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Long Song, Short Scene in video games. Depending on the player's skill, any boss you can beat/puzzle you can solve quickly enough can make the soundtrack become this.


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     Action Adventure 
  • Beyond Good & Evil:
    • The main canal area normally has no music (instead, you get to hear the Big Bad giving speeches), but if you sit around long enough, a unique song, "Channel Surfing / Something Complete Different" starts to play. It's a jam session style remix of one of the game's other songs, "Akuda House Propaganda." However, since most people will be in and out of the area before the speech finishes, many players won't even know the song exists.
    • "Safari" is only played in the area in front of the lighthouse, so you probably won't hear most of it unless you stop to talk to the kids when they happen to be outside. Oh, and by the time the plot gives you a reason to return there the song is gone for good.
  • Each nightfall in Shenmue I and II featured the opening to an acoustic guitar song (a rearrangement of a track from Super Hang-On) that is never heard anywhere else in the game nor the OST... Until now!
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has a different overworld theme for the Dark World depending on whether or not you have the Moon Pearl. Given that the first Dark World portal (and only one that is accessible at all before getting the Master Sword) is roughly a 5-second walk from Spectacle Rock, where you must use the mirror to return to the Light World in order to reach the Tower of Hera (which contains the Moon Pearl), the first version of the overworld theme might not be heard in its entirety even if you stop to talk to the NPCs, and certainly not if you don't.
      • The same game has two renditions of the melody that later became known as "Zelda's Lullaby". The one that plays when you rescue a maiden locked in crystal is the shorter version, but plays over long expository text seven times over. That's not this trope. What is this trope is the other version, which only plays the first time you meet Zelda at the beginning of the game, and contains a bridge not found in the shorter one. It only lasts for a few text boxes' worth of dialogue, which probably won't take until the bridge to get through. (The same bridge is more prominently featured in later Zelda games, such as Ocarina, where Zelda's Lullaby plays over much longer scenes.)
  • The Wind Waker has a remix of Ocarina's "Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly" theme, which logically accompanies the "Deku Tree" and "Dodongo's Cavern" remixes. But you only hear it when you're talking to Jabun, a dialog you could easily skip (especially considering the fact that Jabun speaks a language that's unreadable outside New Game+). Since the two other remixes are played in the two first dungeons of the game, this one was likely supposed to be played in some scrapped water dungeon.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures has a lengthy puzzle in the form of the Village of the Blue Maiden. Once you've finally sorted out everyone's problems, you get an upbeat version of the classic Kakariko Village theme that only lasts until you leave that screen. It makes a second appearance in one of the multiplayer Tingle's Tower mini-games... at the beginning and end of an area that (mostly) plays an entirely different song, and which you're only going to hang around in for around ten seconds tops.
  • The Ganon battle theme from Link: The Faces of Evil, which is played during a battle that you complete in under five seconds by throwing a book at him.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds:
    • Various characters' leitmotifs are given very little use. For the sages (Irene, Rosso, etc.), this is played ONCE during a cutscene in which you talk to them. The cutscenes are about 20 or so seconds long at most, and are easily skipped through at record speed. Then they get captured by Yuga and you never hear their theme songs again. Yuga's own themes are given similar treatment, since both (yes, he has two leitmotifs; one plays in his earlier appearances and the other plays when he captures Zelda) are only played during certain cutscenes, which are also rather short.
    • The Chamber of Sages theme. You visit this area about six times throughout the game, and are almost always done there in well under half a minute. The song goes on longer than that.
    • The music is changed slightly when Link is merged with a wall, giving many songs alternate versions, yet he can only stay in this form for a matter of a seconds due to the rapidly decreasing stamina meter, so they can't play as long as the standard versions of those songs (and even the last few seconds don't help, because a loud alarm plays over the songs).
    • The song played when Mother Maiamai is upgrading items, which plays only during the very short cutscene in question but has some pretty epic chanting in the background.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Guardian battle theme has a B section. However, you'd probably never know this, because when you meet a Guardian, engaging in a protracted battle with it isn't really feasible - either it's going to die quickly, or you will, or you'll hide or run away. All of these make the theme stop in one way or another.
  • The song "Buzz Buzz" in Mushroom Men. It plays in exactly one, relatively small area: In the second "true" level, while fighting the bees. Once you defeat them—and it won't take long — the song goes away. But listening to the song in the Sound Test reveals that it goes on for quite some time before looping.
  • Star Fox Adventures has "Dark Ice Landing Strip", which plays only in an area that a competent player could get through in around 10 seconds.
  • Ōkami has two variations of the theme that plays when you fight Orochi. You only hear the first for a few seconds before you find that your attacks don't work on him and it switches to the second variation for the remainder of the fight, then you only hear the second when you refight him in the past and on the Ark of Yamato.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days does this to Roxas's theme, "The Other Promise", despite Roxas being the main protagonist here. The song plays twice in the game: first, during a few lines of dialogue in yet another scene on top of the Twilight Town clock tower, which should not take more than a few seconds to get through; and second, in one of the ending videos, where it begins to play but is cut off. The song is given more prominence in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts coded.

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     Adventure Game 
  • Chibi-Robo! has Telly Vision's "theme song," "Teriyaki Blues". While he'll attempt to sing it for you several times throughout the game, playing the intro alone, he'll always get interrupted in some fashion before he gets to finish. The only way to hear the full song is to complete a fairly unintuitive sidequest, and then complete Funky Phil's sidequest. Then talk to Funky Phil, select the second option, and then "Teriyaki Blues." Telly will then, finally, sing the complete song for you in a completely unique version of his signature simlish babble.
  • The Legend of Kyrandia features a rather long tune which plays in exactly one room in the entire game: the emerald room of Serpent's Grotto, which is completely optional. Most players never hear more than 10 seconds of it, if even that much.
  • Telltale's The Walking Dead has a track during the climax of Episode Five. "Armed With Death" plays during Lee's One-Man Army moment in the streets of Savannnah against an insane number of walkers. You'll only hear about 45 seconds of a track that's at least twice as long. In fact the full track itself had to be edited into the extended version used for the link.
  • The music for the gateway to the Mechanical Age in Myst is only audible when you get up close to the linking book, and for some reason, was left out of the official soundtrack CD, despite the other gateway themes being there.
  • In BIONICLE Mata Nui Online Game, there is a song that plays only once during the entire game as players travel (with Taipu, should they accept his request) through Le-Wahi. On modern computers, this segment barely lasts a minute if players take their time, and even computers back in 2001 shouldn't take too long to reach Le-Koro. The full music track is over thirteen minutes in length and becomes increasingly complex as it continues, with instruments that fade in and out as the song transitions from what starts as a catchy tribal drumbeat to what ends with a mournful solo choir chant. Most players aren't aware that there's more to the track than just the drumbeat at the beginning.
  • Machinarium: The song Clockwise Operetta, a quite haunting song with a pretty vocal part that starts about halfway through. However, it only plays in one room, and it's one where you have very little to do.
  • Night in the Woods has a few; such as "The Intercom", "Clanky Must Die", and "I'm Going to Break Something", which play through short sequences that can be completed long before the songs even reach their climaxes, and the particularly catchy "Skate Wolf" can barely be heard in the scene it appears in. Players are also unlikely to catch the entirety of all four Astral songs, due to variable mixing and the sequences ending shortly after activating all four band members.
  • Flower, Sun, and Rain features a six-minute song that plays only during the parts at the end of each chapter when you get to save your game. You'll be in that menu maybe 20 seconds.
  • While most songs in Yume Nikki are short loops, the FC field music lasts over two minutes... in an area you'll probably only spend a few seconds in.
  • Hypnospace Outlaw, due to its 'information overload' feel, has several.
    • "Ready To Shave" plays in the SAI Freelands, but wherever you're trying to navigate to, you'll get there by the first chorus at minimum, leading to you having to hear its pompous, brassy intro a lot. A lot. The actual song is almost seven minutes long, with very little of its length being necessary. Lampshaded by the fact that Gill's "Ready to Shave" lyric analysis fansite runs out of steam before the second verse, Moe Dem's Coolfest writeup where he is baffled by Chowder Man performing 'some eight minute song about shaving', and also R3ckoning's complaint that the song 'IS EXTREMELY STUPID'.
    • "Colder Than The Rest" can be found playing on two pages - an artpage by Basidia (only available on the first day), and Slushmouth's Guide to Electronic Music, where it's his chosen demo piece for the Coolpunk genre. Especially because it's very unlikely you'll have found your way onto the coolpunk section of Hypnospace on Day 1, and you can't download it from Slushmouth's page, you're unlikely to get to listen to it all the way through outside of the OST. It's seven and a half minutes long. A lot of the other tracks listed on Slushmouth's page are also full length songs, though "Colder Than The Rest" is the longest and most plot important.
    • Several entire albums are included in download pages which never or only briefly appear over the course of normal gameplay, such as a whole album by Glamocaster, the Zaréd album, a religious album by Sacred Space, and a "best of" by the prog band Klyfta.
    • In particular, an extract from "Cosmos Eternal" by Klyfta plays on a few characters' pages. The extract is 5 minutes long. The actual song is over ten minutes.
    • There's a whole commentary track for a Trennis game audible on a single page with little on it.

     Beat 'em Up 
  • MadWorld:
    • "Crimson Rain". The first time this song was actually ever heard was before the release of the game and it was played in one of the older trailers. The song is played right before you go to fight the third boss in the Mad Castle area. The only way to hear the full song is either pausing game or have Jack just stand there before entering the church to face the boss or buy the soundtrack.
    • "Look Pimpin!" only plays during the first phase of the final battle, which might only last 30 to 40 seconds if you're competent, and will quickly be replaced by "So Cold" for the rest of the fight.
  • Ultraverse Prime for the Sega CD features music by Tim and Geoff Follin. The title music, a seven-minute rock piece in the style of Deep Purple, cuts off about three and a half minutes in, cutting off half the song. It's CD Audio though, so it can be listened to in a regular CD player....... Or Youtube, for that matter.
  • BGM2 in Final Fight is only played on Round 1-2, which is a really short stage compared to the rest. "For Metro City" in the third game is only played in the first part of Round 1, which can be cleared in less than a minute.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World's shop theme. On one hand, you'll hear the first few bars a lot, given how many times you'll be taking a snack break to boost your stats. On the other hand, the entire loop lasts a minute and a half— the longest single music loop in the entire game— and in most cases, you won't even get to the acoustic guitar solo by the time you've left the shop. The official soundtrack CD doesn't even give this tune a single full loop before fading out, unlike every other song on the soundtrack.
  • Double Dragon:
    • In both the arcade and NES versions of the first game, the second half of the Mission Bumper music is not heard in-game, since it cuts to the action after just 5 seconds.
    • The Continue Screen music in Double Dragon Neon is 35 seconds long, but the countdown to Game Over is only 10 secondsnote .
  • Race Around the World, the full version of the stage clear theme from Castle Crashers is roughly 3 minutes long. The in-game version will automatically cut-off after about 15 seconds when the player is returned to the world map.
  • Overture from Cadillacs and Dinosaurs plays at the very beginning of the game, on a part of the level that will take you no longer than about 30 seconds. It's also played at the very end after the credits roll, in a cutscene that lasts about as long.

