There's also "In Hiding", the E3M1 theme, which sounds similar to the closing credits music from Blade Runner. Bobby Prince was involved in the soundtrack production of Duke 3D (see the Doom entry below) so it's not surprising at all that there's suspiciously similar songs here too.
When Capcom re-released Aladdin for the GBA, their rights to "Friend Like Me" and "Whole New World" had expired, so they were forced to replace them with similar sounding new tunes. The original SNES version did this from the start with a "One Jump Ahead" Substitute for the first level, and an "Arabian Nights" one for a cutscene.
The NES pirate of Aladdin (Virgin Games) uses suspiciously similar songs to "A Whole New World" and "Prince Ali", among others.
The Game Boy Color port of the Virgin Games Aladdin has an odd relationship with this trope. Certain songs from the movie and even original pieces from the source game were replaced with soundalikes, while others were left alone. This is particularly odd in the case of "Prince Ali", which was replaced with a sound-alike even though a few bars from it are still used as the "stage clear" theme.
The NES RPG game based on the hit movie Willow has song similar to "Theme from A Summer Place" when you enter a certain town. So does Mario Kart: Super Circuit for GBA while driving on Shy Guy Beach.
An Eye of the Tiger soundalike plays in Breath of Fire III when Deis awakens. Followed by Falling Green sounding similar to Secret of the Forest from Chrono Trigger and the Game Over theme and Chrono Trigger's Windy Scene during the first notes.
In Breath of Fire IV the leitmotif of a man called Kahn, which is named "~A Man~", sounds quite similar to Wipeout by The Surfaris. The irony of that is Kahn is usually not fought within a beach-like area anywhere.
The Buriki Daioh theme from Live A Live also sounds suspiciously like the Mazinger Z intro theme. That one gets around quite a bit, it seems. Compare and contrast. The game even references the show's intro by opening up a lake for the giant robot to emerge.
The lab theme from Cave Story sounds a lot like "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers, which is all but likely to be coincidental given the game was released mere months after the album "Hot Fuss".
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, inputting the "MERRY" cheat code replaces the background music in the bonus stages with "Jangle Bells"note Look closely at the name. It's not the song you think it is., whose opening section bears a striking resemblance to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".
Also in Donkey Kong Country 3, the song "Mill Fever" from the mill levels is very obviously based on "Fever" by Peggy Lee. The title is even a reference to it.
The winter-themed tracks in the Snowflake Mountain hub courses borrow heavily from Christmas songs. Walrus Cove has pieces of "Here Comes Santa Claus" ("Bells are ringing, children singing...") and "Winter Wonderland" ("In the meadow we can build a snowman..."). Frosty Village has "Winter Wonderland" right off the bat, combined with the bridge from, of all things, the Andy Griffith Show theme.
Snowball Valley is a blatant ripoff of the Chicken Dance and actually copies the entire second part verbatim, and there's a part of that song that sounds exactly like The Brady Bunch theme, of all things.
The Spaceport Alpha theme is suspiciously similar to the Thunderbirds theme.
Guitar Superstar is a plug-'n'-play Guitar Heroripoff filled with Suspiciously Similar Songs. Just to give an idea, one of the songs is called "Granite Man", which is somewhat reminiscent of "Iron Man".
The Little Busters!! soundtrack features a track entitled "Mission Possible," which is pretty much as close as they could get to the Mission: Impossible theme song without actually being said theme song.
Parts of the first two games' soundtracks were suspiciously similar to metal songs, but executed in such a fashion that few people really noticed. See thesepages for some comparisons.
Coincidentally, the open-source project Freedoom contains Suspiciously Simlar Songs to Doom music, making it somewhat Meta.
The music track for the Doom II level "Barrels o' Fun", entitled "Bye Bye American Pie" (no relation to thatsong, incidentally), is by far the most egregious example of this trope in the game. It is literally just a few minor variations away from being a note-for-note MIDI transcription of Alice in Chains' "Them Bones", minus the vocal melody, and about half as long. It's essentially a karaoke version. Here, listen for yourself.
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure had a song that was "Tush" by ZZ Top to a tee. The folks at Apogee were pretty blatant about this one. How blatant? The filename in the game data is "MZZTOP.IMF". The same game also features a bluegrass tune that's supiciously similar to Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
Wolfenstein 3D had a song that was a mashup of Suspiciously Similar Songs to classic "war" tunes. Let's face it, Bobby Prince isn't known for his originality.
Weirdly, the Nintendo DS game based on Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart used Suspiciously Similar Songs to several themes from the anime (most noticeable is the Marble Screw music). What's weird about this is that they used the real version of the show's opening theme song. That, and the whole "same franchise as the original music" thing makes it smack of Home Version Soundtrack Replacement.
Spy Hunter of course used the Peter Gunn theme for its main music, and supposedly this was licensed. Ironically, Super Spy Hunter, which was not originally titled as a sequel, instead being named Battle Formula in Japan, used a Suspiciously Similar Song to Peter Gunn music in its second stage.
