This is an oddly specific topic, but I've been meaning to share it for a while now. Credits themes! The music used to close out a player's adventure often ends up being the best track in whatever game it's it. I've noticed there are typically three types of credits themes: Ones that remix the main tune of the game; ones that form a medley out of the game's main themes, often but not always rearrangements/remixes; and ones that deliver a completely new track altogether. The emotion of the music also varies. Some are meant to be triumphant, some contemplative, some nostalgic, and some ominous.
This is just my personal top 5 list for the Kirby series--traditional, nontraditional, and spin-off. I don't know music terms all that well, so don't expect an in-depth look at the music itself. I'll still attempt to justify the placements of the tracks, though. All tunes will be linked so you can listen yourselves. You may have to turn up your volume for a few.
- The track must play during the credits. Music that plays on Game Complete! screens and the like are excluded.
- Kirby's Dream Land (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbok4ohhKw)
This upbeat track says, "Thanks for playing!" perfectly. It's a classic for a reason.
- Kirby's Epic Yarn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRxZxBdrNqs)
A lovely, contemplative tune to make you feel all fuzzy (ba-dum-chk), but also with a sad side to it. It makes you feel disappointed that the game's done, but still makes you reflect on the good times you had playing--When you climbed a beanstalk in Grass Land, bounced on those mushrooms in Treat Land, and impaled ten sleeping Waddle Dees with a Sawgill in Water Land. Credits themes that evoke this feeling should be used more in the Kirby series.
- Kirby Mass Attack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jrzd-oVaFCs&list=PL43377079F186ABA5&index=105, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPtUA_GzOSs&index=67&list=PL43377079F186ABA5, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f316Gkc1Na8&list=PL43377079F186ABA5&index=104, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_pkYn7VEWI&index=53&list=PL43377079F186ABA5)
You probably expected to see KMA get pretty high on this list given my inexpressible passion for the game as a whole, but nah. It's just an honorable mention. There are no less than three credits themes ("Staff Collection" used in the viewable-at-any-time credits, "Staff Pond" during the credits sub-game, and "Character Cast" used in the Japan-exclusive enemy credits). "Staff Collection" is okay, but nothing too special. "Staff Pond" and "Character Cast," on the other hand, are excellent remixes of "Kirby Collecting." If I were including end-of-game screens in this list, "Notebook Notes" (also linked) would've bumped KMA up into the top 5. It's an emotionally satisfying tune to close out such a unique Kirby game.
Now for the top 5!
5. Kirby's Return to Dream Land (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb6MMKV6dPY)
Another game you likely expected to be on here, and for good reason. KRtDL finishes the adventure right with a track that is a medley of important tunes from throughout the game while blending them enough to not feel completely like a medley. The inclusion of the Kirby GCN theme toward the end pays nice homage to the reworked game, and the end of "Greens Greens" makes for a powerful conclusion.
4. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wxZLgYTJVQ)
Spoiler alert for future OST blog post: I consider KatRC's soundtrack to be one of the strongest in the series. As such, lining up some of its best tracks, like Rainbow Across the Skies and Great Cave Escape, results in a particularly strong medley. A part of me wonders how fantastic an original credits theme from the KatRC soundtrack would be, but I'm content with what we got. On a separate note, I feel the medley fits the credits visuals pretty well.
3. Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIQK1r8NXCQ)
Surprised? So was I when I reached this game's credits. KTnT has a total of 27 tracks in its entire Sound Test, and the game's overall instrumentation quality is lacking (even for a Game Boy game). Despite that, this medley has a very energetic feel that improves each tune included--I particularly love what they did to the already-great Water Stage theme (you'll know it when you hear it). The theme is a wild thrill ride for the ears, but only for those who are accustomed to retro music. Like the previous entry, the credits fit the music perfectly--the credits are so exhilarating, it makes me feel like I'm zooming all sorts of directions through the cosmos.
2. Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PKLvVgauus)
Kirby's 20th Anniversary was a special time for many people, me especially. The credits theme here is an improved version of KDL's, now with many different instrument types. They threw in a remix of "Sky Tower" for good measure, which helps justify the KRtDL imagery that goes on during the credits. And after Magolor leaves, the tune loops one more time, now in 8-bit. I didn't play KDL until the middle of 2012, but even I felt nostalgic hearing it. Truly a love letter to the original masterpiece!
1. Kirby Super Star/Kirby Super Star Ultra (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj6pkTO9AEA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YryFSmKlPA)
I suppose this was inevitable. As much as I love calling attention to the lesser-known or underappreciated games in the series, I can't deny the most popular game a spot. Yes, KSS(U) feels extremely triumphant and important. This is the kind of music that would best be used to close out the series as a whole! For my money, I'd say the KSSU version is best due to the Nintendo DS's superior sound quality. Three cheers for the pink puff!
What are your favorites? Any comments? I'm all ears.