It’s Halloween! And you know what it means... go get your costumes, and your disgusting candy corn because it is time to sit in the dark and listen to spooky music from spooky and not-so spooky games.

The last time we compiled a list of songs for Halloween, the majority of the songs came from titles that were not necessarily horror games. This year is no different.

Most of the songs in this list explore the horrors of human kind, whether it’s a psychotic human wearing a rooster mask, a nuclear holocaust, or the implications of giving you the power to create your own sadistic levels - Spooky songs will always be part of our journey in the world of video games.

Mother 3

Red-Green-Yellow-Yellow ♪ - Shogo Sakai

Kids… do not eat mushrooms. No seriously, stay away from them. Yo don’t want to fall into an acid trip that makes Moonside look like a children’s cartoon.

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Mother 3 is, unlike its predecessor, an extremely personal and somewhat mature affair. The demons of your past will haunt you, people you thought were gone will talk to you as if nothing happened, and more often than not they will blame you for the actions that happened three years ago.

Oh... and who could forget that mailbox... that mailbox with the one thousand rat corpses.

Yikes...

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Spooky Scraps, Don’t Get Scared - Tomoya Tomita and Misaki Asada

I’ll be honest… Yoshi games don’t scare me, they don’t scare you, they don’t even scare my neighbor’s neurotic Chihuahua. But look at how hard the game tries to evoke a sense of horror, the title of the song says it: Spooky Scraps. It also tries to encourage you not to be scared by the spookiness of the level. If there is something I learned through all the years I’ve been playing video games, is to be spooked when a colorful and upbeat game changes its direction completely for one level.

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Or did you forget the Piano in Super Mario 64?

Half-Life 2: Episode 2

Shu’Ulathoi - Kelly Bailey

Half Life 2: Episode 2 is one hell of a bumpy ride. Not content with Gordon and Alyx’s interfering their plans to control the earth, the Combine throws everything and the kitchen sink. Remember that time the car broke down and Gordon had to use his MIT knowledge to fix it? How about the time he became an entomologist and explore the Nectarium to extract the Larva Extract?

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During the sort-lived adventure the duo jumped from one near death situation to the next, including the too close too comfort encounters with the extremely overpowered Combine Advisors. If there’s one thing more heartbreaking that being left in the blue regarding the next entry in the series, is having the memory of the these space-maggot creatures extracting the life out of Eli Vance.

Madworld

Crazy - Doujah Raze

The worst part about Madworld is how literal it is, and that also happens to be its best, funniest feature. Not only do the Deathwatch Commentators in Madworld’s violent, reality television game show recap the action play by play with some colourful language, but the hip hop, rap and rock influenced soundtrack hilariously does the same.

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Madworld is campy as all hell, with anarchists and punks roaming its streets looking to bloody their spiked bats. In another part of the city there is an old crumbling castle from Transylvania carried across the sea in tact because a rich fool wanted one. With it, a flimsy excuse as to why zombies exist, as if they are an accepted part of Madworld’s reality. That’s just how it is, and there’s no real reason to question it. And why should you? It’s best to enjoy the ride, bashing zombies and werewolves under the full moon and—you know? Just listen to the song. It’ll set up the scene for you.

Fallout 3

Tranquility Lane - Inon Zur

What a lovely neighborhood, the people are always friendly and Mrs. Rockwell cookies are to die for, although I do think Old Lady Dithers needs some help, she’s always talking about some sort of weird dream.

I want to live in Tranquility Lane forever… but first, can we get rid of Betty? She gives me the creeps and she won’t even let me try her trycicle! She doesn’t even behave like a girl, she’s always telling stories of the Pint-Sized Killer and how she wants to ruin everyone’s lives…

It’s like… she’s the personification of the devil himself.

I... hate Betty!

- Timmy Neusbaum

Parasite Eve

U.B. — Yoko Shimomura

An Ultimate Being needs a theme that starts with suspense leading to an intense electronic pounding with an exciting presence which builds to grand operatic highs. Yeah, that’s Parasite Eve for you. The Rated M 1998 Square game had a soundtrack that mixed classic horror elements with harpsichords and pianos with fast beats and opera. It was characteristically fitting for the urban darkness of New York City, and Aya Brea’s beat as a rookie cop in the Big Apple. At least for this version of NY with spontaneous combustion and the orange blobs that used to be people.

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Runbow

It’s Spooky Without You - Dan Rodrigues

I know what you may be thinking... what is Runbow? And why choose this song over the sound of Boos dancing disco music?

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To answer the first question, Runbow is a spooktacular game in which you race against 8 other players as you traverse various lands inspired by movie genres. One of the worlds is called Monster Manor, which as you can deduce, is inspired by classic horror movies. Levels are full of traps, sarcophagus, ghosts and bottomless pits. It is indeed spooky to go alone.

