Long Song, Short Scene

An original song whose length greatly exceeds its screentime.

Ideally, the length of an original song should correspond with the amount of screentime it gets. For instance, say the heroine starts singing about the Power of Love only to get interrupted by the villain. The full song still exists on the sound track or on the cutting room floor, but in the work itself, you only get part of it resulting in this trope.

Reasons for this vary. Maybe the song was composed for a much longer scene, but the scene was shortened in the final product. Maybe the part of the work it was composed for was cut entirely and the song had to be used somewhere else in order to prevent it from being scrapped. Maybe they wanted to have it for a music collection, but couldn't fit most of it in the work itself. Whatever the case, this song got the shaft. Often times the full length version can be found on the soundtrack or elsewhere, but never in the work itself.

In video games this may be the result of a short cut-scene with a long song playing only during it so that the only way the full song can be heard is by hacking the game for the sound files, listening to the Sound Test (if there is one), or getting the soundtrack if the game had one released. During gameplay a song may play only in a certain area or for a short period of time and be obscure to all but the most dedicated players as a sort of music-equivalent to the Unique Enemy (Ex: a song that only plays in one room in the game or a long song that only plays in a short hallway requiring the player to idle if they honestly want to hear all of it). Often included as a kind of easter egg in the game. These are often songs that are uniquely representative of that area/scene and may be a sign that there is something notable about that place.

See also Cut Song, which doesn't even play in the first place. A subtrope of All There in the Manual because the additional materials exist, even if you don't end up experiencing them in the work itself.


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  • The Sonic OVA had an intense, islandy, techno track known as "South Island". And it was only used for about five seconds, through a crackling stereo no less. It was used in trailers for the OVA too, so, luckily, people managed to rip the entire track.
  • Most of Cowboy Bebop's score can qualify for this, but a particularly blatant example is "Adieu," a smoky torch song based off of the recurring music box melody "Memory." On the soundtrack CD, it's a full-fledged, six-minute song. In the show, all we get is the very last stanza at the beginning of "The Real Folk Blues, Part I" and the opening verse at the beginning of "Speak Like A Child." One episode also treats us to the very beginning of an opera rendition that wasn't even put on any of the CDs!
    • "Car 24" plays for about 30 seconds of screentime.
    • "Farewell Blues" is another one to that list. It uses another frequently-used melody (also heard in "The Singing Sea," and "Stella by Moor") but without lyrics that make the song much more emotional.
  • "Young Knight of the Lance", Erio's theme in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. A piece that lasts around two minutes... and only used during his Transformation Sequence that lasted around twenty seconds.
    • Tiana Lanster's "Comet Shooter" similarly got cut back; even though it gets reprised later in the series, they still don't use the longer version of it.
  • "I Shinji" of Neon Genesis Evangelion: the series only uses the song once and only about twenty seconds of it.
    • "Rei III", a more powerful version of Rei's leitmotif, was never even used.
    • Just about every track in Rebuild of Evangelion seems to be considerably longer on the soundtracks than they are in the movies themselves, though mostly this just accounts for the track looping a lot more in the soundtrack-version. There is one clear example of this trope in the movies though; The song "Gods Gift" in 3.33, which in the movie pretty much skips the verse and jumps straight into the chorus.
  • The one-off Pokemon Mystery Dungeon anime special Explorers of Sky: Beyond Time & Darkness have renditions of the track "Sacrifice". The first, which plays when Grovyle, Chimchar and Piplup cross the boundary of the the ocean and head into the Hidden Land, is a fully orchestrated version of the track but with triumphant horns and drums added in. The second version, which plays when Grovyle suplexes Dusknoir, then suplexes him again through the portal to the future, is a fully orchestrated version of the track but it is played much slower pace, giving it a mournful instead of triumphant feel. Both pieces are played during sections where there is a lot of speaking and background noise, in addition, they only last a few seconds (22 seconds in the case of the first instance and roughly 10-15 seconds in the second instance).
  • One of the OSTs for Samurai Champloo contains a track called "World Without Words". The song got less then 20 seconds of playtime in the entire series, used only for a brief fight between Mugen and Okuru.
  • Several songs from Code Geass, mainly its sequel, qualify. Many tracks are only used once, and even if they are heard in their entirety, they are never heard again. The first season had numerous tracks that showed up regularly, with only a couple of unused ones on the OST. However, R2 is filled with tracks that are either heard once (or twice at most), such as "Le Repos Du Guerrier", "Check Mate", "Siegfried" and "Love is Justice", and some that didn't even get used at all such as "Prodigy" and "Dark Activity".
  • The famous Burger-kun of Darker Than Black's second season had a rockin' guitar theme that was oddly reminiscent of The King of Fighters. It never played again.
  • The soundtrack for RahXephon was composed by big name jazz artist Ichiko Hashimoto. A lot of the three OSTs worth of music she created didn't even appear on the show. Some of the most outstanding tracks, like "Fate of Katun" and "Flying Fighter" were only heard as snippets of music listened to by characters.
  • There was a melody that played about 10 minutes into the final episode of Wolf's Rain. It may have been based on a backwards midnight sonata.
  • The second ending song to Hanamaru Kindergarten fits along with the ending's theme—the show recast as a space drama. In the ending itself, it's a little under half a minute long and truncated. The full version is nearly seven minutes long, operatic, and has several epic guitar solos.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has this in the early episodes. For the first 15 or so episodes, whenever Yusei started to get serious in duels, a very different version of "Yusei Battle" begins playing. Neither version of the Sound Duel CDs have this version of the track on them. Although there's a chance that the third one will have it.
    • Another song, apparently called "Hopeless Battle", was played a few times during emotional moments early on. The ripped song was removed from Youtube and not released on any of the soundtracks.
  • Similarly, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has a TON of BGMs that never made it to the two Sound Duels it had. Camula's theme needs to be released.
  • Angel Beats! has the "Theme of SSS", which is played more than once but never in its entirety (which is under two minutes to begin with). Additionally, multiple other songs included on the OST were never played once.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind only used this catchy theme in its original Japanese trailer.
  • The ending for the second season of Queen's Blade is sung by the Terrible Trio and has 3 variations, one for each girl. While Melona and Menace got to sing their variations several times, Airi's only appears ONCE, and on the second to last episode at that (The finale doesn't have the ED). Clearly a ploy to sell more CDs, since Airi's the Ensemble Dark Horse, but still.
  • Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspectors got an awesome new opening on episode 24... out of 26. At this point might as well stick with the first one. Oddly the second ending came on the series' midway point like usual.
  • A similar deal happened to Dancougar, which got their second, beautiful opening and ending themes on episode 34 out of 38. Not as bad as other examples, but kinda wasteful to give new songs to a series about to end.
  • "VISION" from the NEEDLESS soundtrack might as well count, because it is only heard for less than thirty seconds in the entire series.
  • In Gundam Wing, each of the five Gundam Pilots has his own theme song. However, only Heero'snote  and Wu Fei'snote  appear more than twice. Trowa'snote  plays once, Quatre'snote  twice, and Duo'snote  never shows up at all...unless you play SD Gundam G Generation.
    • Similarly, a battle theme for Zechs ("Zechs Comes"), only has tiny excerpts from it get played here and there.
  • In the English dub of Digimon Frontier we have the song "Darkness In My Heart" as sung by Crispin Freeman. It's a really cool song, but it's utterly impossible to get outside of a muddled clip from the show.
    • And in the last episode of the Japanese version of Digimon Adventure 02, there's a three-minute edit of the nearly seven-minute "Bokura no Digital World".
  • There are two versions of the song Only A Memory Away, from the English dub of Sailor Moon. The original was a sombre, somewhat sad song that played during a pivotal moment. The version released on the soundtrack was more upbeat with different lyrics.
  • The American Dragon Ball Z soundtrack had Episodic Trunks a surprisingly slow, calm song that was never heard in the show proper.
  • From Puella Magi Madoka Magica, we have Numquam vincar, which is dark and epic and combines dramatic violins with an electric guitar bridge and drums all throughout. It could easily pass as the music for a Final Boss, but it's only played in one episode, for a grand total of maybe thirty seconds, against a minor Witch who Homura kills with no effort.
  • In Monster, during the first half of the anime, there's a theme that sounds like an insane marching theme that plays on occasion when a character is realizing what a danger Johan actually is. Oddly, it never appeared in either OST.
  • In AKIRA, as per the usual Geinoh Yamashirogumi treatment, most of the songs in the soundtrack run for about ten minutes with different movements, feels, and sometimes genres strewn about. However, most of the songs play for only a few seconds. For example, the song Shohmyoh is possibly one of the best songs on the soundtrack, but it only plays during a shot which lasts a couple seconds. What's also funny is that in the same scene, there was a background image that was extremely detailed to the point where you could see the individual windows on each of the buildings, yet it's only used for about six seconds, and the full image is never shown. Katsuhiro Otomo seems to love this.

