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Theme Tune Cameo: Video Games
  • In Luigi's Mansion, Luigi hums or whistles along to the background music.
    • If you look at the map in dark rooms (or just listen very closely), you can hear the ghosts singing along with the background music as well.
    • The Game Boy Horror's "ringtone" is a 16-bit version of the same music.
    • In the Music Room, all the instruments can be individually activated to play an orchestral arrangement of the Super Mario Bros. theme song.
  • The subspace (behind-the-door) world in Super Mario Bros. 2 plays the first game's theme. The Super Mario All-Stars version of SMB2 reuses SMB's corresponding version.
  • The music box in Super Mario Bros. 3 plays the original Super Mario Bros theme song.
  • After the Special World BGM in Super Mario World loops for about 2 minutes, it transforms into the Super Mario Bros. theme.
  • At the begining of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario is heard humming the Super Mario Bros. theme while in the shower.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door uses the title theme from Super Mario World to let you know Peach has sent an e-mail.
      • The game also uses the ice world theme from Super Mario Bros. 3 when you receive a message from a mysterious informant, "Mr. X".
    • Anything in the Paper Mario/Mario & Luigi series that would logically play music WILL play something from Mario's old days. Case in point: the record player in Boo's Mansion from the first Paper Mario, dust and all.
      • And some things that wouldn't logically play music; there's a vase that's also in Boo's Mansion that, if Mario jumps into it, makes him into an 8-bit Small Mario while the Super Mario Bros. theme plays.
      • Leaving the new chapter screen on long enough will also cause it to start playing
      • And Mario will whistle his original theme music in Super Mario RPG when he hops in the shower at the inn in Marrymore.
      • Also in Super Mario RPG: "Long, Long, Ago." You went behind a curtain in Booster Tower and "Super Mario Bros." theme fromm 1-1 started playing. Mario also turned back into his 8 bit sprite.
    • In the Hilarious Outtakes for Mario Power Tennis (soon to be given an Updated Re-release on Wii), the Super Mario Bros. theme plays as a ringtone — on Wario's cellphone, of all things!
    • It is also a ringtone for a cell phone item in Mario Party 3.
    • In Super Mario 3D Land, Mario hums the classic theme music after receiving the picture between Worlds 5 and 6.
  • In Tomb Raider Anniversary, upon hearing a music box play the Tomb Raider main theme, Lara comments "What a lovely tune!"
  • In Grand Theft Auto III, the ringtone in Claude's pager is the opening of the song "Grand Theft Auto" from the first, top-down GTA.
    • This reappears in Grand Theft Auto IV as one of the selectable ringtones on Niko's cell phone.
  • In the game Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy you find an elevator which is playing a muzak version of Cold's "with my mind" (A song made for the game).
  • In Trapt, the first "Dark Illusion" (a kind of particularly gory and lethal traps inset in the enviroment) that the player is likely to find, is "The Man-Eating Music-Box" — which plays the game's "Melancholy Theme" as it crushes the helpless victim within its gears...
  • In Suikoden V, a group of Dragonhorse Knights plays the game's main theme on flute, as part of an 'Ancient Ritual'.
  • In Castlevania 64, Malus plays a haunting song on his violin. The song is actually Bloodlines from Rondo of Blood with a slower tempo.
  • The ringtone of Godot's cell phone in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials And Tribulations happens to be the same music as his own Theme Tune.
    • Wesley Stickler's cell phone ringtone in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is one of Klavier Gavin's band's songs, Guilty Love, sped up to almost double the tempo.
    • Klavier himself plays a recording of Guilty Love by way of an introduction in court. It's somewhat safe to assume that every single repeat of the theme tune afterwards is just Klavier toeing "play" on the CD player beneath his bench.
    • Even Phoenix's cell phone is like this: his plays the Steel Samurai theme song.
    • In case 1-5, Ema Skye's cell phone plays the Steel Samurai theme song as well. This allows Phoenix to pass it going off in the parking garage as his when the detective at the scene asks what just happened. Or, possibly, he set it to the Steel Samurai theme tune because of this incident (in cases 1-1 to 1-4, his cell phone had a generic ringtone).
