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Orchestral Version

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A Video Game tune, sometimes the Background Music, is turned into a huge orchestral version by the game developers. (Or, in some cases, another band.) It is not often used within the game or series and is only available online or in stores, though there's a chance it could show up in a remake or sequel, depending on the budget.

This is usually done because the game itself has limitations on the quality of the music if it is an 8-bit, 16-bit, etc. game.

The music is not always the same thing, and is sometimes extended. It may also be worse than the original music depending on who you talk to.

Not always limited to video game music, but is rarely seen in other media.

Not to be confused with Orchestral Bombing. See also Boss Remix.


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    Action Adventure 

    Adventure Game 
  • The original Leisure Suit Larry theme song was composed for the PC speaker - which can only produce single-tone sine waves. For the seventh game they redid it as a full-blown professional jazz recording.
    • The sax was played by none other than Larry Laffer's spiritual father: Al Lowe. Get the intro from here, and all of the other tunes from the game(s).
  • The 7th Guest's in-game music is MIDI-based, but the bundled soundtrack CD features orchestral arrangements of the major songs, including a rock version of the main theme, "The Game".

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The soundtracks for Melee and Brawl do this for lots of older Nintendo themes.
    • Also a literal orchestra version. Several of the Melee themes have been performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and released as an album called Smashing...Live!
  • Double Dragon I and II both have professionally arranged OST albums, whose arrangements were used in the Double Dragon Trilogy released on Steam and mobile devices. More recently, Jake Kaufman reworked several of the series' iconic tunes for Double Dragon Neon, including the title theme, "Arrival of the Black Warriors"(City Slum), "The Great Fray"(Industrial Area), "Abobo the Giant Appears"(the Green Abobo cave theme, which gets a literal orchestra arrangement in the Haunted Forest level, and two power metal arrangements for Skullmageddon), "Old Nemesis Willy"(Hideout), "Unleashing The Ogre"(DD II Mission 1), and the Stage Clear and Intermission jingles.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Marathon 1's CD edition includes RedBook recordings of seven songs from the game's MIDI soundtrack.
  • Halo: Many tunes from Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 were orchestrally remastered in Halo 3, and the first two games' soundtracks were also reorchestrated by Skywalker Sound for their Anniversary remakes. The "One Final Effort" and "Halo Finale" arrangements of the main theme are especially awesome.
  • The original MIDI music to Descent was heavily dependent on specific sound card models. Fortunately, the Macintosh version was given RedBook recorded music, which included awesome arrangements of several of the PC tunes. Compare the PC version of the Lunar Scilab BGM to its Mac counterpart.
  • Perfect Dark: "Air Force One is Down!" [Crash Site Confrontation OC Re Mix]

    Platform Game 

    Racing Game 

    Role Playing Game 

    Shoot Em Up 

    Sports Game 

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • The Syphon Filter title theme got this treatment in The Omega Strain, Dark Mirror, and Logan's Shadow.

    Survival Horror 
  • This trope is actually inverted in Resident Evil 5. The in-game tracks are performed by 20th Century Fox Studio's Hollywood Studio Symphony, but the soundtrack features less refined, digital versions of "An Emergency", "A Big Despair", "Wind of Madness", "Deep Ambition", and "Plan of Uroboros".

    Visual Novel 
  • The Ace Attorney series has had multiple orchestral remix albums dedicated to it, titled "Gyakuten Meets Orchestra", further amplifying the already prevalent Mundane Made Awesome aspect of the series.

Non-video game examples:


    Live Action TV 
  • 3-2-1 Contact's theme tune inverts this trope, originally being recorded with a full orchestra, but switching to an electronic arrangement in the last couple seasons.
  • The Doctor Who theme was originally created by Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop through samples of test-tone oscillators, white noise and a single bass string (later arrangements of the theme in the classic series used synthesisers). The 1996 TV Movie had a fully orchestrated version. For Nu Who, Murray Gold combined samples of the original with conventional instruments, and also had a full orchestra version by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for special occasions.

  • The original cast album of the "play about a musical" Say, Darling, which had songs by Jule Styne and Comden and Green, replaced much of the two-piano accompaniment used in the production with orchestrations by Sid Ramin. Ramin and his then-uncredited assistant Robert Ginzler went on to orchestrate Styne's next musical, Gypsy.
  • The original off-Broadway production of Assassins was done without a real orchestra, but Stephen Sondheim's score was orchestrated by Michael Starobin for the original cast album.
  • Closer Than Ever had only a pianist and bassist to accompany the four singers in its off-Broadway production. The cast recording was orchestrated by Michael Starobin using seven additional musicians.

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd's theme tune has an orchestral version floating around on YouTube, by the fans. It was later used in his videos.
  • As an homage to the Future Crew megahit demo Second Reality, Remedy's Final Reality benchmark demo has a cityscape sequence with a remastered version of Skaven's S3M music from the former demo.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • There exist quite a number of traveling productions that exclusively perform re-orchestrated versions of video game songs. The most notable ones are probably Video Games Live and PLAY!.