In another ironic twist, the Spy Hunter game also provides an aversion of this trope. The makers of the game originally wanted to use the James Bond theme song, but couldn't obtain the rights to it. Instead of using a Suspiciously Similar Song to it, they went with the Peter Gunn theme.
The "Percussion" song from Streets of Rage 3 has a very similar feel to the show theme as well.
This isn't particularly surprising, as Half-Life 2's lead writer has stated that he was inspired by Majora's Mask when writing some of the atmosphere and characters of Half-Life 2.
The original arcade version of Rainbow Islands uses an upbeat remix of "Over The Rainbow" (yes, the song from The Wizard of Oz!) as its background music. Needless to say, there were some issues with licensing the music when the game was released on home systems. Many home computer ports of the game got away with using the original tune, but the North American NES and Master System releases use a very noticeable Suspiciously Similar Song; the European NES release uses an entirely different tune altogether. Later re-releases, including the PC re-release, go with the American NES song.
The arcade port found on Taito Legends is an aversion. It uses the same theme, but with the offending melody simply muted.
Also, Parasol Stars, the sequel to Rainbow Islands, uses a Suspiciously Similar Song to the Lambada as the boss battle music!
In a possibly unintentional case, the Ridley's Hideout and Tourian themes in the original Metroid resemble the music from Bowser's Castle in the original Super Mario Bros., especially the opening notes of the bassline. The resemblance is further notable in that Tourian is roughly the Metroid equivalent of Bowser's Castle, since the final boss confrontation takes place there.
The Tourian theme is also extremely similar to a section of the movement "Gnomus" in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
The prologue music from Super Metroid (called "Theme of Super Metroid" on the soundtrack) is pretty much a slightly re-arranged version of the title music from The Terminator.
The menu of the Nintendo DS game Sailor Moon: La Luna Splende features a song very similar to the anime's theme, probably changed due to copyright problems with the song.
Seeing as Legend of Mana and Super Mario RPG share a music composer (Yoko Shimomura), it only figures that the former would include some versions of songs from the latter. For example:
"Mystic City Geo" is suspciously similar to the Mushroom Kingdom theme.
The Toad Town theme from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, which Shimomura also composed, is in turn suspiciously similar to Mystic City Geo (with multiple pastiches of the first nine notes of the infamous "Beware the Forest's Mushrooms" from Super Mario RPG thrown in for good measure), to bring this full-circle.
"Pastoral" uses the same measurement and beat as the Marrymore theme.
The credits sequence is clearly inspired by Disneyland's Electrical Parade; naturally, the background music is suspiciously similar to "Baroque Hoedown", the theme music from that parade.
Gritzy Desert from Partners in Time sounds a lot like Agrabah's theme(s) in Kingdom Hearts (especially the Brawl version). Again, Shimomura was the composer for both songs, so it's not surprising.
The battle theme that Shimomura did for Superstar Saga has a remarkably similar structure to the one she did for Mario RPG. The Recurring Riff that appears in the title screen and battle themes in Dream Team also bear a similar cadence to the main riff of the song.
Fawful's Castle Garden in Bowser's Inside Story sounds strangely similar to Ganon's theme.
The Ninja Gaiden arcade game feature a recurring pair of sub-bosses who are obvious pastiches of the legendary wrestling tag team known as the Road Warriors. Their background theme ("I Am Man") was such an obvious ripoff of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" (the entrance theme of the Road Warriors), that when Tecmo released the game on the Virtual Console, they had to remove the tune to avoid copyright infringement.
In Chrono Trigger, "Jolly Ol' Spekkio", the theme of the shapeshifter of the same name found at the End of Time, sounds a heck of a lot like "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King.
Also, there's Ayla's Theme (here) and "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones (here).
Try listening to the music in this video and deny that it sounds like a sped up version of the MMPR theme.
The Spider-Man/Venom beat-'em-upMaximum Carnage for the SNES and Genesis was advertised as featuring a soundtrack composed by Green Jelly (later Green Jello) - who came up with an original title tune and Suspiciously Similar Songs to metal classics for the rest of the game. Most notable as well as fitting was Black Sabbath's "The Mob Rules" for boss fights (which The Angry Video Game Nerd noticed in his review). Unsurprising considering the band is best known for its copyright infringement lawsuits from Metallica for using their riffs in their songs ("Electric Harley House of Love" went as far as lampshading it).
In Daryl Gates' Police Quest: Open Season, a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Can't Turn You Lose" by The Blues Brothers can sometimes be heard in Ragin' Records at Hollywood & Vine.
The protagonist's headquarters being Parker Center, it also featured a near note-for-note ripoff of the Dragnet theme, another variation of which was used as the theme for Police Quest I.
In Quest for Glory III, the music playing in the background at the Apothecary's store is a somewhat mediterranean Suspiciously Similar Song to Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". Very suitable, given the Apothecary's profession (sells drugs...) and hippie-like demeanor.
The ending theme for the Revenge of Meta Knight subgame is a blatant parody of The Animals' rendition of "House of the Rising Sun". The Japanese name of this song even translates to "Friends and the Setting Sun".
