Awesome Music / SNK

SNK may be best known for their assembly line of cheap, sadistic bastards, but hey, at least the stellar soundtracks made the beatdown something to look forward to. Enjoy! All tropers are encouraged to listen to these songs ASAP.

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    The King of Fighters 
  • The Origin of Mind, for Orochi himself. Trippy, ominous, oddly serene, and hard to identify. It fits Orochi completely. The arranged version has almost an Arabian sound to it, then throws in some synthesisers and killer guitars.
  • Tears and Sadistic Eyes are among two of the best boss themes in '99, used for the two "hidden" final bosses, Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami. Interestingly, when superimposed, their respective tones fit each other perfectly, and seem to assimilate and even complete each other into something even more epic (if loud). Ladies, make of that what you will.
  • Krizalid and his theme Dear Falling Angel from '99, sounds like the distilled essence of pure technological awesome. This is the arranged version.
    • Also worth mentioning in '99 is the K' Team's Theme KD-0079. What a way to open up with a new hero for the saga.
    • This is the arranged version and this is supposedly the original arranged version of KD-0079. Holy... Both were cranked Up to Eleven with Cutting Edge and KD-0079+ in Unlimited Match.
    • KD-0079 eventually got remixed for KOF XIV.
  • Slasher Zero, for Clone Zero in 2000. Nearly all percussion and of an impossible-to-identify musical genre, it's one of the darkest themes in the series.
    • The arranged version features a very Indian-ish tune near the end of the song.
    • On the subject of Zero, both the clone and the original were given pretty slick tunes in 2002: Unlimited Match. Original Zero's theme is Testament of N.E.S.T.S., an imperialistic march that has a hint of undying duty and sadness while Clone Zero was given Dark Gravitation, a song that has split some fans on whether or not it's better than "Slasher Zero" (a song that was heralded as "pure evil in audio form".)
  • An Improvised Concerto, for Magaki. As classical piano, it's surprisingly subdued, but no less awesome.
  • The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match made up for 2001 and 2002's rather poor soundtracks with a new soundtrack, and oh, what a difference it makes. It also gives Kula Diamond a long due deserved song (since the wonderful Ice Place) that is actually kickass. Ice Place would get a remix in XIV and plays when Kula and Angel face each other.
  • The King of Fighters 2000, essentially the old SNK's swan song, has an appropriately awesome soundtrack. Nowhere is this exemplified more than in Kyo's theme, the appropriately titled Goodbye Esaka. You can pretty much feel all the emotions of SNK's (brief) demise.
    • The remix for XIII is nothing to sneeze at either.
    • The rest of the Esaka series is no slouch in terms of amazing muscial direction either. First up was Esaka in The King of Fighters '94. While Funky Esaka is usually passed over due to Soundtrack Dissonance, Esaka? in '96 is one of the most notable (if not the most notable) tracks in the series and returned as the Japan team's theme in '98. In fact, it's so popular that it was reused several times over the course of the series: first in '99 for his clones Kyo-1 and Kyo-2 as Esaka ~Acid Mix~, as a part of the real Kyo's theme in the same game, again for his clone/evil magical doppelganger Kusanagi's theme in 2002 (Esaka '02) and 2003 (Esaka '03), as two remixes for EX Kyo in XI, and as Esaka!! in 2002: Unlimited Match. Finally, Esaka Forever in '97 memorably brought the Orochi Saga (and Kyo's stint as protagonist) to its fated conclusion.
    • XII has its own version as a bonus soundtrack.
    • In XIV, Yappari Esaka serves as Team Japan's theme. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better by taking cues from the original "Esaka?" from '96, we have now come full circle. Yappari Esaka? is a full remix of the original song done completely in the style of the newer version.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are Iori Yagami's jazz-heavy themes with screaming saxophones, the Arashi no Saxophone (that's "Stormy Saxophone" for those who don't know Japanese) series: It started in The King of Fighters '95 with Arashi no Saxophone (which was popular enough to be rearranged in KOF '98 and again in XI), then continued with Arashi no Saxophone 2 in '96 (ditto in 2002 and XIII as EX Iori ), Cool Jam (Arashi no Saxophone 3) in '97, Stormy Scream (Arashi no Saxophone 4) in 2000, and Cool Jam 2 in 2003, then finally XIII gives us Arashi no Saxophone 5. For the new story arc starting in XIV, the Yagami Team gets Saxophone Under the Moon as their theme song. The original Stormy Saxophone eventually got a remix in KOF XIV, fittingly as the rival theme between Kyo and Iori with their classic DLC outfits on.
  • Whenever Benimaru and/or Shingo end up on a team without Kyo, their themes tend to rival (or even surpass) his themes in the same game. See Still Green in KOF '97, Inner Shade in 2000, Joyrider in 2003, and Asia Sangokudomei (Triple Alliance of Asia) in 2002: Unlimited Match.
