My limited (and only super recent) experience with Arc System Works’ fighting games suggests that they tend to always treat the moments before a match as An Occasion. Even when—nay, ESPECIALLY when—the Dragon Ball series is involved, that does not change.

Dragon Ball FighterZ
Toshiyuki Kishi, Hiromi Mizutani, Kenji Katoh, and Reno
“Match Start (Versus) Theme”

In the grander scheme of things, the match start visuals are relatively more static and basic compared to the dramatic cuts of something like BlazBlue: Centralfiction’s sequences, veering closer to something Marvel vs. Capcom 2-style. Not that I mind it so much; the music is too kick-ass for me to care.

It starts off doing that thing that short musical intros for fights or F-Zero races always do, a densely-packed eight seconds heavy on drum fills and rapid melodic riffs. Instead of simply fading out right then and there, however, something magical begins at the ninth second: The theme blasts off into a taut slice of 80's-tastic speed metal.

Fighting games rarely inspire the copious amounts of headbanging in me that this thing does before a match begins. Keep in mind, when encountered in-game, that happens on account of only ever actually hearing maybe 20 seconds of this at the absolute most! Which ought to illustrate just how potent the rock is with this one. I was prepared to write this entry from literally just that single piece of song; only in this moment, in the midst of writing it, have I first heard the whole thing, and am pleased that the rest of it is just as awesome.

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And it just sounds so succinctly like the Dragon Ball Z vibe, too. I am far from any sort of fan of the series, only seeing some from time to time on OG Toonami, yet the connection between this music and however much I remember being entertained as a kid is still utterly unmistakable. It perhaps helps that this also happens (whether intentionally or not) to stylistically fit in with the Western-specific “Rock The Dragon” theme of the show. Yet another piece of a whole game’s worth of delightful sound design.


RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.