When I talk to others about how games can captivate me, it’s often about plot devices, gameplay innovations or photo-realistic visuals. Even for me, what a game feels like only seems to depend on these factors. The music? It is often a matter of taste, sometimes even totally irrelevant!
But there is a genre in which the music significantly changes the feel of the game: horror games. When people discuss whether the first Resident Evil is more of an action or a horror game, they usually talk about how the fixed camera or the so-called tank control contributes to it. But they just need to listen! Because music and sound play such a special role in this genre. Harmless situations must be oppressive. Silence conveys isolation. Sudden noise is a sign of immediate danger.
All of this happens in Resident Evil. But above all, there is this one tune that finally gives you a feeling of security and relief: Masami Ueda’s Save Room Theme. Because only after entering a storage room, you know that you are protected, can breathe in deeply and ultimately save your progress. That makes it special – it’s the hymn of survival in this survival horror milestone.
Resident Evil was released in 1996 for the PlayStation. The game was reissued as a remake for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 and has since been published on numerous other platforms – the Save Room Theme presented here also comes from this version.
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