Best Video Game Song Tournament, 1983-1989: Semifinals

We’re in the final week; today it’s the semifinals.

You can listen to the entire top 4 here. See the bracket here.


Voting will be live until Thursday, November 14th at 10:00 PM Pacific

Results from last round:
Contra – Jungle Theme (12) vs Castlevania – Vampire Killer (9)
Mega Man 2 – Dr. Wily Stage 1 (15) vs Metroid – Metroid Title Theme (7)
Akumajou Densetsu – Mad Forest (8) vs Super Mario Bros. – Overworld (15)
The Legend of Zelda – Theme (8) vs Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – Bloody Tears (13)

We’ve got a pretty stacked top 4 if I do say so myself. Bloody Tears is a legendary song in the Castlevania series, being used again and again over the years. Wily Stage 1 is the most iconic and beloved song from one of the era’s most stacked OSTs. SMB’s Overworld is probably the single most well-known piece of video game music ever, and second place is not especially close. And Contra’s Jungle Theme…

Contra is a definite Cinderella here. Its average margin of victory is just 3.5 votes. Every other song here has doubled up an opponent’s total at least once (Wily Stage 1 has done it every time!). But these tournaments wouldn’t be fun if it was just the 1 seeds bulldozing their way to the finals unopposed. Is Contra the true hidden gem of the NES era? It’s taken on SMB 3, Metroid, Mega Man 2, and Castlevania and survived each time. Can it pull it off again against the tournament’s biggest favorite?

And will SMB’s Overworld pull one out for the preseason prognosticators? SMB is inarguably a song that’s “supposed” to be here. But in this tournament “supposed” has had nothing to do with anything. Tetris’s iconic theme (probably that distant second in terms of recognition) fell in top 16. Zelda’s overworld wasn’t even nominated. Mario 3 lost every single matchup in the top 64. We’ve had a taste for blood this tournament; do we have a taste for Bloody Tears?