  • If any of Kim's themes have the word "Seoul" in them, that song is usually guaranteed to be awesome. It began with Seoul ni Ikou! (Let's Go to Seoul!) in Fatal Fury 2/Fatal Fury Special. Then came Seoul Town in Real Bout Fatal Fury/KOF '98 (the '98 version was bashed to the point that the music team one-upped the song into Seoul Town ~Ver. Justice in KOF 2002: Unlimited Match). Next was Seoul Road in KOF '96. Seoul'ssu followed in Real Bout Fatal Fury Special. Finally, Seoul Love in KOF 2003 rounds out the series.
  • Fairy, Chizuru's theme from KOF '96 and its arranged version, as well as Sacredness ~ Fairy from KOF 2003. Rock and gospel have never sounded so great together.
  • London March, Billy's theme from KOF '97 (and a majority of Billy's other appearances) also sounds like it'd go hand-in-hand with Guilty Gear (the arranged version even more so.) N.D.R., his theme from Real Bout Fatal Fury, is also rocking, and the arranged version from KOF '98 throws synthesisers into the mix.
  • In Spite Of One's Age, the theme of the Oyaji/Master Team from KOF '98. And if you thought that was good, wait until you hear Ver. Immortal from 2002: Unlimited Match.
  • Psycho Soldier K.O.F Remix from KOF '94. It's a catchy and memorable J-Pop/J-Rock song. The OST rendition from KoF '96 pumps up the bass!
  • In a series filled to the brim with rock, jazz, and pop, Slam No. 5 (or is it Slum No. 5?) from KOF '94 stands out as a cool hip-hop track. Also, make sure to catch the '98 version.
  • K' seems to have his own string of pure, unadulterated awesome. Aside from the aforementioned "KD-0079", there's KD-0084 in 2000, KD in 2003, and KDD-0075 in XI.
  • New Order, Rinrin, and Secret Circumstances, all from XI. The first is a essentially a fusion of "Esaka" and "Arashi no Saxophone"; the second is jazzy; the last one sounds like the score for the next James Bond. A remix of New Order plays as Kyo and Iori's Fated Battle Theme while Vanessa would get a remix of Secret Circumstances in XIV.
  • The Ikari Team has some rocking tunes as well. See Jungle Bouncer from '94, Desert Requiem from '95 (Remixed for 2002 UM), Rumbling on the City from '96, W.W.III from '99, The Trooper from 2000, and Inside Skinny from 2003, and Smell of Gunpowder from XI. W.W.III eventually got a remix for KOF XIV, as did Desert Requiem.
  • The very original IKARI theme from the classic Ikari Warriors got a remix after decades since its debut. Surprisingly, it never got an official remix till XIV rolled in, raising a greater feeling of nostalgia now that it has been brought back. Sadly, it only plays when Ralf and Clark face off against each other.
  • While it might not have the staying power or nostalgic value of "Esaka" or "Tears", Blaze, Kyo's other solo theme from KOF 2003, has its own merits.
  • Love him or hate him, Ash Crimson's themes are deliciously sinister, a testament to just how far he's strayed from the typical protagonistic mold. Splendid Evil in KOF 2003 kicked it off and Joker in XI eventually becomes something akin to Guilty Gear-lite (thanks in part to a killer guitar). Joker eventually got remixed in XIV, but repurposed and suitably re-arranged as Oswald's theme.
  • The Art of Fighting Team have written plenty of awesome music. Most songs have an Oriental flair to them, which serves to only amp up the awesome and keep you pumped for the fight. Try Ryuuko to Ken (Dragon, Tiger, and Fist) in KOF '95, Ryu-Ko in '99, Beauty and the Beast from 2000, Kyoku-gen in 2003, After a Long Absence in XI, and Art of Fight ~ Ryuko to Tsubame (Art of Fight ~ Dragon, Tiger, and Swallow) in 2002: Unlimited Match. Kamikirimushi (Praying Mantis) from '96 wasn't half bad either. In XIV, Tiger & Dragon serves as their theme song.
  • Zhe Prime, the riveting and yet melancholic theme of Nameless. Fitting doesn't even describe it.
  • The Women Fighters Team were not without great music either, which usually either fell into the category of catchy (think club-type beats) or soothing. See Ne! from KOF '94, Tsuchi o Hau Bass (Ground Creeping Bass) from '95, Sha-La-La from '99, Come up Smiling from 2000, and Destiny from 2002: Unlimted Match.
  • Antinomy ~Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy~, the theme of the Kyo Clone Team from KOF 2002: Unlimited Match. It starts out a contender for the darkest BGM you'll ever hear in a fighting game (which is fitting considering that evil, magical doppelganger Kusanagi is depicted as looking downright Ax-Crazy with a Slasher Smile that would put Yamazaki to shame). Then, around the post-1:00 mark, the song picks up and starts to feel... oddly heroic. Of course, you're right to back to square one after that brief moment of uplifting.
  • A cruel subversion with The King of Fighters 2001, which is almost unaminously hailed as the series' low point in musical score (justified; this was when SNK was paired with Eolith due to bankruptcy). Even with the extreme repetition found in the songs, fans still have their favorites like Kare Koso Saikyo (He is The Mightest) (Igniz's theme), The Invincible Flame (Japan Team theme), and The Undying Sun/The Immortal Mirror of the Sun (Rival Teamnote  theme).
  • The King of Fighters XII also had a very well-done soundtrack. Unlike previous games, the music used is based on the stage rather than the team or character. There are two versions each as well with one only slightly differing from the other. However, the real eye (or ear) opener is the AST versions of the soundtrack. Here is a preview, and the whole AST can be heard here.