The Game Over screen sounds quite similar to the chorus of Queen's "You're My Best Friend".
The recurring Gourmet Race theme that makes its debut here is almost, but not quite, Hermann Necke's "Csikós Post", which is often played during sporting or racing events in Japanese media.
"Katamari On The Funk", the title song from the PSP-exclusive Katamari Damacy sequel Me and My Katamari and one of the few original songs in the game, bears a striking resemblance to "Pulse Phaze" from the PSP version of Ridge Racer, which came out a year before. Both tunes were composed by the same person, Yuu Miyake.
One scene in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak involves finding a spoon (which later gets used in a catapult). The scene wherein you remove the spoon from its pedestal is a direct send-up of the "removing the Master Sword from its pedestal" scene from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and the music that plays during the removal is suspiciously similar to the "opening a large chest" music from the 3D incarnations of Zelda - where the original arpeggios go up, these arpeggios go down.
Not only that, but pay attention to the tune that plays when Spat appears. Ring any bells? Well, let's just say it's one of the reasons a reviewer said Spat was practically Hamster Kefka.
The Ordon village theme in Twilight Princess sounds as if it is about to turn into the theme from "Last of the Summer Wine."
Twilight Princess features a hidden area in the form of a town that's been abandoned for years, composed of one main street lined with buildings... with dust and tumbleweeds everywhere... and the buildings full of enemies launching arrows at you, necessitating a big bow-and-arrow shootout through the town. The music for this set-piece did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western scores.
The Kakariko Village theme from ALttP bears resemblance to the second movement of Pathetique by Ludwig van Beethoven.
EarthBound has a bunch of musical references, to the point that it was mistakenly believed for years that there were copyright issues preventing the game's rereleasenote It was actually the very large amount of potentially seizure-inducing flashing effects, which ended up being toned down when the game finally got a Virtual Console release in 2013.
The riff used by the Runaway Five in the tune before you get on their bus (and reused in the ending credits) is more or less "In the Midnight Hour".
The "hippie battle" theme is based on Chuck Berry's musical style, namely "Johnny B. Goode".
Mystic Quest also has this when you listen to the band in Fireburg and the title screen in City Connection.
The drug store music is a note-for-note take on Dallas Rag, by the Dallas String Band.
The music for the coffee-trip scrolling text sequences is slightly similar to "Learning To Fly".
The music outside the boarding house sounds awfully like "You Never Give Me Your Money".
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai had a few pieces of background music suspiciously similar to songs from Stratovarius's eighth album Infinite, as seen here.note Specifically shown are "Hunting High and Low", "Glory of the World" and "Infinity". Even the song "An Old Friend" from Budokai 3 happens to be very similar in harmony to Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September", as seen in this mash-up of both songs.
It's no surprise that these tracks were composed by Kenji Yamamoto, who was fired after it was discovered that many of his compositions for both the video games and Dragon Ball Kai were plagiarized from a variety of external sources.
Much later in the franchise, in Dragon Ball Xenoverse, one of the combat tracks liberally uses the chorus music from Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People". The best place to hear it is in the GT DLC, in the Parallel Quest where you fight a bunch of Oozaru (Nappa, Vegeta, Baby and Bardock).
The NES RPG Hydlide has an overworld tune that sounds suspiciously close to John Williams' "Raiders' March", the theme song to the Indiana Jones films. (This tune was actually borrowed from Hydlide II, which was otherwise unreleased outside Japan.)
The stage music for Dracula's stage in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse sounds an awful lot like the Billy Joel song "Pressure" inverted (bass line on top, melody on bottom). Go into music demo mode, and what's that stage's music called? "Pressure."
Most if not all of the music in Dangun Feveron are suspiciously similar to Saturday Night Fever music; for instance, 2 stage themes are more than a little similar to "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever".
In Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, "Ernst" is suspiciously similar to "Moon Over The Castle", the theme song from the Japanese versions of the Gran Turismo games. There's even a fan-made mashup of the two songs.
In Ys III: Wanderers from Ys, the beginning of "A Searing Struggle" resembles "Cross Fire" from Life Force/Salamander. In turn, the first level theme from Jim Power for Amiga and SNES bears a striking resemblance to "A Searing Struggle". Chris Hülsbeck had indeed played Wanderers From Ys before composing the music for Jim Power, but claims that the inspiration was purely subliminal— he had mostly forgotten about the Ys soundtrack by that point.
"Termination" also somewhat resembles the aforementioned "Cross Fire", and in turn it has a suspiciously similar song in Gradius III, "Fire Scramble".
The primary riff of "Holders of Power" from Ys I and II sounds like a faster version of the opening riff of "Flash of the Blade" by Iron Maiden.
In MOTHER 3, the "Mr. Batty" enemies have theme music that sounds strikingly similar—especially in its intro—to the 1960's Batman theme. You know—"Nahnahnahnahnahna nana nahnahnahnahnahna nana BATMAAAAAN!"
