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Heartbeat Soundtrack / Video Games

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  • In Hitman (2016), a faint heartbeat can be heard when you are in close proximity to a target.
  • In Chrono Trigger, the inside of Lavos' shell replaces background music with Lavos' heartbeat and breathing, which get louder and faster as the party approaches the core.
  • Mother 3 utilizes this to the player's advantage: When an enemy is put to sleep, a heartbeat track in sync with the current battle music plays very prominently, making it easier to pull off combo attacks. This can be especially helpful for tracks where the beat isn't quite obvious, or ones that have an unusual time signature. The only exceptions to this are the fights against the Masked Man, who apparently lacks a heartbeat (and their song is in twenty-nine sixteenths time). Also used as an indicator that things are getting serious when the Ultimate Chimera is around; the music doesn't change, but you hear Lucas' heartbeat speed up as the beast closes in on him and his party.
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  • Meteos — the planet Globin. Well, it is shaped like a red blood cell...
  • Eversion:
    • World X-7 has no soundtrack but a heartbeat.
    • And World X-8 has, among other creepy noises, an accelerating heartbeat.
  • In Dungeons Of Daggorath, the heartbeat represents your health/stamina. As you use your weapon, run or take damage, the heartbeat goes faster and faster, until the screen fades to black. If you are fighting a monster at the time, you die. As you go deeper into the dungeon, your heartbeat increases more slowly.
  • In Risk of Rain the main theme has a heartbeat segment somewhere, although you likely won't hear it without a headset.
  • In Samurai Shodown 1, The first part of Amakusa's stage theme is a really creepy sounding heartbeat. Creatively, arranged soundtracks replaced this with slow, steady taiko drums.
  • Dance Dance Revolution has a song called "Healing Vision" that, near the end of the song, has a heartbeat segment. The song at this point slows from 196 BPM to 49 (and yes, you step on the panels in time with the heartbeats). "Healing Vision -Angelic Mix-" has heartbeat segments at the very beginning and at the very end, and ECG beeping for the rest, with a flatline at the pause and last section of the song.
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  • Call of Duty 4: In the last moments of Pvt. Jackson's life after the nuke goes off, all you can hear is the gusting wind and his own heartbeat.
  • GoldenEye: The Facility theme at one point features a sudden drop in volume, leaving nothing but a faint heartbeat, before gradually returning to normal.
  • From Touhou, the track "Fires of Hokkai" (from Undefined Fantastic Object) starts with a heavy drumbeat similar to this, leading up to the final boss.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas play a heartbeat sound in the background when your character's health is extremely low. The "Level Up" four-beat military drum tune sounds like a heartbeat as well.
  • The first two entries in the Mass Effect series plays a heavy heartbeat sound when the player character is low on health, the third game to a lesser extent. Also in the first two games, the background soundtrack playing during the culmination of a potential romance employs an instrumental version of this to increase the drama of the interaction.
  • Oracle of Tao has it in a few significant times. Several of them are romantic scenes, however, there are two major instances where it is used in a non-romantic setting:
    • The first is when the main character, Ambrosia has an existence crisis, and start to fade away. She remembers her friends, and this sound happens right as as she winks back into being.
    • The second is a steadily slowing heartbeat when Ambrosia dies of old age.
  • The track Spooky Scape from Saya no Uta has a heartbeat in the background. It plays throughout most of the song, but it's difficult to notice except towards the end.
  • The Ecco the Dolphin series' generally haunting soundtrack does this from time to time, for example in the themes for Sea of Darkness and (appropriately) Heart of The Foe.
  • The ambient opening movie to Katawa Shoujo features both a heartbeat and the sound of a monitor. As Hisao has heart arrhythmia, it also shows up at various points in the game when he's having problems, usually starting very faint in the background and layered in with the oftentimes happy music, but it generally gets louder and faster.
  • The A Nightmare on Elm Street PC game had this and only this for its soundtrack.