  • KOF: Maximum Impact was not without some banging tracks as well. Feast your ears on The Usual C'mon, Can You Listen Until the Guitar Solo, At Toyotsu-Chou Suita City, The Trumpeter Under The Bridge, Dangerous Parking Lot (watch out for the Cluster N-Bomb starting at 1:21), Gaining Strength Under the Waterfall, Flying Tremolo Arm, and Requiem for 50,000 People.
  • And now that KOF XIII's been released, you can treat your ears to a new batch of great music:
  • Similarly, the menu theme for KoF-i, as heard here. It's also the Main Menu theme to XIII.
  • While 2002's soundtrack was somewhat lacking due to SNK's financial crisis at the time, Napolitan Trance, the theme of K9999 and the NESTS Team, was quite good, despite the repetitiveness. For some people, it may also be the intro and player select themes, even if one's based on the other.
  • XIV, being the series' big transition to 3D rendering, made sure to try and pack some great tunes in.
    • The Image Song for XIV, Follow Me, has already become memetic in the fandom for its catchy, hype-inducing melody and its presence in nearly every trailer for the game. WO-OH-OH-OOOOOOOOAH!!!
    • As usual, the Japan Team have an energetic and powerful electronic rock theme in the form of "Yappari Esaka". It samples both the team's XIII theme and their classic 96 theme, giving a feeling of paying tribute to the past history of not only Kyo and his team, but the real life Esaka station that serves as both their stage and SNK's old home. Above all, this theme lets you know that KOF is truly here again.
    • Saxophone Under The Moon, the theme for the Yagami Team. Iori's penchant for orgasmic jazz music has blessed him, Mature and Vice well.
    • If you thought "Wild Street" rocked your socks off, wait until you listen to the new Fatal Fury Team theme, "Departure from South Town". A high-octane rocking piece guaranteed to get anyone pumped when fighting in their home stage, in which the song fits very well, too.
    • The theme for the Villains Team, "Wa", is a gritty industrial piece with distorted guitars and dubstep influences, appropriate for a team of convicted prisoners. It also has moments of creepy ambience which are especially fitting for series newcomer Xanadu, the mysterious cultist who lead Chang and Choi after they escaped from Kim.
    • For the South Town Team, we have "Soy Sauce For Koyadofu", a very intense combination of hard rock and traditional Japanese instruments, as expected from Geese Howard and his syndicate. And if that doesn't do it for you, Geese's classic theme makes a return if he fights against Terry. This remix is very fitting, standing out among all the rival battle themes for capturing the feel of a bloodthirsty brawl between these two longtime foes. The 2.0 update added this remix of the Art of Fighting 2 version of Geese's theme, fittingly for Ryo vs. Geese matches.
    • The new Psycho Soldier Team theme, "tachi bou ke", turned some heads for not only being another fun J-pop tune to go along with Athena's character themeing, but being the first KoF song, and possibly the first major fighting game song, to use a Vocaloid as its primarily vocalist. The vocal version is saved for all Athena vs. Kensou fights, while the instrumental version without the Vocaloid is the stage theme for the Psycho Soldier Team's stage, "The Bund". Even cooler is how it functions on the Bund stage itself - if a team match leads to Athena vs. Kensou mid-match, the vocals will kick in seamlessly with no interruption to the music. If Athena vs. Kensou ends and the match overall continues, the vocals will fade back out.
    • The mysterious Official Invitation Team bring with them "Venatore Ballare", a very unusual theme for the KOF series. It's a bombastic orchestra track with vocals sung in Italian, very appropriate for the opera house/masquerade arena theme that is their home stage.
    • The final boss music, Independence From An Aggregate, is a major shoutout to AKIRA. The theme itself starts off with an ominous atmosphere, then the rhythmic percussions of Japanese instruments and chanting starts playing. Its no holds barred.
    • Antonov's theme, I'm THE KING OF FIGHTERS, has a great guitar riff and solos, plus some epic orchestral parts.
    • The credits theme, Burning On, sounds like something that would play as the series' swan song, but with a lot of developments for XIV (a proper shift to 3D for the main series, the start of a new story arc, etc.), it leaves fans hopeful and excited for what the future holds for SNK and the King of Fighters.
  • Version 2.0 of XIV adds some new songs to the game, most of which are remixes. Emergence, Rock Howard's new theme, perfectly captures the spirit of classic SNK music before their first "death". Very reminiscent of Goodbye Esaka and Fairy, and appropriately uplifting for seeing a massive fan favorite finally join a canon KOF game.
  • When Gai Tendo from Buriki One appeared in XI, he came with an awesome remake of his original theme. Behold The Kickboxer!
  • Ending and credits themes don't get too much attention, but they are often great. Here's Mirthless, the staff roll theme from '97, a charming, slow blues-like theme. Serious, one of the ending BGM from 2003, has an epic and melancholic feel that makes great use of the typical KOF rock style.
  • Version 3.0 of XIV adds in two original themes.
    • Successor, Najd's theme. An ominous tune with a distinct middle-eastern feel to it despite not using any middle-eastern instruments whatsoever.
    • Full Burst, the theme of Shun'ei vs. Kukri, cementing them as the main rivals of the new saga.