In addition, the Jealous Bass music sounds rather similar to the Grease Lightning song.
In the Animaniacs game "The Great Edgar Hunt", the main Studio Lot theme is suspiciously similar to the Cartoon Show's theme tune. Seeing as this trope is a well known staple of the Animaniacs cartoons, it's kind of fitting that the Animaniacs theme itself got the same treatment. Many Animaniacs games feature knockoff songs to accompany their film parodies: between the SNES and Genesis games alone, there's two separate soundalikes of the Indiana Jones theme, one of Star Wars, one of ET The Extraterrestrial, one of Jaws, and so on.
The music played in the first section of the first level in the Genesis Animaniacs is, as mentioned above, obviously shooting for Indiana Jones, but also sounds almost exactly like the main theme of the ancient Namco arcade game Sky Kid.
Depending on who you talk to, the Metal Gear Solid melody could be a shameless rip-off of the Speed theme tune or an up-beat suspiciously similar to "The Winter Road" by Sviridov. In each case the stylistic similarity is more obvious when looking at Gregson-Williams' orchestral version of the theme from the 2001 MGS2 trailer, but the melody's present in TAPPY's original 1998 version.
Big Boss's Leitmotif is suspiciously similar to the Metal Gear Solid theme, which sounds a little more tender than the actual melody due to the changing of two chords in the progression.
The song "Old Snake" seems to be suspiciously similar to the main theme as well, slower and sadder. Both of these are likely intentional.
And the Metal Gear KODOQUE theme in Metal Gear Ac!dand its sequel was suspiciously similar to the Metal Gear Solid main theme with the same chord progression but a different melody.
The main Recurring Riff in the original Metal Gear Solid (ambience, alert music, boss music, etc.) resembles Kraftwerk's "Radio-Activity", especially with that synthesized choir.
The theme tune of the festive fan parody game, Merry Gear Solid, finished with a suspiciously similar song to "Snake Eater" from Metal Gear Solid 3, called "Secret Santa".
Merry Gear Solid has a lot of these. The Merry Gear Solid 2: Ghosts of Christmas Past is full of them, often with hilarious results. For example, the Konami-ripoff logo at the beginning starts with the normal "doo doo doo, do do do" then finishes with Jingle Bells via pitch-shifting.
The indoor infiltration theme in the NES version of Metal Gear is similar to the Mission: Impossible theme, and the alert theme is a Suspiciously Similar Song to that of the original MSX version.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake had a soundtrack hacked together from gutted, chiptuned versions of the best action movie themes of the 80s. Some, like the similarity between "Advance Immediately" and the Terminator main theme, and the "Theme of Solid Snake" and the theme from Escape from New York, are subtle. Other, like the relationship between "Chasing The Green Beret" and the Mission: Impossible theme, are less so. Night Sight's theme was such an obvious ripoff of Michael Myers' theme music that it was excluded from the OST album. The bonus track "Swing, Swing~ A Jam Blues" is suspiciously similar to Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman.
It Has to Be This Way, used during the final battle in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance sounds a lot, especially in the guitar and string riffs, to the vocal parts from De Musica Ligera, one of the most famous songs from the Argentinian rock band Soda Stereo.note This could be possibly a coincidence, as Soda Stereo is only known in the Spanish-speaking world, and they're practically unknown outside of it, much less in Japan, the country when the game was developed.
The Recurring Riff in the first two Wario Land games is, inexplicably, an upbeat Suspiciously Similar Song to "Beautiful Dreamer".
The song that plays in the early routes of the first generation of Pokémon games sounds suspiciously similar to "Polly Wolly Doodle". If you listen closely, the harmony sounds a bit like the "Flea Waltz".
Let's not forgetting the "chorus" of Cinnabar Island sounding near-identical to that of "Sing Hosanna"...
The music in the Celestial Tower in Black and White sounds quite a bit like a mix of the "Green Memories" & "Secret of the Forest" tracks in Chrono Trigger, "Sanctuary Dungeon" in A Link to the Past and "Chronopolis" in Chrono Cross. Remarkably, it starts off already sounding very Chrono Trigger/Cross-ish through the intro, and then when the primary melody comes in, the first few bars are practically a note-for-note copy of "Secret of the Forest". It might be dismissable as a coincidence if it was only the intro, but the fact that it happens twice in the same piece strongly suggests that the composer definitely had the Chrono series in mind when he wrote this piece.
While we're on the topic of Pokemon B/W and Chrono Trigger, the music in Icirrus City shares the same beat and time signature, along with very similar instrumentation and overall feel, as CT's Millennial Fair music.
Let's add some Touhou. The Final N battle theme has parts of "Now, until the moment you die" from Highly Responsive to Prayers about 0:47 onward.
The opening bar of the "Farewell" track fromfirst Pokémon Black and White is pretty much exactly the same as the start of MOTHER 3's famous "Love Theme". Other parts bear resemblance to "To Far Away Times" from Chrono Trigger.
In Black and White, Route 10's music has also been compared to "Run, My Dog, Run!" from MOTHER 3, while the surfing theme sounds very similar to "The Green Train's Fun, Too!" from the same game.