  • One of the characters in Wild ARMs 5 has the first bars of the theme of Wild ARMs 2 as a ringtone.
  • Characters using the /bored emote in World of Warcraft will sometimes whistle a few bars of the in-game music.
  • Portal includes radios that play a very perky, jazzy version of the end credits theme "Still Alive".note 
  • At the very beginning of No More Heroes Travis whistles the game's theme.
  • At the beginning of Persona 3, the Main Character listens to a remix of "Burn My Dread," the opening theme, on his headphones. A different remix is also used as background music in the very last battle of the game. "Burn My Dread" is also heard in the first episode of the spinoff anime Persona ~trinity soul~, playing briefly just before Igor makes his cameo appearance.
    • As well, the actual melody of the main theme appears in no less than six songs on the game's soundtrack.
  • Max Payne 2 has a janitor singing the game's theme "Late Goodbye", along with one of the enemies playing it on piano.
    • In all three Max Payne games, using a piano will have Max play a rather unskilled rendition of the main theme song. He does a better job the second time you try. Guess it's secretly an RPG.
  • In the King's Quest Fan Sequel The Silver Lining, clicking the "talk" icon on Graham will cause him to whistle a variety of tunes which would be well-known to adventure game fans, including the King's Quest theme, the Space Quest theme, the Leisure Suit Larry theme, and the Monkey Island theme.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has several references to the main theme, "Grab Bag" — Duke whistles it during the end of the second episode, and it also reappears in muzak form in the Atomic Edition level "Shop & Bag".
  • Inverted in Final Fantasy VI; the first time in the game that Celes's theme is heard (indeed, hers is the only one that doesn't play during the rename screen) is when Celes sings it in an opera.
    • Also, in Dissidia: Final Fantasy Kefka sometimes hums the Victory Fanfare when he wins.
    • In Final Fantasy X, the chocobo caretaker in the SS Liki ship sings the chocobo's theme a bit when trying to talk to her after the cutscene.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud must play a tune on the piano in Tifa's house in order to obtain her ultimate limit break. It turns out to be the game's main theme, and is vaguely familiar to Cloud...
      Cloud: I've heard this somewhere before. Managed to play well.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the game's end theme, "Eyes On Me," is a hit pop song in-game and is first heard as an instrumental piano piece played at a nightclub by Julia Heartilly, who is soon inspired to write lyrics for it thanks to Laguna's influence.]
    • The game's end theme in Final Fantasy IX, "Melodies of Life," is also important in-game. Zidane first hears Garnet/Dagger singing it on "la" in Dali and later in Lindblum. He asks her what it is and she admits that she doesn't know, and can't even remember where she learned it, but singing it comforts her when she feels sad or lonely. Zidane says that it must be a mystical song. He later hears her singing it in Dali and when she stops, he tells her that it's okay for her to kee singing "'Cause it's our song, right?" As they float out to sea on a boat, they hear the song coming from the Eidolon Wall and hearing it causes Garnet/Dagger to have a flashback and remember some of the details of her early childhood. Finally, at the end of the game, everyone believes Zidane to be dead, but he comes back. Garnet/Dagger asks him how he survives and he explains "I didn't have a choice. I had to live. I wanted to come home to you. So... I sang your song. Our song." The game ends and the full vocal version of the song plays during the credits.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Song of the Hero, which is basically the theme for the entire series.
      • Zelda plays the game's theme, the Ballad of the Goddess, on her harp. The Ballad itself is an inverted cameo of Zelda's Lullaby from Ocarina of Time - this is Foreshadowing, as Zelda is the Goddess, reincarnated.
    • The title theme for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker gets two separate cameos - The first half serves as Medli's Prayer, while the second half is Makar's Prayer.
    • Ghirahim, Midna and Yuga can be heard humming their leifmotifs in their respective games.
  • At one point in Metal Gear Solid 4 you have to follow a man disguised as PMC soldier. How do you recognize him? He is whistling the game's theme tune. (Or you can be uncreative and use the Solid Eye).