    Fatal Fury/Garou Densetsu 

    Art of Fighting/Ryuuko No Ken 

    Samurai Shodown/Samurai Spirits 

    Metal Slug 
  • The 2-players ending theme from the original Metal Slug. There's also a vocal version.
  • The original version of Final Attack that shows up since Metal Slug 2 and it's so badass that it became the most recurrent leitmotif in the series. The two times the original version is used, you're fighting a mothership with Morden's army or engaging into a dramatic showdown with Rootmars. Anyway, this song is guaranteed to make you feel badass enough to fight an entire army and win.
  • A staple Boss Battle Music that spans across all games (save 5): Steel Beast.
  • Metal Slug 3 keeps the trend of awesome music alive.
  • The only thing Metal Slug 4 didn't recycle was the music, and it is amazing:
    • Secret Place (misnamed "Furiously" on the OST). Especially when the piano part starts playing.
    • Snowy Road ("Let's Run Through!" on the OST) sounds like a James Bond theme cranked up to eleven.
    • Furiously ("Secret Place" on the OST) may be the most ominous boss theme in the series.
  • Metal Slug 5 may be unfinished, but it still manages to have the most hard-rocking soundtrack in the series:
  • If the soundtracks of Radiant Silvergun and any Cave shooter had a child together, the Metal Slug 6 soundtrack would be that child:
  • Metal Slug 7 picks up the awesome music gauntlet thrown down by the other games and hits back in kind.

    Others 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/AwesomeMusic/SNK