     Card Games 

     Driving Game 
  • The demo in Uniracers plays a up-tempo hard rock song (the whole soundtrack is like this). The return to the title screen always cuts it short, leaving the listener to wonder what the rest is supposed to sound like, if there was any more.
  • F-Zero GX:
    • Each and every one of the 41 characters has their own theme music, and they only ever show up in the information screens for that character and during replays.
    • There are tunes which play exclusively during the story mode cutscenes, which are talked over, often cut short, and have yet to be found released separately anywhere.
  • The results screen music from Mario Kart 64. It turns out that it has a hidden song that you get to hear after letting the music loop 64 times, just under 53 minutes in total. Here's the song.
  • Mario Kart 7: Rainbow Road in this game is one long lap, broken into three sections. This game's version of the Rainbow Road theme has a very long intro, and on most speed settings it will have only just reached the 'normal' Rainbow Road leitmotif when you get to the third section, at which point it restarts and plays at a higher speed.
  • Mario Kart 8:
    • The Dolphin Shoals track has two different versions of the BGM that play in different areas due to Variable Mix. This version is the one that plays on the shortest segment of the track, the one which you'll blaze through in about ten seconds.
    • Cloudtop Cruise uses an overdriven guitar variant of its theme for the portion of the track that takes place in a thunderstorm. You get to hear it for all of 12 seconds before it returns to the cheerier theme.
    • Baby Park has a normal track which is roughly a minute and a half long before it loops. However, with each lap the song changes to a slightly more frantic version and sometimes resets. Given that this is an updated version of the shortest track in Double Dash!!, an average lap on the track at the lowest speed setting is about 10 seconds.
    • Due to N64 Rainbow Road being shortened from a three-lap course to a one-lap, three-segment course (as a single lap is already fairly long), you won't get to hear an entire loop of the music before you get to the third section, which causes the music to restart at a higher tempo.
  • Test Drive 5 features "Leid und Elend" by KMFDM, but only as a 30-second clip on certain point-to-point courses and loading screens. Similarly, in Test Drive 6, "Dog's Life" by Kottonmouth Kings only appeared as a 30-second loop on the Honolulu Reverse course, and is the only song in the game that doesn't have a RedBook audio track.
  • Most of the music in Twisted Metal Black. The songs run on quite a while before looping, but due to the Variable Mix nature of the music, you'll only hear a few small parts of them at a time, and you'll be focusing on the action anyway.
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has several examples. First, several of the levels, Temple Trouble in particular, have tracks that change at different sections of the level. But these sections tend to be rather brief. Therefore the remix of Jungle World that plays in the boat sections of Temple Trouble, and the remix of NiGHTS and Reala that plays in the Nightmare sections of Dream Valley are mostly missed by players. Another instance is some characters' All-Star themes, which are mostly cut off due to how short the All-Star attacks are. Examples include Metal Sonic's remix of his theme from Sonic 4, and Knuckles' remix of "Unknown from M.E.".
  • Super Cars 2 has a Barry Leitch theme on the title screen that you'll skip through in about fifteen seconds, long before the breakdown about two minutes in.
  • Some Japanese Formula 1 games released in the nineties open with the classic TRUTH by the T-square band, but the opening ends right as the song is about to get intense. By looking on sound tests or the games' data, you can either listen to it all or find out the devs didn't use the full song after all.
  • The results screen music in Destruction Derby 2 ("Direction" by Jug) is just shy of six minutes long, and is the longest track in the game. However, you're unlikely to be spending more than fifteen seconds on the results screen, let alone a few minutes.
  • Burnout 3: Takedown was originally planned to have a composed soundtrack, but EA replaced it with a licensed one after they took over publishing duties. Two songs from the original soundtrack remain this in the final game:
    • "Ozone", which plays on the title screen. It is 3 minutes 46 seconds, yet you are likely to only hear the first 10 seconds before you go to the main menu. It also plays during the short 'series unlocked' cinematic, but once again you will only hear a few seconds of it.
    • "Betty's Last Voyage" is 3 and a half minutes, but you only hear a short fragment every time you unlock a car.

     Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • There are songs that you can only hear during certain movies in the Subspace Emissary, such as the Wild West version of the Luigi's Mansion theme heard during the "King Dedede Steals..." movie, or the melancholy version of the Brawl theme heard in movies such as "Ganondorf Takes Command", or the stirring rendition of the Fire Emblem theme when Marth first unsheathes his sword, etc.
    • Melee has the "Peach's Castle" music from the original Nintendo 64 game that only plays in an Adventure Mode cutscene that appears when you achieve the condition to fight Luigi in place of Mario. It does not appear in the sound test just like Giga Bowser's theme, and if you adjust the in-game volume controls so that only music plays, the sound effects still manage to play during this cutscene.
  • The King of Fighters '98 has two songs made for Orochi Chris and Orochi Shermie ("Mad Fantasy" and "Fanatic Waltz"). However, it's almost impossible to hear them in regular gameplay, as the Orochi Team never show up in Arcade mode as regular opponents, and going into Practise mode and selecting them there doesn't bring the music up either. Fortunately, the Updated Re-release Ultimate Match corrects this by featuring the team as midbosses in the Arcade mode.
  • BlazBlue:
    • "Love So Blue" plays only for the final Noel vs. Nu battle in the true ending of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. Noel has an infinite super bar for this battle, so you'll probably win it in 10 seconds. Fortunately, the song shows up in Sound Test and the console versions let you pick it in Versus mode.
    • Both of Bang's Fu-rin-ka-zan themes (the Calamity Trigger original and its Chronophantasma replacement) are over 3 minutes long. The play only for the remainder of a single 90-second match. Like "Love So Blue" they can be selected in sound test and versus mode.
    • HAKAISHIN from BlazBlue: Central Fiction is over 7 minutes long, the longest song in the franchise, and yet it only plays in one battle in story mode. The Climax Boss, Ragna vs. Susanoo. Normal Susanoo. If you can play the character at even a novice level, the fight will last barely over a minute.
    • Aside from these examples, all of the battle music pieces in Blazblue are anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes in length. The battles themselves last a maximum of 3, in a game where time-outs are incredibly rare. This is egregious in the case of Iron Tager, whose theme in Chronophantasma takes a full minute to get past the intro. As one might have guessed from how big his fists are, it doesn't take more than a few punches and throws for Tager to win a match within that minute.
    • Altar, the menu theme of Continuum Shift, is a good couple of minutes long in its full loop. Given that entering the mode you want doesn't take that long, you're unlikely to hear the full track unless you do so deliberately.
  • Street Fighter II:
    • With the exception of Super Turbo, all music in Street Fighter II started over with the new rounds, and while it didn't hurt the game as most themes were less than 99 seconds long, it was very noticeable with Ken's theme, where it was cut off before the last part of the theme was played out.
    • Starting from the SNES port of The World Warrior, the second loop of Sagat's theme has a different ending.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: The full loops for things like the match victory screen are a lot longer than the time you will spend on those screens, even if you pause to read all the dialogue. Particularly egregious are the continue screen theme, which is longer than the ten seconds you have before it gives you a Game Over, and the victory vs. Galactus theme, which the game automatically cuts less than halfway through. Full versions are available in the sound test.
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     First Person Shooter 
  • Metroid Prime:
    • A programming error caused the first 36 seconds of Flaahgra's theme to loop endlessly, and it wasn't restored to its full glory until the PAL, Player's Choice, and Trilogy versions.
    • One variation of the Chozo Ruins theme only plays in the first room, when you first enter the ruins. Afterwards, it's gone forever, replaced by a different arrangement. This version is also not on the official soundtrack album.
    • Similarly, the Space Pirates' theme has a unique variation that plays once upon first entering the Phendrana Drifts laboratory, and never again.
    • Metroid Prime Pinball contains a version of the Magmoor Caverns theme (itself a remix of Lower Norfair from Super Metroid) that can only be heard when waiting for a local connection to play the multiplayer table. It doesn't even play during the match itself.
    • The title screen theme of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. If you just press Start when the titles come up, the only time you'll hear it it is an excerpt during the final cutscene (the credits play the menu theme instead).
  • In Doom:
    • The song "At Doom's Gate" is only played for the first map of the first episode, and it's a very short map.
    • The intermission screen song in Doom II which plays once you finish a level. It's nearly 3 minutes long, but since there's no reason to linger at the intermission screen, most players will just hear the first few seconds.
    • The PlayStation version of Doom / Doom II replaced the... interpretations of rock songs in MIDI format with a dark ambient score, but instead of the six second "Psycho" Strings title music it had an epic march that tended to last for all of the few seconds before the player pressed start. The full song be found here.
    • On Aubrey Hodges' official Bandcamp soundtrack album for Doom (PSX), many tracks are missing parts from the actual game score, e.g. "Creeping Brutality (Unholy Cathedral)" only repeats the first section after two minutes, while in-game the piece runs at least 5 minutes before looping. The extended "20th Anniversary" OST just further loops the tracks of the vanilla edition.
  • Battlefield 3 uses God's Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash but only in a short trailer, and for less than a minute in the first mission. Which is probably just as well, seeing as how the next immediate verse is about Cash praying to Jesus... while the mission itself is set in Iraq, which would have been all sorts of unwanted and distracting controversy.
  • Halo
    • In Halo: Combat Evolved, "A Walk in the Woods" only plays in a room near the end of "Assault on the Control Room" that can easily be skipped, and in the ending cutscene of "Two Betrayals".
    • In Halo 2, "Menace", heard on "Quarantine Zone", only lasts about 45 seconds, and doesn't appear on either volume of the original soundtrack album, although it did finally get released as part of "Menace No More" on the Halo 2 Anniversary soundtrack. On the same level, the song "Reclaimer" only plays about halfway before fading out. Same with "Pursuit of Truth" on "High Charity".
  • "Oblivion" from Turok 2 only plays during a few short cutscenes, and is completely absent from the PC version, due to CD audio space limitations. It appears to be an infinitely long piece procedurally generated from various short segments/loops. The PC version also had several of its songs shortened to fit the Redbook audio space on the CD.
  • Medal of Honor
    • "Panzer Attack" plays during the very short "Meeting Greta" level, which can be completed in a quarter of the song's time. It got better use in Allied Assault, where it plays during the much longer "Escape from Trondheim".
    • "Approaching Colditz Castle", a Cut Song from the first game, did get used in Allied Assault, but only the first half of the song.
    • Likewise, in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, "Securing the Codebook", another returning piece from the first game, is only used during the Behind Enemy Lines briefing, and at the beginning of the Siegfried Forest level as a short non-looping snippet (The full version does appear in one of the expansion packs).
    • The first variation of the Nordhausen theme can be found in the Allied Assault music folder, but isn't used anywhere, at least in the single player campaign.
    • In Frontline, there's The Halftrack Chase, which has quite alot more than you hear in-game, as only a few short segments are used, during the truck Rail Shooter sequences. The full version was finally put to use for the second level of Mission 2 in Allied Assault: Spearhead, where you actually ride on a halftrack.
    • In Medal of Honor: Vanguard, when a Tiger Tank gets stuck on a trench in 'Endgame', the first 11 seconds of Shipyards of Lorient plays, the rest of the track is never heard at any point of the game.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has two rock concert songs that plays during the finale of Dark Carnival, but you are unlikely to hear them in their entirety due to the Tank fights that happen in between zombie waves having their own remixed themes playing. You can listen to the songs on the jukeboxes in certain maps, but the AI Director will throw zombies hordes at you for idling too long.
  • PAYDAY The Heist has several party music themes that play at the party in Diamond Heist, but the songs stop playing the moment the alarm is triggered. You also can't stick around to hear every single song due to the patrolling guards. Only one of the songs from the party is on the game's official soundtrack.
  • Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light have numerous pieces of music that play only during chapter intros. They're over 2-4 minutes, but the intros only have about 10-30 second of narration.

