Hello, everyone! I apologise that I didn’t get anything worth noting for Project Imagination. So, instead, after being inspired by DuckofIndeed’s lists (Here and here) I figured I would post mine. I’ll put links on each song so you may hear it if you’d like to.
10: Treasure Trove Cove
Grant Kirkhope did a wonderful job on this. The world is a beach level, and I believe it captures the essence of the seaside. It’s high beat, fun, and has the perfect instruments to go with it. Though this level is commonly hated because of the shark, Snacker, I think it would be one of my favourite levels. Full of odd hippo pirates, angry crabs, and, as mentioned, a shark, it perfectly embraces the idea of a seashore adventure.
9: Click Clock Wood (Winter)
Ah, the wonderful sensation of walking through woods in winter! It has the perfect amount of xylophone (I believe), and the wind effect in the background completes it. I can’t say this level is a favourite. Dear goodness, I fell from the top of the tree many a time! But it is still a good world.
8: Freezeezy Peak
Christmas time once more! A level based entirely on Christmas, with a Christmas tree, Twinklies (alive Christmas lights), presents, and a huge snowman in the centre. As with Click Clock Wood, I died in this level a good six times, whether it be by the frigid water, the evil snowmen that feel the need to hit you with a snowball when you’re in a ten feet radius, falling, or crashing in an attempt to dive-bomb the abominable monsters. But, despite all of that and perhaps because of it, this world is one of my favourites.
7: Gobi’s Valley
We proceed from the Arctic on to the blazing hot desert, and what better way to express that than the sound of a snake-charmer’s flute and buzzards! This level is home to a palm tree, who, despite being right on an island in the middle of an oasis, can’t get a drink. It also homes a sphinx with a stuffy nose, strange statutes who make you fly through rings on their heads, a camel who can’t catch a break, and a snake-charmer with his snake. This is a hard level, because touching certain areas of sand hurts you, there’s dozen of enemies, and most of the Jiggies you collect have under-timed timers. Oh, timer! Why must you start counting down during the five second cutscene? I could be halfway up the pyramid by then!
6: Bubblegloop Swamp
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Frogs? Little rat friend, that cannot be a good song.’ Oh, but it is. Imagine it. You’re in a swamp. There’s Flibbits everywhere. There are red ones. Yellow ones. They’re everywhere. Jumping. Croaking. But after that, the trumpets start. Then the xylophone. Then the little frogs start singing. And that is perfect. This is my second favourite level. I love the feel of the swamp, the frogs, the crocodiles (yes, even mean old Mr Vile), and the turtles. Even if I must pause the game as they sing to write down the order. What makes this level so fun is that the water will hardly ever kill you, unless you are extremely clumsy. What made me die several times was the rude crocodile Mr Vile, whose mini-game involves eating Yumblies. If you fail to eat more than him, he bites you. That is why he is rude and vile, as his name boldly states.
5: Boggy’s Igloo (Sad version)
The sadness of children who did not get Christmas presents. The crying when their dad went looking for them and never came back. If it were to be played on piano, I believe it would have many flats. I love how the jingle bells that sounded so happy moments before now add such a tone of sadness.
(For those of you who may be wondering, yes, there is a happy version. Our bear and bird friends helped the polar bear father find the presents. You can listen to the happy one here.)
4: Clanker’s Cavern (Aquatic)
Ah, yes. The song you hear more than the actual level’s theme. Underwater. It has the calming sound of being underwater, but still keeps in mind that the water is full of rubbish and pollution. Oh, the times I have drowned in this level….
3: Rusty Bucket Bay
If you listen closely-actually, you don’t have to. You can hear the screams of every kid who played this game. If you swim in the water, you die. If you get on the ship, an enemy knocks you off in the oil that pretends to be water. If you get inside the ship, you’ll most likely end up in the engine room. Spinning cogs. Spinning fans. Spinning everything. Oh, did I mention that there are switches you have to hit inside the nightmare room to get a Jiggy? Did I also mention there’s a time limit to said Jiggy, and you have to swim at just the right angle to get it? And to make matters worse, it’s under the oil, which sucks your air supply quickly. Oh, poor Snorkel the dolphin, who is trapped under these perilous liquids… But, this level is one of the most clever in design, which is why it’s music is so far on this list. Clever usage of ship noises, whistles, trumpets, and that perfect ticking in the background.
