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Playlist Soundtrack

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Most video games have soundtracks that are rigid and set. Village music plays in this village, regular battle music for this battle, etc. But there are exceptions to this rule. These are games with Playlist Soundtracks. The soundtrack here, like the name, is handled for at least a major part of the game like a playlist. It has tracks taken from and played (sometimes randomly) from a pool of potential tracks during an area, a part of the story, or even the whole game.

Please note that while at least a major part of the game has to have this, it obviously doesn't need to extend to every last part of the game. Nor does it have to have one "playlist" for the whole game. For example, if a game's levels each have their own little playlists of music while the cutscenes have scripted music, it counts. This trope also applies to single areas with this same manner of soundtrack and as little as two tracks are enough to make it apply.

Typically this is justified by the music being from somewhere in-universe (e.g. a radio or the player character's headphones).


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     Large-Scale (Whole or Most of the game) 
  • 3Tones switches between tracks when one has finished playing in Arcade and Time Attack modes. You can use the game's tracks or upload your own.
  • The Command & Conquer series uses a playlist for in-game music (one feature of the Remastered Collection is the ability to choose between original versions of the music or reorchestrations by the composer's band). Scripted events in the game may occasionally switch to a pre-derermined music.
  • Descent II had your choice of two soundtracks. A MIDI soundtrack that played a single tune per level on repeat, or red book CD audio soundtrack which would start on a given track at the beginning of a level, but then loop the entire disc if you took enough time to finish the level.
  • Genshin Impact: For most of the game, the soundtrack cycles through various short and ambient symphonic tracks depending on the area you're currently in, with each area having their own set playlists to match the atmosphere. Battle themes are not exempt from this either, but unlike area themes, each major nation only has three common battle tracks and will only switch between them if you're out of the action for more than 30 seconds. The only exception to this is inside Domain dungeons and during boss fights, where it'll just keep playing the same track on repeat to match the tension going on.
  • Gift Clicker switches between "Cat Mouse" and "Rainbow Street" by Scott Holmes when the other track has finished playing.
  • In Go Vacation, the overworld Resort areas have a rotating playlist of songs that play, which are all With Lyrics versions of classic Namco-Bandai tunes. These are interspersed with Announcer Chatter from radio DJs, who talk about things relevant to the resort you're hearing them in (such as the City Resort announcer talking about skateboard tricks).
  • Hexceed: The game's music randomly switches from one track to another once one of them finishes during gameplay. There are 30 tracks in the official soundtrack.
  • Hyperballoid has a MyMusic folder. Putting .mp3 files into it lets you listen to songs in random order.
  • Idle Brain Quest: The "Random" option makes the game randomly select one of the game's four songs, those being "Revitalize", "2015", "Newest", and "Brainstorm", and switch to another one once it finishes.
  • The Impossible Quiz: The first two games switch between two songs when one has finished playing during the first 100 questions (but only in versions that have music), "Gotta Fly Now" and "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (Instrumental)" for the former as well as "Get It Together" and "Panthera Dash" by The Go! Team for the latter.
  • A favorite of the Jet Set Radio series. In the first game, each level has a small playlist of music, usually only containing songs pertaining to a specific area (eg. You usually wouldn't hear "Sneakman" in Kogane-Cho). In Future, the music is instead divided by chapter (except for the sewer levels that always have their own playlist) due to the increased length. Justified since the music is coming from the eponymous pirate radio station, Jet Set Radio, and the protagonists are constantly listening to it.
  • KGB's soundtrack isn't particularly tied to locations or events. It usually switches between two tracks.
  • Linx cycles between three chiptune tracks while you are playing one of the levels.
  • Minecraft: The game's soundtrack is randomized with separate playlists for the Overworld (or Biomes) and the Nether as of the 1.16 update.
  • Ninjala: One of the categories of customisation items is music tracks. In matches, the music tracks selected by all players are shuffled together, and when one track ends, the track chosen by another player is played.
  • The Poker Night at the Inventory series has this for both games during each tournament, drawings from jazz remixes of familiar tunes from most the series represented and The Walking Dead.
  • Pureya switches between different songs when it moves on to the next minigame or once it finishes playing.
  • Reactance 2: The sound menu has options to switch between the three tracks once one finishes playing one after the other or randomly.
  • Stellaris has dozens of tracks playing in random order, with no correlation to what's happening in-game. Players can, however, open the playlist and play whatever song they want on a whim, or even disable certain tracks altogether.
  • The World Ends with You: The game has this style of soundtrack as the protagonist, Neku Sakuraba, listens to it through his headphones.
  • VA-11 HALL-A has you make a playlist with songs at the beginning of each day which will play in the order you select throughout the day.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004: You could play any Vorbis sound file as music for the map or level you were on, including files you converted, meaning you could make your own playlist of music for the game if you wanted.

     Small-Scale (Specific areas) 
  • Codename: ICEMAN has the Chichi Bar which plays three tracks when you spend time there: a relaxing one, an upbeat one, and a rocking one.
  • Crashday has a in-game music player that alternates between two pools (Rock and Electronic) of 9 and 7 tracks each, which play during any match.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work has two areas that switch between three music tracks as you spend time in them. Hard Disk Cafe goes through "Hard Rock Me", which is lighthearted and upbeat, "Hard Rock You", which is calm and relaxing, and "Hard Rock It", which is energetic and is the only that can be described as "rock". K-RAP Radio goes through "K-Rap Rap", "K-Rap Talk", and "K-Rap Rock", which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Police Quest 4: Open Season has two music tracks playing in the Bitty Kitty Club that switch one after the other - a happy dance-oriented one and one that's still upbeat and more like rock.
  • Punk O Matic 2: The garage cycles between six rock tracks which can also be switched in the options box if your band isn't playing anything.
  • In both South Park: The Stick of Truth and its sequel South Park: The Fractured but Whole, the music in certain public locations, like the post office and photo shop, cycles randomly between a collection of songs from the show, with the implication being that those songs are played on the store radio.