  • Star Wars:
    • The music when Luke finally goes after Vader after threatening to turn Leia, "The Dark Side Beckons" (On this video), was apparently not in the first soundtrack release. The 1997 release of the soundtrack includes all the music from the movie (except for the end music from the original theatrical release), including this cue. It is found in the track "The Battle of Endor II". It gets its glory in the game Jedi Outcast, where it is used as the final battle's theme.
    • The epic victory music at the end of Return of the Jedi. Not even named or featured on the soundtrack, it can be found here, though it was clearly ripped from the movie (credit riff kicks in at the end).
    • The Max Rebo Band number "Lapti Nek", which was replaced by "Jedi Rocks" in the special edition, was only released on the original 1983 soundtrack, the master tapes since having been lost, and the film version, which has different lyrics, was never released at all.
  • "Navras" from The Matrix Revolutions is a chilling but energetic piece with haunting Sanskrit lyrics. It's not played at all during the movie, it's played during the credits and the song is 9 minutes long.
  • "Show Me Your Spine" from RoboCop (1987). To quote The Other Wiki, "In the Nightclub scene of the movie, the song by P.T.P was played. P.T.P was a short lived side project consisting of members of the band Ministry. However, this song was not available in any official form and could only be heard in the film. It was eventually released in 2004 on a compilation album called Side Trax by Ministry."
  • In The Good Shepherd, there is an arrangement of "Oh Shenandoah". Of course, we only hear part of it, and in the background behind the dialogue. It is MIA on the soundtrack, and hours of aggressive searching on the internet have turned up fruitless.
  • "Kabhi Kabhi Aditi" from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na became extremely popular among Bollywood fans. However, some of these same fans were dismayed that its picturization pretty much just shows Aditi sulking and Jai following her around.
  • And similarly, a techno song from The Replacements (no, not that football movie) called "Heart," played during the final huddle and line of scrimmage for about 15-20 seconds tops. Shown on the credits, absent from the soundtrack.
  • "Sway" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" from Dark City, or at least the versions from the Director's Cut, with Jennifer Connelly singing. The theatrical cut has Anita Kelsey singing these songs—these were the versions that appeared in full on the soundtrack album.
  • Indie musician Sufjan Stevens made an art film called The BQE. The Stinger at the end of the film featured two songs—an untitled noise-music piece, and "The Sleeping Red Wolves"—which are completely omitted from the soundtrack album.
  • Disturbed recorded "This Moment" as a straight-forward fight song with the intention of putting it in a film. They chose Transformers, who played it for a few seconds, then later during the end credits, and not during the fight scene the band was probably hoping for.
    • Another example would be "Before It's Too Late (Sam and Mikaela's Theme)" by The Goo Goo Dolls, which they wrote specifically for the film (it only got a brief instrumental segment in the actual film). These two songs showed up in the soundtrack as the only two pieces of original material, which was otherwise made up of popular licensed songs (in particular, "What I've Done" by Linkin Park, which got far more focus of these).
  • Highlander has during the scene where the Kurgan is recklessly driving through New York a version of "Theme from New York, New York" by Pop-Star Composer Queen. That isn't available anywhere else, and the film doesn't even play the full song. According to the movie commentary track, Freddie Mercury absolutely hated the song, and the director had to pretty much force him to sing that bit, so it's quite likely that there never was a full version recorded to begin with.
  • Hans Zimmer felt this way about the short cue underscoring the parasail scene as Jack and Elizabeth escape the Flying Dutchman towards the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The composer lamented the fact that he'd used up such an amazing melody on a single scene. It didn't appear on the official soundtrack release, though a subtly-altered version is part of the "Marry Me" suite from the four-disc collector's edition release of all three soundtracks (meaning fans would likely have to re-purchase three OS Ts they already owned just to get hold of the bonus disc of new material).
  • Ghostbusters originally had a different theme song, performed by Hughes/Thrall, before being replaced with the now-famous Ray Parker Jr. song. The original song was only ever featured in a 1983 teaser trailer.
  • In The Man Who Knew Too Much, Jo (Doris Day) doesn't get to sing "We'll Love Again" in its entirety, and what little viewers do hear from it gets mostly drowned out by the confrontation between Jo's husband and their son's kidnappers. On the other hand, "Que Sera Sera" sounds longer in the movie than on the soundtrack.
  • "The Meek Shall Inherit" from Little Shop of Horrors runs over two minutes longer on the soundtrack than in the movie. "Some Fun Now" and Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" also have some lyrics on the album that didn't make it into the movie. Plus, for years, the album marked the only way people could hear "Don't Feed the Plants" (albeit shortened), due to the addition of a Focus Group Ending.
  • Elliot Goldenthal's score for Batman Forever was cut down from over two hours of music to just forty-five minutes, in order to accommodate more licensed singles on the soundtrack. Until recently, even all of the album releases have failed to include the entire track listing, instead splicing multiple pieces together and leaving others out entirely.
  • The Muppets has extended versions of "Rainbow Connection" (both the Muppets' and the Moopets' versions), "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Forget You", "Mah Na Mah Na", "Me Party", and "Let's Talk About Me" included on its soundtrack. The longer "Let's Talk About Me", in particular, goes into more detail about Tex Richman's Start of Darkness. The whole song was filmed and included on the Blu-Ray as a bonus feature.
  • Follow-up Muppets Most Wanted has extra verses for "We're Doing a Sequel" and "The Interrogation Song", as well as the full versions of three cover songs, "Working in the Coal Mine", "Moves like Jagger" and "Macarena", that were all performed during in-universe stage shows.
  • A less extreme form of the trope appeared in Iron Man 2. The film had a soundtrack album by AC/DC, with 15 songs remixed for possible film inclusion. In the film proper, however, only less than two minutes of "Shoot to Thrill" following the opening credits (which still earned the song a Video Full of Film Clips, and a return in The Avengers in a similar scene), while "Highway to Hell" accompanied the last scene and end credits.
  • The Sound of Music had its reprise of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" shortened for the movie, then restored to its full length on the soundtrack. However, while the title song also experienced trimming during the transition to the big screen, its deleted portion (which Julie Andrews probably didn't even record) did not appear on the soundtrack.
  • South Pacific had "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" greatly trimmed for the 1958 movie, but the soundtrack has a longer version of it (which still runs shorter than the number from the original play). The soundtrack also has a recording of the "Some Enchanted Evening" reprise (combined with the final performance of "Dites-Moi", and labeled, "Finale") that exceeds the length of the general release's scene, but matches the duration seen in the longer roadshow version.

     Live-Action TV  
  • Bill Bailey laments in his stand-up routine that the theme tune from the BBC's snooker coverage ("Drag Racer" by Doug Wood) never gets played in its entirety.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the episodes "The Doctor's Daughter" and "Turn Left", an unspeakably epic, heroic theme plays near the end of each episode. It's on the series four soundtrack as "A Dazzling End", but the end of the song has been completely changed.
    • The original version of "Song For Ten" from "The Christmas Invasion" was never released.
    • "Evolution of the Daleks" was only put on the soundtrack in a slowed-down way, instead of the fast, hectic version used in the show.
    • "Rise of the Cybermen" and "Age of Steel" had several tracks never released on the soundtrack including many variations of the Cybermen theme that are even more awesome than the one released on the soundtrack.
  • In Takeshis Castle a final battle theme plays for the Final Showdown. But due to the commentary it can be hard to hear and as it's generally a curb stomp battle it's often cut short. Might never have even been played fully. Could be averted however, as the Theme Song is also used for the Final Showdown, combined with the fact that it's more or less played in a loop, and it depends on how many contestants are left.
  • Pokémon Smash has an ending theme, "Endless Fighters", which is something its successor Pokémon Sunday lacked for a while. However, the reason Sunday stopped having an Ending theme was because the credits made very short and the announcer would talk over them, and that's exactly what happens to Endless Fighters.
  • Most of Fat Segal's contributions to the Skins soundtrack suffer this. "Whitecap Widow" is an astonishing five minutes of music, but you wouldn't know it from the half dozen distinct chunks it gets sliced into during Emily's S4 episode. (And that's only if you can find the full song before it gets yanked off his Myspace page...)
  • Battlestar Galactica had Black Market from the episode with the same name. It was barely heard in the background as Lee walked into the Prometheus. These days, it is considered the only thing good about the episode and, by some, one of the best songs of the Season 2 soundtrack.
  • The John Williams composed theme to NBC Nightly News, "The Mission", the first 10 or so seconds of which nearly anyone who watches NBC is familiar with, the rest of which is essentially left on the cutting room floor.

  • Five Iron Frenzy felt their album Electric Boogaloo ran too long, so they cut three songs. One of them got significantly reworked and appeared on their next album; the other two wound up on Cheeses (of Nazareth), FIF's collection of b-sides. One of these songs relegated to Cheeses was "Kamikaze". Reese Roper (and possibly some other FIF members) eventually came to the conclusion that "Kamikaze" was one of the best songs the band ever wrote, and that it should have been released on a better album.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach's church cantatas and other religious works, while beloved today, remained very obscure for more than a hundred years, as they were written to be performed just once. The cantatas were only rediscovered after Felix Mendelssohn revived interest in Bach's music by conducting the first performance of the St. Matthew Passion since the mid-1700s in 1829. A great many of Bach's works were lost forever when his wife decided to use his older scores to wrap fish.
  • The Beatles relegated the otherwise unreleased "Can You Take Me Back?" to a brief snippet seguing "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution 9." The actual recording was a full three-minute song.
    • Inverted with "Revolution 1" - as originally recorded, take 20 of "Revolution 1" went on for ten minutes, its ending jam being overdubbed with numerous chaotic sound effects. When John's idea to release this as a single was shushed by his bandmates (in favor of "Hey Jude"), John separated the chaotic ending, removed the musical bed, and retitled the remaining sound collage "Revolution 9." (Reasonably enough, someone with skill can actually synch "Revolution 9" to the original bootlegged ending - elements such as John's "RIGHT!" screams match up perfectly.)
  • Pavement's "Trigger Cut / Wounded At :17" has an instrumental outro with the band playing a catchy riff, which lasts about 30 seconds, fading in from the last note of the main part of the song and then very quickly fading back out. A decade later, the bonus tracks on Slanted And Enchanted: Luxe And Reduxe revealed that this was actually a small part of "Nothing Ever Happens", a full two and a half minute song sung by Scott Kannberg.
  • Similarly, "3 Inch Horses, Two-Faced Monsters" was left off Modest Mouse's The Moon And Antarctica, appearing only as a 10 second segue between "A Different City" and "The Cold Part". The full song is a little over four minutes long, and appeared on the outtake/B-Side compilation EP Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks.
  • On DJ Keoki's Ego Trip, the intro of the extended version of "Majick" is mixed with the album's opener "Madness", but the proper track heard later in the album is a cut-down radio edit.

  • The version of Magmoor Caverns in Metroid Prime Pinball can only be heard when waiting for a signal from another DS to start the multiplayer table.

     Professional Wrestling  

     Theme Parks  
  • Disney Theme Parks have literally thousands of individual audio elements, many of them music that is heard all too briefly.
    • Splash Mountain at Disneyland CA in particular has several, including "Laughin' Place" - of which only 0:41 of its 1:27 loop will be heard on any one ride-through, and then there are multiple versions heard in that time, including a surprisingly addictive versions with bees "singing" the song - and "Burrow's Lament," a slow minor-key version of "Laughin' Place" with new lyrics, plus an alternative, shorter instrumental piece based on Burrow's Lament (revealed by files that have turned up on the Internet to have been made by cutting down a full-length alternative version of Burrow's Lament). Burrow's Lament is heard for around 15 seconds at most, and the alternative version is mostly drowned out by the final lift hill.
    • Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World uses a bluegrass soundtrack different from Disneyland's, which includes a catchy steel-guitar-accompanied instrumental version of "How Do You Do" between the end of the first set of lift hills and the first descent, and a similarly styled version of "Laughin' Place" which has to compete with vocals to be heard. The singing bees were also re-recorded specifically for WDW. But WDW's "Splash Mountain Medley" Official Album track is not nearly as complete as Disneyland's.
    • The Haunted Mansion at Disney World has a piano version of its "Grim, Grinning Ghosts" theme tune that is barely audible due to weak speakers playing it, the standard organ-dirge version of the song playing nearby, and the "Ghost Host" narrating loudly all through the piano room scene.
    • The queue/"area" music for any ride that either has a very short wait or which one uses Fast Pass to skip the lines for becomes Wasted Music. Some of it is very good, but will only be heard briefly. Sometimes even the long normal line provides little help in hearing it, as the speakers may be placed poorly and leave it inaudible from certain points in the queue. Only a handful of tunes are available on park CDs, and many have never been released, even on the "Forever" CD kiosks that allowed people to take home an impressive amount of park music.
    • Mission: SPACE has its own theme song, called "Destiny," which is heard only in the ride's exit hallway (and not, as one might expect, in the game room at the end of that hallway, or the gift shop after that). There's a cut-down version (argh!) on the park soundtrack album, which is generally the first time people realize it even exists.