Parts of the Mistralton City theme sound very similar to the original Star Trek theme.
The pool level in the SNES/Genesis game Cool Spot resembled, but was not quite, Fats Domino's "Walkin' to New Orleans," while the train level used a song that was just a few notes away from The Magnificent Seven theme.
One guess as to what the theme of James Pond II: Robocod is suspiciously similar to. (Amazingly, the prior game did not use a knockoff of the James Bond theme.)
The "Meet the Engineer" trailer used a guitar piece suspiciously similar to a song called, oddly enough, "Someone Else's Song", by the group Wilco. When the song was added to the game as main menu music nearly unaltered from the trailer, it was quickly changed out for a Suspiciously Similar Song twice.
The theme music to online freeware game Legend of Princess is suspiciously similar to the Zelda theme because the game is a pastiche of Zelda.
No More Heroes's Thunder Ryu Building is a gym in which Travis can upgrade his abilities. The background music is almost, but not quite, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."
Also, the credits music sounds very similar to the Star Wars theme. The version that appears on the official soundtrack makes it even more obvious: not only is it played by an orchestra, as opposed to the 8-bit style version in the game; but the track itself is called "Staff Wars: Episode I"
Done in Elite Beat Agents, when most of the songs are covers. Most of them are exactly the same, but with different vocals, although some become faster (such as "Let's Dance", which is incredibly jarring listening to the game and original versions back-to-back). The exceptions are Sk8er Boi and September, which might as well be the original versions, and "Jumping Jack Flash"; if it weren't for the lyrics, you'd think it was an entirely different song. This was for the betterto the extreme.
For similar reasons, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, the Japanese counterpart/predecessor series to Elite Beat Agents, mostly uses covers throughout the game.
Earlier versions of Eversion used music from the obscure Famicom game Cocoron for their title screen and first world. Version 1.7, however, uses tunes that are clearly suspiciously similar to the original Cocoron music.
One of the shmupArmed Police Batrider's boss themes, "Let Ass Kick Together", has an opening riff like the main riff from Iron Maiden's "Powerslave", just in a different key and with a couple of notes different, although the rest of the theme is different.
In a similar vein, doing Reimu's Fatal KO move in the same game makes the background music jump to a suspiciously similar version of Ai Wo Torimadose. Like "Our Hisoutensoku", this was an intentional Shout-Out, due to the move being called "Musou Tensei".
Sakuya's "Flowering Night" theme from "Phantasmagoria of Flower View" sounds an awful lot like the beginning of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper".
The theme for the first level of Battletoads in Battlemaniacs  is heavily based on Joe Walsh's 1978 hit "Life's Been Good" .
The first portion of Suwako's theme "Native Faith" is pretty heavily based on the final boss theme from Night Striker. This isn't random; ZUN used to work at Taito, so there's a good chance that this was his version of a tribute to Mar (Night Striker's composer).
In Wild Arms 3, the theme for the town of Claiborne resembles "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas.
Many of the themes in Wild ARMs: Alter Code: F are not direct remixes of tracks from the original Wild Arms but Suspiciously Similar Songs, for example, the Curan Abbey theme.
Final Fantasy VIII has a track called "The Landing" that plays when your team lands in Dollet to fight the Galbadian army. In the demo version of the game, the track was an altered version of the main theme from The Rock. Apparently, it wasn't altered enough, as the track was changed for the actual game. Apparently, someone involved with the movie complained.
Another same franchise example: the NES Rambo game features a suspiciously similar version of the original First Blood theme as the title theme, as well as a suspiciously similar version of "Peace in Our Life" as the ending theme.
The title theme to Snake Rattle 'n' Roll is, as one might expect, a knockoff of "Shake, Rattle and Roll".
Interstate '76 had a number of Suspiciously Similar versions on its soundtrack, mostly of '70s funk songs like the Ohio Players' "Fopp", The Isley Brothers' "That Lady" and Curtis Mayfield's "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go". Even the theme song bore a certain resemblance to the theme song to the TV series S.W.A.T. (1975) (albeit a bit sped-up).
The town theme of Torchlight appears to be a suspiciously similar version of the Tristram theme from the original Diablo. Not suprising, considering several of the people from the Diablo team worked on Torchlight, including Matt Uelman, who composed the music for both games.
Gruntilda's Lair from Banjo-Kazooie is a suspiciously similar version of "Teddy Bear's Picnic". It also became well associated with the character.
The Bayonetta series has a Real Song Theme Tune, the classic "Fly Me to the Moon." When Bayonetta became a character in Smash Bros., the music tracks included for her associated stage included a soundalike of this song.
Monster Bash uses this for a number of pieces of music in the game. The most obvious example being the title theme, which arguably sounds better than what it's supposed to be imitating.
The independent Point And Click AdventureThe Adventures of Fatman features suspiciously similar versions of both the 1960s Batman show theme, and the Danny Elfman movie theme.