  • The Episode VI Jabba's Palace level in LEGO Star Wars II features radios that play a rock version of the Imperial March. Bonus: Headbanging Gamorreans.
    • This song was originally featured in Star Wars: Force Commander, an old PC game. Entitled the "Rage Mix", it was once available for download, too. An archive of that page is here.
    • You can also hear the disco version of the Star Wars opening theme in the first game by completing a quick side puzzle on Kamino.
    • In LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 the beginning of the last level has Ron playing the main Harry Potter theme, horribly off key.
      • Likewise with the Lego Star Wars II example above, radios in Hogwarts play a disco version of a different segment of the same Harry Potter theme.
  • In Star Wars: Republic Commando one of the elevators on a Republic ship has kind of a muzak version of the Imperial March playing in the background. Fortunately, it's accessible in the game's files.
  • In Star Wars Battlefront II, Stormtroopers will occasionaly whistle the Imperial March.
  • The protagonist's ringtone in Time Hollow is a MIDI version of the main theme.
  • A trailer for Sonic Unleashed (also included as part of an intro video in the game itself) begins with Sonic whistling the tune from Sonic 3 & Knuckles's Angel Island.
  • In Deus Ex, using a piano will play a few notes of the opening theme.
  • If you activate the piano in the second level of Nightfire, he will play the James Bond theme.
  • In TimeSplitters Future Perfect, there is an organ in the second level. One of the songs is the theme song from Anaconda, a minigame in TimeSplitters 2.
  • During a certain event in Persona 4, Burn My Dread, the opening theme from Persona 3 is playing as a video in the background.
    • In-universe example of a sort: if you talk to Teddie outside Mitsuo's video game themed dungeon, he complains that the music from it is stuck in his head.
  • In Space Quest VI, Roger will whistle his own theme song if he stands still long enough.
  • Devil Survivor's Haru frequently performs "Reset", the game's opening theme. The instrumental version is practically her Leitmotif.
  • The Simpsons Game contains a puzzle in which the player must guide Homer or Bart over FAO Schwartz-esque floor tiles to play the first few bars of the show's theme song. Bart reacts to the puzzle's solution by shuddering, "That's been haunting me for years!"
    • This also serves as a Call Back, since one episode (season 5's "Lisa vs Malibu Stacy") ends with Homer doing pretty much the exact same thing.
  • At the end of her concert in Mega Man Star Force 3, Sonia Strumm performs a new song she's composed called "Shooting Star," which happens to be the game's opening theme.
  • In one of the Hot Springs events of Tales of Symphonia, the female characters are singing the game's opening, "Starry Heavens". It's of course Lost in Translation in the US and European versions as the opening J-pop song is replaced by an original instrumental work.
  • In the third Monkey Island game, you can talk to Edward van Helgen about a horrific sea voyage where he and his crew were haunted by a diabolical, cacophonous melody coming from the wreck of a ship they had visited. Most of his crew went mad and threw themselves into the sea. When Guybrush asks him how the tune went, van Helgen will hum the classic theme to the Monkey Island series.
  • Mega Man 7 contains an example — in the introductory cutscene, Mega Man is helmetless and is riding in a truck to the intro stage. When he puts on the Metool helmet, a short theme with an abrupt, dissonant Record Needle Scratch-esque ending plays. Mega Man then dons his iconic blue helmet, and the recurring "Robot Master Selected" theme plays.
  • In Fallout 2, a mentally-retarded janitor can be found singing (with a considerable stutter) the song Maybe, the theme from the first game. It's a place to boost your Karma Meter by either praising him for it, or telling him to shut up.
  • While a bit of an Easter Egg, each of the buttons on the main screen in the Peggle series makes a little "bloop" noise when the mouse rolls over it. These aren't random; playing the closest thing to a theme that Peggle has (Ode To Joy) produces a little congratulations scene.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver have Team Rocket hijack the radio tower as part of their plan to find their missing boss, Giovanni. The music that plays on all radio broadcasts while they do this is the same theme that plays when a Rocket Grunt challenges you to a battle.
  • The alien shopkeeper who sells you weapons in Xenon 2 Megablast is listening to a tinny version of the game's theme tune when he appears, then turns it off to do business.
