Classic Game Music for Halloween – Symphonies of Horror

Halloween is only a little over a week away, so let’s enjoy some more horror tunes. Continuing my four-part series on classic game music for Halloween, this week’s offerings focus on sinister symphonies and virtuoso villainy. A little classically-inspired doom and gloom is sure to add a tone of sophistication to your Halloween festivities.

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Castlevania Symphony of the Night (1997)

Developed as an action roleplaying game for consoles, Castlevania Symphony of the Night focuses on the story of Dracula’s son Alucard, and his struggle to destroy his father. This slow and hypnotic composition proceeds in a stately triple meter while creatures of the night weave their voices into the serenade.

Shadow Man (1999)

Remember when they used to say that if you played certain heavy metal records backwards, you’d hear Satanic messages? Well, this certainly isn’t heavy metal, and the message is more disturbing than outright Satanic. Who knew that Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata would be so creepy in reverse? The game is a horror-infused action-adventure mixing voodoo mysticism with apocalyptic dread.

Evil Dead: Hail to the King (2000)

Sometimes, only a strong dose of demonic Latin will make a Halloween music experience complete. This track delivers. Evil Dead: Hail to the King continues the survival horror adventures of Ash Williams, the star of the Evil Dead franchise in video games and on the silver screen.

Arcanum (2001)

There’s nothing like a slimy dungeon to invoke those feelings of horror that are so complimentary to the Halloween season. Fortunately, the Arcanum roleplaying game has multiple dungeons, some crawling with the undead. This track, written entirely for string quartet, captures the mood in a horrifically elegant way.