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Dark Reprise / Video Games

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Dark Reprises in video games.


  • Ace Attorney:
    • The Steel Samurai is an exciting children's action show. Appropriately, it has an upbeat theme song. The protagonist of the first three games even uses it as his ringtone. The show's popularity leads to a spinoff show called the Nickel Samurai with the same theme. However, the star of the Nickel Samurai is accused of murdering the star of a rival show. At a certain point during this case, when something sad is being explained, a slowed-down and sad version of the song called the Steel Samurai's Ballad plays. The same Ballad also plays during the game's bad ending.
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    • It could also be said with several character reminiscence themes. Some notable ones being:
    • Kazuma Asogi's theme, Samurai with a Mission is interesting in that it has two Dark Reprises. It becomes this whenever his death in case 2 is mentioned, and becomes this after being revealed to be alive all along, though amnesiac, in the sequel and during his tenure as a prosecutor.
  • In The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, the stage select theme, "Welcome to Game Land", is replaced by "Welcome to Glitched Game Land" once the final stage is unlocked, and Fred Fucks' introductory music is a slow, ominous version of the boss theme.
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  • In Assassin's Creed II, Family is a slower, more wistful version of the theme from Earth.
  • Axelay has this for the boss themes, much darker versions of their respective stage themes.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, the music for your house and Spiral Mountain are both upbeat and bouncy. In the sequel, however, Spiral Mountain's theme has a more mournful melody, and the music for Banjo's house sounds sort of empty, considering it's just been demolished. Within the same game, the sequel has King Jingaling's Palace, which has a melody that tells how you're in the presence of royalty. Once Grunty and her sisters zap his life energy and zombifies him, though, that same song seems to have less life in it. Put simply, this series has a lot of dark reprises.
  • Castlevania
  • In Child of Light, Aurora's theme has the Lonely Piano Piece arrangement "Final Breath" when she says goodbye to her friends before entering the Temple of the Moon that houses the Magic Mirror supposedly leading back home. The context becomes even sadder when you find out that Norah/Nox was leading Aurora into a trap.
  • Civilization V breaks from series tradition by not having leaders' themes change by historical era, but whether their nation is at peace or war. Brazil for example has "Chega de Saudade" for its leitmotif, a joyful bossa nova song fitting with their Cultural Victory playstyle, but when at war the song changes into a dramatic key, sounding more akin to a spy thriller. Even normally-optimistic songs like "America the Beautiful" or Otto von Bismarck's arrangement of "Ode to Joy" get arrangements that make them sound threatening and ominous. A subversion comes from Shaka Zulu's music, however - his war theme is a Bragging Theme Tune that sounds excited at the prospect of battle, fitting the Zulu leader's Blood Knight status.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day opens with the proud and brooding intro of the The Funeral Of Queen Mary. After the game is completed, the final cutscene opens with a solemn and genuinely depressing reprise.
  • In Crash Twinsanity, the music for Twinsanity Island is a minor-key "urban" rendition of N. Sanity Island's music.
  • "Hunting~Betrayal" from Digital Devil Saga 2 is a reprise of the first game's battle theme, which plays during the Optional Boss fights and when you take on Heat.
  • Disgaea 2 has a dark reprise (fully instrumental) of its main theme Sinful Rose play during the credits of the worst ending. Post credits, horror ensues.
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • The final boss theme in Dragon Quest IX contains a minor key variation of the series main theme.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the main theme is a Bragging Theme Tune in Dovah about how the Dragonborn is a mighty hero. The trailer for the Dragonborn is an ominous and threatening version of the same theme, as the words of the song are being twisted to reflect the main antagonist, also a Dragonborn.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • "Knock on my Cazador", heard in the outskirts of Goodsprings and abandoned settlements, is an ominous drony version of "No Rest for These Bones" (heard around Goodsprings). Several other songs also get this treatment at nighttime: "Howdy Pardner" -> "CCC Doesn't Work For Free," "Primm and Proper" -> "The Courier Walks Softly."
    • The music for the Battle of Hoover Dam is different based on your alignment. One version plays with most alignments and plays more appropriately as a last stand against Caesar's Legion. The version that plays for a Legion player is much more militarized and brutal.
    • The credits music is a somber piano and strings version of the Fallout 3 theme.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV has the final boss music, "The Final Battle", that includes remixed segments of "Main Theme" (the world map music) and "The Airship".