  • This occurs in Kuon whenever an enemy is approaching. The quicker the heartbeat, the closer the danger.
  • A song used in Tomb Raider 2 and 3 (and 1 in the PC version) is mainly composed of a heartbeat along with some other Hell Is That Noise sounds.
  • Asteroids handled it pretty masterfully — the heartbeat's speed increases as you take out asteroids.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, the theme of Sephiroth "Those Chosen by the Planet" makes use of a pulsating heartbeat, along with synth vocals. It's also there in his other two themes, "The Birth of a God" and "One-Winged Angel". Although it's drowned out by the other instruments.
    • "The Landing" in Final Fantasy VIII starts by playing a slow heartbeat. In this case it likely signifies the calm before the battle.
    • You can hear a heartbeat pounding as time slows down in Final Fantasy X with Tidus's overdrive Blitz Ace.
  • From Cave Story, "Pulse."
  • The aptly titled Heartbeats from online game Colour My Heart uses this.
  • Earthworm Jim 1 has a heartbeat in the music for its 'Intestinal Distress' level (for the Sega Genesis version).
  • Used extensively in Manhunt.
  • The main theme of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Nerevar Rising. This actually has an in-game justification of sorts: the MacGuffin of the main quest is an actual gigantic heart, belonging to the dead god Lorkhan.
  • Secret of Mana has In the dead of Night which plays during the intro.
  • Trials of Mana's Ghost Ship theme prominently features a heartbeat. The game also has Political Pressure, which is featured in areas like Fiery Gorge, Cave of Darkness, and the Chartmoon Tower.
  • Whenever you get near Champion's Road on the World Crown map of Super Mario 3D World, you will know how challenging the level may be when you hear the heartbeats.
  • Darius Force has this for the final boss theme of Galst Vic
  • The briefing for the final mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies has the faint sounds of a heartbeat and machinery in place of the usual soundtrack.
  • Both versions of the hotel in Silent Hill 2, and the Meat Moss-covered alternate hospital patient wing in Silent Hill 3, as heard in the OST track "Heads No. 2." The series as a whole uses heartbeat-like controller vibrations when the hero's health is low.
  • Used as a low-health warning of sorts in Rift, along with desaturated graphics and muffled standard game sounds.
  • The boss theme for Tubba Blubba's Heart in Paper Mario has the sound of a heart beating play just before the song loops.
  • Metroid Prime Trilogy:
    • Some puzzle segments (often timed) that have to be solved without leaving the area use a minimal soundtrack with a bass played in a heartbeat pattern.
    • The first Metroid Prime has one in Tallon Overworld's second theme.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes uses this in basically all the music on Dark Aether. Heartbeats also appear in the Title Screen and Agon Wastes music.
  • Portal 2 uses two distinct heartbeats with a BGM Override for dramatic effect in the final portal shot of the game.
  • The SNES port of Populous had a heartbeat superimposed on the game's ambient music track. The heartbeat played at about 120 beats per minute as long as the computer player wasn't winning by a large margin over the human player. If it was, the heart rate would increase as the computer came closer and closer to victory and decrease if the human player made a comeback. The heart rate capped at a ridiculous 480 BPM, just before the computer wiped the human player off the map, and stopped completely when the human player lost their last follower.
  • In Pokémon Snap, a heartbeat sound is heard when Mew is separated from its camera-obscuring bubble in the Rainbow Cloud, the final stage of the game.
  • Hey You, Pikachu!. Toward the end of the song "Goodbye Forever Pikachu," soft beats resembling Pikachu's heartbeats play, to heartbreaking effect. This theme is reused in Hey You, Pikachu!'s Spiritual Successor, Pokémon Channel, as the track "Stargazing."
  • In the adult anime PC game Brave Soul, a pulsing heartbeat sound is played during Marin's sex scene.
  • In Custom Robo, a heartbeat sound is used for Rahu's chamber.
  • In Radiant Historia, an ominous heartbeat-like sound is heard just before the villains' secret weapon is used.