     Four X 
  • This trope accurately describes every single Alien theme music in Ascendancy. When you meet/speak with any of the alien races, its unique music plays... and stops after about 30 seconds, sometimes in mid-movement. Extracting the files from the game reveals: the rest of the music isn't even there.

     Hack And Slash 
  • No More Heroes:
    • In the first installment, a tune plays at the beginning of the fight against Holly Summers. Then, you fall into a hole, a cutscene is triggered, and the music changes for the rest of the fight, never to be heard again.
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has several pieces of music that are inexplicably played for very brief segments of the game, so often that it's a wonder that the game doesn't lampshade it. "No More Riot", which could easily double as a boss battle song, is only heard in the enemy-less stretch before two battles(Rank 50 and Rank 4, specifically), when the player is probably spending more time saving(where no music at all plays) than listening to the BGM. "Pi Pa Po" is heard only on the bike ride on the way to Rank 3,'' and then never again. "Tooth Paste" gets about a minute of playtime in part of the final area of the Rank 2 level...and for most of it, it's drowned out by the sound of the enemies.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has two:
    • In the Blade Wolf DLC, the lyrical version of Khamsin's boss theme "Hot Wind Blowing" only starts playing once you move in for the finisher as opposed to when most other bosses Turn Red, and the execution itself only lasts about fifteen seconds at the most.
    • The other is a reprise of "I'm My Own Master Now" with a Spanish guitar opening used for the Blade Wolf fight in the Jetstream DLC, once the battle actually starts, it goes back into the normal version of the song.

     Metroidvania 
  • Castlevania:
    • Symphony of the Night includes quite a few songs (and levels for that matter) that were added onto the Saturn version of the game, making any owners of the game for any other console out of luck. These songs are also notable because the levels and fights that feature them aren't particularly long, thus it's easy to miss a large portion of the songs. Some of the songs missed out by many players include this, this, this, and this.
    • The LSSS on both versions, however, is the prologue song, which plays when Richter is on the way to Dracula's throne. No enemies in sight. And Dracula's leitmotif takes over when they fight.
  • Cave Story has the tracks "Toroko's Theme" and "White", songs heard on the title screen only if you succeed in finishing the game's bonus stage quickly. White isn't even included with the soundtrack that is downloaded with the game's "deluxe" edition.
    • "Break Down", the music that plays when the island breaks down in the normal ending, is very short, since it plays during one of the game's very few fixed-length cutscenes, and is also cut short in the version of the soundtrack most people have. (Full version of the soundtrack here.) It becomes even shorter in the Wii version because there's a longer intro so the song gets cut off during the cutscene before the melody even really starts.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission has the "Space Pirate Mothership" Theme, an eerie techno beat that plays when you've been stripped of your suit and have to sneak through their ship without any weapons or armor. The song is almost four minutes long, but you'll only hear about 20 seconds of it before you're spotted by a nearly unavoidable space pirate and the alarm music plays. Even after you ditch them, the original sneaking music never plays again. It is possible to play though this segment without triggering the alarms, though it requires fast reflexes regarding the aforementioned Space Pirate. And if you do so, you'll be rewarded with this track, which is actually a remix of the Wrecked Ship theme from Super Metroid.
  • Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap reuses the cave theme from the arcade version of Wonder Boy in Monster Land when you drop down the shaft in the Zombie Dragon's dungeon, but the song abruptly ends before its last section.
  • In Hollow Knight:
    • The City of Tears BGM has a 5-minute loop, with the more epic version of the Variable Mix only playing in the relatively short outdoor areas, so the player is unlikely to hear the piece in its full glory unless they stand idle. The OST only includes the first 3 minutes of the song.
    • The Lifeblood Update added an "action" variation of the COT theme, which only plays in an optional Inescapable Ambush room near the City's east elevator.
    • The White Lady's theme runs for two minutes in-game, but can only be heard in full by pausing during her dialogue, and also got truncated on the OST.
    • The relatively easy Mini-Boss fight with the two Shrumal Ogres near the beginning of Fungal Wastes uses the bass and percussion section of the Queen's Gardens' Battle Theme Music, which is the only time in the game that the bass and drums are heard without the main melodic stem, and the OST once again gave it the short end of the stick, only including the non-combat variation of the QG theme.
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed's boss theme, "Intruder Alert", starts as a Speedy Techno Remake of the original NES boss theme, then follows that with a more elaborate and unique trance section followed by a jumpstyle section. Most players will either defeat the boss or be killed before the music reaches the second part.

     Miscellaneous 
  • League of Legends:
    • The login screen is updated frequently, usually to reflect new features of the game (eg. a new character) or a current eSports League event. Each and every one of these has its own music, and their tracks are usually several minutes long without looping. You can type in most of your login details before the music even loads.
    • The Victory and Defeat themes, as uploaded to the developer's official Soundcloud, are each two minutes long. The game automatically cuts them after fifteen seconds.
    • The full version of the Freljord theme - aka 'Howling Abyss champion select' - is roughly twice as long as the champion select screen version.
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     MMORPGs 
  • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE's battle theme. It's over a minute long, but most battles last no more than 15 seconds.
  • Wizard 101 has the track known only as "Marleybone Theme 4" which plays when you ride a balloon car. The ride isn't long enough to do the music justice, and the only other place it plays is in a Bonus Dungeon.

     Multiple 
  • For the computer program The Games Factory (the first one), some of the tutorial games (included depending on what could be downloaded) have MIDI music, but the playtimes and/or time limit cut the music down to 30 seconds out of a minute or two before it starts over.
  • Starting a game on the Wii U brings up a splash screen while it loads, along with some music, with multiple games syncing the music length to how long the loading takes. After a system update that decreased the systems loading times across the board, a lot of older Wii U games have their startup music cut out before they're finished.