      • The music that plays after a character's death scene is a slower, more somber version of the overworld theme.
    • The Aria sung by Celes in Final Fantasy VI is played again when Celes attempts suicide after Cid's death.
      • Additionally, Locke and Setzer's themes are reprised in "Forever Rachel" and "Epitaph", which play in flashbacks to the deaths of their respective love interests.
    • Final Fantasy VII; The final boss fight in Disc 1, Jenova Life, has Aerith's theme playing in the background. This is appropriate because the fight takes place after Sephiroth kills Aerith.
      • On a lighter note, a more mischievous version of Yuffie's theme plays when she steals all of the party's materia.
    • The ending sequence of Final Fantasy VIII makes good use of this with Eyes On Me, which is turned into a terrifying psychedelic acid trip. This is the first time we hear the song in full - although the melody is played often as background music in the game, canonically the versions we hear during gameplay are muzak covers of the real thing.
    • Final Fantasy IX has an inversion: Rose of May is a melancholy theme that serves as Beatrix's main leitmotif, and it plays during the party's (hopeless) battles against her. Later, after she discovers the depths of Queen Brahne's evil plans and turns against her, her team-up with Steiner uses an arrangement of the theme called Protecting My Devotion, which is considerably more upbeat and optimistic.
    • The theme "Otherworld" is played during the intro to Final Fantasy X, and it's later used as the theme for the final boss.
      • The Hymn of the Fayth is normally sung to inspire hope in the listener. However, an eerie, distorted version plays during the conversation with Yunalesca, where the utter futility of the pilgrimage is revealed.
      • From 0:47-0:57 and 1:55-2:05, the final boss theme of Final Fantasy X-2, "Their Resting Place," contains a dark instrumental reprise of the melody of the game's vocal theme "1000 Words." "Their Resting Place" is played while fighting the 1000-years-tortured spirit of Shuyin, the lover of Lenne, who wrote and performed "1000 Words," and who following the battle tells Shuyin that she has a new song for him, which is implied to be "1000 Words."
    • Final Fantasy XII's final boss theme, "The Battle For Freedom" contains both a Dark Reprise of the "Theme of the Empire" as well as a Triumphant Reprise of the "Theme of Final Fantasy XII" (the theme of the Resistance), battling against each other for dominance.
      • Inverted with "Esper Battle"(fighting Espers) and "Esper"(summoning Espers). The former has a steady war drum beat invoking a feeling that a dangerous enemy has you in their sights or at a disadvantage (considering the Espers you fight, it fits). "Esper" however is a faster paced version of the former invoking feelings of a Heroic Second Wind or Big Damn Heroes.
    • Final Fantasy XIV does this three times during the Final Battle against Nidhogg/Estinien in the Heavensward 3.3 story. The first music piece, "Dragonsong", which has Hydaelyn singing/asking why her children are throwing away their lives after being given the gift of life, is taken directly from the expansion pack's trailer. The second music score is a remix of the final boss dungeon theme heard throughout most of the Heavensward scenario that plays at a slower and more intense pace. The last music score is a choir remix of Isghard's city theme that signifies the climax of the battle. All three remixed themes fit due to the final boss's connection to Ishgard and the whole backstory as a whole.
    • Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles final boss music has remixed segments of the opening theme mixed in with it.
    • You know that little jingle that plays whenever you win a battle in most of the Final Fantasy games? Well, it, naturally, features in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games whenever the character you're playing as wins a fight. However, if you're playing as one of the Warriors of Chaos, a different variation plays, with a real 'evil has prevailed' feel to it.
      • There's a similar-sounding "Tango of Tears" remix of the victory fanfare in Final Fantasy VII, for when you lose a chocobo race.
  • Every stage in Guacamelee! has a normal theme and a eerier "World of the Dead" remixed theme. The themes are much more echoing and sound distant at times, such as Pueblucho going from a peaceful band playing in the streets to a much more distant feeling in the World of the Dead, as if the band's music still fills the air in the afterlife.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 3:
      • The final mission of features an Ethereal Choir music piece, "Halo Reborn", which itself is a reprise of "Under Cover of Night". A sad reprise of this, "Greatest Journey", with "violins of woe", is played when Sgt. Johnson dies.
      • While this was inverted with the second part of Halo 2's "High Charity Suite", which is a bright reprise of the Covenant's theme, the same piece is reused with Soundtrack Dissonance in Halo 3's ending, what with the apparent loss of Master Chief.
