April fools

Sound of Clay – or, how I stopped giving a damn and played videogames ’til my eyes bled

Welcome to our weekly podcast dedicated to videogame music – Sound of Play

What we aim to bring you with Sound of Play is a diverse weekly sample of some of our favourite pieces from the many air-punching, spine-tingling, tear-jerking and grin-inducing videogame soundtracks we’ve heard over the years. Of course, we don’t always get what we’re aiming for, though. This botched recording was going to be Sound of Play 87. Luckily Leon was able to step in at the last minute and give us a proper show.


 
Track listing for this show is as follows:

Who cares!

Sound of Play: 87.5 was edited by Ryan Hamann (@InsrtCoin)

3 Comments

  1. Darren Gargette

    Erm, guys. I thought this wasn’t going to be published?

  2. Spencer Saunders

    Thanks for playing my request!

    Ryan sort of skimmed over my heartfelt request, so I figured I’d toss it in here, as it seems to have vanished from the forum. Luckily its still copied in my clipboard for, uhh, reasons. Anyway, here it is:

    This Nintendo tune takes me back to a few years ago. It would’ve been December of ’13, or perhaps January of ’14; senior year of high school. I live in a fairly small town, with not much to do, however we are fortunate enough to have a small local games store. Most of their traffic comes in the form of board and card game enthusiasts, especially Magic: The Gathering. This isn’t to say that there aren’t also a fair few video game players that frequent the establishment. In fact there’s a rather pleasantly sized Smash Bros. Melee group that meets weekly to practice.

    Myself and a few friends practiced most nights after school, rotating between our various houses, in hopes that we’d one day be able to go to the store and compete. We not only played Melee, but also Project M. (for those who don’t know, Project M is a mod of Brawl, which brings back some of the speed and finesse of the GameCube title, but with the addition of Brawl’s roster.) After what felt like weeks or months of practice, though was likely only two, maybe three weeks at most, we challenged the local crew to a crew battle. 4v4, 4 stocks each. Only one of ours really stood a chance. Most of us didn’t even know how to wave dash, or if we did, didn’t know how to properly use it in a fight. So we were beaten handily, but weren’t ready to be counted out just yet. We challenged them to PM. It was late, probably a Friday or Saturday evening, and the snow was blowing ferociously outside. Everyone knew they’d have to drive home in the storm, and another crew battle was just delaying that inevitability.

    But they accepted. It was a close fight for sure, but this was our game to win, and win we did. I would’ve probably been playing Ivysaur or Peach at this time, though I honestly don’y remember. It could have also been Lucas, it’s really not important. What matters is that we won, and all was right. There was certainly some amount of trash talk, but it was all in jest and we shook hands at the end of it all. Except this was only the beginning.

    The store only began shuffling people out around one in the morning, wishing everyone safe travels. Some of us hung around in the parking lot, hoping the snow might stop falling just long enough to return to our homes. One by one, everyone left, a few together to keep practicing their Marth match-ups, but most were tired and simply went home. I think there were three or four others still left when I took off, but again, that’s an unimportant detail. While I normally listen to podcasts while driving, tonight I needed something to help me push through the snowstorm-turned-blizzard. Naturally I chose System of a Down’s Sugar.

    Something people don’t tell you about driving in the Indiana countryside during a blizzard is just how abundant deer are. It makes sense when you think about it. Not even the constantly roving packs of hunters are out in these conditions, so its much safer for them. Before this event, and in all my time since then, I’ve only ever had a few close encounters with deer. Normally you can see their eyes glowing long before you are in any danger of hitting them, and good drivers know to slow down for them. This night though they were out in droves. They started flooding out from the woods as soon as I crossed the city limits, and in seconds my car was drowning in a sea of hooves and fur (deer have hooves, right?)

    I was prepared to wait this out. I had some leftover snacks in my car from the crew battle, and a few episodes of Penny Arcade’s DLC podcast loaded up on my ipod. Despite my willingness to wait out the stampede, God or Mother Nature had another plan. A half hour into the stampede they decided going around my car was too much effort, and began climbing over top it. I’d like to say the roof of my had dealt with things like this before, but to my knowledge, it had not. Instead it buckled within the first dozen or so deer. (WARNING: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS FOR THE NEXT FEW SENTENCES) The first hole appeared above my back seat, a deer leg now dangling over a mess of school projects and CDs. A new sound accompanied this development: the cries of the legs owner as it was trampled. I don’t want to sound heartless, but there was still nothing I could do to alleviate the situation. Instead I tried to scoop up what I could from the back as the cries turned to whimpers, and blood seeped down the now still leg.

    Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry much longer. The structural integrity of the roof had been weakened, and within seconds of the first breach came another, this one right above my head.

    I can’t say whether the rest of the night actually happened, but it felt real enough to me. I awoke in an unfamiliar forest, )which isn’t saying much, as there’s probably only one forest that’d be familiar to me) with nothing but an over-sized marching band uniform and pair of headphones. Preferring not to wander a strange environment naked, I put the uniform on, and slid the headphones over my ears. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by this heroic theme! The headphones weren’t plugged into anything, and there was no volume control, but as I moved southward the tune became louder. Fans of competitive Smash Bros may know that there are only a few ‘legal’ stages, so we hear a lot of the same things over and over. This Zelda tune was a nice change of pace to the usual Kirby and Pokemon themes.

    Now, as with most things I try to create, this vision, dream, or whatever it was began falling apart in the third act, which I find odd, as you’d think my subconscious could pick up the slack, but whatever. I wandered about for probably an hour or two. Eventually the music became so loud that I had to remove the headphones. Also, listening to the same song over and over can really get to you. When I finally reached the edge of the forest, there was a bright light. Also a tunnel. My mind is really uninspired when it comes to rendering embodiments of traumatic experiences. When I crossed the threshold of the tunnel gravity slid from under me to in front of my, at the end of the tunnel. Without anymore trees or shrubbery to brace myself against, I fell forward. The light became all consuming. The music had turned into an indiscernible drone.

    Then I woke up. I was in my basement, on the couch. In front of me Melee was on on the CRT TV. Apparently I paused it on Corneria, where I was practicing wave dashing with Ice Climbers. The first thing I did was of course check the garage. My car was fine, no holes or even hoof marks. I didn’t mention the events I had experience to any of my friends or family, lest they get worried I had fallen asleep at the wheel or something. Occasionally I’ll test the waters and see what others can tell me about that night. Everyone that was at the game store remembers the events there just as I do, but beyond that everyone seemed to have gone home as normal, with no absurdly large packs of deer. They even downplay the blizzard.

    Whatever happened I’ll never forget waking up to the music of this colorful Nintendo classic, Starfox 64. I stumbled across this rather specific remix that starts with Zelda music, but then takes a quick shift into Corneria. I feel like it really captures that night.

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