A Video Game tune, sometimes the Background Music, is turned into a huge orchestral version by the game developers. (Or, in some cases, another band.) It is not often used within the game or series and is only available online or in stores, though there's a chance it could show up in a remake or sequel, depending on the budget. This is usually done because the game itself has limitations on the quality of the music if it is an 8-bit, 16-bit, etc. game. The music is not always the same thing, and is sometimes extended. It may also be worse than the original music depending on who you talk to. Not always limited to video game music, but is rarely seen in other media. Not to be confused with Orchestral Bombing. See also Boss Remix.
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- The original Leisure Suit Larry theme song was composed for the PC speaker - which can only produce single-tone sine waves. For the seventh game they redid it as a full-blown professional jazz recording.
- The sax was played by none other than Larry Laffer's spiritual father: Al Lowe. Get the intro from here, and all of the other tunes from the game(s).
- Super Smash Bros.. The soundtracks for Melee and Brawl do this for lots of older Nintendo themes.
- Also a literal orchestra version. Several of the Melee themes have been performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and released as an album called Smashing...Live!.
- Double Dragon I and II both have professionally arranged OST albums. More recently, Jake Kaufman reworked several of the series' iconic tunes for Double Dragon Neon, including the title theme, "Arrival of the Black Warriors", "Riot", "Linda's Theme"(which gets a literal orchestra arrangement in the Haunted Forest level), "Old Nemesis Willy", "Unleashing The Ogre", and the Stage Clear and Intermission jingles.
First Person Shooter
- Many tunes from Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 were orchestrally remastered in Halo 3, and the first game's soundtrack was also reorchestrated by Skywalker Sound for its Anniversary edition. The "One Final Effort" and "Halo Finale" arrangements of the main theme are especially awesome.
- The original MIDI music to Descent was heavily dependent on specific sound card models. Fortunately, the Macintosh version was given RedBook recorded music, which included awesome arrangements of several of the PC tunes. Compare the PC version of the Lunar Scilab BGM to its Mac counterpart.
- Perfect Dark: "Air Force One is Down!" [Crash Site Confrontation OC Re Mix]
- Super Mario Bros.. The main theme especially gets this treatment, considering how well known it is.
- Lately, the Sonic the Hedgehog series has been using orchestral rock mixes of the games' main themes as backing music for the Final Boss fights.
- Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts has many redone versions of old music, including an unused final boss theme.
- The original arcade version of Wonder Boy III Monster Lair and its Mega Drive port had tinny FM-synthesized music, but the PC Engine/Turbo-Grafx 16 CD version recieved a professionally mixed RedBook soundtrack, which is quite awesome.
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze features rearrangements of tunes from the classic games such as "Simian Segue", "Aquatic Ambience", and "Stickerbrush Symphony".
Role Playing Game
- Final Fantasy games get this a lot. Square Enix has released orchestral albums of Final Fantasy I and II and Final Fantasy VI, and there are several CD's based on orchestral concerts.
- Final Fantasy VII in particular—there's an orchestral version of virtually the entire soundtrack...
- Orchestrated themes for the actual game soundtrack are pretty commonplace for the series post-VII.
- Yoko Shimomura's "Drammatica" provides another album of orchestrated versions of soundtrack pieces from Square Enix games Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Mana, Front Mission, Live A Live, and Final Fantasy XV.
- The original MOTHER had a soundtrack CD that, rather than containing the NES games' eight bit melodies, reproduced them as fully orchestrated and vocal songs.
- Tropers may know its first song, "Pollyanna," from the fact that it's the official unofficial theme song of the Sugar Wiki.
- OverClocked ReMix has Chrono Symphonic, a retelling of Chrono Trigger's soundtrack entirely in orchestrations.
- The original soundtrack for Dragon Quest VIII was fairly normal, but in the US release, every track was replaced with an orchestrated version of the original.
- The Ys series has redone several major themes in full orchestra.
Shoot Em Up
- The fans of the Touhou Project are quite fond of making orchestral remixes of ZUN's already awesome music. For example, Emotional Skyscraper~Cosmic Mind.
- Gradius V's Stage 2 & 8 BGM begins with an orchestral version of the first few notes of "Challenger 1985", the first game's Stage 1 music. The previous games' boss themes, including the well-known Aircraft Carrier, were also reorchestrated for the returning bosses.
- Star Fox orchestra medley.
- Russell Cox from Overclocked Re Mix orchestrated The Guardian Legend's title theme as "Naju Overture".
- The famous fight theme for Punch-Out!! was completely redone by a rock band (with awesome horn section) for the Wii remake.
- The Syphon Filter title theme got this treatment in The Omega Strain, Dark Mirror, and Logan's Shadow.
Non-video game examples:
- Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou. Aya Hirano and Minori Chihara actually gave the vocals for four of the songs performed ("Bouken Desho Desho", "God Knows", "Lost My Music", and "Yuki Muon Madobe Nite").
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, one of Nanoha's Leitmotifs, "Raising Heart, Set-Up!", was later updated with "Raising Heart, Set Up! (The Magical Orchestra)". When The Movie came, another Orchestral Version of the song was created, and one of the the Limited Edition DVD/Blu-Ray bonuses show that they hired an actual orchestra to perform it along with other similar updates to the Season 1 soundtrack.
- The Pokemon anime has a number of orchestral versions of music based on the corresponding games. Sometimes it is mixed with rock/pop style as well.
- The original cast album of the "play about a musical" Say, Darling, which had songs by Jule Styne and Comden And Green, replaced much of the two-piano accompaniment used in the production with orchestrations by Sid Ramin. Ramin and his then-uncredited assistant Robert Ginzler went on to orchestrate Styne's next musical, Gypsy.
- The original off-Broadway production of Assassins was done without a real orchestra, but Stephen Sondheim's score was orchestrated for the original cast album.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd's theme tune has an orchestral version floating around on YouTube, by the fans. It was later used in his videos.
- As an homage to the Future Crew megahit demo Second Reality, Remedy's Final Reality benchmark demo has a cityscape sequence with a remastered version of Skaven's S3M music from the former demo.
- There exist quite a number of traveling productions that exclusively perform re-orchestrated versions of video game songs. The most notable ones are probably Video Games Live and PLAY!.