     Video Games - Action Adventure 
  • Beyond Good & Evil:
    • The main canal area normally has no music (instead, you get to hear the Big Bad giving speeches), but if you sit around, a unique song, "Channel Surfing / Something Complete Different" starts to play. It's a pseudo-remix of one of the game's other songs, "Akuda House Propaganda." However, since most people will be in and out of the area before the speech finishes, many players don't even know the song exists.
    • Also "Safari", which is only played in the area in front of the lighthouse, so you probably won't hear most of it unless you stop to talk to the kids when they happen to be outside. Oh, and by the time the plot gives you a reason to return there the song is gone for good.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission has the "Space Pirate Mothership" Theme, an eerie techno beat that plays when you've been stripped of your suit and have to sneak through their ship without any weapons or armor. The song is almost four minutes long, but you'll only hear about 20 seconds of it before you're spotted by a nearly unavoidable space pirate and the alarm music plays. Even after you ditch them, the original sneaking music never plays again. It is possible to play though this segment without triggering the alarms, though it requires fast reflexes regarding the aforementioned Space Pirate.
  • Castlevania:
    • Symphony of the Night includes quite a few songs (and levels for that matter) that were added onto the Saturn version of the game, making any owners of the game for any other console out of luck. These songs are also notable because the levels and fights that feature them aren't particularly long, thus it's easy to miss a large portion of the songs. Some of the songs missed out by many players include this, this, this, and this.
    • The LSSS on both versions, however, is the prologue song, which plays when Richter is on the way to Dracula's throne. No enemies in sight. And Dracula's leitmotif takes over when they fight.
  • Each nightfall in Shenmue I and II featured the opening to an acoustic guitar song (a rearrangement of a track from Super Hang-On) that is never heard anywhere else in the game nor the OST... Until now!
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has several songs with very little screen time, especially for the first entry in the series that features a full orchestra.
    • The Wind Waker has a remix of Ocarina's Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly theme, which logically accompanies the Deku Tree and Dodongo Cave remixes. But you can only hear it when you're talking to Jabun, a dialog you could easily skip (especially considering the fact that Jabun speaks a language that's unreadable outside New Game+). Since the two other remixes are played in the two first dungeons of the game, this one was likely supposed to be played in some scrapped water dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures has a lengthy puzzle in the form of the Village of the Blue Maiden. Once you've finally sorted out everyone's problems, you get an upbeat version of the classic Kakariko Village theme that only lasts until you leave that screen. It makes a second appearance in one of the multiplayer Tingle's Tower mini-games... at the beginning and end of an area that (mostly) plays an entirely different song, and which you're only going to hang around in for around ten seconds tops.
    • The Ganon battle theme from Link: The Faces of Evil, which is played during a battle that you complete in under five seconds by throwing a book at him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has plenty of examples:
      • Like any character leitmotif. For the sages (Irene, Rosso, etc), this is played ONCE during a cutscene in which you talk to them. The cutscenes are about 20 or so seconds long at most, and are easily skipped through at record speed. Then they get captured by Yuga and you never hear their theme songs again. Heck, Yuga's own themes are this too, since both (yes, he has two leitmotifs) are only played during certain cutscenes, which are also rather short.
      • The Chamber of Sages theme. You visit this area about six times throughout the game, and are almost always done there in well under half a minute. The song goes on longer than that.
      • Any version of a song played when Link is a wall painting. Because in such a form, the music is changed slightly, yet he can only stay in this form for a matter of a seconds due to the rapidly decreasing stamina meter (and even the last few seconds don't help, because a loud alarm plays over the songs).
      • The song played when Mother Maiamai is upgrading items, which plays only during the very short cutscene in question but has some pretty epic chanting in the background.
  • Cave Story has the tracks "Toroko's Theme" and "White", songs heard on the title screen only if you succeed in finishing the game's bonus stage quickly. White isn't even included with the soundtrack that is downloaded with the game's "deluxe" edition.
    • "Break Down", the music that plays when the island breaks down in the normal ending, is very short, since it plays during one of the game's very few fixed-length cutscenes, and is also cut short in the version of the soundtrack most people have. (Full version of the soundtrack here.) It becomes even shorter in the Wii version because there's a longer intro so the song gets cut off during the cutscene before the melody even really starts.
  • The song "Buzz Buzz" in Mushroom Men. It plays in exactly one, relatively small area: In the second "true" level, while fighting the bees. Once you defeat them—and it won't take long - the song goes away. But listening to the song in the Sound Test reveals that it goes on for quite some time before looping.
  • Star Fox Adventures has "Dark Ice Landing Strip", which plays only in an area that a competent player could get through in around 10 seconds.
  • Ōkami has two variations of the theme that plays when you fight Orochi. You only hear the first for a few seconds before you find that your attacks don't work on him and it switches to the second variation for the remainder of the fight, then you only hear the second when you refight him in the past and on the Ark of Yamato.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days does this to Roxas's theme, "The Other Promise", despite Roxas being the main protagonist here. The song plays twice in the game: first, during a few lines of dialogue in yet another scene on top of the Twilight Town clock tower, which should not take more than a few seconds to get through; and second, in one of the ending videos, where it begins to play but is cut off. The song is given more prominence in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Coded.

     Video Games - Adventure Game 
  • Chibi-Robo has Telly Vision's "theme song," "Teriyaki Blues". While he'll attempt to sing it for you several times throughout the game, playing the intro alone, he'll always get interrupted in some fashion before he gets to finish. The only way to hear the full song is to complete a fairly unintuitive sidequest, and then complete Funky Phil's sidequest. Then talk to Funky Phil, select the second option, and then "Teriyaki Blues." Telly will then, finally, sing the complete song for you in a completely unique version of his signature simlish babble.
  • Death Gate does the "long music over short moment" thing A LOT. In a way, it does kinda add to the atmosphere, since you'll never hear some of the looping points.
  • The Legend of Kyrandia features a rather long tune which plays in exactly one room in the entire game: the emerald room of Serpent's Grotto, which is completely optional. Most players never hear more than 10 seconds of it, if even that much.
  • Telltale's The Walking Dead has a track during the climax of Episode Five. "Armed With Death" plays during Lee's One-Man Army moment in the streets of Savannnah against an insane number of walkers. You'll only hear about 45 seconds of a track that's at least twice as long. In fact the full track itself had to be edited into the extended version used for the link.
  • The music for the gateway to the Mechanical Age in Myst is only audible when you get up close to the linking book, and for some reason, was left out of the official soundtrack CD, despite the other gateway themes being there.

     Video Games - Beat Em Up 
  • MadWorld:
    • "Crimson Rain". The first time this song was actually ever heard was before the release of the game and it was played in one of the older trailers. The song is played right before you go to fight the third boss in the Mad Castle area. The only way to hear the full song is either pausing game or have Jack just stand there before entering the church to face the boss or buy the soundtrack.
    • "Look Pimpin!" only plays during the first phase of the final battle, which might only last 30 to 40 seconds if you're competent, and will quickly be replaced by "So Cold" for the rest of the fight.
  • Ultraverse Prime for the Sega CD features music by Tim and Geoff Follin. The title music, a seven-minute rock piece in the style of Deep Purple, cuts off about three and a half minutes in, cutting off half the song. It's CD Audio though, so it can be listened to in a regular CD player....... Or Youtube, for that matter.
  • BGM2 in Final Fight is only played on Round 1-2, which is a really short stage compared to the rest.
  • Likewise, For Metro City in the third game is only played in the first part of Round 1, which can be cleared in less than a minute.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World's shop theme. On one hand, you'll hear the first few bars a lot, given how many times you'll be taking a snack break to boost your stats. On the other hand, the entire loop lasts a minute and a half— the longest single music loop in the entire game— and in most cases, you won't even get to the acoustic guitar solo by the time you've left the shop. The official soundtrack CD doesn't even give this tune a single full loop before fading out, unlike every other song on the soundtrack.

     Video Games - Card Games 

     Video Games - Driving Game 
  • The demo in Uniracers plays a up-tempo hard rock song (the whole soundtrack is like this). The return to the title screen always cuts it short, leaving the listener to wonder what the rest is supposed to sound like, if there was any more.
  • F-Zero GX is rife with this trope.
    • Each and every of the 41 characters have their own theme music, and they only ever show up in the information screens for that character and during replays.
    • The tunes which play exclusively during the story mode cutscenes, which are talked-over, often cut-short, and have yet to be found released separately anywhere.
  • The results screen music from Mario Kart 64. It turns out that it has a hidden song that you get to hear after letting the music loop 64 times, just under 53 minutes in total. Here's the song.
  • Mario Kart 8:
    • The Dolphin Shoals track has two different versions of the BGM that play in different areas due to Variable Mix. This version is the one that plays on the shortest segment of the track, the one which you'll blaze through in about ten seconds.
    • Cloudtop Cruise uses an overdriven guitar variant of its theme for the portion of the track that takes place on Bowser's airship in a thunderstorm. You get to hear it for all of 12 seconds before it returns to the cheerier theme.
  • Test Drive 5 features "Leid und Elend" by KMFDM, but only as a 30-second clip on certain point-to-point courses and loading screens. Similarly, in Test Drive 6, "Dog's Life" by Kottonmouth Kings only appeared as a 30-second loop on the Honolulu Reverse course.
  • Most of the music in Twisted Metal Black. The songs run on quite a while before looping, but due to the Variable Mix nature of the music, you'll only hear a few small parts of them at a time, and you'll be focusing on the action anyway.
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has several examples. First, several of the levels, Temple Trouble in particular, have tracks that change at different sections of the level. But these sections tend to be rather brief. Therefore the remix of Jungle World that plays in the boat sections of Temple Trouble, and the remix of NiGHTS and Reala that plays in the Nightmare sections of Dream Valley are mostly missed by players. Another instance is some characters' All-Star themes, which are mostly cut off due to how short the All-Star attacks are. Examples include Metal Sonic's remix of his theme from Sonic 4, and Knuckles' remix of "Unknown from M.E.".
  • Super Cars 2 has a Barry Leitch theme on the title screen that you'll skip through in about fifteen seconds, long before the breakdown about two minutes in.
  • Some Japanese Formula 1 games released in the nineties open with the classic TRUTH by the T-square band, but the opening ends right as the song is about to get intense. By looking on sound tests or the games' data, you can either listen to it all or find out the devs didn't use the full song after all.
  • The results screen music in Destruction Derby 2 ("Direction" by Jug) is just shy of six minutes long, and is the longest track in the game. However, you're unlikely to be spending more than fifteen seconds on the results screen, let alone a few minutes.

     Video Games - Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.
    • There are songs that you can only hear during certain movies in the Subspace Emissary, such as the Wild West version of the Luigi's Mansion theme heard during the "King Dedede Steals..." movie, or the melancholy version of the Brawl theme heard in movies such as "Ganondorf Takes Command", or the stirring rendition of the Fire Emblem theme when Marth first unsheathes his sword, etc.
    • Melee has the "Peach's Castle" music from the original Nintendo64 game that only plays in an Adventure Mode cutscene that appears when you achieve the condition to fight Luigi in place of Mario. It does not appear in the sound test just like Giga Bowser's theme, and if you adjust the in-game volume controls so that only music plays, the sound effects still manage to play during this cutscene.
  • The King of Fighters '98 has two songs made for Orochi Chris and Orochi Shermie ("Mad Fantasy" and "Fanatic Waltz"). However, it's almost impossible to hear them in regular gameplay, as the Orochi Team never show up in Arcade mode as regular opponents, and going into Practise mode and selecting them there doesn't bring the music up either. Fortunately, the Updated Re-release Ultimate Match corrects this by featuring the team as midbosses in the Arcade mode.
  • BlazBlue:
    • "Love So Blue" plays only for the final Noel vs. Nu battle in the true ending of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. Noel has an infinite super bar for this battle, so you'll probably win it in 10 seconds. Fortunately, the song shows up in Sound Test and the console versions let you pick it in Versus mode.
    • Both of Bang's Fu-rin-ka-zan themes (the Calamity Trigger original and its Chronophantasma replacement) are over 3 minutes long. The play only for the remainder of a single 90-second match. Like "Love So Blue" they can be selected in sound test and versus mode.

