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P-Vock's Music Box: Bound for Earth

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Last week's selection took me right back in time to 2015, so let's go waaaay further back. Let's head back to the year 199X as I tell you about a game you've likely heard about, but I know few people have actually played.

Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles, F-Zero. What do these games all have in common? The popularity they have today likely stems from their inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. series. However, in terms of franchises people only know thanks to Smash, none are quite like the Mother series. Mother, or EarthBound as it goes by in the west, is somehow a cult classic and one of the most influential video games of all time. Almost every game that largely focuses on humour and witty dialogue is immediately compared to this exceptional trio of pristine titles. Ness is one of the most recognizable video game characters, yet most people who could point him out a lineup with PTSD flashbacks to receiving a PK-Fire wouldn't even know that Ness doesn't even have that attack in his own game (nor does the other series rep in Smash, Lucas).

Enough grandstanding about this charming series, let's introduce you to the absolutely banging OST. to start, let's hit you with the uproariously upbeat theme the player hears as they enter their name and get ready to journey through EagleLand.

I don't know why, but this absolute jam instills a primal desire in me. A primal urge that I cannot contain. An urge, to shake my shoulders. I literally cannot listen to this certified bop and its infectious rhythm without feeling the urge to shimmy shake my shoulders. This is definitely the greatest Name-Entering-Accompanying piece of music ever created.

So that's a menu theme you hear before you even begin playing, how does the game greet you? With a meteorite in the middle of the night. After Ness and his dog fight an extraterrestrial suit of armour with the help of a rhinoceros beetle-like insect from ten years in the future (I know what I said), the sun rises on Ness's peaceful town of Onett and the player is greeted with a piece of music that just feels like home to me. Also, the town name is pronounced "One-Net", and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me on this.

I've played this game so many times. I've watched Let's Plays. I've accompanied people playing it for the first time. I've even just listened to this track more times than I can count. Despite this, I still get chills every single time I hear that incredible opening. What immediately follows is just a tune that makes me feel good. I feel that, just like Ness, I'm a kid just walking around town alone and exploring. Though for Ness, he's alone because his friends are not there, I just had no friends for most of my childhood.

While this bop definitely feels joyful and carefree, the synthesis undertones that remind me of a 16-bit theremin give this track a slightly sinister feel. It's as if this track is perfectly foreshadowing something sinister. It's almost like this track is telling you "It's peaceful now, but you WILL be traumatized at the end of this game." This is yet another tune that has wormed its way into my head and refuses to leave and I don't want it to leave.

The world continues to be a terrible place, but I hope these fun beats have given you at least something to smile about. I hope your weekend is as excellent as EarthBound, which is now available on the Nintendo Switch so please play it, or else you'll make Ness's dog cry. Stay safe and Stay Brutal, and I'll catch you next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

PS. Yeah, I can't give you only two tracks. I mentioned Smash about a billion times in this column, so here's a wonderful remix from Smash that combines Onett's banger of a theme with another absolute jam from a snowy winter scape.

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