In another bizarre example involving a licensed game, the developers of The Flintstones: Burgertime in Bedrock for Game Boy apparently couldn't manage to get the license to the series' iconic theme song. Several tunes in the game, including the title tune, have the same rhythm but a completely different melody.
In Noby Noby Boy, by the creator of Katamari Damacy and also released by Namco, there are some selectable music tracks that sound like subtle instrumental versions of Katamari songs (such as Lonely Rolling Star and Cherry Blossom Color Season), and the hidden minigame music is from Metro Cross, both Namco tunes.
In the Gameboy Color game Diva Starz, one of the selectable pieces of runway music bears an unlikely resemblance to "Lux Aeterna" from Requiem for a Dream. The song is a frequent target of suspiciously similar versions in general, but hearing it play as a Bratz expy walks a blue bunny down the catwalk is just bizarre.
When Frogger was included on a Konami compilation for Game Boy Advance, all of the musical themes (including the anime themes, and even "Inu no Omawari-san" the traditional Japanese nursery rhyme that serves as the "game start" music) were given suspiciously similar versions.
When Track & Field was included on a Nintendo DS compilation, "Chariots of Fire" (which was heard in the original arcade release) was turned into a suspiciously similar version.
The rhythm dance game series Pump It Up features several suspiciously similar versions of songs created by an in-house production band, BanYa. Among these include "Extravaganza" (Burnin' by Daft Punk), "Mr. Larpus" (Wipeout by The Surfaris), "Miss's Story" (Beethoven's 5th Symphony), "Beethoven Virus" (Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique), "Beat of the War" (Holy Wars...The Punishment Due by Megadeth), and "Love is a Danger Zone 2" (Motorbreath by Metallica).
Halo is another franchise that plagiarises itself: In Halo 2, the Delta Halo Theme is a suspiciously similar version of the series' Theme Tune, and "Leonidas" is a soundalike of "On A Pale Horse" from Halo: Combat Evolved.
This is even funnier when you realize that Lei's theme is a cover of Steam by East 17, which preceded T3 by a margin of about two years. The lyrics "Outside it's raining / but inside it's wet" is a bit humorous given the nature of Lei's stage in that game.
The little riffs that play as you wonder around in New Austin contain a melody that for a few notes more would be the theme of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly played on an atomic guitar. There's also a slow rhythmic guitar and English horn piece which is obviously reminiscent of the repeated "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari" cue from A Fistful of Dollars, but slowed down and without the key changes, and a harmonica riff reminiscent of the "Man With A Harmonica" theme from Once Upon a Time in the West.
The bounty hunting, raiding a hideout and ambient battle music in New Austin is basically "L'Inseguimento" from A Fistful of Dollars in a swung time signature.
The harmonica piece occasionally played by harmonica-playing NPCs is very, very similar to the "Marcetta" melody from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (the one that plays when Tuco and Blondie are being led into the prison camp).
There's an ocarina playing the coyote-call from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly amongst the ambient riffs in Mexico, although with a couple of notes added on the end, or with slightly different articulation. Sometimes it's even followed up with a harmonica playing a 'waa waa waa' reply, with the same pitches in a different order. The battle music while attacking banditos in Mexico also contains the screaming voices associated with Tuco in the same film.
The PS2 remake of Sega's Hokuto no Ken side-scroller for the Master System features a soundtrack consisting of vaguely similar renditions of the incidental music from the anime.
The NES licensed game Top Gun by Konami has, as its attract mode demo music, a suspiciously similar Version of "Danger Zone".
Konami's later game with the same flight engine, Laser Invasion, also features a different song similar to "Danger Zone" for the first mission.
In Bust-A-Groove (Bust-A-Move in Japan), Strike's theme "Power" contains a recurring sample of Michael Jackson's "Bad" and a similar back beat, to the point where its title is often mixed up with the title of Heat's theme— which is actually called "2 Bad", though it's (ironically) an entirely different song with no similarity to be found.
Wario Land: Shake It contains a few. "Soggybog River" is clearly a suspiciously similar version of "Eye of the Tiger" and "Gurgle Gulch" being one of the original Underground theme from Super Mario Bros.
"Celebrate" from the Dance Dance Revolution series is an obvious suspiciously similar version of "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire. Ironically, there was also a remix of the real "Boogie Wonderland" in some DDR mixes.
More as homage and less as parody, the theme to the The History of Sam and Max featurette on the Season 3 DVD is a live-instruments version of the theme to Sam and Max Hit The Road; particularly nice, since the Office Leitmotif from the Telltale series serves as their 'theme' in those. Unusually, the actual theme from Hit The Road is played in one of the episodes - perhaps Telltale had the rights to play the theme, but not to rearrange it?
"TKO" from season 2 is a blatant nod to the fight theme of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out! Warranted as it's used for a boxing minigame.
Talking about wrestling games, Aki's WCW/nWo Revenge could make this trope look like Kouji Niikura Version. Not only the main menu receives a knockoff, the Souled Out arena also gets one, in form of an extremely catchy, somewhat parasitic and insanely rockified version of Cammy's theme from Street Fighter Alpha 3. Just wait till the lead guitar kicks in. By the way, SFA3 was released two months prior to Revenge...
