"...how is this music so good? How is it possible?! It's so! Good! It feels like you've done something amazing when the music comes up, right? It's just so invigorating!"
If you're close to victory in a fight or otherwise have an advantage, sometimes you'll get a theme playing to tell you. Can happen in all games. Especially likely in boss battles.
This serves two main purposes. First, it tells the player that he is close to victory, something that may not be immediately clear from the data on the screen, particularly with Marathon Bosses
. Secondly, a good dramatic near-victory theme can get a player's blood going and make the game more exciting. This potentially makes use of a Variable Mix
See also Songs in the Key of Panic
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- For every world boss and Crush Bomber battle in Bomberman Generation, once the boss' life is down to around a heart and a half the boss theme is replaced with the more upbeat battle mode theme.
- In the Captain America and the Avengers arcade game, when you get a boss down to one third health, a voice shouts "Avengers Go!" and the main theme starts up.
- Happens in Warriors Orochi when you eliminate most to all of the officers in a level except the last one, or a good number of the enemy mooks.
- In Bayonetta, the bosses each has their own Ominous Latin Chanting theme, but except for one, once you beat them enough, that boss theme will be replaced with a short piano piece, which is later replaced by yet another theme when you use your Finishing Move.
- The Variable Mix version is used in the later Twisted Metal games when one opponent is remaining.
- Each boss in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has its own unique boss theme. Normally, these are pure instrumental themes, but during the final phase of each fight, or during suitably climactic moments such as slicing off one of Metal Gear Excelsus's legs, the boss theme switches to a vocal version. Played with during the second fight with Jetstream Sam, where the vocals play by default and cut out during a short interlude partway through the fight where Raiden manages to temporarily disarm him.
- Tokimeki Memorial 2 has a variation of this. When trying to win the heart of Ensemble Dark Horse Broken Bird Kaori Yae, if you manage to get her to Tokimeki State and see her mandatory Event where she confesses to the male hero her painful past, allowing her to heal her heart and turn back to the Genki Girl she was, her somber, quiet Leitmotif tune will change to a more peppy, cheerful version, meaning you're on really good tracks towards getting her Happy Ending.
- In Super Solvers: Gizmos & Gadgets, the background music for each race will turn into a triumphant theme if the player's vehicle is ahead of Morty's. The opposite occurs if Morty is ahead.
First Person Shooter
- During the finale of each Left 4 Dead campaign, the "Skin on our Teeth" theme will play when the rescue vehicle arrives, and the Survivors are only a short sprint from completing the campaign. (Left 4 Dead 1 version, Left 4 Dead 2 version)
- In Battlefield 3, when your team has whittled the opponent down to the last 10 tickets, you will hear this in the background.
- Tetris DS has its Push Mode based on Donkey Kong. As you come closer to victory, the 25m music gains an upbeat drum beat, adds a melody and then becomes the hammer theme from the same game.
- The music in Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (and probably Puyo Puyo as well) gradually changes depending on whether you're winning or your opponent is.
- The Taisen Puzzle Dama series also use this, as well as an "about-to-lose" tune, depending on whether you're winning or losing. The tunes are different depending on the version of the game.
Real Time Strategy
- Some games play this trope straight whenever a large battle happens, i.e. in Dawn of War and Age of Empires III. Of course, it's not necessarily your victory.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 does it with Rock Music.
- Age of Mythology plays one of three epic orchestral themes when you unleash a God Power (particularly fitting if you just ravaged the enemy base with an Earthquake, tore through attackers with a Tornado, or just blew up everything with a Meteor Strike)
Role Playing Game
- ''Reversal!'' and ''Turn the Tide'' in The Last Remnant, which play when your team have the advantage of high morale. Reversal! also plays when you're on the brink of defeating the final boss.
- The first three Boktai games all have the Pile Driver music, which gets steadily more epic as you get closer to purifying the boss.
- Ultima Underworld II has three battle themes: one when you're close to victory, the standard one, and one when you're close to defeat.
- Pokemon Black And White plays a remix of the Pokemon theme when a Gym Leader is down to his/her last Pokemon. Also a Theme Music Power-Up.
- Skies of Arcadia has this for the boss battles. The one for the final boss battle is particularly epic.
- Played with in Ar Tonelico 2 during the last part of Final Battle versus (the spirit of) Infel and Nenesha. The music is all glorious in contrast to the previous two parts that are full of hatred and rage... but it's only because they are about to execute the last part of SUBLIMATION.
- Similarly in Parasite Eve, the Final Battle versus Ultimate Being. The music change to upbeat as he(?) evolves to adult form.
- "The Genesis" in Persona 4 is an oppressive, somber True Final Boss theme with bombastic brass and ominous drums. As the battle rages, however, a heroic reprise of "I'll Face Myself"'s main melody breaks in; eventually, the music becomes an all-out, triumphant version of "Reach Out To The Truth."
- About half the final fight of Mass Effect 3 will be without music, with the screams and sounds of battle being the only things you'll hear. But then, when things get the most hairier this theme will start playing. It could be considered a Near Victory Fanfare for each side, since both armies could win at any moment (especially the enemy), and the one who wins the fight will accomplish their objectives.
- The battle against Titan in Final Fantasy XIVA Realm Reborn has multiple stages, each one with its own progressively dramatic boss theme. How many stages there are depend on which version of the fight you're playing, but the final round of the fight features "Under the Weight," an intense vocal theme that nicely signposts the hardest part of the fight. Leviathan, introduced in the 2.2 patch, also has a vocal theme kick in around the halfway point of the fight.
Turn Based Strategy
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire had both near-victory and near-defeat themes for the attacking army during battles.
- Nearly all of the Fire Emblem games have a tune that plays when you've cleared out most of the enemies (in the GBA/DS games, its when there's only one enemy left on the map - and its often the Boss, but not always), which can get annoying if you grind for Supports.
- The Ace Attorney games all have a "Cornered" theme, which plays when you're closing in on the truth. The Cross-Examination music also speeds up when you're about to corner a witness. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth adds a "Presto" variant that plays when you're cross-examining a killer who's on their last line of defense.