  • Rez features this at the very end of Stage 5, once you've cleared the Boss Rush and are on your way to Eden's chamber. Bonus points for tying into the image flashes you see as each phase of Eden is reawakened— which all feature some aspect of life, including a TMI-cam-like view of a capillary with pulsing blood.
  • In FEAR, a heartbeat is heard during the part where you're in an elevator with Alice and you must leave it to turn the power back on again.
  • Inazuma Eleven GO Chrono Stone had one of Tenma's first new dribble hissatsu called "Aggresive Beat" which involves him clutching his chest as he feels his heartbeat, then using it to get past his opponent.
  • In Madden NFL, you will hear heartbeat sounds when attempting a last-second potential game-winning field goal. Probably used to show how nerve-wracking such situations are for the kicker.
  • Heard in The Journeyman Project if your oxygen runs low in the Mars Maze. In all cases, an EKG flatline sound is heard when Gage dies or otherwise gets Game Over.
  • Some of Halo's soundtrack pieces, like Halo 2's "Destroyer's Invocation" and Halo 3's "Dread Intrusion".
  • Desire has a music track like this, appropriately enough named "Beat".
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
    • During the No-Gear Level Stealth-Based Mission in Eldin Volcano, a heartbeat plays over the soundtrack if you get too close to a Bokoblin. Useful if you can't see where he is and need to get to cover.
    • When you're at low health during a fight with a regular enemy, one of the percussion tracks switches to a heartbeat-like rhythm.
  • In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, the last few seconds of "Alexander's Suicide" are coupled up with Last Note Nightmare, as they are incurred by Alex's heartbeat slowing down to a stop via "Drink Me" potion.
  • The Intellivision game Night Stalker had a constant heartbeat sound in the background.
  • In Jak and Daxter, a heartbeat plays if you swim when there is a Lurker Shark in the water. It get faster the closer the shark gets.
  • In Superman for the Nintendo 64, a heartbeat sound starts playing when Superman's health gets low.
  • In Persona for the Playstation, the track "Awakening" (played when someone calls their Persona for the first time) has a brief period in the beginning with and obvious heartbeat sound. It continues through the remainder of the song in a more subdued form. Sadly, this song, like most of the others, wasn't retained in the Updated Re-release.
  • Abuse uses this as a Critical Annoyance.
  • Resident Evil:
  • In the Ar tonelico series, some of the songs, such as EXEC_SPHILIA/. and both versions of Rustling Throb have heartbeats as part of either the main melody or as background sounds. Even one of the soundtracks' bonus songs, Planet Gene, opens and closes off with the sound of heartbeat.
  • The soundtrack of Mondo Medicals consists entirely of heavy breathing and what appears to be a heartbeat.
  • The aptly-named "A Heartbeat Away" track from Myst III, which plays as you explore J'nanin.
  • Demon's Souls has the tower of Latria, which takes this trope Up to Eleven by having said heartbeat being the only sound you hear the entire time in the second zone. No wonder: the heart in question is approximately the size of a large house, swollen by demonic infestation, suspended in the middle of the place by heavy chains. Appropriately sickening.
  • Vanquish has the Critical Annoyance type.
  • In Max Payne, activating Bullet Time will start with a 'crack' kind of sound effect, then drown out the soundtrack, backing the action with dull, measured heartbeats while it is in effect.
  • The FMV shooter Blood Bath has a pulsing bass soundtrack that gets faster as you take damage.
  • The Rom Hack Banjo-Kazooie: Eraserhead Edition (requested by the Game Grumps as a joke, but then a bunch of people actually made it), has, per the request "No music, but a heartbeat. And, like, a couple arguing in the background".
  • Tomodachi Life uses a heartbeat in romantic senses where a Mii is about to confess their love or during proposals (it speeds up when the Mii is about to pop the question). A heartbeat along with a violin is used in a rare sense when a Mii is ready to propose to his or her sweetheart.
