives us official Japanese names for the tracks, which differ slightly from those more familiar names we picked for the NES soundtrack. This soundtrack was reprinted in Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Soundtracks Vol. 2, and partially in Nintendo Dream Vol. 118. A previous, terrible recording of the soundtrack was included in the Super Metroid "Sound in Action" album below.

No. Title Size FLAC Size Length
Download all 13 tracks in one zip as MP3 28MB 16:23
Download all 13 tracks in one zip as FLAC 28MB 16:23
01 Title BGM 3.0MB 10.61MB 1:49
02 Samus Appearance Jingle 265k 769k 0:07
03 Brinstar (Rock Stage) 3.0MB 11.56MB 1:48
04 Small Boss Room (I) ~ Kraid 2.9MB 9.97MB 1:44
05 Norfair (Flame Stage) 2.4MB 7.38MB 1:26
06 Small Boss Room (II) ~ Ridley 1.9MB 6.25MB 1:06
07 Silence 1.7MB 4.29MB 0:59
08 Item Obtainment Jingle 237k 522k 0:06
09 Tourian (Base Stage) 1.3MB 4.05MB 0:44
10 Zebetite 1.0MB 3.38MB 0:37
11 Escape.mp3 2.1MB 8.05MB 1:16
12 Ending 3.8MB 15.38MB 2:18
13 Game Play 4.2MB 14.91MB 2:32

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Metroid Soundtrack (X68000 Version)

METROID SOUNDTRACK (X68000 Version)

In Japan during the late 80s and early 90s, the Sharp X68000 was an incredibly popular computer, particularly for gaming. Classics such as Akumajo Dracula (Castlevania), Cho Ren Sha, and dozens of other action and shooting games were created for this system. Although Metroid was never ported (officially or otherwise), fans recreated the soundtrack for the system. Most of the score was arranged by RSY, who does a decent job of matching the instruments with those of the Famicom Disk System. The bell tone is especially nice, though overall, the soundtrack is clearly inferior, with RSY's Ending Theme sounding far too metallic. However, some tracks like "Kraid" and "Tourian" are pretty good. However, the arrangement of the "Ending" theme by Osamu Ikeda is absolutely amazing, with arcade-style metallic swooshes, a lively drum track, and ethereal bells. If you listen to any track from this album, make sure this is it! It sounds like an arcade soundtrack by Zuntata. The recordings were made using the X68000 MDX Decorder v1.14.

No. Title Size Length
Download all 13 tracks in one zip as MP3 19MB 14:28
01 Title 1.9MB 1:41
02 Start 268k 0:08
03 Brinstar 2.3MB 1:41
04 Kraid 1.8MB 1:35
05 Elevator 556k 0:29
06 Item 225k 0:06
07 Norfair 1.4MB 1:17
08 Ridley 1.1MB 0:57
09 Tourian 699k 0:32
10 Mother Brain 488k 0:20
11 Escape 1.6MB 1:22
12 Ending 2.8MB 2:13
13 Ending from METROID 3.78MB 2:14

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Super Metroid Sound in Action

SUPER METROID "SOUND IN ACTION"

Super Metroid "Sound in Action" is both one of the most famous and crappiest Metroid soundtracks available. Sure, it has five totally awesome arrangements, but the rest of the soundtrack is poorly arranged and recorded, and nowhere is this more evident than the Metroid soundtrack section, which was horribly butchered. The game was recorded using a Famicom's audio out jack at poor quality, and a good half of the tracks contain sound effects. I can't fathom why they decided to record it this way, but it gave the original score a bad name for over a decade. The Super Metroid section was better, but half the songs are either missing the first few notes or are cut off early or abruptly. This is an example of how not to do a game soundtrack. Sound in Action's only saving grace is the selection of brilliant arrangements by Yoshiyuki and Masumi Ito that continue to stand over eighteen years later as some of the best Metroid arrangements of all time. The soundtrack is available here in both MP3 (lossy) and FLAC (lossless) format for your convenience.