     Video Games - First Person Shooter 
  • Metroid Prime:
    • A glitch in the game caused the first few seconds of Flaahgra's theme to loop endlessly, and it wasn't restored to its full glory until the PAL Version.
    • The Phendrana Drifts Depths song in Prime is restricted to a small recess of the Drifts that you don't see much of.
    • Metroid Prime Pinball contains a version of the Magmoor Caverns theme (itself a remix of Lower Norfair from Super Metroid) that can only be heard when waiting for a local connection to play the multiplayer table. It doesn't even play during the match itself.
    • The title screen theme of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. If you just press Start when the titles come up, the only time you'll hear it it is an excerpt during the final cutscene (the credits play the menu theme instead).
  • In Doom:
    • The song "At Doom's Gate" is only played for the first map of the first episode, and it's a very short map.
    • The PlayStation version of Doom / Doom II replaced the... interpretations of rock songs in MIDI format with atonal ambient noise, but instead of the six second Scare Chord title music it had aepic march that tended to last for all of the few seconds before the player pressed start. The full song be found here.
  • Battlefield 3 uses God's Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash but only in a short trailer, and for less than a minute in the first mission. Which is probably just as well, seeing as how the next immediate verse is about Cash praying to Jesus... while the mission itself is set in Iraq, which would have been all sorts of unwanted and distracting controversy.
  • Halo
    • In Halo: Combat Evolved, "A Walk in the Woods" only plays in a room near the end of "Assault on the Control Room" that can easily be skipped, and in the ending cutscene of "Two Betrayals".
    • In Halo 2, "Menace", heard on Quarantine Zone, only lasts about 45 seconds, and doesn't appear on either volume of the original soundtrack album, although it did finally get released as part of "Menace No More" on the Halo 2 Anniversary soundtrack. On the same level, the song "Reclaimer" only plays about halfway before fading out. Same with "Pursuit of Truth" on High Charity.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • "Triage at Dawn" (mistakenly called "Path Of Borealis"). It only plays for about half a minute when leaving Ravenholm, and doesn't play anywhere else.
    • Half-Life 2 did this a lot. The music never lasted more than a minute. Everything you hear is Combine chatter and gunfire.
  • "Oblivion" from Turok 2 only plays during a few short cutscenes, and is completely absent from the PC version, due to CD audio space limitations. It appears to be an infinitely long piece procedurally generated from various short segments/loops. The PC version also had several of its songs shortened to fit the Redbook audio space on the CD.
  • "Approaching Colditz Castle", a Cut Song from the first Medal of Honor, did get used in Allied Assault, but only the first half of the song. Likewise, in that game, "Securing the Codebook", another returning piece from the first game, is only used during the Behind Enemy Lines briefing, and at the beginning of the Siegfried Forest level as a short non-looping snippet (The full version does appear in one of the expansion packs). The first variation of the Nordhausen theme can be found in the music folder, but isn't used anywhere, at least in the single player campaign. In Frontline, there's The Halftrack Chase, which has quite alot more than you hear in-game, as only a few segments are used, during the truck Rail Shooter sequences. The full version of "Halftrack" was finally put to use for the second level of Mission 2 in Allied Assault: Spearhead, where you actually ride on a halftrack.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has two rock concert songs that plays during the finale of Dark Carnival, but you are unlikely to hear them in their entirety due to the Tank fights that happen in between zombie waves having their own remixed themes playing. You can listen to the songs on the jukeboxes in certain maps, but the AI Director will throw zombies hordes at you for idling too long.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has several party music themes that play at the party in Diamond Heist, but the songs stop playing the moment the alarm is triggered. You also can't stick around to hear every single song due to the patrolling guards. Only one of the songs from the party is on the game's official soundtrack.
  • Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light have numerous pieces of music that play only during chapter intros. They're over 2-4 minutes, but the intros only have about 10-30 second of narration.

     Video Games - Four X 
  • This trope accurately describes every single Alien theme music in the PC Strategy Game Ascendancy. When you meet/speak with any of the alien races, its unique music plays... and stops after about 30 seconds, sometimes in mid-movement. Extracting the files from the game reveals: the rest of the music isn't even there.

     Video Games - Hack And Slash 
  • No More Heroes:
    • In the first installment, a tune plays at the beginning of the fight against Holly Summers. Then, you fall into a hole, a cutscene is triggered, and the music changes for the rest of the fight, never to be heard again.
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has several pieces of music that are inexplicably played for very brief segments of the game, so often that it's a wonder that the game doesn't lampshade it. "No More Riot", which could easily double as a boss battle song, is only heard in the enemy-less stretch before two battles(Rank 50 and Rank 4, specifically), when the player is probably spending more time saving(where no music at all plays) than listening to the BGM. "Pi Pa Po" is heard only on the bike ride on the way to Rank 3,'' and then never again. "Tooth Paste" gets about a minute of playtime in part of the final area of the Rank 2 level...and for most of it, it's drowned out by the sound of the enemies.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has two:
    • In the Blade Wolf DLC, the lyrical version of Khamsin's boss theme "Hot Wind Blowing" only starts playing once you move in for the finisher as opposed to when most other bosses Turn Red, and the execution itself only lasts about fifteen seconds at the most.
    • The other is a reprise of "I'm My Own Master Now" with a Spanish guitar opening used for the Blade Wolf fight in the Jetstream DLC, once the battle actually starts, it goes back into the normal version of the song.

     Video Games - MMORPGs 

     Video Games - Multiple 
  • For the computer program The Games Factory (the first one), some of the tutorial games (included depending on what could be downloaded) have MIDI music, but the playtimes and/or time limit cut the music down to 30 seconds out of a minute or two before it starts over.
  • Starting a game on the Wii U brings up a splash screen while it loads, along with some music, with multiple games syncing the music length to how long the loading takes. After a system update that decreased the systems loading times across the board, a lot of older Wii U games have their startup music cut out before they're finished.