      • Similarly, when Miranda is killed, a sad reprise of the beginning of "High Charity Suite" is played, which itself was a darker arrangement of 2's "In Amber Clad".
      • The credits music starts with a Triumphant Reprise of the Halo theme, but ends with a Lonely Piano Piece.
    • "Spartans Never Die" from Halo: Reach is a Lonely Piano reprise of "Return", the first movement of "The Package"; and by extension, the first half of "Ghosts and Glass" . Likewise, "Ashes" is a remix of "Wing and a Prayer" with a One-Woman Wail added to the first part.
  • The Necropolis theme from Heroes of Might and Magic V is a twisted and sinister remix of the Haven theme. Fitting, since in the portion of the game's story mode where you control the necropolis faction, the Griffin Empire falls under the control of the necromancer Markal.
    • This is later explained in Heroes of Might and Magic VI, where it is revealed that the necromancers were once a part of the Griffin Empire, so the similarity in the music makes sense.
  • To accompany the generally Darker and Edgier feel of Heta Oni compared to its counterpart, the game's main theme is a creeptastic piano reprise of Axis Powers Hetalia's infamously cheerful and catchy theme song. And it gives an entirely new meaning to the line "I am Hetalia [hopeless Italy]!" - where it originally referred to the character Italy's status as The Millstone, now it refers to something much less funny.
  • In Hollow Knight, the already solemn Knight/Vessel leitmotif (first heard on the title screen) has three darker reprises during the endgame. The first is during the second half of the Hollow Knight fight when it begins Fighting from the Inside; this version is also used during the Path of Pain and Birthplace sequences. The second is in the first two endings when the Player Knight absorbs the Infection and becomes the new Vessel. The third is in the True Final Boss ending when the Vessel Shades return to the Void from which they were created, having vanquished the Radiance once and for all. The Pale King's Court leitmotif (heard when fighting Hornet and Dung Defender, meeting the White Lady, and exploring the White Palace) also gets this treatment in the second and third endings, symbolizing the closure of Hallownest's epoch.
  • Homeworld uses this with the same song through the power of context. The tutorial mission invovling the launch of your Mothership is set to the vocal version of "Adagio for Strings," "Agnus Dei," fitting the epic and peaceful situation. Two missions later, you return from the edge of the solar system to see your homeworld burning, and the song that recently filled you with triumph will reduce you to tears. And then the song returns for the final battle, when you arrive at your long-lost homeworld, as a Triumphant Reprise, again without changing at all.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has Pyrrhon's theme being played with a darker tone after he hijacks the Aurrum and does a Face–Heel Turn. Also, Medusa's boss theme doesn't change, but it's played again when Pit has to save a Brainwashed and Crazy Palutena from the Chaos Kin. The fact that you're trying not to harm her while she's trying to kill you without any sort of free will makes it even more disturbing.
  • As seen in the Kingdom Hearts games, Yoko Shimomura loves this trope:
    • Kingdom Hearts I: The Gummi Ship themes definitely fit this trope. The first and second themes are rather light and happy, but then you get to the last one, which is darker, creepier and generally a lot more sinister than the other two.
    • Kingdom Hearts II:
      • The final boss theme, "Darkness of the Unknown", is a variation. The track is split into three segments, one for each phase of the battle; the third and final part is a slower, almost melancholic mix of the previous two.
      • The Final Mix has a straighter example: "The Other Promise" is a mournful reprise of Roxas's theme, played during your battle with him.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days:
      • A calm remix of "Sacred Moon", the final dungeon theme from II, is used as the background music for the Grey Area. Where this trope comes in is during Roxas's escape from the Castle That Never Was, which is accompanied by "Mystic Moon", an arrangement closer to the original but with a slower tempo and moodier instrumentation.
      • Xion's theme, "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion", contains a riff of Kairi's theme. Her battle theme "Vector to the Heavens" is a dramatic, even sadder version of her regular theme.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
      • Vanitas's battle theme, "Enter the Darkness", incorporates snippets of Ventus, Roxas, and Sora's leitmotifs. His theme in Ventus's final battle, "Unbreakable Chains", is in turn a slower and more intense version of "Enter the Darkness".
      • "The Key", Aqua's battle music with Ventus-Vanitas, is a dark version of Dearly Beloved.
