The ideal "final level" music

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The ideal "final level" music

Postby Reactor » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:14 am

I surmise, the final level of a game should be the most dramatic one, as the story, the events of the whole game come down to that very last stage, the final confrontation, the battle between good vs. evil, and all the juicy stuff which usually comes with a final level: very high difficulty, the toughest boss, various taunts like "Prepare to meet your DEMISE!" or "Finally I can kill you and then I'll RULE THE WORLD! Mwhahahahahahaha!", and of course, a very special and distinct music.

I don't know about you, but I'm really curious what kind of song I'll get for the last level of the game, especially if it's a big bossfight with the mastermind of ultimate evil. Majorly, I noticed two different kind of final level songs: an action-packed, quick and heated track, much like Xaero's theme from Quake 3, Wolfenstein 3D boss level songs or E3M8: Dis, or a very slow, sorrowful, depressing music signifying utter hopelessness and the feeling of "all is lost", like E1M8: Phobos Anomaly, Resident Evil 3, Sniper Path of Vengeance, X-Wing, and so on.

My question is: what kind of final level music you prefer? What type of final music you find fitting to the last level of the game?
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Dancso » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:19 pm

For me it really depends of the level's pacing.
If you fight enemies nonstop, or there's a feeling of constant danger, then I'd say an action track is best.
However, if there's a lengthy buildup until you actually get to fight the boss, a slower track might be fitting. You could also switch to a fast track right as the battle begins.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Kinsie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:34 pm

There's no automatic right answer. It has everything to do with the setting, mood, build-up, plot (should you be one of those hippies that are big on that) and the battle itself.

Creating a contrast against the other scenes in the game is also a potential factor: Dark Souls, for example, casts aside the loud extravagant orchestras and titanic creatures for its final battle, which is a 1-on-1 fight soundtracked by a single piano.

And then there's multiple-stage final boss battles and... ahh, there's too many possible factors to dissolve into a simple scientific formula. Just focus on making it memorable!
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Reactor » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:45 pm

You must have misunderstood me :) I wasn't looking for a right answer, I wish to know your opinions, and what kind of final level music you find fitting (for what final level, bossfight or not). So far, all answers are good!
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby XCVG » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:02 pm

It really does depend on the game. I agree with Kinsie on this one, though I think tone is the biggest thing to look at. In an intense, action-packed game with a rocking metal soundtrack, you probably wouldn't want to suddenly throw classical music in for the final boss. Conversely, a dark, brooding game probably shouldn't have a light and energetic final battle. Then again, contrast can work if it's done right.

I disagree that one level=one track as you may have asserted. A change in music at a critical point can make a bigger difference than the choice of music itself. If I remember correctly, the original Halo was specifically designed to shift music with the action.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby TheMightyHeracross » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:18 pm

If there is one constant, it should feel more dramatic then most of the other tracks. Knee Deep in the Dead's E1M8 gives a feeling that something important is going down, right now. If the E1M2 music was used instead, or even E1M1, it wouldn't be as great of a boss fight, because they don't give that feeling.
I otherwise agree with everyone else- the genre itself depends on the situation, but what I mentioned applies to all genres.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Matt » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:31 pm

What Heracross said.

Sombre, melancholy, austere.

Now the map right before that, of course...
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby SamVision » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:27 pm

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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Medicris » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:46 pm

SamVision wrote:Something like this.

This wins. Sit down.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Zanieon » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:21 pm

For literally ending, i mean for something like the ending messages of doom episodes i see 3 options:

If dramatic, everyone looses

If intriguing, everything reveals at ending

And of course, if everyone wins
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby YukiHerz » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:33 pm

If the fate of the world is in inminent danger.

It all depends on the effect it will have on the player.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Reactor » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:11 pm

Excellent choices! I knew I was at the right place asking this question. It's very interesting to see how different your viewpoints are, when it comes to the dreaded final level, where (hopefully), the good earns its reward, and so does evil the punishment. Hm. You're also right about that it depends on the current ending - if the hero dies, it can influence the music, too. This is why I said that there is no "right" answer.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Zanieon » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:25 pm

Speaking of which, strange that this isn't mentioned here before, because the music is simply awesome yet very atmospheric to the game.
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby UTNerd24 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:04 am

Probably the most insane MiDi ive ever heard. Too bad it isint the last level music.
Also this isint even the full version. The full one goes for 11 minutes!
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Re: The ideal "final level" music

Postby Kostov » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:32 am

La Villa Strangiato, YYZ or The Big Money, all by Rush, for rock-oriented sound.





The midis for La Villa Strangiato where I usually look for midis (here) don't kick in the guitar distortion when they're supposed to (and they use picked bass when Geddy Lee is a fingerstyle player!). However, I can fix it if you decide to use it.

The midis for YYZ there also get the string part wrong. Again, nothing I can't fix.

The Big Money's okay, but the snare drum in the intro of the midi isn't as synthetically powerful as it is in the real version. I think I can fix this.
Last edited by Kostov on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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