2: Clanker’s Cavern
Now, how could I mention a simple redone version of this for water, and not the real thing? This is by far my favourite level. You start off at many pipes, then, when you swim through the one underwater, you are suddenly met with a huge, smiling, dirty, shark! As soon as he sees you, he asks if you can “Free Clanker so Clanker have fresh air.” Easy enough, right? Wrong. You swim yards under the surface, following his chain. By now you’re low on air. What can you do? That’s simple. No, silly, not swim to the surface. Clanker’s friend, Gloop, will give you bubbles to breathe. Swim through the key three times, and the star of the level is free.
1: Mad Monster Mansion Church
You’re inside a church, a huge one to be exact. Ghosts are between the pews, and something is playing the organ that takes up half the building. A closer look reveals it to be a ghastly hand who wants you to play the notes he does. You glance up, and the rafters are full of bats and skeletons. Perhaps hitting that switch and spending all evening trying to get into this place wasn’t a good idea. The music in this part of the level is perfect. The organ, the bells, everything about it is wonderful and fitting. My favourite part starts at 0:53 and ends at 1:15. This is certainly a perfect level with perfect music, which is why it is number one on my list.
Hmm, this post is proving to be quite lengthy. But I don’t mind. My favourite music from two of my favourite games must have a worthy, uncut list.
10: Old King Coal
My respect for Mr Kirkhope grows each time I listen to this one. He remixed a old, hill-billy country song to something like this. The Boss is all actuality is rather lame, though. Hit him with Eggs, his coal body crumbles a bit, hit him more, and repeat. But, stated somewhere by someone from Rareware, defeating this Boss is necessary to beat the game, as you need his train, Chuffy, to get to a later level.
9: Banjo’s House Blues
Now, don’t think this is some rag-time, high beat song. No. Banjo’s house was blasted by the villain and is ruined. Though this also has the rather humorous scene where not being able to count correctly made poor Bottles drop down in front of them, rising as an angel. But, all that aside, it is the perfect remix of the main theme of the series that captures the ruin of a home and friend.
Another good remix of the main theme. I love this series as it is the only one that shows the credits before the final Boss fight. It has a nice victory ring to it, does it not?
7: Klungo’s theme
Ah, the sound of a character who appeared in Banjo Kazooie that worked under the main villain. Who, in Tooie, decided he’d rather make his own game near the end of the game after being beat by both the bear and bird, and then his master. I like his final introduction, ‘Career Questioning Minion’.
If you turn to your left, you’ll see a white and grey rat who is convulsing on the floor because a whole world was full of dinosaurs. With the Boss a dinosaur too, of course. After beating him and his Mucloids, you help him hatch the eggs that fell from the nest. His wife had had enough of him, apparently. The little babies look just like him, just pink. And that last one seems a little chubby to fit in the little egg…
5: Cloud Cuckooland (inside the Trash Can)
A world full of silliness, strange flat creatures that hit you with sausages, and a jelly castle just wouldn’t be right without a giant trash can. The level’s music was remixed to sound like a garbage bin being hit over and over, though it still keeps the same oddity as outside of it.
One of the most calming places in the game has to have calming music as well, correct? As you look at the countless fish, buildings, pillars, and the like, you would think this place was perfect. Not really. A huge fish with teeth bigger than its body isn’t even the Boss. Though he did swallow a frog who has work above the water to do. I guess he does have a frog in his throat, eh? The Boss is a rude angler-fish that is convinced you are going to defeat him, take his Jiggy, drain the water, and leave him to flounder about until he dies. So the things in the level aren’t as pleasant as the level itself.
3: Mr Patch
A giant inflatable dinosaur who is as tired of customers and non stop work as the enemies outside his big top. If only Kazooie had kept her beak closed at the start, then he wouldn’t take up two-thirds of the tent! But shooting the patches on his body will make him smaller as the air is let out of him. He gets so small, however, it’s near impossible to hit him. But he has good music that’s hard to play on the piano, at least.
If you’ll look back to your left, you will see the same rat crying as her thumbs are wore away from moving and jumping, trying to get away from the visually impaired welding torch, who couldn’t possibly be visually impaired since he knows exactly where to aim. The only thing made me keep coming back was the music and small light of hope that maybe, just maybe, I would dodge the nuts, bolts, and electricity. And when he’d finally try to suck me up to shoot me out, I could hit him with Eggs that I was running out of. Good times.
1: In the Hall of the Zombie King
Have you ever went out of your way to listen to music in a certain part of the game? I can’t count the times I would go to poor, life-sucked, King Jingaling to hear this theme. I play it near flawlessly on the piano, though nothing can compare to the original which is found on Youtube, in the game, or on the Jukebox at Jolly’s Lagoon.
A very honourable mention is Hailfire Peaks played together which I was going to put in the list, but forgot when I was writing it.
That is my list! I hope everyone enjoyed the music. I also hope I didn’t make this too long…