GZ Music Corner: Amazing boss battle themes that got my blood pumping

Live and learn!

I'm a bit obsessed with video game soundtracks. It's part of the reason why I've been so keen on supporting YouTube Red because now I basically have an ad-free playlist of nearly any video game soundtrack known to man. It pumps me up to walk around listening to the Rhythm Heaven Fever soundtrack.

What pumps me up more though are the sounds of boss themes, which are always appropriately epic, and somehow mesh with the action so well.

I won't go off on a tangent here and present you a list of 50 amazing boss battle themes, even though I know I could, if not more. Instead, I'll focus on the top five that are more often than not on the top of my list whenever I think of badass boss music.

Live and Learn – Sonic Adventure 2

While I realize that the first Sonic Adventure also had a pretty amazing boss theme (Open Your Heart) but there was something much more amazing about Sonic Adventure 2's Live and Learn.

The music and battle meshed so well together. Let's set up the scene shall we? Sonic and Shadow essentially go super saiyan after collecting all the Emeralds, and then battle a giant Prototype lifeform in outer space. All of that happening while Crush40 performs Live and Learn just makes it one of the more epic moments of any game, despite the boss actually being somewhat lackluster. Video source.

The Opened Way – Shadow of the Colossus

I hold Shadow of the Colossus close to my heart. It was truly a unique title that I actually played before I ever touched ICO. There are multiple reasons why this battle theme in particular sticks out to me, and empowers the action happening on screen.

As the name implies, The Opened Way starts playing during a few encounters, after you found out the Colossi weakness. It's a moment of brief triumph, as it signifies progress, and just one step in taking these giant beasts down.

However, something I picked up on very early, even before I realized what the game was about, was the rather somber melody the song has in some points. After continually stabbing the first Colossi I encountered, and hearing this tune in the background, I felt remorse. It's a testament to the song that it was able to illicit such a response from me, considering I didn't even know what the game was about at the time. Video source.

One-Winged Angel – Final Fantasy VII

It's no surprise that One-Winged Angel made the list. It's not only the song that plays during one of the most crucial battles of Final Fantasy VII, but it also introduced actual vocals on top of the music.

While future renditions were infused with an orchestra rather than just midi instruments, or even hardcore metal renditions of the song, I still consider the original to be my favorite. After all, you don't really forget facing a super soldier with a 68 inch sword, and the song that's playing in the background. Video source.

The Almighty – Persona 4 / Golden

This one was a bit of an odd choice for me. After all, the standard battle themes in Persona 4 and P4 Golden are amazing in their own right. However, since I concentrated on picking boss themes, I went with The Almighty, which plays during the fight against Ameno Sagiri.

I won't get into too many plot details here, since they would spoil who or what Ameno Sagiri is, but the tune that plays during the fight has a really great melody to it, that starts at around the 1:20 mark. The song has a sense of urgency, but also a sense of hopelessness. These kids are fighting what is essentially a God, and while they have the determination to take it down, it's still a huge undertaking, and the song perfectly exemplifies that. Video source.

Otherworld – Final Fantasy X

Otherworld or more commonly known as the Jecht Battle theme certainly belongs on this list. For one, it's an amazingly out of place song. We first get a taste of it during the game's opening sequence when we get our first glimpse at Blitzball, but it really doesn't kick in until the party faces Jecht. In stark contrast to the game's melodic soundtrack, it's the only one that's heavy metal, complete with metal vocals, so when it starts, you know sh*t's about to go down. Video source.

Like I said, I could go on with my favorite boss music from a staggering amount of titles, but I've kept this brief in hopes of sparking some discussion with you guys. Let me know what favorite Boss Battle themes you guys love below.