  • In the elevators in Mass Effect 1, one of the tunes piped in is a muzak version of the game's main theme.
    • In the Mass Effect 3 Downloadable Content, Citadel, if she was romanced by the player, Tali sings the game's love theme, mentioning that it's the main theme of the Show Within a Show, "Fleet and Flotilla".
    • The "Vigil" tune from the first game also makes a reappearance as a piano tune in the Citadel DLC.
  • In Halo 2, the Prophet of Regret holograms chant the series' theme tune.
  • The elevators in Golden Eye 1997's Control Center play a muzak version of the Bond theme.
  • Several characters in the Ys series have their leitmotif played on an instrument, eg "Feena" on harmonica, "Niena" on ocarina, and "Olha" on flute.
  • At one point in Heavy Rain, Norman Jayden plays his own theme song as a Lonely Piano Piece.
  • In an old DOS game called Normality, the opening cutscene shows the protagonist being arrested for whistling. The tune he was whistling was the game's theme tune.
  • Partial example: The Mega Man X series uses a rocking metal cameo of the musical stinger that plays when you pick a robot master in the first Mega Man game.
  • At least one song in every Silent Hill game after the first includes a part of the track playing notes from the original game's theme. Namely Theme of Laura, Hometown, One More Soul to the Call, and Hell Frozen Rain.
  • The Pikmin will hum the first few bars of their theme tune when traveling.
    • An Easter Egg sees the Pikmin hum the song used in Japanese advertising for the game, "Ai no Uta," in-game.
  • Although a Dolled-Up Installment, Super Spy Hunter has a remix of the Peter Gunn theme (aka the original Spy Hunter theme) in its second stage.
  • The lyrics to "Dragonborn", the theme music of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, can be found in an in-game book, Songs of Skyrim, along with a translation.
    • "Dragonborn" also "quotes" a fragment of Morrowind's main theme.
  • In the Japanese arcade game, Super Sentai Battle Dice O, Dragon Ranger plays a bit of the game's theme song on his Zyusouken while using his special attack.
  • Conker of Conkers Bad Fur Day is apt to whistling the theme to Windy & Co. when left idle in the main area of the game.
    • Conker also whistles his theme tune during the It's War chapter to pass the time after waiting for an electric chair to finish frying its patron. As seen at 6:47 in the following clip[1]
    • Windy theme's also heard in the radio during the intro to Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
  • Quintessence: The Blighted Venom: The opening song (To Realize) is not only played in-character, but exists in universe before hand, and has some plot significance. (Not much, though some.) And played by the main characters; one using an ocarina (Reivier) and one using a piano. (Lunair) Sadly not at the same time.
  • Vulutron the Condoroid from Mega Man ZX Advent is a unique example. His Idle Animation (or rather, your Idle Animation when you transform into him) makes it seem as though he's bobbing his head to the Awesome Music of his stage, the Scrapyard.
  • Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 has Macross 7's Basara write a song that he wanted to record with Lynn Minmei; it doesn't actually get played until the final battle, where it inspires the heroes to say "Screw Destiny" and fight the insanely powerful Final Boss. The song is, of course, the theme song for Alpha 3 itself. Bonus points since Yoshiki Fukuyama of JAM Project (the band who originally did the song) provides Basara's singing voice.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, Lemia's regimental band, if given the opportunity to play, will perform the game's opening theme.
  • The menu theme of the Kingdom Hearts series, "Dearly Beloved," appears as a solution in Kingdom Hearts 3D. Two Sound Ideas are needed, the melody and the chords, and the resulting harmony seals a dark magic away. Also an example of Title Theme Drop, since it is the only music playing during those cutscenes.
  • In Skullgirls, one of Big Band's attacks allows you to take out a trumpet and play random tunes. Should you play the first four notes of the game's theme tune in B flat, you'll activate his level 5 super, Satchmo Solo, which gives him free time to play on his trumpet and lets him go crazy with his Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
  • In Spider-Man, Spider-Man can casually hum the theme song from his '60s animated series. When confronting Venom, the villain will do the same, but end the hum with an evil laugh.

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