Regarding the second question, a certain banshee was haunting me on my decision to choose a carousel of dancing Boos over this song. I get spooked easily.

killer7

American Diplomacy - Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda

Set in an alternate reality in which humanity has managed to achieve world peace through the most unorthodox means. That period of prosperity died soon after a terrorist group called Heaven Smile struck the UN headquarters. Geopolitics, cyberterrorism and a multitalented assasin, killer7 has a plot that could fit inside the Metal Gear Solid universe. And yet, it is the quintessential Suda51 title: Bizarre, quirky, bloody and yes, controversial.

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Super Mario Maker

Super Mario World Castle Theme Edit Mode - Koji Kondo, Naoto Kubo and Asuka Hayazaki

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No spooky list is complete without a Super Mario Bros. song. For the last 30 years the series has left its mark in the horror department, whether its the first time you encounter the King Koopa at the end of the castle or the pursuing Phanto in Super Mario Bros. 2.

Game after game, no matter who the composer is, I always look forward to the bleakest tune in the game. Super Mario Maker took me by surprise this year, not only the game came up with two new Ghost House themes, but each theme in the series was given a fresh coat of paint thanks to the editor mode. And yet… no song matches the air of madness and the macabre undertones of the Super Mario World’s Castle Theme in Edit Mode.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The Sorrow ~ Everlasting Fight - Harry Gregson-Williams and Shuichi Kobori

Sad...
So Sad...
A host of sorrows...
And you are one of them...

“Fighting” The Sorrow has to be one of the most ethereal experiences in any Metal Gear Solid title to date. Surely Psycho Mantis broke the fourth wall by reading your thoughts and taking control of the controller, but The Sorrow takes you to a realm in which you’re haunted by the spirits of every single soldier you’ve killed in your journey through Tselinoyarsk...

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And the only way to get out of this dream is to let him take your soul...

Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Undead - Robin Beanland

Few games have managed to be as multi-faceted and as successful as this Nintendo 64 swansong by the former cool studio know as Rareware.

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In one instance you’re fighting a Soprano Turd, and the next one you were obliterating zombie squirrels in a graveyard, in the most survival-horror-esque of perspectives. Conker’s Bad Fur Day is one of the most versatile games I’ve ever played, forget about GTA, few games have managed to do a complete change of gameplay as successful as the 2001 title. In the Undead chapter of the game, the camera sits over the shoulder of the squirrel, Conker’s agility goes down to zero as he channels Chris Redfield, forget about running or jumping it’s all about the tank controls as you explore a giant mansion full of zombie squirrels.

The things we do for money...

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Richard - Life Companions

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and its soundtrack are a lot of things, including terribly creepy. A lot of that has to do trying to piece together its twisted story. No matter how close I get to figuring things out, there’s always one puzzle that has no definitive solution—Richard. The rooster mask wearing character is a manifestation of...what exactly? Death? Everyone’s subconscious? A Devil? No matter his designation, when Richard shows up it’s never a good sign with a theme that’s disorienting, and oppressive.

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Sonic Adventure 2

A Ghost’s Pumpkin Soup (feat. Hunnid-P) - Jun Senoue, Fumie Kumatani, Tomoya Ohtani and Kenichi Tokoi

You know me, the fighting freak Knuckles
And we’re at Pumpkin Hill
You ready?

I ain’t gonna let it get to me, I’m just gonna creep
Down in Pumpkin Hill I gots to find my lost piece
I know that it’s here, I can sense it in my feet
The great Emerald’s power allows me to feel
I can’t see a thing but it’s around somewhere
I’m gonna hold my head ‘cause I have no fear
This probably seems crazy, crazy, a graveyard theory
A ghost tried to approach me and got leery

Ask him a question and he vanished in a second
I’m walkin’ through valleys cryin’ pumpkin in the alley
Didn’t seem happy but they sure tried to get me
Had to back ‘em up with the fist, metal crack ‘em
I’m hearing someone saying you a chicken, don’t be scared
It had to be the wind, ‘cause nobody wasn’t there
I searched and I searched as I climbed up the wall
And then I started to fly, I went in deeper

Let it get to me? I’m just gonna creep
Down in Pumpkin Hill I gots to find my lost piece
I know that it’s here, I sense it in my feet
The great Emerald’s power allows me to feel
I can’t see a thing but it’s around somewhere
I gotta hold my head, I have no fear
It probably seems crazy, crazy, a graveyard theory
A ghost tried to approach me, he got leery

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Do I really need to give a reason why I picked this song?


Happy Halloween everyone! Hopefully you’ll enjoy this list as much as we did while writing it. If there’s a song that we missed don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below.

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Follow Nach on twitter at @Nach212. It might come as a surprise, but he really doesn’t like Halloween. You can read his other articles here.

Follow N. Ho Sang on Twitter at @Zarnyx. She claims Halloween is the third best day of the year. You can read her articles here.

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