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Something the 3D Sonic games got right: Boss Music

Illustration for article titled Something the 3D Sonic games got right: Boss Music

Sonic the Hedgehog games have been pretty hit or miss ever since the Genesis/Mega Drive era. They have either been critically acclaimed gems (Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations), flawed but fun (Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Unleashed), or complete failures that feel so rushed that you wonder if someone actually play-tested it before launch (Sonic ‘06, Sonic Boom).

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However, despite the quality of games, many of them have one thing in common: awesome boss music.

And a quick note before we go any further. Yes, some of these games are terrible, borderline unplayable messes. But not all. And even the worst of games have a silver lining. Except Sonic Boom. Even it’s music was an uninspired joke.

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Anyway, back to the topic at hand. When Sonic made the jump to 3D, a lot of changes were made, especially the music. They moved from the limits of the 16-bit consoles and dove headfirst into CD quality audio. This led to Sonic Adventure’s fully realized pieces of music complete with lyrics, where the game and it’s characters would have their own personalized theme song. This led to some great music that would set the tone for each game’s final battle.

This resulted in the main theme “Open Your Heart” that played during the final fight with Perfect Chaos as Super Sonic:

Seriously, going into that fight as Super Sonic with this playing in the background got me pumped. Shame it only plays for the first half of the fight.

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They continued this trend in the sequel Sonic Adventure 2, where you fly through space as Super Sonic and Hyper Shadow to the tune of “Live and Learn”:

Again, great theme to fly around as Super Sonic.

Then, we got Sonic Heroes, whose final boss theme “What I’m Made Of” can’t be heard anywhere else in the game:

Again, great rock theme to accompany an amazing fight.

Now these next 2 are a little different, as instead of just using the main theme, or an original composition, they decided to use orchestral versions of the games theme instead.

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First, Sonic ‘06:

and then Sonic Unleashed:

For me, these are actually better than the original themes they’re based on.

Everyone of these songs provided great backdrops for these fights, and helped set the tone for the player, as well as make these games far more memorable.

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As a final note, I’ll leave you with my favorite theme from any Sonic game. It’s not a boss fight theme, but I could listen to it all day - SA2’s Pumpkin Hill:

These are just some of my favorites. Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.

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