    • Aqua's theme has a Dark Reprise in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage during the battle against Phantom Aqua, and in Kingdom Hearts III during Sora's fight against the corrupted Aqua, now with a One-Woman Wail in the background.
  • From Kirby games:
    • The final boss theme in Kirby's Return to Dream Land is a sinister mix of Magolor's theme and the game's main theme, with Nightmare's theme from Kirby's Adventure and some Green Greens added in the mix.
    • The Shadow Mirror House music in Kirby: Triple Deluxe is an eerie version of the theme for Lollipop Land.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe also includes Green Greens in Queen Sectonia's battle theme. They just love Green Greens.
    • The standard boss battle music is remixed twice for the final boss: the first version appears in the cutscene "She Who Holds the Stars" as Queen Sectonia merges with the Dreamstalk and threatens to smother all of Pop Star, while the second appears in a slower and majestic version for the final boss music itself.
    • "Taranza, Master of Puppetry" is a sinister version of King Dedede's theme that plays while Taranza explains his plan and unleashes Masked Dedede on Kirby.
    • "Revenge of the Enemy," the boss music used for the rematches in Royal Road and for Masked Dedede, is a dire-sounding remix of the title theme (that throws in Green Greens for good measure).
    • "P-R-O-G-R-A-M", the final boss theme for Kirby: Planet Robobot, is a frantic techno/Ominous Pipe Organ/rock remix of the game's title theme, with snippets of the game's mini-boss theme and "The Noble Haltmann". Bits of "Galactic Nova Shooting" from Kirby Super Star can also be heard periodically.
    • The theme for the final phase of the last boss of Kirby Star Allies is an intense rock mash-up of Song of Supplication and a twisted version of Green Greens. The latter bit is extra appropriate when considering that Void Termina's core spends much of the fight sporting a Kirby face for some reason.
      • The theme of the True Final Boss of Star Allies, fought at the end of Soul Melter EX, begins the same as Void Soul's theme. However, the theme soon changes to a melancholic piano remix of Song of Supplication and Green Greens, occasionally shifting to a dark 8-bit remix of Green Greens.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The music for first part of the final boss is a very dark reprise of Zelda's Lullaby since the fight is against Zelda's body being possessed by Ganon.
      • "Midna's Desperate Hour" is a Lonely Piano Piece version of her theme / the Hyrule Field theme.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker:
      • The "Great Sea Cursed" music is a dark reprise of the main overworld theme combined with Ganondorf's theme.
      • Each of the boss themes in Ganondorf's Castle during what borders on being a Boss Rush.
      • Much like the graphic style, a lot of The Wind Waker's songs are deceptively cheerful, and get twisted into something darker or more downtrodden by the end of the game. Some of the tracks that haven't been listed yet are Aryll's Theme ('Aryll's Kidnapping'), 'Hyrule King Appears' ('Farewell Hyrule King'), 'Hyrule Castle' (which actually debuts as 'Sealed Hyrule Castle') and even the series' main theme in the ever-popular 'The Legendary Hero'.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has several dark reprises of the main Zelda theme for exploration.
    • Used with great effect in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. For each day (the game spreads through three), Clock Town plays a different song: the first day plays a joyful and upbeat song fitting for a happy town and stuff; the second day has a bit faster and quieter version, but largely the same; but the third one... Reflecting the impending doom the town is about to face, the song gets its rhythm section swapped by a ominous, dark one, and the fact that the main melody is maintained (even the instrument) makes it even creepier. Ah, and it's faster too.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass also does this with an extremely dramatic and tense remix of Linebeck's theme used for the final battle, where Link is forced to fight him after he is possessed by Bellum.
    • The final dungeon of The Minish Cap, Dark Hyrule Castle, features a chilling remix of the A Link to the Past theme.
  • The ending theme of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, "To the Future", is a somber reprise of the romantic "Tranquility", reflecting Maxim and Selan being Together in Death.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The title theme of Mass Effect 3 is a much slower and more somber version of the Victory theme that plays at the climax of the original Mass Effect.
    • Mordin sings snatches from "I Am The Very Model Of A Scientist Salarian" just before his death in Mass Effect 3.
    • "An End, Once and For All" is a more somber, mostly piano-only version of "Leaving Earth."
    • In the Extended Cut DLC, the neutral track "Resolution", which plays during parts of each ending, has two separate Dark Reprises. "A Future Many Will Never See" accompanies the Destroy ending and is a somber, but determined memorial that emphasizes those who died hero's deaths throughout the trilogy. "We Fought As A United Galaxy", the Refusal ending track, is more bleak and defeated, in a minor key and much slower than its counterparts.