     Video Games - Platform Game 
  • The Donkey Kong Country series seems to have a thing for this:
    • The GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 3 has an odd example. The music for the riverside levels (Enchanted Riverbank) is played in all three levels that have that theme, but there are actually two different variations of it depending on whether you are in the water or not, with a percussive rhythm and environmental noises for when the Kongs are on land and a more intricate and flowing melody for when they are underwater. You won't be spending much time in the water in any of the three levels in question, so this "fuller" version of the track will most likely be heard for only a few seconds at a time at most.
    • Donkey Kong 64 has a number of pieces used only in a small area, but the standout in terms of oddness is "Mad Maze Maul". For some reason, a seemingly ordinary Bonus Barrel mini-game got its own track, as opposed to every other bonus barrel having the same theme elsewhere. It's much more upbeat and jazzy than the song used in the other barrel mini-games, too.
    • Even the later entries aren't safe, as in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze a remix of Stickerbush Symphony only plays in a level where you'll hear it for about 10 seconds.
  • Earthworm Jim: "Use Your Head" is played very briefly in the "helicopter" area of the last stage. It takes approximately twenty seconds to pass this part, but the PC/Sega CD version of the song goes on for 3 minutes before looping (and includes a wicked guitar solo). That particular song gets used a fair bit more in the Genesis/Megadrive version; appearing during the mechanical chicken battle and in the fight against Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt. This song appears again in the Beast Chase level in the PlayStation game Wild 9, which also had Tommy Tallarico as its composer. Interestingly enough, the Wild 9 game disc, due to using standard Red Book Compact Disc Digital Audio for its music rather than a proprietary format as with most PlayStation games, also serves as its own OST (when played in an ordinary CD player or computer disc drive), with "Use Your Head" being track 10 (track 1 on the disc being the game data track, with everything else being Compact Disc Digital Audio). (The CD version of Earthworm Jim also uses Red Book audio.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Death Egg Zone's theme is surprisingly long, considering it's only heard in one really short hallway before the final boss fights. You only end up hearing it for the 5 seconds or so it takes to run into the room with Silver Sonic, who inexplicably has the standard boss music instead of the rest of the Death Egg Zone theme. Death Egg had a Dummied Out second act in the beta version, meaning it was originally supposed to be a full length stage, the reason for the song length.
    • Green Grove Zone Act 2 in the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island is 4 minutes and 15 seconds long. You're almost guaranteed to hit an invincibility box, enter a special stage, or finish the stage before then. The song for it is about 1.5 times longer than the powerup.
    • Sonic Advance has a similar situation at work- the final stage, the X-Zone, is nothing more than a boss rush; you spend no more than a few seconds outside of boss fights playing normally. However, the music used exclusively for this stage is quite long.
    • Sonic Adventure:
      • The game's theme tune, "Open Your Heart", plays in instrumental form in several places, but the full version only plays during the final credits. A truncated, looping version plays for the final boss battle. Or at least, over the first part of the final boss battle. The part which, if you know what you're doing and have a bit of luck, lasts significantly less time than the first verse.
      • Snowy Mountain, in Ice Cap from the same game. It only plays in Sonic's first section of the level which is cleared in 30 seconds.
      • Adventure is full of songs where you only hear 90 seconds or so but go on much longer. "Azure Blue World" (Emerald Coast) is an excellent example. The song itself is almost 4 1/2 minutes long.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog contains a remix of E.G.G.M.A.N by Paul Shortino. But the segment used in the game is less than 30 seconds long, only used in one cutscene and is buried in the Sound Test behind the anonymous "Event" title. The full version of the track did eventually appear on the "Lost And Found" soundtrack CD, however.
    • The theme for the options menu in Sonic Colors is a full orchestrated piece.
    • Also from Colors, the theme to the Terminal Velocity overworld map could easily have been used for an actual stage, but instead it's subject to playing on the one map screen you'll be spending the least amount of time on.
  • The first phase of the final boss battle in Donkey Kong '94 for Game Boy is accompanied by the longest (1:25) and most complex song in the game: a chiptune guitar imitation that goes into a "solo" a minute in. But the battle itself takes only a few moments to beat if you're good enough.
  • The original Banjo-Kazooie has several unique, one-off melodies for a few relatively tiny areas, such as the houses of Nabnuts and Gnawty in Click-Clock Wood, and the Twinklies' mini-game (which you can't play once you've gotten the Jiggy for it) in Freezeezy Peak.
  • Mega Man:
    • The Dr. Wily stage intro song in Mega Man 3 is 13 seconds long, but the longest you get to hear of it are about 5 seconds.
    • Proto Man's theme. You've probably only ever heard the initial whistle part in the actual game. The only way to hear the rest of the song during the game is to use a certain bug on the second controller to prevent the game from switching to the actual ending music, or hit Start as soon as Mega Man enters the room.
    • Also, Wily Stage 5 & 6. Since each of these these stages only consist of a single room followed by a Boss Battle, you'll probably only hear the first few seconds.
    • Punk's theme from the Game Boy 3 is only heard once (and not even the full song!) in a very brief cutscene that leads directly into the fight against him, which just plays the boss theme from the NES 4.
    • The Robot Museum theme in Mega Man 7 is a blend of the level themes for a few classic Robot Masters, but you probably won't hear most of it before you walk into the boss room (which is right in front of you when you start the level!)
    • There's a track in Mega Man Legends played only during the racing minigame you can do at the KTOX television station. The most you'll ever hear of it is 29 seconds, and that's only if you keep your race rank on the technical course at D and grab all the time extension cones.
    • The Undernet theme in Mega Man Network Transmission. You spend so little time in the two areas it's used that you'll probably barely hear any of it if you don't ever stop to smell the roses.
  • The single Band Land sublevel in Vexx has a long, unique, jazzy melody that starts out slow and builds to a frantic pace. It's quite long, but it only plays in that one area.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a "pop vocal" song in the credits, but because it's preceded by a lengthy orchestral piece, it fades out immediately after one verse and chorus have passed. The CD soundtrack version is just as short. It's hard to believe that's all they recorded.
  • Kirby:
    • The music for Corn Hall in "Gourmet Race", in both KSSU and the original Kirby Super Star, is a minute and a half long; you'll spend about 40 seconds in the course. The game does have a Sound Test, but it's not unlockable until far after you first hear the song.
    • Kirby Air Ride has "Target Flight" (an orchestrated version of Super Star's "Cocoa Cave" music.). The entire song lasts for at least 2 minutes. Too bad that the actual Target Flight event only lasts 15 seconds long. At least the Sound Test is available right off the bat.
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3 plays one of two songs at the end of each stage depending on whether or not its mission was completed. The "success" theme is the happier of the two and about as long as you'd expect a song that plays on a one-screen wide area to be (not very). The "failure" theme, on the other hand, plays for over half a minute without looping on a screen you have absolutely no incentive to stick around on.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe uses a minute long, orchestral remix of Castle Lololo from the original Kirby's Dream Land for it's game over-continue screen. A screen that if you even get (as the game's relatively easy and extra lives are plentiful), you can just click through in five seconds.
  • The Sega Genesis video game Contra: Hard Corps includes in its sound test a theme titled "Jurassic Dope". This song is heard in only two areas of the game. One is nothing but a very brief cutscene consisting of a text box, a selection of two choices, and one more text box afterward. The other instance is a second cutscene, this one with a whopping one dialogue box. The song itself is a minute and a half in length. Unless you're an extremely slow reader, you won't be hearing the whole thing ingame. Another song from Hard Corps that went almost unheard was "Moonlit Army", also played at two distinct points in the game and abruptly gets cut off after half a minute at best. The song itself lasts nearly two and a half minutes, and slowly becomes more intense and elaborate.
  • The background theme of the Game Boy puzzle-platformer Altered Space, which runs nearly a minute and a half, restarts every time a new room is entered and takes a whole ten seconds to actually start up, when most rooms will be visited for only a few seconds.
  • The Emperor's theme in SNES Super Return of the Jedi; it is heard in a few (short) cutscenes and as the background music in two (also short) levels, but the game switches to its standard boss theme when you actually confront Vader and (more noticeably) the Emperor himself.
  • The final boss theme from the sixth Mega Man X game is a remix of the Sigma themes from the first two games. You'll probably defeat the boss within twenty seconds.
  • Wario Land 4's final level is the Golden Passage. It has an mildly creepy, and perfectly fitting song... that you will never hear in-game. The Frog Switch is located directly below the level entrance, meaning you only hear about half a second of the song. Pausing doesn't work- it just stops the music.
  • RosenkreuzStilette: Also, the password track, "Snow-Covered Ground", which depending on how you see it, loops for either half a minute or a whole minute and a half. Definitely between stages, when you're shown a password, but even when you're entering one, you probably won't take long enough naturally to hear the "ending" part of the loop.
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • Papu Papu's boss theme from the original Crash Bandicoot (1996). Considering the boss is ridiculously easy to beat (even by this series' standards) few players ever heard very much of it.
    • Dr. N. Brio actually had his theme remixed for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back like the other returning bosses, except you only heard short bits of it twice throughout the entire game; once when he contacts Crash after you collect the first gem, and twice when he contacts Crash after you collect all the gems. Good luck trying to listen to his theme, as N. Brio's voice pretty much drowns it out.
  • This music is used in the options menu of Daffy Duck in Hollywood for Sega Mega Drive. Let me just reiterate that: it's used in the options menu. Who spends over two minutes on the options screen?
It's also used on the Game Over screen. For all of ten seconds. It's almost as if Daffy himself were directing the music choices. In the comments on that YouTube video, Matt Furniss himself has confirmed that the developers took an unused level theme and just slapped it on the options screen.
  • The Wii version of A Boy and His Blob has a sound test mode that's laid out like a level of the game—you have jellybeans to use there for navigation, and you listen to songs by feeding the many blobs scattered around the level jellybeans. However, dropping a Hole bean in a very specific spot lets you access a tiny underground cave. It has four blobs that play remixed versions of the BGM from the original NES A Boy and His Blob. They're not used anywhere else in the game, and getting to them is very nearly a Guide Dang It.
  • The Subspace music in Super Mario Bros. 2 (a remix of the Overworld music from the first game) runs a bit longer than the time you are allowed in Subspace (and you cannot pause there). A trick involving a super star and perfect timing will replace the normal stage music with the Subspace music (and allow you to pause and listen to the "bass and percussion" version of the track).
  • New Super Mario Bros.: In the same game, the Starman (invincibility) theme is only played for a few seconds. Nothing special, right? Actually, this game's Starman theme is the one from Super Mario 64, whose Starman theme is quite unique compared to those from other Mario games. But the actual unique part of the theme does not play in-game; the entire theme is only accessible in minigames or through cheats.
  • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this "below decks" version of the Airship music plays only in a very small area, which is the room right before the first fight with Bowser Jr.
  • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, many themes come under this: You've got any of Squizzard's themes, because the battle is the only place in the game with a different fire flower theme, the final battle music, because it's over in about ten seconds, the Boss Blitz Galaxy music (it's actually got unique music, but you never hear it because the boss themes override it).
  • Super Mario 3D World
    • The song that plays when the game loads is double the amount of time the game usually loads. The only way to hear it in full is to either eject the disk while it loadsnote  or you have the technical know how to rip the music off the game files.
  • The NES and Game Boy versions of DuckTales 2 have piece of swing-ish music that plays enroute to the final boss - during a sharply truncated stage with no enemies and no reason to linger. And then it gets mostly drowned out by dialog SFX when it starts looping.
  • The SNES version of Prince of Persia has three one-time level themes; Level 17, Level 19, and Level 20, the first and last of which only consist of short corridors ending with boss battles.
  • In Epic Mickey, Mean Street has its own battle theme, a heavier, faster-tempo remix of the city's main theme. It goes for about two minutes without looping. However, the only time there is a normal battle in Mean Street, it's just three of the weakest enemies in the game, so the battle is over within several seconds.
  • Similar to the Mega Man examples, the Rainbow Transport music from Keith Courage In Alpha Zones is 19 seconds long, but in-game, it plays for all of 3 seconds.
  • The music in the seventh level of Toy Story is actually about 1 minute and 25 seconds long and includes a section beginning around the 1:04 mark that will never be heard in the game because the level involves riding Rex in a Minecart Madness fashion (you can't stay in one place or go back, only constantly forward) and will be over in under a minute.
  • The main theme of LEGO City Undercover. You can only hear the main theme of the game on the title screen which is just a loop of the first 30 seconds of the music but in some trailers of the game such as this one and this one you can here a longer version of the game's main theme.
  • The invincibility themes in the Something series are remixes of full songs (You Spin Me Right Round in Something and Guile's theme in Something Else), but invincibility lasts only a few seconds. If another star is touched, the theme just starts from the beginning.

     Video Games - Pokemon 
  • The Pokémon games have several pieces of largely incidental music that occur when you confront trainers. Some of them are surprisingly long, despite the fact that you'll almost never hear more than 10 seconds of one.
    • The very first unique Legendary song in the series is the theme of the legendary beasts, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. These are roaming legendaries, which makes them prime candidates for the Master Ball - but if you chuck that ball at the start of the battle, you'll hear maybe the first two seconds of their theme before they're caught and the battle ends. This technically applies to any Pokémon with a unique theme, but roaming legendaries are such a hassle that most players save their Master Ball so they can catch them on the first try, making this a particularly annoying example. Though Suicune isn't a roaming legendary in Crystal, so you do get to hear the song in a proper legendary battle.
  • HeartGold and SoulSilver up the ante on that one, giving each of the three beasts their own theme. On the bright side, if you don't use your Master Balls, expect to hear the songs a lot. And even then, you still won't hear that much more of them, given how Raikou and Entei run away on the first turn.
  • The third generation games also have the Underwater music, which is actually one of the longest and most complex songs in the game, but you tend to only spend about 20 seconds underwater, or have it interrupted by a wild encounter, so you tend not to hear much past the beginning of the song.
  • The music that plays after defeating an Elite Four member or the Champion in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is surprisingly long and complex for something accompanying some small text boxes.
  • Pokémon Stadium:
    • Pokémon Stadium 2 has a remix of the Dark Cave theme. The problem? The only time it ever shows up is during the Gym Leader Castle, after Clair is defeated and you get a message from the Elite Four, which unless you stay on the message and wait, only lasts for a few seconds, and can't be heard after that until Round 2 (which, again, is just for that one bit).
    • Most players assumed that the battle victory music from defeating a boss trainer is only a few notes, as the dialogue with these characters after battle doesn't last long. Unless you wait to advance the dialogue, the only time you'll hear this tune in full form is after the final battle with your rival.
  • In the original Red and Blue games the Pokéflute could be pulled out and played at any time, but only a few notes would come out. If you wanted to hear the whole song you had to use it to wake up a Snorlax (of which there are only two in each game) and even then you get to hear the song one full playthrough each time and that's it.
  • In Black and White, this track only plays in the Champion's chamber after N's Castle appears, and on the bridge to said castle... you'll likely hang around there for all of fifteen seconds. Fortunately, it makes a triumphant return in the sequels for N's Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • There's also this haunting rendition of N's theme, heard only in a single, optional room in the aforementioned area that you can only visit once. It reappears in Black 2 and White 2, albeit even creepier.
  • In the Generation IV games (including the remakes of the Generation II games, which originally did not have this trait), this often ends up being the case for victory themes, because the game automatically advances the post-battle dialog and exits the battle screens after that. It's especially a problem with Team Galactic's victory theme, which only plays for several seconds before getting cut off, unlike the one Team Aqua and Magma had in the previous generation (and Team Galactic has a completely different victory theme than those two). However, this was corrected in Pokémon Black and White , which only exit the battle screen when the player manually does so, so the victory themes loop endlessly until then. Pokémon X and Y takes a step backwards, though, and returns to automatically exiting the battle screen.
  • X and Y has a remix of the Gym Leader battle theme, which only plays during one battle - the battle with Successor Korrina. Said battle is solely to introduce Mega Evolutions, and will probably be over in two turns. On the plus side, the theme is available to use in multiplayer battles.
  • This song that plays only on the first route of X and Y, one that is very short, and can be traversed way before the song lasts halfway without looping.
  • The original rendition of "Hurry Along" from way back in Pokémon Red and Blue only played while the character you followed was moving and would instantly be replaced with the original background music once they stopped. Every other game in the series, including remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, lets the theme continue playing until the event concludes. FRLG does play the theme during Teachy TV tutorials, meaning it can be heard whenever you want at any point after obtaining the item, but in Gen I it was more or less impossible to hear the entire thing without ripping the music from the game.