     Platform Game 
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • The music for the riverside levels in the GBA version of Donkey Kong Country 3 ("Enchanted Riverbank") is played in all three levels that have that theme, but there are actually two different versions of it depending on whether you are underwater or not, with a percussive rhythm and environmental noises for when the Kongs are on land and a more intricate and flowing melody for when they are underwater. You won't be spending much time in the water in any of the three levels in question, so this "fuller" version of the track will most likely be heard for only a few seconds at a time at most.
    • Donkey Kong 64 has a number of pieces used only in a small area, but the standout in terms of oddness is "Mad Maze Maul". For some reason, a seemingly ordinary Bonus Barrel mini-game got its own track, as opposed to every other bonus barrel using the same theme elsewhere. It's much more upbeat and jazzy than the song used in the other barrel mini-games, too.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze features a large number of remixes of classic DKC tunes, so it's only natural that the fan-favourite "Stickerbrush Symphony" from DKC2 would be among these remixed tracks. Which it was.... except they put it in a Rocketbarrel level, so you'll only get to hear it for about 10 seconds before it gets replaced by Rocketbarrel music, unless you stand around doing nothing at the beginning of the level just so you can listen to it. To make matters worse, there is a level in the game called "Bramble Scramble", the exact same name as one of the levels in DKC2 where the original track played. You'd think they'd have put the remix in that level instead.
  • Earthworm Jim: "Use Your Head" is played very briefly in the "helicopter" area of the last stage. It takes approximately twenty seconds to pass this part, but the PC/Sega CD version of the song goes on for 3 minutes before looping (and includes a wicked guitar solo). That particular song gets used a fair bit more in the Genesis/Megadrive version; appearing during the mechanical chicken battle and in the fight against Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt. This song appears again in the Beast Chase level in the PlayStation game Wild 9, which also had Tommy Tallarico as its composer. Interestingly enough, the Wild 9 game disc, due to using standard Red Book Compact Disc Digital Audio for its music rather than a proprietary format as with most PlayStation games, also serves as its own OST (when played in an ordinary CD player or computer disc drive), with "Use Your Head" being track 10 (track 1 on the disc being the game data track, with everything else being Compact Disc Digital Audio). (The CD version of Earthworm Jim also uses Red Book audio.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Death Egg Zone's theme is surprisingly long, considering it's only heard in one really short hallway before the final boss fights. You only end up hearing it for the five seconds or so it takes to run into the room with Mecha Sonic, who inexplicably has the standard boss music instead of the rest of the Death Egg Zone theme. Death Egg had a Dummied Out second act in the beta version, meaning it was originally supposed to be a full-length stage, the reason for the song length.
    • Green Grove Zone Act 2 in the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island is 4 minutes and 15 seconds long. You're almost guaranteed to hit an invincibility box, enter a special stage, or finish the stage before then. The song for it is about 1.5 times longer than the powerup.
    • The music for the opening cutscene of Sonic Blast is 33 seconds long, but the actual opening cutscene is only six seconds long. This implies that the game was originally going to have a longer opening cutscene, but due to either time constraints or hardware limitations, it had to be reduced to six seconds.
    • The final stage of Sonic Advance, the X-Zone, is nothing more than a boss rush; you spend no more than a few seconds outside boss fights playing normally. However, the music used exclusively for this stage is quite long.
    • Sonic Adventure:
      • The game's theme tune, "Open Your Heart", plays in instrumental form in several places, but the full version only plays during the final credits. A truncated, looping version plays for the final boss battle. Or at least, over the first part of the final boss battle. The part which, if you know what you're doing and have a bit of luck, lasts significantly less time than the first verse.
      • Snowy Mountain, only plays near the beginning of Icecap Zone; in a section only Sonic goes to and can be easily completed in under 30 seconds. The song is almost 2 minutes long.
      • Adventure is full of songs where you only hear 90 seconds or so but go on much longer. "Azure Blue World" (Emerald Coast) is an excellent example. The song itself is almost 4 1/2 minutes long.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog contains a remix of "E.G.G.M.A.N" by Paul Shortino, but the segment used in the game is less than 30 seconds long, only used in one cutscene and is buried in the Sound Test behind the anonymous "Event" title. The full version of the track did eventually appear on the "Lost And Found" soundtrack CD, however.
    • The theme for the options menu in Sonic Colors is a full orchestrated piece.
    • Also from Colors, the theme to the Terminal Velocity overworld map could easily have been used for an actual stage, but instead, it's subject to playing on the one map screen you'll be spending the least amount of time on. This can also apply to any of the maps, as all you do is move Sonic to a dot representing a stage and press A to start the stage. All of the songs take at least 2 minutes to loop, with the longest one being Aquarium Park's, which takes close to four minutes to loop. Very few people are going to linger around the map for that long.
    • Yet another Sonic Colors example is both versions of the Final Boss second phase theme. This is the orchestrated version of the "Reach for the Stars" theme for the overall game — which plays for a couple minutes before looping. Most players will only hear about 15 seconds of this theme before defeating the boss with FINAL COLOR BLASTER in the Wii version, or (or die trying) in DS, unless they pause the game in the middle of the phase.
    • Sonic Generations:
      • "Open Your Heart" received a remix to accompany a rematch with Sonic Adventure's final boss, but just like in Sonic Adventure it only accompanies the first and easier half of the battle.
      • The final boss track from Sonic 3 & Knuckles has a remix in the 3DS version that lasts for around three minutes and thirty seconds. The boss that the track plays for is so easy that most players can beat in just under a minute, well before the remix can fully play.
    • Sonic Forces:
      • Arsenal Pyramid has two themes, one for outside the pyramid and another for inside. The majority of the time spent will be on the inside, with the outside consisting simply of a short path (by Sonic the Hedgehog standards), a straight line with an extremely gentle right turn. Then, Sonic and the Avatar do a Double Boost and the music is replaced by "Fist Bump" for the rest of the way into the pyramid. Partially averted in that the Arsenal Pyramid exterior theme plays in the Reverse Block 2 bonus challenge, though that, too, is an incredibly short stage.
      • There is a more extreme case with Null Space: The realm of nothingness actually has a full theme, but this time, Sonic and the Avatar have a seven-second conversation before they do a Double Boost here too, with "Fist Bump" playing for the remainder of the stage.
  • The first phase of the final boss battle in Donkey Kong '94 for Game Boy is accompanied by the longest (1:25) and most complex song in the game: A chiptune guitar imitation that goes into a "solo" a minute in. But the battle itself takes only a few moments to beat if you're good enough.
  • The original Banjo-Kazooie has several unique, one-off melodies for a few relatively tiny areas, such as the houses of Nabnuts and Gnawty in Click-Clock Wood, and the Twinklies' mini-game (which you can't play once you've gotten the Jiggy for it) in Freezeezy Peak.
  • Mega Man:
    • The title screen theme in Mega Man 3. There's no introductory cutscene and no demo, and it doesn't play anywhere else, so despite being an unusually long track by Mega Man standards, you have to sit and wait on the extremely bare-bones title screen to hear it.
    • The Dr. Wily stage intro song in Mega Man 3 is 13 seconds long, but the longest you get to hear of it is about 5 seconds.
    • Proto Man's theme. You've probably only ever heard the initial whistle part in the actual game. The only way to hear the rest of the song during the game is to use a certain bug on the second controller to prevent the game from switching to the actual ending music, or hit Start as soon as Mega Man enters the room.
    • The intro music to Mega Man: The Wily Wars stops about halfway through when the lights go out during the cutscene. The sound test has the full version.
    • Also, Wily Stage 5 and 6. Since each of these these stages only consist of a single room followed by a Boss Battle, you'll probably only hear the first few seconds.
    • Punk's theme from the Game Boy 3 is only heard once (and not even the full song!) in a very brief cutscene that leads directly into the fight against him, which just plays the boss theme from the NES 4.
    • The Robot Museum theme in Mega Man 7 is a blend of the level themes for a few classic Robot Masters, but you probably won't hear most of it before you walk into the boss room (which is right in front of you when you start the level!)
    • The stage select theme for Mega Man 11 is a surprisingly varied song that goes on almost 50 seconds without looping. It plays on the stage select screen. Do the math.
    • There's a track in Mega Man Legends played only during the racing minigame you can do at the KTOX television station. The most you'll ever hear of it is 29 seconds, and that's only if you keep your race rank on the technical course at D and grab all the time extension cones.
    • The Undernet theme in Mega Man Network Transmission. You spend so little time in the two areas it's used that you'll probably barely hear any of it if you don't ever stop to smell the roses.
  • The single Band Land sublevel in Vexx has a long, unique, jazzy melody that starts out slow and builds to a frantic pace. It's quite long, but it only plays in that one area.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a "pop vocal" song in the credits, but because it's preceded by a lengthy orchestral piece, it fades out immediately after one verse and chorus have passed. The CD soundtrack version is just as short. It's hard to believe that's all they recorded.
  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2 had the stage theme for the Treasure Level Dummy Run (which takes place in Doomtown post-nuking), and is replaced by the Doom Town stage theme very early into the level.
  • Kirby:
    • Corn Hall's theme in the Kirby Super Star subgame Gourmet Race is a minute and a half long; you'll spend about 40 seconds in the course. The last measure of the song contains a remix of the default Gourmet Race theme that you are unlikely to ever hear outside the Sound Test.
    • Kirby Air Ride has "Target Flight" (an orchestrated version of Super Star's "Cocoa Cave" music.). The entire song lasts for at least 2 minutes. Too bad that the actual Target Flight event only lasts 15 seconds long. At least the Sound Test is available right off the bat.
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3 plays one of two songs at the end of each stage depending on whether or not its mission was completed. The "success" theme is the happier of the two and about as long as you'd expect a song that plays on a one-screen wide area to be (not very). The "failure" theme, on the other hand, plays for over half a minute without looping on a screen you have absolutely no incentive to stick around on.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn has Fangora's theme. The boss is incredibly easy and can be done in a minute or so... but his full theme is nearly 4 minutes long.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe uses a minute long, orchestral remix of Castle Lololo from the original Kirby's Dream Land and eventually a remix of Cloudy Park from Kirby's Dream Land 2 for its game over/continue screen. A screen that if you even get (as the game's relatively easy and extra lives are plentiful), you can just click through in five seconds. Kirby: Planet Robobot and Kirby Star Allies would follow suit with different remixes of older songs from the series for game over music, with the lives just as plentiful and the screen just as easy to speed by.
    • Speaking of Kirby Star Allies, the theme song that plays during the fight against the True Final Boss counts as this, simply because even for the context of a long and difficult boss fight, the song itself is still entirely too long for it- and is in fact the longest song in the Kirby series, clocking in at six minutes and 12 seconds long before looping.
  • The Sega Genesis video game Contra: Hard Corps includes in its sound test a theme titled "Jurassic Dope". This song is heard in only two areas of the game. One is nothing but a very brief cutscene consisting of a text box, a selection of two choices, and one more text box afterward. The other instance is a second cutscene, this one with a whopping one dialogue box. The song itself is a minute and a half in length. Unless you're an extremely slow reader, you won't be hearing the whole thing ingame. Another song from Hard Corps that went almost unheard was "Moonlit Army", also played at two distinct points in the game and abruptly gets cut off after half a minute at best. The song itself lasts nearly two and a half minutes, and slowly becomes more intense and elaborate.
  • The background theme of the Game Boy puzzle-platformer Altered Space, which runs nearly a minute and a half, restarts every time a new room is entered and takes a whole ten seconds to actually start up, when most rooms will be visited for only a few seconds.
  • The Emperor's theme in SNES Super Return of the Jedi; it is heard in a few (short) cutscenes and as the background music in two (also short) levels, but the game switches to its standard boss theme when you actually confront Vader and (more noticeably) the Emperor himself.
  • The final boss theme from the sixth Mega Man X game is a remix of the Sigma themes from the first two games. You'll probably defeat the boss within twenty seconds.
  • Wario Land 4's final level is the Golden Passage. It has an mildly creepy, and perfectly fitting song... that you will never hear in-game. The Frog Switch is located directly below the level entrance, meaning you only hear about half a second of the song. Pausing doesn't work—it just stops the music.
  • Rosenkreuzstilette: Also, the password track, "Snow-Covered Ground", which depending on how you see it, loops for either half a minute or a whole minute and a half. Definitely between stages, when you're shown a password, but even when you're entering one, you probably won't take long enough naturally to hear the "ending" part of the loop.
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • Papu Papu's boss theme from the original Crash Bandicoot (1996). Considering the boss is ridiculously easy to beat (even by this series' standards) few players ever heard very much of it.
    • Dr. N. Brio actually had his theme remixed for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back like the other returning bosses, except you only heard short bits of it twice throughout the entire game; once when he contacts Crash after you collect the first gem, and twice when he contacts Crash after you collect all the gems. Good luck trying to listen to his theme, as N. Brio's voice pretty much drowns it out.
  • This music is used in the options menu of Daffy Duck in Hollywood for Sega Mega Drive. Let me just reiterate that: it's used in the options menu. Who spends over two minutes on the options screen?
    • It's also used on the Game Over screen. For all of ten seconds. It's almost as if Daffy himself were directing the music choices.
    • In the comments on that YouTube video, Matt Furniss himself has confirmed that the developers took an unused level theme and just slapped it on the options screen.
  • The Wii version of A Boy and His Blob has a sound test mode that's laid out like a level of the game—you have jellybeans to use there for navigation, and you listen to songs by feeding the many blobs scattered around the level jellybeans. However, dropping a Hole bean in a very specific spot lets you access a tiny underground cave. It has four blobs that play remixed versions of the BGM from the original NES A Boy and His Blob. They're not used anywhere else in the game, and getting to them is very nearly a Guide Dang It!.
  • The Subspace music in Super Mario Bros. 2 (a remix of the Overworld music from the first game) runs a bit longer than the time you are allowed in Subspace (and you cannot pause there). A trick involving a super star and perfect timing will replace the normal stage music with the Subspace music (and allow you to pause and listen to the "bass and percussion" version of the track).
  • New Super Mario Bros.: The Starman (invincibility) theme is only played for a few seconds. Nothing special, right? Actually, this game's Starman theme is "Powerful Mario" from Super Mario 64, which is quite unique compared to other invincibility themes in the series. But the actual unique part of the theme does not play in-game; the entire theme is only accessible in minigames or through cheats.
  • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the "below decks" version of the Airship music plays only in a very small area, which is the room right before the first fight with Bowser Jr.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2: You've got any of Squizzard's themes, because the battle is the only place in the game with a different Fire Flower theme; the final battle music, because the battle itself lasts for a very short time and you'd have to stop attacking Bowser for three minutes to leave it run completely, and the Boss Blitz Galaxy music, as you rarely have a chance to hear it because the boss themes override it.
  • Super Mario 3D World: The length of the song that plays when the game loads is double the amount of time the game usually takes to load, and unlike a lot of Wii U games with longer loading music, the game was released after the Wii U had already received major load time-reducing updates. The only way to hear it in full is to either eject the disk while it loadsnote  or you have the technical know how to rip the music off the game files.
  • The NES and Game Boy versions of DuckTales 2 have piece of swing-ish music that plays enroute to the final boss — during a sharply truncated stage with no enemies and no reason to linger. And then it gets mostly drowned out by dialog SFX when it starts looping.
  • The SNES version of Prince of Persia has four one-time level themes; Level 10, Level 17, Level 19, and Level 20, the second and last of which only consist of short corridors ending with boss battles.
  • In Epic Mickey, Mean Street has its own battle theme, a heavier, faster-tempo remix of the city's main theme. It goes for about two minutes without looping. However, the only time there is a normal battle in Mean Street, it's just three of the weakest enemies in the game, so the battle is over within several seconds.
  • The Rainbow Transport music from Keith Courage In Alpha Zones is 19 seconds long, but in-game, it plays for all of 3 seconds.
  • The music in the seventh level of Toy Story is actually about 1 minute and 25 seconds long and includes a section beginning around the 1:04 mark that will never be heard in the game because the level involves riding Rex in a Minecart Madness fashion (you can't stay in one place or go back, only constantly forward) and will be over in under a minute.
  • The main theme of LEGO City Undercover. You can only hear the main theme of the game on the title screen which is just a loop of the first 30 seconds of the music but in some trailers of the game such as this one and this one you can here a longer version of the game's main theme.
  • The invincibility themes in the Something series are remixes of full songs (You Spin Me Right Round in Something and Guile's theme in Something Else), but invincibility lasts only a few seconds. If another star is touched, the theme just starts from the beginning.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest:
    • The battle section of "Finding Sein" has a minute-long loop, but it takes less than 10 seconds to clear the monsters (or defeat the boss that the song is later reused for), which stops the music.
    • "The Waters Cleansed" has a Boss Remix when you fight a Ram shortly after learning the Shockwave Stomp skill; this "boss" can be killed in just three seconds. Earlier, another unique tune plays when you first encounter a Ram just before finding Sein, and it gets crushed by a collapsing ceiling in just one second, so you won't hear much more than the intro and outtro of the track. Unlike the Thornfelt Swamp Ram music, this one isn't even on the Additional Soundtrack.
    • The Misty Woods gets a Triumphant Reprise of its previously creepy music after you light the Lantern and retrieve the Gumon Seal, but you have little reason to remain long here (unless you're going for the "lost corridor" achievement), and this track didn't make it onto the OST.
    • The Forlorn Ruins Escape Sequence is about 35 seconds shorter than the music that accompanies it, as well as being significantly easier than the Ginso tree escape, so unless you get yourself killed repeatedly, the music will jarringly cut off in mid-phrase well before looping. Likewise for "Fleeing Kuro", which runs nearly 4 minutes before looping, while the final escape is about 1 minute and 20 seconds.
    • A unique triumphant arrangement of Ori's theme plays when you obtain the Sunstone at the top of Sorrow Pass, where you likely won't stay for long; it gets interrupted by a cutscene with different music, restarting from the beginning afterwards, then switches back to the main Sorrow Pass theme once you drop back down, and is also mysteriously absent from the soundtrack album. Luckily, most of the previously unreleased pieces were included in the free Additional Soundtrack download.
  • In Super Mario Maker, you can play a remade version of Gnat Attack from Mario Paint. The levels are now on a time limit, but the music remains the same length as before. While this isn't problematic if you've played the original version (the music for the first two levels in the regular mode are straight form the SNES version), the boss theme has been updated (complete with a version when the boss Turns Red), and the game's hard mode contains updated versions of the songs for the first two levels.
  • In The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation, the Browntown stages have a Variable Mix effect that muffles the music when the player is submerged. Unfortunately, this results in the music for "Croc Conundrum" being nearly inaudible, since that stage is entirely underwater.
  • One of the longest songs in TowerClimb — "Cubes of Iron" — only plays in one level. Most people won't hear the full extent of it, due to either rocketing through it (as it's the first level when you continue from the checkpoint) or dying horribly and repeatedly before they hear it all.

