I am by no means a smaller gentlemen. If you are familiar with the standup of Gabriel Iglecias, I would be in the Fluffy category. Of course I have battled my weight since I was a young child. While I would fluctuate on weight loss, there was always one constant that helped me when I was working out. Video Game music is that sort of music that gets my body to move. Whether it’s the main theme of Mortal Kombat, to Uematsu’s Searching For Friends from Final Fantasy 6 to even Jesper Kyd’s Venice Rooftops from the Assassin’s Creed 2 soundtrack, these songs are full of energy.
So starting off Healthy Listening Month, I will be listing off my personal top 20 songs to work out to. In order to keep these lists diverse, I am limiting it to 2 songs per franchise.
20: Gym Battle ~ Junichi Masuda (Pokemon Red/Blue)
Junichi Masuda, I choose you. Use Red/Blue Gym Battle. It’s super effective.
Gym Battle from the original Pokemon Red/Blue/Green is a good way to kick off this list. One can easily swap out this song for any of the new versions that exist, but I chose the original because to me, it works the best as a song to get you started. I am not sure what it is about this song. Perhaps it’s the fact that this song makes you want to succeed in game and it stems to real life. It’s a great a song to start off with. As I said you can choose any version of this song, but my preference is with the original.
19: Pillars of Creation ~ flashygoodness
I was born in 1985 and got my first Nintendo when I was 5 years old. I know the term Nintendo Hard and Tower of Heaven is the very definition of it. I am not here to discuss the game (if you are interested however you can go here to play it) but it’s music. One common theme in this list is going to be perseverance and success. Pillars of Creation can be considered the definition of success because this song makes you feel victorious. You over came your trials and now stand tall and proud. That is how I feel with this song.
18: Lower Norfair ~ Metroid Metal
If you read my Metroid Metal PAX East article, you know my thoughts on this particular track. It is a military march with a powerful, morale boosting chant. When I listen to this song, I imagine some military commander barking at his troops to work faster, or move faster. While not wanting to drop my life and join the military, it does help keep me focused on my goal and not waver.
17: Rox 300 ~ Anamanaguchi (Scott Pilgrim)
I brought Rox 300 out again because it belongs on this list. When working out, one is in need of high energy music and Rox 300 fits the bill. As I said in my other article, Rox 300 is much like the character herself. It is high energy and spastic. You will be hard pressed to keep up with the song itself and afterwards, even though you have only going at it for less then three minutes. It is a great track to have in my personal opinions.
16: Braving Tal Tal Heights ~ Disco Dan (LoZ: Link’s Awakening)
When it comes to music. Legend of Zelda has always been a personal favourite. With tracks like the iconic over world theme, the Windmill Hut, or Dragon Roost Island, the songs from Zelda are always there to make me feel better. Even some of the more lacklustre games have solid tracks to them. I have found some of the more upbeat tracks to be incredibly inspirational.
I had so many songs to choose from, I decided to go with a more obscure title. Braving Tal Tal Heights by Disco Dan is a song that makes you feel good. As I stated, this song is more obscure on OCRemiX, but is still a good track to listen to. It gives the listener enough of an oomph.
15: Dancing Mad ~ Original (Final Fantasy 6)
I have often praised Final Fantasy 6 as my favourite of all the 16 bit iterations of Square’s flagship title. Perhaps it was the music, the story or the characters. Or maybe it was a little known villain named Kefka Pallazzo. Whatever the case may be, Kefka’s final boss theme, a 2 part magnum opus called Dancing Mad is a song that redefines hope. The song is chilling in it’s presentation, with an ominous Latin chorus and epic band work. A song that forces yourself to fight on and not to give in to despair. The fate of all living beings depends on you.
So why does this song help me when I am working out. Like Lower Norfair, it forces me to focus on my goal. To stop the enemy at no matter the cost. Be the enemy a clown suffering from a god complex, or your own weight. A solid song at the 15 spot.
14: The Passing of the Blue Crown ~ (Mega Man 3)
Mega man has always had a good run musically. During this writing I had 2 different Mega man Mixes up for this spot, 2003 from Gecko Yamori and The Passing of the Blue Crown by Zircon, Steppo and Sixton Sounds. In the end, I chose the latter because it made me want to work harder at my goal. Don’t get me wrong, Gecko Yamori’s version of the Mega Man 3 Title screen is a good song in it’s own right, it just starts off too slow for me. By the time it gets to the good part, my mind has wandered and it makes me want to do something else. Passing of the Blue Crown on the Other Hand starts off at a mid speed and continues to accelerate, slowing down only for a quick breather before jumping right back into the fray
Like many of the songs on this list, it is one that reflects the characters determination to conquer their enemies. That is something I enjoy in music. Where the music itself is filled with such emotion that you can feel it. I love it and I feel it does a lot more good for the person. Not just to help them with their exercises, but emotionally as well.
13: Enter the Frog ~ JigginJonT (Chrono Trigger)
I am not sure what is about this song that makes me enjoy it so much. I like the character Frog from Chrono Trigger. After being given the Masamune, he stopped his self exile and looked to the future. He faced adversity with a determination. He is a hero that people idolize.
With tunes like this to listen to while doing your own exercises, it gives one a sense of their own determination. To push beyond ones own adversity with determination and look to the future with hope. To me, Enter the Frog by JigginJonT is a song that fills me with such emotions. When I listen to it, I can look forward to the future. It is not as high energy as the other songs on this list but it does it’s job right.
12: People Seized With Trance ~ ambient (Chrono Cross)
Working out does not necessarily mean going to the gym and doing a dozen reps, or running in the park. For some people, working out can be going to the club and dancing for hours on end. While People Seized With Trance is an excellent song, it is more suited for dancing then working out.
Now this isn’t a bad thing. As the old adage goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and I personally find working out after a while, it becomes monotonous and boring. Now while I am not much of a dancer, I find it more freeing and far more fun then regular working out. That is what makes this song work. It’s a great song for you to get on the floor and just dance the night away.
11: Give me all your love ~ WAKAKO (TWEWY)
The World Ends With You is quite possibly one of the best RPG released on the DS. With tight, intuitive controls, beautiful art design, likable characters and one of the best soundtracks of this generation of gaming. If you are a fan of J-Pop, then this is a solid soundtrack. But I am not here to promote this album at this moment, check back in September for that. I would like to single out one of the songs though.
Give Me All Your Love by WAKAKO is quite possibly one of my favourite songs on the album. With fun, if suggestive as hell lyrics and a beat that makes you want to move your body. Which is kind of the point if you actually have read the lyrics. The lyrics are solid, but what I prefer is the beat. Like the lyrics, it makes me want move my body. I love this song. Ishimoto Takeharu musical arrangement is spot on with this track.
There you have it, the first part of the top 10 list. Now again this is just my recommendations. You may have your own opinion on what you want to listen to. Come on back next week for part 2 or Music you can move your body by. This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.