     Video Games - Puzzle Game 
  • Katamari Damacy: How long do you spend at the map screen? Probably not 3 minutes and 13 seconds. Probably not even the minute it takes before the oom-pah band comes in. The song still plays while you're viewing your collection, though.
  • Tetris The Grand Master 3 has several:
    • A relaxing tune plays in Master mode when the "speed level" is between 500 and 700. However, if you're playing particularly well, it only plays for one section, so you rarely hear the second half of it.
    • Poking around in the game data also reveals that the music which plays in the rule/mode select menus is over a minute in length. Being an arcade game, menus all have time limits, and even if you stall as much as possible, you'll never hear more than the first third of the track.
  • Tetris DS has "Ancient Tetris", a remix of the original Type A/Korobeiniki song. But it only appears in level 20, and given the speed of the game at that point it won't go on for long, unless you abuse infinite rotation. Even in the Endless mode the music switches back to level one when you beat level 20.
  • Tetris DX's Type B Music is longest and most elaborate at the "intermediate" level of Danger. you'll never hear all of it unless you let the tetriminos stack up to the appropriate height on a lower level, and then let them soft drop.
  • Panel de Pon: Its final boss theme, The Place where Evil Sleeps, which plays during matches against the Goddess of Light, Cordelia. In the American localization, Tetris Attack? Relegated to a short monologue from Bowser.
  • Pokémon Trozei!:
    • There are a couple of unique tracks that only rarely play on higher levels of the unlockable Forever mode. Considering how quickly the game will be moving by the time you reach that point, you probably won't be hearing very much of them.
    • The 3DS sequel had this for ALL of the normal stage music; since the music switched to an entirely different song the moment you made a 10 combo, which is quite easy, and started the song over afterward, the only way to hear a stage song in its entirety was by playing counterproductively.

     Video Game - Real Time Strategy 
  • "Revolution" plays in Age of Empires III if you elect to revolt during the Industrial Age instead of heading to Imperial. It's unlikely to come up in a game because accessing it cripples your economy in exchange for a powerful but brief military edge, and many players prefer to end the game before the option even comes up. On top of that, it barely lasts a minute and will be interrupted if you do the sensible thing and use your newfound military might to attack the enemy base before your edge wears off.

     Video Game - Roguelike 
  • In Dark Cloud, Norune Village has a theme which can only be heard before you begin rebuilding it. Which is probably just a walk across the map unless you stand around to hear it.

     Video Game - Role Playing Game 
  • Golden Sun has The Linked Battle theme, since the only way to hear it outside of the two-player battle mode (which many have likely never tried) and the aforementioned Sound Test is a brief scene in the first game when you automatically outrun a boulder in a mine. And that only lasts the first 10 seconds. It was also used again during the dice game in The Lost Ageif you decide to double up.
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue has a song that plays while controlling a boat in the overworld. But there's only one part in the entire game where you use the boat and that one voyage lasts a grand total of 8 seconds. And then you never hear the song again. Working Designs actually sped up the song in the English version just so people could hear the whole thing.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • "Schala's Theme" - since the only time you hear it is in her bedroom and once later on in the Terra Caves after finishing the Mountain of Woe; and again, you'd only hear the full version if you set the controller down and don't advance the dialogue.
    • The "full version" of Crono's theme. This only plays in the attract screen on the SNES version if you leave the title screen alone. Normally Crono's Theme plays three times, but then switches to a closure. Music rips from the game itself can't reproduce the work because either the loop is always stuck where it is, or the part of the song is finally loaded into the sound memory.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a remix of one of Super Mario Bros. 3's overworld themes that plays when Mario rides the blimp to Glitzville... but the only way to hear more than six seconds of it is to wait on Chapter 3's introduction screen, which only pops up once in the entire game.
    • The Thousand-Year Door also has a tune that goes for nearly two minutes without looping... used only on its file selection screen.
    • Super Paper Mario has a separate theme for each boss, so there are several songs that only play once. Most are fairly short, but not always as short as the battles - for example, if you fight Bonechill as Luigi, you can be done in seconds.
    • There is also the music for Chapter 6, Sammer's Kingdom. It's an upbeat oriental-esque tune, but the chapter it plays in consists almost entirely of fighting duels with the local NPCs, and these battles have separate music. The area the chapter takes place in also gets destroyed after you fight the chapter's midboss, though it does get restored after the end of the game.
  • Final Fantasy III includes a fast techno/electronic song for each fight against the Cloud of Darkness - and the first time you fight her, it's inevitable that you are wiped out on the first turn.
  • Final Fantasy VII has "Birth of a God", a variation on Sephiroth's theme song which plays only during the first stage of the final boss fight... a fight which, since the player is powered up to really high levels by this point, is usually over in less than a minute.
  • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • "The Legendary Beast", which only plays when Griever uses his ultimate attack, which theoretically happens after a certain point, but because by that point you're likely to be so powerful that you'll only get to hear about 30 seconds of it.
    • "The Oath". While it does appear in a couple good cutscenes, it seems to last no longer than several boxes of dialogue. A particularly egregious case, since The Oath is the main characters theme.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • "Zidane's Theme" is a very long track which only plays during one very short cutscene early on Disc 1. Hence, you're only likely to hear about half the track, if that. This isn't a huge loss, because the music isn't actually that good, but noteworthy because, toward the end of the track, a melody plays which shows up on Disc 3 as "Unfathomed Reminiscence." It's a neat bit of thematic connection that no one would ever hear unless they put the controller down and didn't advance in the dialogue at all.
    • The theme for Fossil Roo. It plays for the dungeon's first couple of screens, but the rest of the dungeon uses the same music as Gargan Roo.
  • Final Fantasy X: "Seymour Battle", like "Birth of a God", is a song that plays during the last battle with Seymour, whom at that point in the game is probably child's play compared to your overpowered characters, making it easy to miss a lot of the song. It's not even on the Sound Test, either.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has a lot of different battles theme that change depending on what you're fighting, where, and what time of day of it is. Because of the none-linear nature of the game, it's not impossible to never even hear some of the battle themes. The more likely scenario is that at the beginning of the game you'll hear some of the battle themes in full for the first area you decide to go to, but then later on as you get stronger, only hear the battle themes for the other areas for about 15 seconds.
  • In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, all songs are made roughly the same length. While some songs get in two full loops, the DLC song "Desperate Struggle" (from Final Fantasy XII) is long enough that it fades out before a single loop has a chance to play.
    • MOTHER 3 has "Even More Intense Guys", which played only during the battle with the Rhinocerocket Mark II... which isn't a boss of any sort, just a powerful mook.
    • In EarthBound, there's the haunting Snow Man theme, which is only played once in the game, during the brief moment where you play as Jeff inside his school. Once you leave the school, you never hear it again.
  • The full length version of Wild AR Ms 4's opening plays during the final part of the final battle. Which can potentially be over within the amount of time it takes to play the first verse of the song which you'll have heard in the intro many times already.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the final boss has a different theme tune for every one of its forms... but they only play in the cutscenes of him changing into said forms; once the actual battle starts, the music reverts to that of his first form.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has "Large Map -Last Area-", which only plays near the end of the game when The Very Definitely Final Dungeon appears, and you likely won't hear the whole song before you enter said dungeon.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV lacks any sort of defensive stats, so non-boss battles tend to end far quicker than the time it takes for the normal battle music to finish looping unless you intentionally spend some time not inputting any further commands once you've initiated battle.
  • Baten Kaitos:
  • Ar Tonelico 2 has an Ominous Latin Chanting song called "Emptiness" play in a cutscene before the final boss - for about a minute, before it cuts to generic "bad things are happening" music. While it doesn't appear on the sound test or in any of the game's official albums, composer and singer Akiko Shikata released it later on the CD of one of her concert pamphlets.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has the song "Influence of Truth Appearance". It plays for two battles. The first one won't last long if you're at a decent level. The second battle will be even shorter if you've been taking advantage of item creation.
  • Suikoden:
    • Suikoden II has "The Time for Confrontation" and "Mad Luca". Although each is over a minute long, duels rarely last longer than that, usually only ending in a matter of seconds, so most people won't hear the whole song in-game.
    • Suikoden IV, meanwhile, gives us "Scenery of a Nameless Island", which plays on Lime Shelf Island, Mountain Mass Island, or Donut Island, but only before recruiting Rene; once she joins, the song is permanently replaced by the treasure hunt theme on all three islands instead. With the former two islands being far out of the way and having little value except for the treasure hunt minigame itself, it's very unlikely you'll make the trek to them before you've met Rene, and Donut Island, where you actually meet her, is very tiny, with no random battles. Odds are, most players will hear about 30 seconds of this song, tops.
  • Many of the songs in Monster Rancher will only be heard in their entirety by players who are very slow readers or who like to visit the sound test menu. This also includes many of the battle themes, as battles only last 1 minute, but most battle themes are a bit longer.
  • Tales of Symphonia: "Standing the Pain" is roughly two minutes long, but it never plays that long in the few cutscenes it's used in.
  • Xenosaga Episode I:
    • The Miracle and Ormus. The former was partially played in one cutscene and the latter was only played in a hallway that took five seconds to cross.
  • The Attract Mode of The 7th Saga plays a piece called "The Seven Apprentices"... and ends before the final eight measures of the piece can be played and the loop point reached. The piece cannot be found elsewhere in the game.
  • Cosmic Fantasy 1 has a 4 minute 22 second vocal theme song, featured on from idol Tomomi Nishimura's 12th album, but it only plays over the title screen, which you'll probably see for all of 5 seconds before going to the load screen, which has its own music. Even the end credits use a different song.
  • Ys III:
    • "Theme of Chester" lasts 2 minutes before looping, but only plays in the short corridor leading to the Ruins boss. It got somewhat better use in the remake.
    • The music that plays at the entrances of dungeons, "The Boy Who Had Wings," won't get a chance to play completely unless one waits outside (such as to regenerate HP), because dungeon entrances aren't very long sections and they contain no enemies. Like the above, it got significantly better use in the remake, in which it plays in any area outside of a dungeon or the town of Redmont.
  • NieR:
  • Mass Effect 3 has Reaper Chase. In normal gameplay, you'll hear about fifteen seconds of it; the scene it was supposed to play over (Shep and co. are chased across Rannoch by a very angry Reaper) was replaced.
  • SaGa Frontier 2:
    • One of the most notable example is without a doubt Interludium, a song which is played only once in the entire game, during Ginny's birth. The scene in question only consists of 5 or 6 dialogue boxes, which take roughly 10 seconds or so to read, before cutting out to the scenario map, ending abruptly a 3:31 song.
    • Rosenkranz, which can only be heard after you defeat the final boss (if you ever manage to defeat it). The player will only hear about 30 seconds of the whole thing (1:56), before the song is cut for narrating reasons.
    • The Freudenbezeigung (I, II, III and IV) songs are almost never heard in their entirety by the players: these are the battle ending songs, and in cases you don't level-up anything, the players will only hear the 4 first seconds before the game skip to exploration mode. Even if you happen to level-up some characteristics, it's very easy to glance through these, and to end the battle. Unless players stop intentionally to hear the full rendition of the songs, most won't discover what lie after the first few seconds.
  • "Dragonborn", the main theme of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, plays nowhere in the game except the main menu, which players usually skip past in a couple seconds. Contrast Morrowind, which has "Nerevar Rising" as one of the traveling songs, and Oblivion, which has most of "Reign of the Septims" as the BGM to its opening cinematic.
  • Dark Souls: Pinwheel's theme. It's a very eerie and atmospheric tune that perfectly suits the Humanoid Abomination necromancer living in a coffin deep in the Catacombs. However, Pinwheel is a very easy boss, to the extent that a prepared player can stomp him flat in less than ten seconds.
  • Fallout 3 has the music when the Lone Wanderer leaves the vault for the first time, which only runs for about 34 seconds, and is not heard anywhere else in the game nor on the soundtrack.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The Freeside neighborhood has a unique background music, but due to scripting errors, it is rarely if ever heard in-game, being overridden by other BGM's instead.
  • Find Mii/StreetPass Quest's battle themes are long compared to how short battles are (you probably won't hear more than 30 seconds of it unless lots of people around you own a 3DS). Fortunately, there is a Sound Test.
  • Radiant Historia gets good use out of most of its soundtrack... except one. The well-titled "Interrupted Moment" plays over the bad end title cards, and only the title cards; the actually parts where everyone dies and the world ends get the game's usual "bad things are happening" music. It's almost two minutes of music for one screen with a single line of text that you'll click past in a second or two.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has "A Reunion. And...", which plays when the hero returns to Arus after Lufia's death...to find Lufia alive, albeit without her memories. The track lasts about three minutes, but the music stops playing after a few short lines, and unless you spend half a minute on each line, you won't hear the entire song.