     Pokemon 
  • The villainous organizations usually have rather intricate themes, and you hear one version when fighting grunts. Unfortunately, grunts typically have low-level 'Mons that are easy to KO, meaning you usually hear roughly half to 3/4 of the battle theme if properly leveled.
    YouTube comment: Wow, I didn't know this theme was longer than 12 seconds.
  • After Gen III, each Trainer class (Youngster, Ace Trainer etc.) has their own theme that plays between them seeing you and the battle's start. Generally, they're only around thirty seconds long, but their dialogue line will only take five seconds to read and that's assuming you don't just button-mash past it.
  • Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire:
    • These games have the Underwater music, which is actually one of the longest and most complex songs in the game, but you tend to only spend about 20 seconds underwater, or have it interrupted by a wild encounter, so you tend not to hear much past the beginning of the song.
    • The music that plays after defeating an Elite Four member or the Champion in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is surprisingly long and complex for something accompanying some small text boxes. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it plays even less, since those games use it exclusively for the Champion.
  • HeartGold and SoulSilver give each of the three legendary beasts its own remix of their theme from Crystal, meaning only Suicune's (which isn't a roaming legendary in these games either) will play for a significant amount of time in a single battle. On the bright side, if you don't use your Master Balls, expect to hear the songs a lot. And even then, you still won't hear that much more of them, given how Raikou and Entei run away on the first turn (or roar you away should you managed to trap them).
  • Pokémon Stadium:
    • Pokémon Stadium 2 has a remix of the Dark Cave theme. The problem? The only time it ever shows up is during the Gym Leader Castle, after Clair is defeated and you get a message from the Elite Four, which unless you stay on the message and wait, only lasts for a few seconds, and can't be heard after that until Round 2 (which, again, is just for that one bit).
  • Red and Blue:
    • The Pokéflute could be pulled out and played at any time, but only a few notes would come out. If you wanted to hear the whole song you had to use it to wake up a Snorlax (of which there are only two in each game) and even then you get to hear the song one full playthrough each time and that's it.
    • The original rendition of "Hurry Along" only played while the character you followed was moving and would instantly be replaced with the original background music once they stopped. Every other game in the series, including remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, lets the theme continue playing until the event concludes. FRLG does play the theme during Teachy TV tutorials, meaning it can be heard whenever you want at any point after obtaining the item, but in Gen I it was more or less impossible to hear the entire thing without ripping the music from the game.
    • Most players assumed that the battle victory music from defeating a boss Trainer is only a few notes, as the dialogue with these characters after battle doesn't last long. Unless you wait to advance the dialogue, the only time you'll hear this tune in full form is after the final battle with your rival.
  • Black and White
    • A unique track only plays in the Champion's chamber after N's Castle appears, and on the bridge to said castle... you'll likely hang around there for all of fifteen seconds. Fortunately, it makes a triumphant return in the sequels for N's Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • A haunting rendition of N's theme is heard only in a single, optional room in N's Castle that you can only visit once. It reappears in Black 2 and White 2, albeit even creepier.
    • At the gate to Victory Road, you pass a series of chambers where they check each of your badges. Each chamber has a slight remix on the Victory Road theme. Each check takes about thirty seconds.
    • The full loop for Driftveil Drawbridge's theme is almost two minutes long. You can fly through it on your Bike, because it's a straight line with no obstacles, and the repetitiveness of the theme for the first minute or so wouldn't lead you to believe that it changes partway through.
  • In the Generation IV games (including the remakes of the Generation II games, which originally did not have this trait), this often ends up being the case for victory themes, because the game automatically advances the post-battle dialog and exits the battle screens after that. It's especially a problem with Team Galactic's victory theme, which only plays for several seconds before getting cut off, unlike the one Team Aqua and Magma had in the previous generation (and Team Galactic has a completely different victory theme from those two). However, this was corrected in Pokémon Black and White, which only exit the battle screen when the player manually does so, so the victory themes loop endlessly until then.
  • X and Y
    • The games have a remix of the Gym Leader battle theme, which only plays during one battle — the battle with Successor Korrina. Said battle happens solely to introduce Mega Evolutions, and will probably be over in two turns. On the plus side, the theme is available to use in multiplayer battles.
    • There's a song that plays exclusively on the first route of X and Y, which is very short, has no wild Pokémon, and can be traversed way before the song lasts halfway without looping.

     Puzzle Game 
  • Katamari Damacy: How long do you spend at the map screen? Probably not 3 minutes and 13 seconds. Probably not even the minute it takes before the oom-pah band comes in. The song still plays while you're viewing your collection, though.
  • Tetris: The Grand Master 3:
    • A relaxing tune plays in Master mode when the "speed level" is between 500 and 700. However, if you're playing particularly well, it only plays for one section, so you rarely hear the second half of it.
    • Poking around in the game data also reveals that the music which plays in the rule/mode select menus is over a minute in length. Being an arcade game, menus all have time limits, and even if you stall as much as possible, you'll never hear more than the first third of the track.
  • Tetris DS has "Ancient Tetris", a remix of the original Type A/"Korobeiniki" song. But it only appears in level 20, and given the speed of the game at that point it won't go on for long, unless you abuse infinite rotation. Even in the Endless mode the music switches back to level one when you beat level 20.
  • Tetris DX's Type B Music is longest and most elaborate at the "intermediate" level of Danger. you'll never hear all of it unless you let the tetriminos stack up to the appropriate height on a lower level, and then let them soft drop.
  • Panel de Pon: Its final boss theme, The Place where Evil Sleeps, which plays during matches against the Goddess of Light, Cordelia. In the American localization, Tetris Attack? Relegated to a short monologue from Bowser.
  • Pokémon Trozei!:
    • There are a couple of unique tracks that only rarely play on higher levels of the unlockable Forever mode. Considering how quickly the game will be moving by the time you reach that point, you probably won't be hearing very much of them.
    • The 3DS sequel had this for ALL of the normal stage music; since the music switched to an entirely different song the moment you made a 10 combo, which is quite easy, and started the song over afterward, the only way to hear a stage song in its entirety was by playing counterproductively.
  • In Deadly Rooms of Death, each room style has unique Exit music, which plays only during the post-level display of stats (time spent on the level, number of deaths, etc). That's at most a few seconds, but the tracks are just as long as the normal level music. Partially averted, however, in The Second Sky, where Forest's Exit music is used as normal level music in "Chronometric Ruins", giving you the chance to hear the whole thing.

     Real Time Strategy 
  • "Revolution" plays in Age of Empires III if you elect to revolt during the Industrial Age instead of heading to Imperial. It's unlikely to come up in a game because accessing it cripples your economy in exchange for a powerful but brief military edge, and many players prefer to end the game before the option even comes up. On top of that, it barely lasts a minute and will be interrupted if you do the sensible thing and use your newfound military might to attack the enemy base before your edge wears off.
  • In Battlestations: Pacific, there's "US Calm" and "Coral Sea Calm", two 3-minute songs that only get around 20-30 seconds of time in the American campaign, and only in the opening of one mission each respectively.

     Roguelike 
  • In Dark Cloud, Norune Village has a theme which can only be heard before you begin rebuilding it. Which is probably just a walk across the map unless you stand around to hear it.