  • Far Cry has this during Shell-Shock Silence moments.
  • Subverted in Dark Souls II: it seems that The Gutter and Black Gulch have this as background music, but closer observations reveal that the beating noise is actually produced by those goddamn poison shooting statues.
  • ''Distorted Evolution'' from Parasite Eve 2 features the heartbeat rhythm.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour's shadow duelist ambush music, "Card as Blade," features drums akin to a sped-up heart rate—which the player will likely be feeling as well if it's a hard duelist.
  • One of the puzzles in Dark Fall: Lost Souls involves selecting several increasingly-arrhythmic Heartbeat Soundtrack sound clips in sequence, to re-create the impression of someone succumbing to heart failure.
  • In the character creation screen of Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion, a slow, faint heartbeat can be heard as part of the background music. Very fitting, as the player is floating around in a test tube and barely shows any signs of consciousness until you customize them.
  • Undertale:
    • Heard at the very end of a Kill 'Em All run, when the Fallen Child speaks to you directly.
    • Additionally, the song "Heartache" that plays when you fight Toriel has a distinct, heartbeat-like bass.
    • The song "But the Earth Refused to Die" features a heartbeat playing in the background. It's poignant for the scene considering that Undyne is fighting for her life after a blow that should have killed her instantly. Adding her monologue's words about being able to feel everyone's hearts beating as one really drives the theme home.
  • A loud, slow heartbeat is heard alongside the background music in the final level of Epic Mickey, but only in the main area. Appropriate, as the level takes place inside the Blot's body, and it's Mickey's stolen heart that's beating.
  • Plays a major role in Dead by Daylight, where it acts as the survivors' signal that the killer is near them. When the killer starts actively chasing you, the heartbeat melds into a tense musical track that slowly calms down once you break line of sight.
  • Klonoa has "Untamed Heart" which is accompanied by a faint heartbeat through the whole song.
  • Invoked in Descent II's briefing theme, which features a heartbeat-like synth that plays through the entire track if you listen carefully.
  • Tiny Invaders is a Womb Level game where you help the titular aliens infect various humans from their legs up to the brains over the course of fifteen levels per human. What plays in the background changes every five levels as your infection spreads: A steady heartbeat is prominently heard in the first five levels, but is replaced by techno noise and what sounds like a fast motor in the background for the next five. The final five levels (starting, appropriately enough, just after the level whose icon features the heart) have deep and slow ominous, string tones with a quiet, arrhythmic heartbeat-like noise in the background.
  • In Flashback, the Ultra Mind has a heartbeat that increases in speed the more you damage it.
  • A heartbeat sound plays in Little Nightmares whenever Six gets close to a monster, and it becomes faster and louder when she gets spotted and chased.
  • The song "Merure Merure" from LocoRoco has a heartbeat playing in the background during the beginning, which is fitting since the song plays while you're in the innards of the Big Bad.
  • Parodied in Grand Theft Auto V. Go watch Jimmy play the in-universe CoD spoof game Righteous Slaughter 7 in his bedroom when controlling Michael and you'll hear this gem of a line.
    Mission Control: I can hear your heartbeat, stop getting shot!
  • Ray Storm uses this in the pre-Final Boss cue, appropriately titled "Heart Land" on the soundtrack.
  • In Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2, this is one of the many sound effects the player can put in their levels.
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 during the Pokemon World Tournament Finals, a heartbeat can be heard at the start of the battle music.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: A heartbeat plays whenever Bendy is close by, signaling the player to hide.
  • Omori: When Omori comes back to White Space at the end of the day a faint heartbeat can be heard in the background. It stops every time Omori stabs himself to wake up as Sunny in Faraway Town.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the music stops and is replaced by a heartbeat on two occasions in the Black Eagles route- when you decide whether to go to Enbarr with Edelgard and if you attend Edelgard's coronation, when you decide whether to side with Edelgard in the Holy Tomb.


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