     Video Game - Shoot Em Up 
  • In Super Contra (arcade), the song "Hotter than Hell" sounds like it should have been used for the Final Boss, Jagger Froid, but instead it got used for the short Mini-Boss battle of the final stage, and when you reach the final boss, it switches back to the regular stage music. However, in the NES version, it was used for the main theme of Stage 6, the equivalent of the arcade's final stage.
  • Most boss themes in Thunder Force VI. Unless you're using the Phoenix, boss battles tend to be over in less than 15 seconds.
  • In Contra: Shattered Soldier, "Critical Moment of Contra" is played during the penultimate boss battle, and lasts about 3 minutes before looping, but you'll probably only hear about 20 seconds of it before the fight is over. The OST doesn't even have the full length of the song loop.
  • Touhou:
    • Touhou games always have a separate theme for the credits, which is usually several minutes long when the ending takes maybe half as long if you take your time scrolling through the text. Thankfully, it's also always accessible through the Music Room (a Sound Test for music only, no sound effects).
    • Another example is "A God That Misses People ~ Romantic Fall", which takes 2:15 to loop, but unless you take a really long time to finish the midboss battle, let the game sit for a long time at the start of the first cutscene, or play it on a really laggy computer, you'll have to go into the Music Room to hear the last 45 seconds.
    • This happened quite a bit in the PC-98 game. "Orange" and Sara's themes, who, despite being stage one bosses who can be defeated in 30 seconds, Orange's goes almost two minutes without looping, and Sara's actually does pass two minutes. In all other Touhou games, the stage one boss themes are the shortest so they can fit the battle.
    • Another is the final theme of the final boss of the very first game, "Civilization of Magic" and thus one of the most obscure in the series. The battle itself can be finished in less than twenty seconds, but the song doesn't actually loop until over 2 minutes.
    • From one of the fighting game spinoffs there is "Our Hisou Tensoku", a theme at almost 5 minutes in length but only plays ingame for one short dialogue scene in Meiling's scenario.
  • R-Type Final's title theme only lasts for 20 seconds on the title screen. The full version can only be heard in the secret Stage F-B. In the Secret Level Stage 6.1, the music "Accident and Oblivion" is replaced by the boss theme after less than a minute.
  • The first stage music for Super R-Type ("Solo Sortie") is nearly twice as long as the level, and it stops when you pause. In the sound test, you can hear the second half, which consists largely of a trombone solo followed by a piano solo. If you only ever played the game you'd have no idea they were even there, as the part where you fly off to meet the boss sounds like the tune has ended and gone into a holding pattern.
  • Most songs in Ray Storm, due to them being significantly longer than the stages. For example, "Geometric City" is 4 1/2 minutes long, but only the first minute is heard in-game.
  • In the Turbo-Grafx 16 CD version of Wonder Boy III Monster Lair, some of the stage themes run on a bit longer than the stages, and the boss battles time out before the music track plays all the way, so you can only hear the full songs on a CD player.
  • Sonic Princess features the song "Velocity of Sound" by MOMO. To hear it all you have do is to sit on the title screen for over six and a half minutes.
  • Under Defeat's Stage 1 theme in New Order mode, "Don't look back!", is longer than the amount of time you play the stage, even if you time out the boss to draw out the track as long as possible. To emphasize, there's a breakdown section at the end of the track that you will not hear unless you pause the game.

     Video Games - Simulation Game 
  • Most of the songs in Ace Combat, at least in the newer games, get at least one full loop during standard game play, either due to being relatively brief or appearing during levels that take quite a bit of time to complete. However, there are a couple of exceptions. For example, in Ace Combat 5, the song "Grabacr" gets played only at the end of Chapter 25, where you have to shoot down four planes. It is not difficult for even a less experienced played to shoot all four down in a minute or two, thus missing the nearly 5-minute song. Another case is "The Unsung War," which plays during the very final level, and only plays in full if you run out of time, which is pretty much impossible unless you're trying to run out of time.
  • The title screen of the Gamecube Animal Crossing has this. The title song goes on for another good thirty seconds after the intro cuts it off and loops. The only way to hear it is to actually open the lid of the Gamecube while it's running. The song will continue, but the intro will be interrupted until you close the lid again.
  • The cooking song in Lost in Blue is usually only ten to fifteen seconds long at most, because any longer would completely ruin the food.

     Video Games - Sports Game 
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • The music that plays during the Training Montage sequences in the Wii Punch Out!! lasts for maybe 15 seconds before being cut off as the montage ends, just as the song starts to pick up. There doesn't seem to be any way to hear it outside of these montages - it isn't even in the sound test- so the entirety of the song goes unheard.
    • King Hippo has "knocked down" music. The issue? Any time he is downed it is an auto KO, so there are only two ways to hear it: knock off his crown to hear it for a few brief seconds, or unlock his sound test.
  • The par putt music from Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. You are unlikely to hear the second half of this piece of music unless you do it deliberately, since 1) par putts are generally short, and 2) the music lasts only one putt. You are slightly more likely to hear it in multiplayer, but even then, still unlikely. The fact that this track is not in the game's official soundtrack hurts it even more, but luckily, there is a recording of it here (the relevant part starts at about 0:18).
  • In Saturday Night Slam Masters each wrestler has a complete entry theme. You'll hear the 1st 5 seconds of each if you don't skip them.

     Video Games - Stealth Based Game  
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has "Countdown To Destruction", an epic electronica track that plays during the timed sections. However, because of the way the Plant chapter is structured (several small rooms connected with short outdoor sections) and the fact that no music plays during the outside sections, the player isn't likely to hear more than ten seconds of the track before it goes silent (and when they re-enter the next area, it starts from scratch). The piece is something like four minutes long.
    • The main characters's themes deserve a mention. Raiden's theme is a gorgeous song played on a live piano, and Otacon's theme is a dark orchestral version of "Memories of Hal". Neither were featured on OSTs, and Otacon's theme plays for only half a minute before it's truncated by the next cutscene.
    • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the awesome music that plays when you fight Night Sight plays for him alone. He's not an important boss in terms of story (even the boss battle against Gray Fox uses the standard boss battle theme), is usually over and done with in acouple of minutes - and the track never showed up on any OSTs.
    • In fact, that music was removed from later versions due to accusations of plagiarism.
    • Metal Gear Solid has an incredibly epic, yet equally short (read: five seconds), piece during our first real introduction to Grey Fox (while he impales a soldier in the air).
    • The Twin Snakes, the remake of Metal Gear Solid: never had an OST released, and when it's fairly easy to find unofficial rips of the gameplay songs the great quality music from the cutscenes is imposible to listen outside of the cutscenes itself. Worse yet, the trailers of the game featured a lot of awesome tunes, including the main theme, all of them completely absent from the final game.
      • Every boss fight in Twin Snakes has its own theme, and every area has unique music when Alert Mode is triggered. Needless to say, there's a lot of quality soundtrack that you won't be hearing much of during the actual game. For instance, one of the most popular songs on the soundtrack only plays when you trigger Alert Mode in the Armory, leading many players over the years to do so deliberately.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a mix of "Snake Eater" that only plays during the final fight with The Boss. It's never been released on any official CD, and it's quite hard to find on the Internet. Also worth mentioning The Boss's theme that plays during the radio conversation with her at the beginning of the Virtuous Mission to not be heard again and of course to not be featured in any soundtrack.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker also has a quiet, piano version of "Snake Eater" that plays during flashback cutscenes. It isn't on the official soundtrack or in-game Walkman.

     Video Games - Survival Horror  
  • The introduction theme for the Magician in House of the Dead 2. While the song last at least 2 minutes, only the 19 first seconds are heard ingame.
  • "Rave On" is by far the most popular Killer7 song. It's about five minutes long, and the fifth minute is the best. It plays once before and once after each miniboss fight, on an otherwise un-noteworthy staircase that takes less than 20 seconds to traverse.
    • "Geopolitics" is even more restricted, only heard in small bytes in the short transition between cutscenes as the game shows you a GPS map of the next location. Thankfully, a soundtrack was released including both this track and Rave On.
  • "Wreckage of the Mad Experiment" from Resident Evil 2 can only be heard in the secret experiment room that requires you to use the fingerprint scanner in both scenarios. Which most players will miss. By the way, it's actually a rework of the RE 1.5 trailer theme. It was also heavily remixed as "Live Evil" in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
    • "Goodbye, Leon", one of the most awesome heart-wrenchers in the series, only gets used in the A scenario, and ends once Leon exits the room.
    • The first game has "Concealed Passage", which plays in the underground hallway after the boulder smashes the wall, it ends after you leave the hall and is never heard again. Also, one of the few songs that wasn't remixed for the GameCube remake.
    • In the original version, Plant 42's theme is only heard when playing as Chris, and then only if you chose to take Rebecca with you or delivered the Serum to Richard. In all other cases, the battle uses the Black Tiger's theme instead for some reason. This was remedied in the remake.
    • Also in the remake, the appropriately named "Rush of Horror" is confined to two short hallways on the western second floor of the revisited mansion; the eastern half still using "Lost in Darkness".
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has The Beginning of Nightmare, which plays in the very first area of the game, in the outside of Jill's apartment, where she is surrounded by some zombies. Yet, it may take less than a minute to skip the scene and then the song never plays again. Only by pausing may you listen to the full song.
  • Silent Hill 2 contains a hauntingly beautiful acoustic version of one ending theme, "Promise", that plays during James' "I got a letter..." reflection at the game's opening; it ends along with the cutscene and does not appear in the OST at all, dammit.
    • Good news, fellow tropers. There's a website that has the song. It's called "Letters".
    • A number of ambient music cues in the series are only heard when going through certain doors or backtracking into rooms you don't necessarily need to, and most of these are omitted from the official soundtracks. For example, this horrifying music from SH 2 is only heard if you backtrack through the clock room (via the Door to Before to the north stairway) after returning from the east wing of the Woodside Apartments (as opposed to going back through the courtyard). Similarly, "Mall Flashback" from Silent Hill 3 is only heard if you unnecessarily backtrack after the monsters first appear in the mall.
    • Silent Hill 3, somewhat reversing this trope, had a really beautiful long vocalise, "Lost Carol", that only got 30 seconds on the OST.
    • Silent Hill had several songs left out of the OST, including Kaufmann's theme, the full version of Lisa's death music, and the climax of the chilling dead-end alley music (only the industrial ambient noise from it was used in the soundtrack).
    • The first game also has "Hear Nothing", which you will only hear if you go to the optional Police Station.
    • "Terror in the Depths of the Fog" is not played anywhere in the main game of SH 2, it is only heard at the end of the "Born From A Wish" scenario in the Updated Re-release.
    • Silent Hill 4: The Room had quite a nice song called "Melancholy Requiem", which is about 4 minutes long. It is only played during the game's intro, where it lasts about 40 seconds, and after that most people promptly forget all about it.
    • "Silent Hill: Homecoming" gives us "Elle's theme" which is only an instrumental in the final game, "Alex's theme" which is briefly heard on the radio and "One more soul to the call" which is only on the title screen demo. Same for "I Want Love" from SH 3. Only the first verse is used in the game.
  • Sweet Home has a rather poignant scene where Yamamura dies in an horrific and very graphical way and a sad tune plays... which is heard only for 20 seconds at best.
  • In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, any of the Polterpup songs come under this. They're all differently orchestrated versions of the same tune, but are all only played in a very short cutscene and overlaid with many, many sound effects. It's noticeable enough that no one's ever figured out what these entire songs sound like.
    • Additionally, there are tons of these in the Possessor (boss) battles. This is because each battle has about six different songs played; one for each 'hit point' the boss has (it gets faster as the battle progresses, except when against the Tough Possessor), one when the Possessor is trying to charge at Luigi outside of its host, one when the Possessor is being captured via the Poltergust, one when Luigi picks up the Dark Moon piece... Each of these songs is likely to be stopped rather quickly during normal gameplay, and completely wrecked by sound effects to boot.