     Role Playing Game 
  • Golden Sun has The Linked Battle theme, since the only way to hear it outside of the two-player battle mode (which many have likely never tried) and the aforementioned Sound Test is a brief scene in the first game when you automatically outrun a boulder in a mine. And that only lasts the first 10 seconds. It was also used again during the dice game in The Lost Ageif you decide to double up.
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue has a song that plays while controlling a boat in the overworld. But there's only one part in the entire game where you use the boat and that one voyage lasts a grand total of 8 seconds. And then you never hear the song again. Working Designs actually sped up the song in the English version just so people could hear the whole thing.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • "Schala's Theme" — since the only time you hear it is in her bedroom and once later on in the Terra Caves after finishing the Mountain of Woe; and again, you'd only hear the full version if you set the controller down and don't advance the dialogue.
    • The "full version" of Crono's theme. This only plays in the attract screen on the SNES version if you leave the title screen alone. Normally Crono's Theme plays three times, but then switches to a closure. Music rips from the game itself can't reproduce the work because either the loop is always stuck where it is, or the part of the song is finally loaded into the sound memory.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a remix of one of Super Mario Bros. 3's overworld themes that plays when Mario rides the blimp to Glitzville... but the only way to hear more than six seconds of it is to wait on Chapter 3's introduction screen, which only pops up once in the entire game.
    • The Thousand-Year Door also has a tune that goes for nearly two minutes without looping... used only on its file selection screen.
    • Super Paper Mario has a separate theme for each boss, so there are several songs that only play once. Most are fairly short, but not always as short as the battles — for example, if you fight Bonechill as Luigi, you can be done in seconds.
    • There is also the music for Chapter 6, Sammer's Kingdom. It's an upbeat oriental-esque tune, but the chapter it plays in consists almost entirely of fighting duels with the local NPCs, and these battles have separate music. The area the chapter takes place in also gets destroyed after you fight the chapter's midboss, though it does get restored after the end of the game.
    • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, Port Prisma, the hub town, uses a Variable Mix in which the instruments change for each shop. This means each of the shop themes are the same length as Port Prisma as a whole, even though Mario will most often just come in, do what he needs to do, and leave. The first stage in the game, Ruddy Road, also has a Variable Mix, this time with a café found about two-thirds through the stage. Again, the café's theme would necessarily have to be the same length as the stage's.
  • The DS/PSP remake of Final Fantasy III includes a fast techno/electronic song for each fight against the Cloud of Darkness — and the first time you fight her, it's inevitable that you are wiped out on the first turn. In the No Export for You NES original, it uses the same song as the other Cloud of Darkness fight.
  • Final Fantasy VII has "Birth of a God", a variation on Sephiroth's theme song which plays only during the first stage of the final boss fight... a fight which, since the player is powered up to really high levels by this point, is usually over in less than a minute.
  • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • "The Legendary Beast", which only plays when Griever uses his ultimate attack, something he uses after a certain amount of time passes or you reduce his HP to zero, whichever happens first. If you've junctioned well, it's entirely possible to kill him quickly enough that the song only plays in the 30 or so seconds that it takes for him to use the attack and then die.
    • "The Oath". While it does appear in a couple good cutscenes, it seems to last no longer than several boxes of dialogue. A particularly egregious case, since The Oath is the main characters theme.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • "Zidane's Theme" is a very long track which only plays during one very short cutscene early on Disc 1. Hence, you're only likely to hear about half the track, if that. Noteworthy because, toward the end of the track, a melody plays which shows up on Disc 3 as "Unfathomed Reminiscence." It's a neat bit of thematic connection that no one would ever hear unless they put the controller down and didn't advance in the dialogue at all.
    • The theme for Fossil Roo. It plays for the dungeon's first couple of screens, but the rest of the dungeon uses the same music as Gargan Roo.
  • Final Fantasy X:
    • "Seymour Battle", like "Birth of a God", is a song that plays during the last battle with Seymour, whom at that point in the game is probably child's play compared to your overpowered characters, making it easy to miss a lot of the song. It's not even on the Sound Test, either.
    • None of the scenes in which Auron's Theme plays are long enough to get to the awesome synth solo.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has a lot of different battles theme that change depending on what you're fighting, where, and what time of day of it is. Because of the none-linear nature of the game, it's not impossible to never even hear some of the battle themes. The more likely scenario is that at the beginning of the game you'll hear some of the battle themes in full for the first area you decide to go to, but then later on as you get stronger, only hear the battle themes for the other areas for about 15 seconds.
  • In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, all songs are made roughly the same length. While some songs get in two full loops, the DLC song "Desperate Struggle" (from Final Fantasy XII) is long enough that it fades out before a single loop has a chance to play.
  • MOTHER:
    • MOTHER 3 has "Even More Intense Guys", which played only during the battle with the Rhinocerocket Mark II... which isn't a boss of any sort, just a powerful mook.
    • In EarthBound, there's the haunting Snow Man theme, which is only played once in the game, during the brief moment when you play as Jeff inside his school. Once you leave the school, you never hear it again.
  • The full length version of Wild AR Ms 4's opening plays during the final part of the final battle. Which can potentially be over within the amount of time it takes to play the first verse of the song which you'll have heard in the intro many times already.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the final boss has a different theme tune for every one of its forms... but they only play in the cutscenes of him changing into said forms; once the actual battle starts, the music reverts to that of his first form.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has "Large Map -Last Area-", which only plays near the end of the game when The Very Definitely Final Dungeon appears, and you likely won't hear the whole song before you enter said dungeon.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV lacks any sort of defensive stats, so non-boss battles tend to end far quicker than the time it takes for the normal battle music to finish looping unless you intentionally spend some time not inputting any further commands once you've initiated battle.
  • Baten Kaitos:
  • Ar Tonelico 2 has an Ominous Latin Chanting song called "Emptiness" play in a cutscene before the final boss — for about a minute, before it cuts to generic "bad things are happening" music. While it doesn't appear on the sound test or in any of the game's official albums, composer and singer Akiko Shikata released it later on the CD of one of her concert pamphlets.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has the song "Influence of Truth Appearance". It plays for two battles. The first one won't last long if you're at a decent level. The second battle will be even shorter if you've been taking advantage of item creation.
    • It also has "Highbrow", the final boss theme which lasts over ten minutes before repeating. But even at relatively normal levels without much grinding, you're still likely to finish the final boss in three or four minutes, tops.
  • Suikoden:
    • Suikoden II has "The Time for Confrontation" and "Mad Luca". Although each is over a minute long, duels rarely last longer than that, usually only ending in a matter of seconds, so most people won't hear the whole song in-game.
    • Suikoden IV, meanwhile, gives us "Scenery of a Nameless Island", which plays on Lime Shelf Island, Mountain Mass Island, or Donut Island, but only before recruiting Rene; once she joins, the song is permanently replaced by the treasure hunt theme on all three islands instead. With the former two islands being far out of the way and having little value except for the treasure hunt minigame itself, it's very unlikely you'll make the trek to them before you've met Rene, and Donut Island, where you actually meet her, is very tiny, with no random battles. Odds are, most players will hear about 30 seconds of this song, tops.
  • Many of the songs in Monster Rancher will only be heard in their entirety by players who are very slow readers or who like to visit the sound test menu. This also includes many of the battle themes, as battles only last 1 minute, but most battle themes are a bit longer.
  • Tales of Symphonia: "Standing the Pain" is roughly two minutes long, but it never plays that long in the few cutscenes it's used in.
    • You'll likely hear the normal version of Zelos's theme all the way through, but if you play the normal route and keep him alive, you'll only get to hear the two-minute sad remix ("Serious Arrange") of it for a brief dialogue exchange of about ten lines.
    • Played straight with the instrumental version of the Gamecube's Opening, it's only played during one scene during the Big Damn Heroes moment of your party members returning, to finally confront Yggdrasill and the boss battle theme starts playing, as soon as you start up the mandatory battle. The only way to really listen to the instrumental version all the way through, is to keep the menu pre-battle open long enough for you to listen. It's subverted in the PS2 version, where the instrumental of the opening (which had changed) continued to play as the boss battle theme of that fight, allowing one to hear it entirely.
  • Xenosaga Episode I:
    • The Miracle and Ormus. The former was partially played in one cutscene and the latter was only played in a hallway that took five seconds to cross.
  • The Attract Mode of The 7th Saga plays a piece called "The Seven Apprentices"... and ends before the final eight measures of the piece can be played and the loop point reached. The piece cannot be found elsewhere in the game.
  • Cosmic Fantasy 1 has a 4 minute 22 second vocal theme song, featured on from idol Tomomi Nishimura's 12th album, but it only plays over the title screen, which you'll probably see for all of 5 seconds before going to the load screen, which has its own music. Even the end credits use a different song.
  • The Ys series has a couple of these:
    • Ys I:
      • "Last Moment of the Dark" only plays right before the final boss. You probably won't hear more than a quarter of the full track.
    • Ys III:
      • "Theme of Chester" lasts 2 minutes before looping, but only plays in the short corridor leading to the Ruins boss. It got somewhat better use in the remake.
      • The music that plays at the entrances of dungeons, "The Boy Who Had Wings," won't get a chance to play completely unless one waits outside (such as to regenerate HP), because dungeon entrances aren't very long sections and they contain no enemies. Like the above, it got significantly better use in the remake, in which it plays in any area outside of a dungeon or the town of Redmont.
    • Ys VI:
      • "Ultramarine Deep" only plays in an extremely short dungeon connecting two different areas. The song will most likely never get a chance to get fully going unless you decide to hang around on purpose or farm for XP.
  • NieR:
  • Mass Effect 3 has Reaper Chase. In normal gameplay, you'll hear about fifteen seconds of it; the scene it was supposed to play over (Shep and co. are chased across Rannoch by a very angry Reaper) was replaced.
  • SaGa Frontier 2:
    • One of the most notable example is without a doubt Interludium, a song which is played only once in the entire game, during Ginny's birth. The scene in question only consists of 5 or 6 dialogue boxes, which take roughly 10 seconds or so to read, before cutting out to the scenario map, ending abruptly a 3:31 song.
    • Rosenkranz, which can only be heard after you defeat the final boss (if you ever manage to defeat it). The player will only hear about 30 seconds of the whole thing (1:56), before the song is cut for narrating reasons.
    • The Freudenbezeigung (I, II, III and IV) songs are almost never heard in their entirety by the players: these are the battle ending songs, and in cases you don't level-up anything, the players will only hear the 4 first seconds before the game skip to exploration mode. Even if you happen to level-up some characteristics, it's very easy to glance through these, and to end the battle. Unless players stop intentionally to hear the full rendition of the songs, most won't discover what lie after the first few seconds.
  • "Dragonborn", the main theme of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, plays nowhere in the game except the main menu, which players usually skip past in a couple seconds. Contrast Morrowind, which has "Nerevar Rising" as one of the traveling songs, and Oblivion, which has most of "Reign of the Septims" as the BGM to its opening cinematic.
  • Dark Souls: Pinwheel's theme. It's a very eerie and atmospheric tune that perfectly suits the Humanoid Abomination necromancer living in a coffin deep in the Catacombs. However, Pinwheel is a very easy boss, to the extent that a prepared player can stomp him flat in less than ten seconds.
  • Fallout 3 has the music when the Lone Wanderer leaves the vault for the first time, which only runs for about 34 seconds, and is not heard anywhere else in the game nor on the soundtrack.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • "Gold Slouch", originally from Fallout 2, only plays around the Wrecked Highwayman, an off-the-beaten path location you are unlikely to linger at long.
    • The Freeside neighborhood has a unique background music, but due to scripting errors, it is rarely if ever heard in-game, being overridden by other BGM's instead.
  • Find Mii/StreetPass Quest's battle themes are long compared to how short battles are (you probably won't hear more than 30 seconds of it unless lots of people around you own a 3DS). Fortunately, there is a Sound Test.
  • Radiant Historia gets good use out of most of its soundtrack... except one. The well-titled "Interrupted Moment" plays over the bad end title cards, and only the title cards; the actually parts where everyone dies and the world ends get the game's usual "bad things are happening" music. It's almost two minutes of music for one screen with a single line of text that you'll click past in a second or two.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has "A Reunion. And...", which plays when the hero returns to Arus after Lufia's death...to find Lufia alive, albeit without her memories. The track lasts about three minutes, but the music stops playing after a few short lines, and unless you spend half a minute on each line, you won't hear the entire song.
  • How long would you expect to spend in a single normal enemy battle in Etrian Odyssey 4? Even in this series, probably not 3 minutes and 20 seconds, which is how long it takes for the (first) normal battle theme, "Battlefield - Storm", to loop.
  • Quite a few of the "inside Bowser" versions of tracks from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story get little to no use; in fact, it might actually be easier to list the ones that don't fit this trope. The tunnel remix gets plenty of use, and the beach, fortress, and final castle remixes are at least played throughout the Pump Works, Flab Zone, and Airway respectively, but it's likely that you'll hear the Dimble Wood, Bumpsy Plains, and Toad Town remixes for only a few seconds during very specific scenes and the Cavi Cape and underwater ones not at all, unless you specifically go out of your way to listen to them.
  • For the Neptunia series this trope tend to befall whatever track is used for a particular games EXE Drive theme, often playing for less than ten seconds. Examples include Nepgear Theme ver. V and Drive Away.
  • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, near the end of the first labyrinth, as your party struggles against the boss of the first labyrinth, the cast of the game that you didn't choose to focus on makes their debut to help you, and for one battle, you fight alongside them against the Card Soldiers. For that battle, "Reach Out To The Truth," plays on the P3 side, and "Mass Destruction" plays on the P4 side. Unfortunately, not only is this the only time either song plays in the game, but the battle will likely last only two or three turns.
  • Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood: The final battle against Ix has a unique remix of his theme that takes almost three minutes to loop - more than twice the length of his normal theme. However, because you're playing as Super Sonic, you can win this battle on the first turn and only hear around forty-five seconds.
  • The last world in Kingdom Hearts III "Scala ad Caelum" contains an epic five minute track that you would barely hear unless you just stand around as walking a little bit into the world will trigger the final boss.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm:
    • In Chapter 4, there’s a scene set backstage at a Vocaloid concert, which features actual Vocaloid tunes playing in the background. The BGM track actually plays through six full songs before looping, but unless you just stand around and listen for a while, you’ll likely be in and out of there before the first one has even finished.
    • The fight with Arianna’s final form starts off with a five-minute lyrical Villain Song, which plays through once and then segues into a separate, unique, and totally kickass battle theme called “Echoes and Bonds” - which you’ll never get to hear if you’re good enough to defeat the boss in less than five minutes.
    • This trope is parodied at one point with "Song That Plays For A Single Line Of Text," which plays over a single text box and then is never heard again, not even in the Sound Test.