In Ring King, when you win a match in one player mode, you get a tune that is very similar to the one from "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Disney's Alice in Wonderland... you know, the part where it goes, "The time has come, the Walrus said, / To talk of many things: / Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, / Of cabbages and kings."
The soundtrack of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals consists mostly of Suspiciously Similar Songs of its predecessor's themes.
The saved game screen in the first Lufia resembles the theme song to Disney's The Wuzzles and to some extent "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from Song of the South.
The castle theme in the first game resembles "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
Unlicensed Sega Master System game The Dinosaur Dooley, released in the early 90's, had some blatant ripoffs of popular songs of the time - for instance the title screen music is based on the intro to Nirvana''s "Smells Like Teen Spirit", while the third level's music is clearly "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors.
Even Guitar Hero isn't immune to this. Bonus track "Yes We Can" from the second game sounds like a mariachi version of the Chicken Dance with a little CrazyBus thrown in there for lead.
"Beyond the Waves," the sailing theme from Dragon Quest II, bears resemblance to the opening of Johann Strauss Jr.'s "On the Beautiful Blue Danube". The castle theme "Chateau" sounds similar to Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major" and August Wilhelmj's arrangement "Air on the G String".
The Dragon Quest III castle theme "Rondo" sounds similar to Telemann's Viola Concerto in G.
The overworld theme of Dragon Quest III resembles the theme that plays during the ceremony at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope. Furthermore, part of the castle town theme resembles Henryk Wieniawski's Légende. There's also Jipang and March of the Siamese Children.
The final boss themes of the first and fifth game sound suspiciously similar as well.
The tower theme in Dragon Quest VI is reminiscent of the theme from The People's Court.
The Minor Circuit fight theme in the SNES Super Punch-Out!! kinda sounds like the theme of Corneria from the original Star Fox.
Additionally, Bald Bull's theme bears some resemblance to Aerosmith's Walk This Way.
Mr. Sandman's theme sounds a bit like the Get Weapon theme from Mega Man X.
One of the songs from The Incredible Machine: Contraptions is called "Hay Seed". Keen-eared players will notice that, disregarding the random comments interspersed, it sounds remarkably similar to an instrumental of Garth Brooks' "Against the Grain".
The end credit music in the computer game Timon and Pumbaa's Jungle Games sounds uncannily, incredibly, suspiciously similar to the song "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie, right down to its chord progression.
The cutscene music in The Ren and Stimpy Show: Veediots! is a similar song to "Turkey Trot" by John Longmire, used in the actual show many times.
In Stimpy's Invention, the jingle that plays during the customizedSegalogo sounds very similar to the Log theme song.note Log itself even appears leading the logo with its parade conductor's hat and baton.
The title theme of the disastrous N64 port of Quake resembles "Terrible Lie" by Nine Inch Nails, who also produced the music for the original PC version, and the N64 intermission music is a soundalike of the PC's.
On the subject of NIN, the first part of level 11 of Descent sounds like a sped up version of "Head Like A Hole".
While on the topic of racers, the Sega Dreamcast game Metropolis Street Racer has not one, but two similar songs: "Think About It" is a jazz version of "Sea Line" by Toshiki Kadomatsu, while "Show Me Your Love" resembles "Try Me Out" by Corona.
The "Game Over" music of the NES version of Dick Tracy plays a sad yet similar version of "Taps"... you know, the one that goes like... "Dun-da-duuuunnn... dun-da-duuuunnn..."
In the first NES adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the intro theme sounds similar to "Stone Cold Crazy" by Queen. The level 5 overworld map theme is kinda similar to the intro to "Come Together" by The Beatles.
A musical cue from Demon Attack for the Intellivision sounds suspiciously like Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance". Lampshaded in Classic Game Room when host Mark Bussler declares "I graduated...to the next level!"
Appropriately enough, most of the character themes in Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle take musical cues and riffs from classic rock pieces based on their characters' inspirations. A few examples:
Esidisi's theme has a piece that sounds like AC/DC's Back in Black
Yoshikage Kira's theme has a riff of Killer Queen.
The battle theme in Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria and Tales of Legendia sound suspiciously similar. Incidentally, while both titles have different composers (Motoi Sakuraba for Silmeria and Go Shina for Legendia), Sakuraba is the normal composer for the Tales of series.
The composer for "ASSimilation" states that he based "The Nerd Room" on a MIDI track submitted as the Overworld to Zelda's Adventure (there actually isn't an overworld theme) that happens to be Awesome Music in spite of this.
The music played on the main menu in The Pinball Arcade (as well as both its predecessors, the Pinball Hall of Fame collections) sounds like an instrumental version of, appropriately enough, The Who's "Pinball Wizard". In 2016, Farsight obtained the rights to use the actual song instead, complete with vocals.
In turn, Power Glove, the producers of the soundtrack, committed Self-Plagiarism with "Loaded", which is a suspiciously similar song to "Cyborg".