     Video Games - Third Person Shooter  
  • The music for Alraune's first form in P.N.03 is an epic remix of the main boss theme, but this form is usually defeated in less than 15 seconds. Before that, the Escape Sequence in Mission 9 has an epic orchestral piece of music that is not included in the most available soundtrack rip, and it's drowned out by the blare of the warning sirens.
  • S4 League has a song that only played when you become the randomly-chosen Chaser in Chaser Mode, "MonoXide". If you play a lot of Chaser matches where there are many players, you probably will not hear it a lot. Moreover, if you wanted to listen to this song outside of the game legally, you had to purchase a limited-edition, limited-print-run soundtrack...that is, until the song was included in the soundtrack for DJMAX Technika 2.
  • The second Aljir Prison level in Syphon Filter 2 has a different ambient BGM than the first, but most of the time it will be overridden by the danger music. Galbadia Hotel's rip of the soundtrack doesn't include it either.
  • Warhawk (PS3). A full CD-length soundtrack is available on iTunes, but aside from the menu music the songs are only played in 15-second stings when something dramatic happens during matches.
  • In Max Payne, you only hear the first eight seconds or so of "M.I.B.", when Vinnie Gognitti jumps on a train to escape from Max. M.I.B. is almost three minutes long.

     Video Games - Turn Based Strategy  
  • Many songs in the Fire Emblem series are played in one or two events - sometimes in the middle of a level- and never heard again. There's also a ton of battle themes which are played once for 10 seconds. Luckily, the games have Sound Tests.
    • FE6 features "In The Name of Bern". It's a very unusual song for a strategy game that only gets more unique as the song progresses, but you're unlikely to hear any more than a few seconds of it. Such a waste.
    • From the same game, the haunting "Shaman In the Dark". The boss battle it appears in is not only very short, there isn't even a text box to wait on to listen to more of it. If it weren't for the Sound Test, you'd never know it had those great organ parts.
    • The trope is lampshaded by Yuka Tsujiyoko, composer of the series, in her comments in the booklet of Fire Emblem : Seisen no Keifu's OST, in regards of Track 1-26, "Ending Parade":
      (translated from Japanese) Tsujiyoko: It's the complete version of the tune "Wind Crusader Holsety". This tune is a tune that can't be heard if you don't do your best at finishing the game with a good rank. By all means, persevere and listen to it.
    • In Blazing Sword, the track "Respite in Battle" only plays if you have Hector and Lyn get an A support before Chapter 29x/31x and have them talk in that chapter. Said chapter is solely devoted to shopping for five turns, so it's likely you'll just bring Eliwood/Hector and high-movement units (and Bartre in Hector's mode to recruit Karla), making it doubtful Lyn will even be there to talk with Hector - and if she is, there's no indication they can talk unless you move them next to each other.
    • Path of Radiance had Victory is Near as the music that cuts in when you've eliminated all the enemies from the map (most games in the series have similar songs). However, perhaps due to a glitch or large oversight, it only plays in chapters 1 and 6, and never elsewhere. This is rather significant since the song itself appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in spite of being so forgettable.
  • Just about any song in Kamidori Alchemy Meister qualifies. The tracks for the maps are generally cut short by the battle themes, which last only a few seconds before returning to the map theme. If you go to the BGM player, the tracks are actually rather lengthy.
  • Surpassing the Wall, from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. The final boss in that game has two parts - the first phase which is hilariously easy and is over with basically no trouble at all, and the second phase which actually deserves the "final boss" moniker. Surpassing the Wall plays only in the former. In a game with over 300 missions, hearing such a well-composed piece on less than half of a single one is more than a little jarring.
  • In Project X Zone, each character pair has two themes (plus their solo unit's theme), with one randomly playing during their turn. However, most themes are much longer than a turn lasts, even if there are several enemy turns (which don't change the music) afterwards.
  • Rondo of Swords is a peculiar tactics game where your characters deal damage by running past your enemies. There's music that plays for these action during your turn, the enemy's turn, and special cameo music; one with Izuna and Shino, and one with Cotton. Due to how brief these actions are (and how likely you are to skip the animation), you'll only hear up a few seconds of the 'battle' music. The best way to hear them play longer is through Marie or Ernest's Over Break skills.
  • While most of its music lasts at most a minute to match the fast pace of battle, World of Tanks has a 3 and a half minute long ambient tune called "The Legend is Born", which is typically also recycled in developer commentary videos. It's usage in-game is limited to the login screen, which means players will generally rush straight into the game and the ambient noises of the garage. Fortunately it, and the rest of the soundtrack can be downloaded for free.

     Video Games - Turn Based Tactics  
  • The full version of Wormsong - the Worms theme song - can only be heard by putting the game disc in a hi-fi. The version played in game is just a tinny midi of the chorus.
    • Speaking of, there's a full techno remix of one of the main themes buried in Worms World Party, but only if you stop and wait on multiplayer match standings screen (after all rounds are played) for about a minute.
      • Worms 2 doesn't use Wormsong at all, because it doesn't have a title screen.

     Video Games - Wide Open Sandbox  
  • Grand Theft Auto examples:
    • III contains "Scary Movies" by Bad Meets Evil. The catch is that the instrumental version is used for about 15 seconds as the DJ's talk over it. This is also the only Eminem song in a GTA game.
    • Vice City contains five songs that play in cutscenes but cannot be heard on the radionote . "Freaks Come Out At Night" would later make its way into Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, but the rest haven't shown up in any other game.
    • San Andreas cuts off "Cult Of Personality" during the instrumental, skipping the final verse.
    • The Ballad Of Gay Tony uses an electro remix of "Animal" by Miike Snow for about 30 seconds as the intro and outro to another song. Also on Electro-Choc, we get a neat mashup of "Put Your Hands On Me" by Crookers with "Nude Night" by The Chemical Brothers. It lasts only a minute before it transitions fully into the latter.
    • V includes warped versions of "V-I-S-I-T-O-R-S" by Visitors and "Clown Dream" by Danny Elfman as the backing tracks to Michael and Trevor's Grass Root missions respectively. Like the Vice City examples, neither of these are heard anywhere else.

     Video Games - Wrestling Game  
  • The WWE Day of Reckoning Series has several, in particular is any song on the disk you are not allowed to give to your CAW, since they are so central to single player game play. The most notable of these is Eric Bischoff's theme in Day of Reckoning 2, which plays as soon as you start story mode, as if to taunt the player (which would be a pretty funny reference to his role on WWE television at the time if not for the fact it was a senseless restriction).

     Visual Novels  
  • The more upbeat songs in Swan Song are generally left unplayed later on in the game due to the dark atmosphere. There is a BGM player, but it's only available after going through the lengthy game.
  • Yarudora series vol.3: Sampaguita has track n°40 "Ending 6", played at the very last scene of Good Ending 2. A track lasting 1 minute and 45 seconds before looping, only the first 30 seconds of it are played during that scene, before the protagonist's last line and the credits cut it short.
  • In Little Busters!, the song 'Let's Return' is played only twice in the entire VN, and only for a very short scene each time. The song is 2 and a half minutes long, while at normal playing speed, most scenes will go for less than half that. What really makes it qualify, though, is the fact that the song fades out and then back in on a drastically different sound at 1:40, going from slow and trancy to staccato and with a beat, as though it's a completely different song. Most players will never hear that unless they fire up the music player.

     Web Comics  
  • Homestuck has generated about a dozen albums of music, and without counting all the remixes less than half of the songs have been played in the comic's flash sequences. A few others have only played shortened versions. Any of these may get their screentime in the future, but likely not all of the best produced so far.
    • The song At the Price of Oblivion is cut short right at the end of its introduction.
    • This is lampshaded at one point, when something cuts a flash animation short and the text even points you to the Bandcamp page to see how much of the music (and therefore the flash) you missed.

     Western Animation  
  • This rendition of the Dungeons & Dragons theme song is heard very briefly in Karena's debut episode.
  • Metalocalypse does this quite frequently, as songs that briefly appear in an eleven-minute episode will have 3-5 minute long album versions. Though a few have been excluded from the albums in favor of original songs: the instrumental "Crush my Battle Opponent's Balls", "I'm Downloading Your Soul", and "My Inner Child Tied and Beaten in My Trunk", though the latter has an extended demo version uploaded on the official Youtube page.
  • Right before the final episode of Moral Orel was shown the creator (Dino) plays a song about a man hating himself during Christmas. A title card by the creator even says "This song isn't in the episode. It should be." or something like that.
  • Rugrats in Paris has three: the version of T-Boz's "My Getaway" played in the plane (which is less R&B-ish and more pop-ish than the one in the soundtrack), the babies' travel song, and the Princess' song.
  • In South Park commentary it is revealed that full songs were written for the Cartman's band "Faith+1". However due to lack of time they only played a small amount of each song. Word of God says they may be release the full songs on a CD, so far they haven't.
  • The problem with the soundtrack of BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn isn't that the tunes are cut short, but that they're too silent. The lack of music in most of the scenes is often cited as one of the movie's many shortcomings, but it really is there, just barely audible.
  • Ember McClain's song was never played fully in her debut episode of Danny Phantom.
  • Spongebob Squarepants takes this to a whole new level with the "Freeform Jazz" scene. For reference, here is the orginial scene, and here is the full song. It's over 63 TIMES shorter than the original song.

Alternative Title(s):

Wasted Song