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It’s been awhile since our last Resonance entry, so this time we’re doing not one, but three most excellent pieces of gaming music! Specifically the introductory themes from Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption!
The Metroid Prime trilogy is one those increasingly rare gems in gaming, having managed to stay not just good over three games, but excellent! It held true for the gameplay, and it especially held true for the music. In a word, it’s atmospheric. It brings the world to life, sets the mood, sets the tone. Everything from these title screen themes to the boss fights, is meant to put your mind inside that iconic helmet. And I’d say they do the job admirably!
These title themes had a special function, in that they had to set the tone for the entire game, and this first one…well it started it all didn’t it? Within it’s first few seconds, this most important theme tells us exactly what kind of game Metroid Prime is going to be. A game of hidden dangers, of history, of mystery and discovery, all strung together with a thread of isolation. It’s all there in those first most crucial seconds, and cemented by the rest of theme’s duration. Being the first theme of first game, one might say it’s the de-facto theme of the trilogy, since everything it expresses is found throughout each game.
While this one may not define the series like its predecessor, it still promises that everything that defined the original would be present in its sequel, but with one major addition: the idea of “More”. It leads us in with same quiet, mysterious tones, before suddenly breaking into rapturous fanfare! As if to say “That’s right, Metroid Prime is back, and it’s brought more of everything with it! More mystery! More lore! More Action! And more quiet, contemplative exploration as the most deadly bounty hunter to ever roam the cosmos!” Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was more of everything we loved about the original, and this piece made sure that we knew it!
“This is it. This is the finale. One more struggle. Once more unto the breach for our powered armor-clad warrior. Once a mere bounty hunter, now the final beacon of hope for a dying galaxy.” This is the message of the final intro theme of the Metroid Prime trilogy. Like the it’s predecessors it carries the series undertones of mystery, danger, and the fact that there’s more of it to be had in this third entry, but this time they’re just that: undertones, footnotes to the grander theme of finality. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption filled it’s role as the resolution to the trilogy beautifully. It not only tied up most of the remaining loose threads, but went to great lengths to actually feel like the ending we needed it to be, and this theme captures exactly that. The solemn chant and the triumphant choir, the clanging sounds and undertone drone, they all come together and wash over the listener: a mix of urgency, of victory, and resolution. “This is the end” it says, “and it will be a glorious end indeed!”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t listen to these songs without getting the sudden urge to run off and start playing the games!
What do you hear when you listen to these themes? Are there any songs that evoke similar feelings as these?