Created By: Rytex on December 13, 2017 Last Edited By: Rytex on December 20, 2017
Troped

Iconic Sequel Song

When a song commonly associated with the work doesn't appear in the first installment

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trope
Needs More Examples.

Soundtracks are one of the most memorable things about a work. Ofttimes, a work will have one (or many) tunes that, when you hear them, just immediately make you remember the work in question. And then there are those tracks that you associate so much with the work that the absence of it feels like Early Installment Weirdness.

This could be related to many things. For instance, a particular theme could be associated with an Iconic Sequel Character (such as the theme of Rohan from the The Lord of the Rings trilogy), it could result from a particular composer just penning something magnificent that so happened to come later in the series, or it could be because one particular track just struck a chord with audiences. Whatever the case, if you hear a song from a score and it makes you instantly think of the series as a whole, and it doesn't appear until after the first installment, you have yourself an Iconic Sequel Song.

As mentioned above, related to Iconic Sequel Character, where it's the character him/her/itself that appears late. See also Bootstrapped Theme, which is when a particular song unofficially becomes the main theme of a particular franchise, as many of those listed below are bootstrapped themes for their franchises.

Film - Live-Action
  • As mentioned in the main article, the motif for Rohan and the theme of Minas Tirith did not appear until The Two Towers and The Return of the King respectively.
  • The hit song "Eye of the Tiger" is most commonly associated with the Rocky franchise, but it didn't debut until Rocky III.
  • A number of Star Wars songs did not appear until later films, but most notable is "The Imperial March," which didn't appear until The Empire Strikes Back. The Empire's theme was a sinister, brassy triad in a minor key in A New Hope.

Literature

Video Games
  • The main recurring theme used throughout Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped would end up recycled in many later titles, becoming something of a Bootstrapped Theme for the series.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Kingdom Hearts has several well-known themes, such as "Sanctuary," "Darkness of the Unknown" or "Vector to the Heavens" that didn't appear until sequel games.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • "Zelda's Lullaby" has appeared in almost every Zelda title since Ocarina of Time. It first appeared in A Link to the Past as a tune when you're escaping with Zelda out of the dungeon at the start of the game.
    • The motif for Ganon/Ganondorf isn't introduced until The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and then expanded in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    • The Hyrule Castle theme is also first heard in A Link to the Past.
    • The themes for Zora's Domain, the Lost Woods/Saria's Song, the Kokiri Forest, Epona's Song, and Goron City first appeared in Ocarina of Time.
  • Mario:
  • In Metroid, Ridley's Theme, Kraid's Theme, Upper Brinstar, and the Lower Norfair/Magmoor Caverns theme didn't appear until Super Metroid. The former two were just standard boss music until later games brought them back to associate themselves with their namesakes.
  • The song "Philistine" is one of the most iconic in the No More Heroes series, but it doesn't appear until NMH 2.
  • Pokémon
  • Theme of Eastern Story, a Recurring Riff in Touhou, was not introduced until the fourth game in the series.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • December 13, 2017
    Psi001
  • December 13, 2017
    Rytex
    Cheers. Has been added.
  • December 13, 2017
    DustSnitch
    What determines whether something is "iconic?" What determines whether "Vector to the Heavens" is more iconic than something like "Simple and Clean" or the Hollow Bastion theme?
  • December 14, 2017
    Rytex
    What determines whether or not a character on the Iconic Sequel Character page is iconic? I'm not trying to objectively boil it down to formula, I'm simply applying the same metric to music as that page did to characters. You'll notice it isn't just one character listed for a lot of works, just as it isn't one song listed here.
  • December 14, 2017
    DustSnitch
    Objectively boiling it down to a formula is pretty much what writing up a trope is. I'm not trying to be rude ir anything, I just can't help add examples if I don't know the criteria for this.
  • December 14, 2017
    Prime32
    • Theme of Eastern Story, a Recurring Riff in Touhou, was not introduced until the fourth game in the series.
  • December 14, 2017
    Prime32
    (EDIT: I swear I only clicked once)
  • December 14, 2017
    Rytex
    No worries. I didn't mean for my response to come off as snippy. I just meant to draw the parallel between it and the page it's being compared to. But it's a bit YMMV. As the characters listed on the ISC page are often more of fan-favorites or well-known characters from the series they represent that happen to come from installments beyond the first, I applied that criteria here, save for music. Sure, "Simple and Clean" and "Hollow Bastion" are Kingdom Hearts songs, but when someone thinks Kingdom Hearts music, odds are the songs that come to mind are things like "Hand in Hand," "Guardando nel Buio/Destati", or "Another Side." And from future games, "Darkness of the Unknown," "Unbreakable Chains," "Sanctuary," or "Vector to the Heavens."

    I just try to reduce it to the most recognizable (usually ones that crop up on the Signature Song page) and include them here.
  • December 14, 2017
    DustSnitch
    Oh, so this is a YMMV thing?
  • December 14, 2017
    Rytex
    Maybe? It's as much YMMV as Iconic Sequel Character is, because they're the same thing, but one is characters and one is music, but ISC is listed as a regular trope, not YMMV.
  • December 14, 2017
    IniuriaTalis
    I think that a music track being "iconic" is a little bit more YMMV than a character, because characters are more likely to be used in merchandising and sequels and can be judged on ongoing story importance. While songs can have that, it's not as obvious or easy to agree upon in many cases. For example, as someone who follows the series I can't help but regard your notion that "Simple and Clean" isn't the most iconic Kingdom Hearts song as utterly baffling.
  • December 14, 2017
    AmourMitts
    • The hit song "Eye of the Tiger" is most commonly associated with the Rocky franchise, but it didn't debut until Rocky III.
  • December 15, 2017
    Rytex
    @Iniuria Talis Maybe that one is just me, but even so, Simple and Clean wouldn't apply to this suggested trope in the first place, just because it's been there since the opening Disney Acid Sequence.
  • December 15, 2017
    Chabal2
    Applies to most Touhou music (Flowering Night and U.N. Owen Was Her, some of the best-known/most remixed themes, are from the 6th game), since the series is also a major case of Iconic Sequel Character.
  • December 15, 2017
    Prime32
    ^ Flowering Night is from 7.5. And while those two songs are popular, they're character themes that haven't appeared a lot. Theme of Eastern Story is mixed into every title screen and a lot of character themes.
  • December 15, 2017
    Zuxtron
    I don't think Dancing Mad and One Winged Angel should be there. Although they're iconic songs, they're much more closely associated with their respective games than the franchise as a whole.
  • December 17, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    • "Zelda's Lullaby" has appeared in almost every Zelda title since Ocarina of Time. It first appeared in A Link to the Past as a tune when you're escaping with Zelda out of the dungeon at the start of the game.
  • December 17, 2017
    StrixObscuro
    Video Games
    • The song "Philistine" is one of the most iconic in the No More Heroes series, but it doesn't appear until NMH 2.
  • December 18, 2017
    Rytex
    @Zuxtron I knoiw they're installment-specific, but OWA is one of the poster-children for Final Boss themes, and there is a ton of fandom debate among whether it or Dancing Mad is better, so I included them both. Plus, OWA does appear on the Iconic Sequel Character page.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=991cju4t6i76894grzr6a2cs