     Shoot Em Up 
  • In Super Contra (arcade), the song "Hotter than Hell" sounds like it should have been used for the Final Boss, Jagger Froid, but instead it got used for the short Mini-Boss battle of the final stage, and when you reach the final boss, it switches back to the regular stage music. However, in the NES version, it was used for the main theme of Stage 6, the equivalent of the arcade's final stage.
  • Most boss themes in Thunder Force VI. Unless you're using the Phoenix, boss battles tend to be over in less than 15 seconds.
  • In Contra: Shattered Soldier, "Critical Moment of Contra" is played during the penultimate boss battle, and lasts about 3 minutes before looping, but you'll probably only hear about 20 seconds of it before the fight is over. The OST doesn't even have the full length of the song loop.
  • Touhou:
    • Touhou games always have a separate theme for the credits, which is usually several minutes long when the ending takes maybe half as long if you take your time scrolling through the text. Thankfully, it's also always accessible through the Music Room (a Sound Test for music only, no sound effects).
    • Another example is "A God That Misses People ~ Romantic Fall", which takes 2:15 to loop, but unless you take a really long time to finish the midboss battle, let the game sit for a long time at the start of the first cutscene, or play it on a really laggy computer, you'll have to go into the Music Room to hear the last 45 seconds.
    • This happened quite a bit in the PC-98 game. "Orange" and Sara's themes, who, despite being stage one bosses who can be defeated in 30 seconds, Orange's goes almost two minutes without looping, and Sara's actually does pass two minutes. In all other Touhou games, the stage one boss themes are the shortest so they can fit the battle.
    • Another is the final theme of the final boss of the very first game, "Civilization of Magic" and thus one of the most obscure in the series. The battle itself can be finished in less than twenty seconds, but the song doesn't actually loop until over 2 minutes.
    • From one of the fighting game spinoffs there is "Our Hisou Tensoku", a theme at almost 5 minutes in length but only plays ingame for one short dialogue scene in Meiling's scenario.
  • R-Type Final's title theme only lasts for 20 seconds on the title screen. The full version can only be heard in the secret Stage F-B. In the Secret Level Stage 6.1, the music "Accident and Oblivion" is replaced by the boss theme after less than a minute.
  • The first stage music for Super R-Type ("Solo Sortie") is nearly twice as long as the level, and it stops when you pause. In the sound test, you can hear the second half, which consists largely of a trombone solo followed by a piano solo. If you only ever played the game you'd have no idea they were even there, as the part where you fly off to meet the boss sounds like the tune has ended and gone into a holding pattern.
  • Most songs in Ray Storm, due to them being significantly longer than the stages. For example, "Geometric City" is 4 1/2 minutes long, but only the first minute is heard in-game.
  • In the TurboGrafx-16 CD version of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, some of the stage themes run on a bit longer than the stages, and the boss battles time out before the music track plays all the way, so you can only hear the full songs by either pausing the game or listening to the disc in a CD player.
  • Sonic Princess features the song "Velocity of Sound" by MOMO. To hear it all you have do is to sit on the title screen for over six and a half minutes.
  • Under Defeat's Stage 1 theme in New Order mode, "Don't look back!", is longer than the amount of time you play the stage, even if you time out the boss to draw out the track as long as possible. To emphasize, there's a breakdown section at the end of the track that you will not hear unless you pause the game.
  • The level themes in Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony are composed to sync with the ebb and flow of the levels themselves, such as the sting that accompanies the discovery of the rampant destruction in Level Two. As such, the music pauses when the game is paused, or when you lose all your lives, and cuts off entirely when the boss appears. The levels are also shorter than the musical themes they're paired with, so every level song is at least a little bit wasted. However, nowhere is this more jarring than the final level, which runs for about 3:20, compared to its song which goes on for nine minutes!
  • DariusBurst's song for the score screen between zones, Bless You, consists of a brief One-Woman Wail before two and a half minutes of strange ambient noise. While most aren't going to stay on the screen long enough to hear all of that, the Another Chronicle versions put a 15 second timer on that screen, preventing any of the later ambiance from playing.
  • Metal Slug 5 features western styled song that plays during the first section of mission 2, but most people would probably finish the relatively brief section before the track plays out.
  • Gradius III (SNES version):
    • The Continue screen has a Softer and Slower Cover of the intro theme from the arcade version, which you will only briefly hear unless you wait on this screen, luckily there isn't a time limit here.
    • Three of the Boss Rush bosses in this port have unique battle themes heard nowhere else in the series, but if you're fully powered up (which you pretty much need to be to survive), you can blaze through each in 5 seconds or less.
    • Bacterian also has a unique theme in this game, however, due to the series tradition of near-effortless final bosses, you will almost certainly only hear a couple seconds of it before blowing him away.

     Simulation Game 
  • Most of the songs in Ace Combat, at least in the newer games, get at least one full loop during standard game play, either due to being relatively brief or appearing during levels that take quite a bit of time to complete. However, there are a couple of exceptions. For example, in Ace Combat 5, the song "Grabacr" gets played only at the end of Chapter 25, where you have to shoot down four planes. It is not difficult for even a less experienced played to shoot all four down in a minute or two, thus missing the nearly 5-minute song. Another case is "The Unsung War," which plays during the very final level, and only plays in full if you run out of time, which is pretty much impossible unless you're trying to run out of time.
  • The title screen song in the GameCube Animal Crossing game goes on for another good thirty seconds after the intro cuts it off and loops. The only way to hear it is to actually open the lid of the GameCube while it's running. The song will continue, but the intro will be interrupted until you close the lid again.
  • The cooking song in Lost in Blue is usually only ten to fifteen seconds long at most, because any longer would completely ruin the food.

     Sports Game 
  • Inverted in Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D. The main menu music is less than 10 seconds long, yet you'll probably be selecting things for much longer, making the song loop over and over again.
  • The par putt music from Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. You are unlikely to hear the second half of this piece of music unless you do it deliberately, since 1) par putts are generally short, and 2) the music lasts only one putt. You are slightly more likely to hear it in multiplayer, but even then, still unlikely. The fact that this track is not in the game's official soundtrack hurts it even more, but luckily, there is a recording of it here (the relevant part starts at about 0:18).
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • The music that plays during the Training Montage sequences in the Wii Punch Out!! lasts for maybe 15 seconds before being cut off as the montage ends, just as the song starts to pick up. There doesn't seem to be any way to hear it outside of these montages — it isn't even in the sound test- so the entirety of the song goes unheard.
    • King Hippo has "knocked down" music. The issue? Any time he is downed it is an auto KO, so there are only two ways to hear it: knock off his crown to hear it for a few brief seconds, or unlock his sound test.
  • In Saturday Night Slam Masters each wrestler has a complete entry theme. You'll hear the 1st 5 seconds of each if you don't skip them.