No. Title MP3 Size FLAC Size Length
Download soundtrack in one zip as MP3 36 Tracks 85MB 77:58
Download soundtrack in one zip as FLAC 36 Tracks 264MB 77:58
01 Theme of Super Metroid (Arrange Version) 6.3MB 17MB 4:14
02 Crateria - The Space Pirates Appear (Arrange Version) 3.7MB 13MB 2:50
03 Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior (Arrange Version) 5.3MB 21MB 3:39
04 Super Metroid Ending (Arrange Version) 4.7MB 18MB 3:23
05 Metroid Ending (Arrange Version) 3.7MB 17MB 2:37
06 Title 2.3MB 7.7MB 1:37
07 Appearance Fanfare ~ Brinstar 1.6MB 5.0MB 1:06
08 Norfair Area 1.2MB 3.5MB 0:52
09 Ridley's Room 1.0MB 4.3MB 0:55
10 Kraid's Room 899k 3.6MB 0:48
11 Tourian 724k 3.0MB 0:42
12 Zebetite 1.1MB 3.5MB 0:49
13 Escape 1.2MB 5.0MB 0:57
14 Ending 3.1MB 12MB 2:16
15 Opening (Destroyed Science Academy Research Station) 2.1MB 5.0MB 1:27
16 Theme of Super Metroid 2.0MB 4.8MB 1:23
17 Planet Zebes - Arrival in Crateria 1.6MB 3.5MB 1:17
18 Crateria - The Space Pirates Appear 1.9MB 5.3MB 1:29
19 Brinstar - Overgrown with Vegetation Area 2.7MB 7.6MB 1:50
20 Brinstar - Red Soil Swampy Area 1.7MB 3.9MB 1:14
21 Norfair - Burning Hot Lava Area 1.6MB 3.5MB 1:30
22 Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior 3.0MB 7.4MB 1:59
23 Wrecked Ship 2.1MB 4.6MB 1:41
24 Maridia - Rocky Underground Water Area 1.7MB 4.0MB 1:12
25 Maridia - Quicksand Underground Water Area 3.1MB 8.0MB 2:04
26 Norfair - Ancient Ruins Area 2.2MB 6.4MB 1:27
27 Mini Boss Confrontation BGM (Spore Spawn, Botwoon) 2.9MB 7.4MB 1:57
28 Big Boss Confrontation BGM (Ridley, Draygon) 2.7MB 8.4MB 1:43
29 Big Boss Confrontation BGM (Kraid, Crocomire, Phantoon) 3.1MB 8.8MB 1:52
30 Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare 190k 457k 0:09
31 Item Acquisition Fanfare 191k 460k 0:09
32 Samus Aran's Final Cry 134k 323k 0:06
33 Mysterious Statue Chamber 1.6MB 3.7MB 1:13
34 Tourian 1.1MB 2.4MB 0:57
35 Mother Brain 1.2MB 3.9MB 0:48
26 Escape 2.3MB 6.3MB 1:32
37 Planet Zebes Explodes 472k 978k 0:24
38 Ending 4.5MB 14MB 3:05

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Hikari Shinwa: Palthena no Kagami/Metroid Original Soundtrack Orchestra Version

METROID ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK ORCHESTRA VERSION

This album contains a sweet synth rock arrange of Kid Icarus and Metroid. It contains arrangements of the "Title" theme, "Brinstar," "Appearance Jingle", "Escape", and "Ending", which is one of the best arrangements of this theme ever made. The "Title" theme in particular has some creepy synths reminiscent of Metroid Prime that predate the title by a decade and a half! The album makes use of Famicom-style square and triangle waves, enhanced by synthetic percussion and other enhanced instruments. The percussion in particular has that hollow echo that just screams "1980s"! Interestingly, the arranger made use of the North American release for the "Escape" theme. The soundtrack was put on both vinyl and cassette in 1987 by Fun House, an early label that licensed music from games made by Nintendo and Hudson Soft. These MP3s are from the cassette version that was placed on Slightly Dark several years ago. The album also contained sheet music.

No. Title Size Length
Download all 6 tracks in one zip as MP3 21MB 14:04
04 Title 2.6MB 1:48
05 Start Sound, Brinstar, During Escape BGM 5.2MB 3:37
06 Ending Music 3.3MB 2:17

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Toy Music: Dancing Super Mario Bros.

MISCELLANEOUS ALBUMS

A selection of official albums containing Metroid remixes. Famicom Music Vol. 2 contained an odd recording of the Title Theme, Appearance Jingle, and Ending. In 1988, Akihabara Electric Circus arranged a trippy space techno-rock medley of the series for Toy Music: Dancing Super Mario Bros., which fits completely with the gamey feel of the era. Mario Freaks Orchestra followed this up in 1990 with Famicom Graffiti: Disk Card Edition, which contained a forgettable arrange of the Title Theme. The latest official arrange comes from Famicom 20th Anniversary Arrange Sound Tracks, which is a medley of Kid Icarus, Metroid, and Famicom Wars, by Manabu Namiki. The piece contains a nice retro-80s synth rock arrange of Brinstar. Hirokazu Tanaka worked on the other two titles.

Album Title Size Length
Famicom Music Vol. 2 Metroid 4.2MB 4:11
Toy Music: Dancing Super Mario Brothers Metroid 9.1MB 4:53
Famicom Graffiti: Nintendo Disk Card Edition Metroid 5.6MB 3:44
Famicom 20th Anniversary Arrange Sound Tracks Palthena no Kagami ~ Metroid ~ Famicom Wars 8.9MB 5:39

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