    • In the Citadel DLC, the clone Shepard is introduced with a twisted version of the music from the beginning of the original Mass Effect. Fittingly enough, it is titled, The Anti-Shepard
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline uses a minor-key version of its title theme at certain points, such as at the end of the OST track "After the Drop".
  • Metal Slug 6 has a Dark Reprise of Final Attack for the final mission.
  • In Metroid Prime Trilogy, both Metroid Prime and Emperor Ing’s second themes begin with a remix of their respective games’ title music.
  • In Miitopia, the final boss's theme music is an ominous version of the Great Sage's theme.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode utilises trope in the fifth and final episode of its second season. "Beacontown Twisted" is a rather ominous, sinister rendition of Beacontown's main theme. In context, "Twisted" plays early on when Jesse and friends enter Beacontown for the first time since The Admin threw the Overworld into eternal night. In the time since, The Admin has assumed Jesse's identity and leadership responsibilities back in Beacontown, and the reprise continues to play whenever The Admin appears to micromanage the citizens' lives as you prepare to overthrow him.
  • NieR does this with the music in your Doomed Hometown. "Song of the Ancients ~ Devola" and "~ Popola" play around those two principal NPCs, but when the inevitable happens and there's a boss battle in the settlement, the theme returns as "Song of the Ancients ~ Fate."
  • NieR: Automata has Emil's shop theme, a ridiculously cheerful Triumphant Reprise of his heartbreaking leitmotif from the previous game... which is revisited as the decidedly uncheerful "Emil ~ Despair" when you fight him as the Bonus Boss.
  • In The Night of the Rabbit the showdown against the Big Bad begins with a four act play, and each act of the play features a twisted version of the music from some previous place of the game.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge
    • "Oh No!" is a minor-key reprise of Jack Skellington's cheerfully macabre "What's This?", after he finds Christmas Town in ruins. Most of Oogie's Revenge is composed of reprises of the original songs, but this is the biggest Mood Whiplash from the original.
    • There is also "Take Our Town Back" to the tune of "Making Christmas" about the townspeople banding together to defeat Oogie, and "Sally's Song" a darker, up-tempo version of the same song from the original film which is now a duet between Sally and Jack about Oogie's deception.
  • In both NiGHTS into Dreams... games, both of Reala's themes get a more intense electric guitar remix later on in the game, each subtitled "Theme of a Tragedic Revenge".
    • The "Mare Over" music of the original NiGHTS is a shorter, darker reprise of the serie's motif, Dreams Dreams.
  • The theme of Obsidian enters a foreboding minor rendition near the end of its second dream world, before the eerie Mechanical Spider comes alive.
  • In OFF, Hugo's theme - "The Race of a Thousand Ants" - is fast-paced, cheerful, and reminiscent of a child's music box. A darker, slower version of the tune plays in the endgame as the protagonist bludgeons the defenseless child to death.
    • If you thought that version was creepy, in the fan-made sequel HOME, the creepiness factor is taken up a notch in a remixed version titled "Empty Stare", which becomes primarily The Witness', aka Edna's theme, which is fitting given her darker characterization and her connection to Hugo. And they up the creepiness factor ''further'' with the battle theme version, "Nowhere to Begin, yet Everywhere to End", which, while similar, is further darkened by eerie, dissonant sounds.
  • In Ōkami, the swordsman Oki is introduced with a laid-back but vaguely sad theme. As he becomes dangerously obsessed with slaying strong monsters to awaken his Ancestral Weapon, this is replaced by the off-kilter remix "Oki's Destiny". Once he comes to his senses and pledges to fight by Amaterasu's side, this is again replaced by the upbeat and heroic song "Brave Warrior Oki".
  • Ori and the Blind Forest:
  • Paladin's Quest has two examples in the two-part final boss battle: The first half of the fight features a reprise of the standard overworld fight theme; the second half plays a reprise of the big bad's Leitmotif.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 2, we had Kashihara which is a darker version of Philemon's Theme. Also the EX battle which is actually a lighter version of the final battle.