     Stealth Based Game  
  • Metal Gear:
    • "Discovery" in Metal Gear Solid is an extreme example. The full track is a brooding five-minute orchestral track that builds progressively, with a haunting, solitary horn melody and a pounding electronic string section. The only part that's even present in the game is a 16-bar loop of the intro, which features a sonar ping and some dark humming ambience, which plays over the Briefing menu. You can only hear the full piece on the OST, and in an Easter Egg in the Japanese re-release.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
      • "Countdown To Destruction" is an epic electronica track that plays during the timed sections. However, because of the way the Plant chapter is structured (several small rooms connected with short outdoor sections) and the fact that no music plays during the outside sections, the player isn't likely to hear more than ten seconds of the track before it goes silent (and when they re-enter the next area, it starts from scratch). The piece is something like four minutes long.
      • Raiden's theme is a gorgeous song played on a live piano, and Otacon's theme is a dark orchestral version of "Memories of Hal". Neither were featured on OSTs, and Otacon's theme plays for only half a minute before it's truncated by the next cutscene.
    • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the awesome music that plays when you fight Night Sight plays for him alone. He's not an important boss in terms of story (even the boss battle against Gray Fox uses the standard boss battle theme), is usually over and done with in acouple of minutes — and the track never showed up on any OSTs. In fact, that music was removed from later versions due to accusations of plagiarism.
    • Metal Gear Solid has an incredibly epic, yet equally short (read: five seconds), piece during our first real introduction to Grey Fox (while he impales a soldier in the air).
    • Every boss fight in Twin Snakes has its own theme, and every area has unique music when Alert Mode is triggered. Needless to say, there's a lot of quality soundtrack that you won't be hearing much of during the actual game. For instance, one of the most popular songs on the soundtrack only plays when you trigger Alert Mode in the Armory, leading many players over the years to do so deliberately.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a mix of "Snake Eater" that only plays during the final fight with The Boss. It's never been released on any official CD, and it's quite hard to find on the Internet. Also worth mentioning The Boss's theme that plays during the radio conversation with her at the beginning of the Virtuous Mission, not heard again and of course not featured in any soundtrack.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker also has a quiet, piano version of "Snake Eater" that plays during flashback cutscenes. It isn't on the official soundtrack or in-game Walkman.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction has a haunting yet catchy lounge music piece that only plays in the relatively short Mafiya strip club segment of the St. Petersburg Banya co-op mission, and was not released on the OST.

     Survival Horror  
  • The introduction theme for the Magician in House of the Dead 2. While the song last at least 2 minutes, only the 19 first seconds are heard ingame.
  • Killer7:
    • "Rave On" is by far the most popular song. It's about five minutes long, and the fifth minute is the best. It plays once before and once after each miniboss fight, on an otherwise un-noteworthy staircase that takes less than 20 seconds to traverse.
    • "Geopolitics" is even more restricted, only heard in small bytes in the short transition between cutscenes as the game shows you a GPS map of the next location. Thankfully, a soundtrack was released including both this track and Rave On.
  • Resident Evil:
  • Silent Hill:
    • The first game has "Hear Nothing", which you will only hear if you go to the optional Police Station.
    • Silent Hill 2:
      • The game contains a hauntingly beautiful acoustic version of one ending theme, "Promise", that plays during James' "I got a letter..." reflection at the game's opening; it ends along with the cutscene and does not appear in the OST at all, dammit.
      • "Terror in the Depths of the Fog" is not played anywhere in the main game of SH 2, it is only heard at the end of the "Born From A Wish" scenario in the Updated Re-release.
      • This horrifying music is only heard if you backtrack through the clock room (via the Door to Before to the north stairway) after returning from the east wing of the Woodside Apartments (as opposed to going back through the courtyard).
    • Silent Hill 3:
      • There's a long vocalise, "Lost Carol", that only got 30 seconds on the OST.
      • Similarly, "Mall Flashback" is only heard if you unnecessarily backtrack after the monsters first appear in the mall.
    • Silent Hill 4: The Room had quite a nice song called "Melancholy Requiem", which is about 4 minutes long. It is only played during the game's intro, where it lasts about 40 seconds, and after that most people promptly forget all about it.
      • There's also "Your Rain (Reprise)," a very nice and soothing remix of the credits song Your Rain. Unfortunately, said remix is less than a minute long, and only remixes just 2 lines. In addition it only plays during certain Endings, making it missable entirely.
    • Silent Hill: Homecoming gives us "Elle's theme" which is only an instrumental in the final game, "Alex's theme" which is briefly heard on the radio and "One more soul to the call" which is only on the title screen demo. Same for "I Want Love" from SH 3. Only the first verse is used in the game.
  • Sweet Home has a rather poignant scene where Yamamura dies in a horrific and very graphic way and a sad tune plays... which is heard only for 20 seconds at best.
  • In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the Polterpup songs are all differently orchestrated versions of the same tune, but are all only played in a very short cutscene and overlaid with many, many sound effects. It's noticeable enough that no one's ever figured out what these entire songs sound like. Additionally, there are tons of these in the Possessor (boss) battles. This is because each battle has about six different songs played; one for each 'hit point' the boss has (it gets faster as the battle progresses, except when against the Tough Possessor), one when the Possessor is trying to charge at Luigi outside of its host, one when the Possessor is being captured via the Poltergust, one when Luigi picks up the Dark Moon piece... Each of these songs is likely to be stopped rather quickly during normal gameplay, and completely wrecked by sound effects to boot.

     Third Person Shooter  
  • The music for Alraune's first form in P.N.03 is an epic remix of the main boss theme, but this form is usually defeated in less than 15 seconds. Before that, the Escape Sequence in Mission 9 has an epic orchestral piece of music that is not included in the most available soundtrack rip, and it's drowned out by the blare of the warning sirens.
  • S4 League has a song that only played when you become the randomly-chosen Chaser in Chaser Mode, "MonoXide". If you play a lot of Chaser matches where there are many players, you probably will not hear it a lot. Moreover, if you wanted to listen to this song outside of the game legally, you had to purchase a limited-edition, limited-print-run soundtrack...that is, until the song was included in the soundtrack for DJMAX Technika 2.
  • The second Aljir Prison level in Syphon Filter 2 has a different ambient BGM than the first, but most of the time it will be overridden by the danger music. Galbadia Hotel's rip of the soundtrack doesn't include it either.
  • Warhawk (PS3). A full CD-length soundtrack is available on iTunes, but aside from the menu music the songs are only played in 15-second stings when something dramatic happens during matches.
  • Max Payne:
    • You only hear the first eight seconds or so of "M.I.B.", when Vinnie Gognitti jumps on a train to escape from Max. M.I.B. is almost three minutes long.
    • The music for the Ragna Rock nightclub level is just an 8-second loop taken from the 4 1/2 minute song "Corruptor" by Remedy Entertainment employee Peter "Skaven" Hajba, formerly of the demoscene group Future Crew.

     Turn Based Strategy  
  • Many songs in the Fire Emblem series are played in one or two events — sometimes in the middle of a level- and never heard again. There's also a ton of battle themes which are played once for 10 seconds. Luckily, most of the games have Sound Tests.
    (translated from Japanese) Tsujiyoko: It's the complete version of the tune "Wind Crusader Forseti". This tune is a tune that can't be heard if you don't do your best at finishing the game with a good rank. By all means, persevere and listen to it.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the track "Respite in Battle" only plays if you have Hector and Lyn get an A support before Chapter 29x/31x and have them talk in that chapter. Said chapter is solely devoted to shopping for five turns, so it's likely you'll just bring Eliwood/Hector and high-movement units (and Bartre in Hector's mode to recruit Karla), making it doubtful Lyn will even be there to talk with Hector — and if she is, there's no indication they can talk unless you move them next to each other.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance had Victory is Near as the music that cuts in when you've eliminated all the enemies from the map (most games in the series have similar songs). However, perhaps due to a glitch or large oversight, it only plays in chapters 1 and 6, and never elsewhere. This is rather significant since the song itself appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in spite of being so forgettable.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has Cats at Play, which is only used for one brief dialogue sequence lasting only 8 lines. It never plays anywhere else.
  • Just about any song in Kamidori Alchemy Meister qualifies. The tracks for the maps are generally cut short by the battle themes, which last only a few seconds before returning to the map theme. If you go to the BGM player, the tracks are actually rather lengthy.
  • Surpassing the Wall, from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. The final boss in that game has two parts — the first phase which is hilariously easy and is over with basically no trouble at all, and the second phase which actually deserves the "final boss" moniker. Surpassing the Wall plays only in the former. In a game with over 300 missions, hearing such a well-composed piece on less than half of a single one is more than a little jarring.
  • Project X Zone:
    • Each character pair has two themes (plus their solo unit's theme), with one randomly playing during their turn. However, most themes are much longer than a turn lasts, even if there are several enemy turns (which don't change the music) afterwards.
    • Dante and Demitri's Map Attack uses this remix of "Ultra Violet", Nero Angelo's theme from the first Devil May Cry. It's used nowhere else in the game, and the version used in the game starts at the middle of the song.
  • Rondo of Swords is a peculiar tactics game where your characters deal damage by running past your enemies. There's music that plays for these action during your turn, the enemy's turn, and special cameo music; one with Izuna and Shino, and one with Cotton. Due to how brief these actions are (and how likely you are to skip the animation), you'll only hear up a few seconds of the 'battle' music. The best way to hear them play longer is through Marie or Ernest's Over Break skills.
  • While most of its music lasts at most a minute to match the fast pace of battle, World of Tanks has a 3 and a half minute long ambient tune called "The Legend is Born", which is typically also recycled in developer commentary videos. It's usage in-game is limited to the login screen, which means players will generally rush straight into the game and the ambient noises of the garage. Fortunately it, and the rest of the soundtrack can be downloaded for free.

     Turn Based Tactics  
  • Worms:
    • The full version of Wormsong — the theme song of the game — can only be heard by putting the disc of the first game in a hi-fi. The version played in game is just a tinny midi of the chorus.
    • There's a full techno remix of one of the main themes buried in Worms World Party, but only if you stop and wait on multiplayer match standings screen (after all rounds are played) for about a minute.

     Wide Open Sandbox  
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • III contains "Scary Movies" by Bad Meets Evil. The catch is that the instrumental version is used for about 15 seconds as the DJ's talk over it. This is also the only Eminem song in a GTA game.
    • Vice City contains five songs that play in cutscenes but cannot be heard on the radionote . "Freaks Come Out At Night" would later make its way into Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, but the rest haven't shown up in any other game.
    • San Andreas cuts off "Cult Of Personality" during the instrumental, skipping the final verse.
    • The Ballad Of Gay Tony uses an electro remix of "Animal" by Miike Snow for about 30 seconds as the intro and outro to another song. Also on Electro-Choc, we get a neat mashup of "Put Your Hands On Me" by Crookers with "Nude Night" by The Chemical Brothers. It lasts only a minute before it transitions fully into the latter.
    • V includes warped versions of "V-I-S-I-T-O-R-S" by Visitors and "Clown Dream" by Danny Elfman as the backing tracks to Michael and Trevor's Grass Root missions respectively. Like the Vice City examples, neither of these are heard anywhere else.

     Wrestling Game  
  • The WWE Day of Reckoning Series has several, in particular is any song on the disk you are not allowed to give to your CAW, since they are so central to single player game play. The most notable of these is Eric Bischoff's theme in Day of Reckoning 2, which plays as soon as you start story mode, as if to taunt the player (which would be a pretty funny reference to his role on WWE television at the time if not for the fact it was a senseless restriction).

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