As pointed out by the The Angry Video Game Nerd, Sunsoft's Batman: Return of the Joker does this twice with music from Mega Man 2. In the NES version, the boss battle theme sounds like a faster version of Crash Man's stage. In the Game Boy version, the title screen sounds very similar to the Stage Select theme.
"That's Enough" from Jet Set Radio sounds very much like Fatboy Slim's "Always Read the Label", from the whistling, to the guitar and bass, to the vocal samples, to the way the track is structured in general. This comes as no surprise when you learn that Fatboy Slim is one of composer Hideki Naganuma's main inspirations.
The main battle music in Xenosaga Episode III resembles the theme to Inspector Gadget.
The menu music in The Legend of Dragoon syncs up well to the theme songs of Home Improvement and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The main boss battle theme's beginning also sounds like that of Final Fantasy VII.
She's just one. All her classmates from Gessen Death Cram School typically have their Leitmotif built around a recognizable piece of classical public-domain music, and Ryouna usually has a few bars of Swan Lake hidden in the metal guitar chords.
The original N64 South Park game features the "Alien Dancing Gizmo" weapon, a callback to the show's pilot where aliens shot beams that made people spontaneously sing and dance to the title song from the Looney Tunes cartoon "I Love To Sing-a". In the game, however, a similar-sounding original song is used.
It is readily apparent that the theme song that plays when you fight Ryth, a character from the Infinity Blade series that is fought as a Bonus Boss in the second and third installments, is more than a bit similar to Duel of Fates, the most iconic song in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Considering the battle against him involves a duel with lightsabers by another name and he speaks with a voice that sounds somewhat like Darth Vader's, it's clear that this is intentional.
"Gaster's Theme", accessible through an Easter Egg, bears similarities to the Eagle's Tower theme, also from Link's Awakening.
"Megalovania" contains a few nods to "Master of Puppets" by Metallica and the beginning sounds a little like Heat Man's theme from Mega Man 2. To say nothing of the obvious nods to Live A Live's Megalomania, which served as the game's boss theme.
Light Crusader's inventory theme sounds very similar to "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" from Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
Space Channel 5 Part 2 had Michael Jackson reprising his role Space Michael, but couldn't use Michael Jackson's music. So the level where Ulala saves him is played to a medley of merely Jackson-esque riffs and dance moves lifted straight from the likes of "Thriller," "Billie Jean" and "Smooth Criminal."
On the SNES version of Super Battleship, a part of the victory theme sounds similar to the hymn All Glory Laud and Honor.
Also in the fourth game, "Cronus"(Volcanic Stage part 1) and "Uranus" (Moai Stage) are similar to "Crystal World" and "The Old Stone Age" from Gradius II, resepectively, while "Hydra" (Liquid Metal) and "Dupon" (High Speed) respectively resemble "Sand Storm" and "Accident Road" from Gradius III.
The cinematic track "Space" in LittleBigPlanet 2 begins exactly the same way as Also sprach Zarathustra, but hits a different note and deviates from there. Especially odd, as Also Sprach Zarathustra is already in the game, but as a Funk Remix, which wouldn't really be mood-appropriate.
Princess Maker 2 summer theme has a resemblance to "Muchacha Triste" by "Los Fantasmas del Caribe".
Simon Lane of The Yogscast is available as a charity DLC character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed. However, instead of using the Yogscast's intro theme, "Gay Activity" by Clive Richardson, as his All Star theme, Sega went with a knockoff version. Which is ironic because "Gay Activity" is an old piece of production music and is in the public domain.
The song "Uwauwau" has near-identical chord progression to the Chordettes' "Lollipop".
The main melody of Roll's theme from Megaman: Battle and Chase and the piano melody present in all of Mephiles the dark's themes in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 are almost the EXACT same, besides Mephiles' version being lower. This is far more noticeable with the Chiptuned Rockman remix of the theme, as the lyrics are absent. These two characters who couldn't be more different have the same melody.
The rather obscure visual novel Tentama has, as a sort of main theme, a tune that sounds a lot like Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" (though with a mostly different melody). Related, albeit not an example, is the use of an abridged Pachelbel's Canon as another track.
The Khumbu Ice Falls theme from the third game, especially the intro, is suspiciously similar to Juno Reactor & Traci Lords' "Control", AKA Reptile's theme in the first Mortal Kombat film. Ironically, the game has three licensed songs by Juno Reactor.
In the PlayStation version of Tekken 2 (not the arcade version, which uses an almost completely different arrangement), the first third of the midboss theme, "Quiet Interim Report", resembles the progressive trance song "Joy" by Peter Vriends/Quadripart Project.
The second part of the first boss theme from Superman game for Sega Genesis sounds almost exactly like a second part of Stage 6 theme from the Famicom platformer Kaiketsu Yanchamaru 3. Likewise, the Stage 7 theme from Yanchamaru 3 sounds vaguely similar to Stage 1 theme from Superman. Not surprising, considering that both games share the same composer.