    • Persona 3 has Aria of the Soul - well, more specifically, the entire Persona series has Aria of the Soul, which plays in the Velvet Room, and nowhere else. However, in Persona 3 - the final boss, the Nyx Avatar reprises it as The Battle for Everyone's Souls. It turns the normally calm and peaceful Aria of the Soul into a theme that definitely seems to embody the state of the situation your party is in: While the main guitar segment seems to be optimistic and gung-ho, the corresponding piano and vocal-oriented segments are almost pessimistic.
    • In Persona 5, the track Awakening plays whenever someone first awakens to their Persona, while Willpower plays in the battle immediately afterwards. The later theme is also played when Shadow Sae goes berserk after being caught cheating again and goes One-Winged Angel, and both themes are played when Goro unleashes Loki.
      • The music for the final dungeon, Mementos Depths, is a dark, melencholy and oppressive rearrangement of the upbeat track "Tokyo Daylight" that plays when you're running around the city. It symbolizes how Mementos is "everyone's palace", formed from every day citizens' complicitness that allows social corruption to thrive.
  • If you fail an event in the original Pilotwings, a sad piano version of the "Event Clear" music plays.
  • If Harry dies in Pitfall II, a minor version of the Theme Music Power-Up plays. This version is also the basis for the underground stage music in the arcade game.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue: The theme of Team Rocket's Hideout (and technically the Power Plant's and Cerulean Cave's too) is an even creepier remix of the theme of the Viridian Forest, hinting the connection between Team Rocket and Viridian City with its abandoned Gym, making it a Musical Spoiler.
    • The background themes of Vermilion City and Pallet Town in Pokémon Gold and Silver are slower-paced than the originals from Pokémon Red and Blue, but not necessarily "darker". However, the Cinnabar Island theme in the remakes plays this straight with a music box tune for the town that was destroyed in a volcanic eruption.
    • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the Victory Road theme is essentially a Dark Reprise of the main Pokémon theme.
    • In Pokémon Colosseum, the main villain's theme is a darker version of Es Cade's theme.
    • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, the sequel to Colosseum, has a dark version of the previous game's theme when the player first arrives in Phenac City. People who played Colosseum are meant to take this as a hint that something isn't quite right...
    • The N's Castle theme in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 is a darker version of its theme from Pokémon Black and White.
    • In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, the cheery elevator music that plays in the Altru Building's lobby gets a tense remix when the place is taken over by Team Dim Sun.
    • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, Despair serves as the game's Simple Score of Sadness for most of the game, but gets twisted into something much darker in the final chapter with its aptly named heavy arrangement.
    • A weird example: in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, all of the evil team leaders get remixed versions of their songs from the previous games. These were pretty much all dark tracks to begin with, as befitting of the characters who used them. While the remix of Archie and Maxie's shared theme isn't too bad, the remixes of Cyrus's, Ghetsis's and Lysandre's themes are downright twisted, taking the most ominous and scary parts of their themes and amping them all up as far as they can go. Rather fittingly, these are also Triumphant Reprises, because these are all versions of these villains who won. Given the scope of their plans, this is very bad.
      • And another one: Lunala's and Solgaleo's theme in Sun and Moon was an upbeat, lively one bordering on sounding more like a rival theme, just with reminders here and there that you're still fighting a borderline deity which is actually rather fitting given their relationship to the player. Cut to Ultra Necrozma's theme, which is a sinister, twisted, even depressing and disheartening version that makes it VERY obvious what kind of enemy you're facing. Also makes sense given that Ultra Necrozma forcefully absorbed Solgaleo or Lunala to take its form, becoming one of the strongest Pokemon in the entire franchise, and that's not even considering its aura-boosted stats! Not to mention that your friend is, in a way, fighting you against its own will, and possibly even acutely aware of this. And this is supposedly a kid's game.
  • The track "I AM NOT A MORON" from Portal 2 becomes a dark reprise of itself as the scene it plays during switches from being about Robot Buddy Wheatley taking control of the Enrichment Center from Big Bad GLaDOS and allowing you to escape to him going Drunk with Power and becoming the new Big Bad. A more standard case of this trope occurs with the song too, as an even darker and more frantic version of it plays as the final boss theme.
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, there are a few remixes of "Unshaken" that can play during the ending.
    • If Arthur Morgan decides to go back for the money and get revenge on Dutch van der Linde and Micah Bell instead of leave with John Marston, a threatening, bass-y, hip hop-esque beat plays as he makes his way back in High Honor mode. The start of the song contains a snippet of Nas vocals. Rather than the humble, questioning tone of the original version of "Unshaken", they're far more aggressive and confident:
      I rise to the top
      I cannot be stopped
      I stand
      Unshaken
    • Regardless of ending choice, depending on Arthur's honor at the end of the story, a version of "Unshaken", called "Crash of Worlds" by Rocco DeLuca, either with an angelic, harmonic choir (high honor) or an ethereal, spooky instrumentation and a deep, bass-y choir (low honor) plays at the very end of the mission.
  • The final stage and boss of RefleX features a darker arrangement of "Final Hour", the stage 1 theme of Kamui. Speaking of Kamui...
    • The end credits plays a melancholic version of "An Unavoidable Choice", the stage 1 theme of RefleX itself.
  • The already creepy mansion themes in Resident Evil 1 and its remake become even more sinister when you return from the guest house.
  • Shadow Forger Ihlakhizan's theme in Runescape is a darker take on "Born To Do This", a heroic theme of Daemonheim.
  • The Final Boss Music of each scenario of SaGa Frontier is a darker rearrangement of the Main Character's theme of that scenario.
  • The final stage theme of Samurai Warriors Chronicles, "Grief", is a somber rendition of the game's main theme.
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs The World The Game has a dark reprise of the Scott Pilgrim anthem when fighting Nega Scott.
  • Silent Hill 2's (instrumental) theme tune is strangely light and optimistic for a horror game - until a scene near the end, where a much more melancholy version plays on piano and violin, making the moment (Angela's decision to commit suicide) that much more heartbreaking.
    • In the same game, "Fermata in Mistic Air", played when Maria dies for the second time, is a dark reprise of "Null Moon", the music when you first meet her.
    • "Promise Reprise", played during the second cutscene with Angela, is a Lonely Piano Piece version of the Maria Ending credits theme, making it a kind of inversion.
    • Also, the first game has "Not Tomorrow", played when Lisa dies, which is a dark reprise of its title theme.
  • In The Silver Case, there are several recurring themes that take on a more somber tone after certain lategame plot revelations. One in particular being the fourth version of "Morishima Tokio", a slower, deliberately-paced modification of Tokio's theme, featured in the chapter Hikari that illustrates how disillusioned he's become by everything that's happened to him, after Kaiji Enzawa, AKA The Bat revealed that his actions were being watched all along before attempting to assassinate him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Spec Ops: The Line has a certain piece of music that plays in the background of some parts, usually, when the player discovers the aftermath of a massacre, or other evil, throughout the game, which seems to be based on the games theme music. The full version is not heard until chapter 14, which goes along with everything else driving in how througly fucked up everything is by now.
  • A long time ago, there was this music from a game called Great Battle 2: Last Twin Fighter that had a really upbeat music. Many years later in Super Robot Wars Original Generation The Moon Dwellers, this same song got a very dark version used for the Final Boss.
  • In Splatoon, after taking a few hits, the final boss's theme starts incorporating a darker version of the "Mission Complete" jingle.
  • Splatoon 2:
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic uses a stripped-down, ominous remix of the character creation screen music from Knights of the Old Republic in the "Shadow of Revan" arc when your character, backed up by one hell of an Enemy Mine lineup of NPCs, gives Revan his final death.
  • In Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Evil Ryu's theme is this trope to his original, classic theme, even mixed with some of Akuma's theme. Furthermore, Oni, Akuma's even more superpowered Superpowered Evil Side, is an even darker reprise of his regular theme.
  • In Battleground Z/StreetPass Zombies, Dr. Psymad's opening gambit is to use an M Potion against the player, which is accompanied by a more sinister reprise of the regular invincibility theme.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The World 1 background music from Super Mario Galaxy 2 is actually a somber version of the "Good Egg Galaxy" music from the first Super Mario Galaxy game.
    • Also, the ending music of the first Galaxy game, which is a dark reprise of the "Comet Observatory" theme, which is played when Rosalina says goodbye to Mario/Luigi after helping her save the universe (and Peach, which Mario/Luigi is concerned) from Bowser and flying away to another part of the galaxy.
    • In New Super Mario Bros. U, the theme that plays in most levels of Peach's Castle (which has been taken over by Bowser) is a dark reprise of Peach's Castle theme from Super Mario 64. Doubles as a Musical Nod, since the original version of said reprise is from an earlier game altogether.
    • Super Mario Odyssey has two separate battles with Bowser, one in the Cloud Kingdom, and one inside the Moon. The first time, an electric guitar and overall metal version of Bowser's signature theme song plays. Not inside of the Moon. The second battle is the last one, so it plays a fully orchestrated remix of the song that plays in the first battle. And yeah, it's pretty threatening when the music begins during the cutscene as Bowser shouts "Here's your happily ever after!"
    • Super Mario 64 pulls a similar trick: the first two Bowser battles are accompanied by a driving rock tune that evolves into a sinister Ominous Pipe Organ remix in time for the final boss.
    • If you land 4th place on any cup in Mario Kart 64, the song pertaining to the award ceremony will play slowly and more downtrodden as your character secludes himself, slowly stopping as a bomb approaches you and blows you up.
  • The orchestral theme for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is uplifting and triumphant. The lyrical version Lifelight...isn't; the lyrics basically describe the plight of the heroes in the story mode World of Light, wherein the entire universe has been wiped out by Galeem, all of the main characters have been captured to be used to make clones called Puppet Fighters, and everyone else has been turned into body-less entities forced to possess said puppets. It's not entirely dark as there's a noticeable hopeful tone within it, but altogether it's still a pretty somber song. However, there's actually more Dark Reprises to the Dark Reprise, in the form of the ominous and glorious theme for Galeem, the sinister and intimidating theme for Dharkon, and the absolutely epic theme for both of them at once. Finally, there's a sombre piano rendition of "Lifelight" that plays if you get a Game Over during Classic Mode.
  • A dark reprise of the title theme of Sword of Mana plays as the hero and heroine confront Julius at the Mana Sanctuary and the Mana Tree starts to die from him leeching power from it.
  • Inverted in Tales of Monkey Island with a major version of LeChuck's theme.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Zelos' happy-go-lucky samba theme song is replaced by a much darker, slower arrangement during his Face–Heel Turn, showing his inner darkness. Similarly, Raine's theme has two versions: the speedy, silly version that plays when she is in the throes of her ruin mania, and a slower, solemn one used for more serious scenes. This second one is what plays when Raine meets her Missing Mom, who has gone insane with guilt(?) and doesn't even recognize her own children.
  • In Tekken 2, Devil's theme is an even darker rendition of Kazuya's already dark theme.
  • Thunder Force IV's opening theme, Lightning Strikes Again, gets a much more aggressive remix when you battle the Orn-controlled Rynex in TFV. Several such leitmotifs from past games were also used in the sixth installment for similar purposes.
  • When you enter a Very Safe Lab in 20XX, the background music is swapped for one of these: a much creepier-sounding version to go along with the high risk, high reward nature of prototype augs.
  • UltimaV has "The Missing Monarch", a reprise of "Rule Britannia" (Lord British's anthem) played when Lord British is missing.
  • Undertale
  • In the Genesis and PC Engine versions of Valis: The Phantasm Soldier, a slow sad version of "The Wilderness" plays during Reiko's death cutscene. The Game Over music is a dirge-like rendition of "Flash of Sword", the Stage 1 theme.
  • In The Walking Dead, "Alive Inside" has one in the form of "Goodbye." "Alive Inside" is essentially the theme music for Lee and Clementine; it plays during a number of their shared scenes, and the tune serves to reflect the hope they bring to each other, despite the Zombie Apocalypse. As the title would suggest "Goodbye" is a much more somber and melancholy version of "Alive Inside." It plays during the game's ending, beginning immediately after Clementine has been forced to bludgeon a walker to death with a baseball bat, and Lee attempts to teach Clementine everything she'll need to know to survive without him, because he had already been bitten in the previous episode. You are then left to decide whether Clementine will Mercy Kill him, or leave him to turn, which he (and you, by extension) will be able to justify with a handful of responses.
  • In WarioWare Gold, the second part of the final battle against Wario Deluxe uses a dark remix of the main menu theme.
  • In World of Warcraft, the creatures known as the Naaru play a soothing melodic chime as you approach them. However, when one of them becomes corrupted and is reintroduced as a boss, a twisted, chaotic version of the same chime can be heard during the fight.
  • XCOM2:
  • Xenogears first has the song "The Wounded Shall Advance Into the Light" play in the Nisan Cathedral, a solemn, calm environment. Later, the dark reprise "Pray for the People's Joy" is played during moments of crushing hopelessness.
  • Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner has the theme of Anubis, an ominous remix of the main theme Beyond the Bounds.


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