I think we can all admit that Pilotwings is basically a glorified tech demo. Created by Nintendo’s internal research and development team, it was basically an excuse to show off the features of the SNES, particularly the psuedo-3D Mode 7. Even so, it was an incredibly fun (if short) game, and the feeling I had when I first played it as a child has always stuck with me. No small part of that is due to the great music.
Not quite 20 years later, as I was settling in at my first full-time career job, I stumbled across the music again. The atmosphere of the office was noisy, so we were allowed to wear headphones and listen to music while we worked. I needed something that wouldn’t distract me; something relaxing, something without lyrics to listen to, and preferably something that I could listen to on repeat without getting annoyed. Of course, videogame music was the perfect match! I spent some time going through my downloaded collection of original-format music. I prefer listen to NSFs and SPCs instead of MP3s because I can listen for as long as I want without worrying about issues with looping. I would listen to a few songs and move along, but I generally wouldn’t stop for too long on one game.
That is, until I got to Pilotwings. There was something relaxing about the music. I could honestly listen to the skydiving theme for hours on its own—same thing with the hang gliding theme. I’d get annoyed after too long of the same song with other games, but something about the music from Pilotwings just made it endlessly listenable. Combined with noise-cancelling headphones, the hustle and bustle of the office barely came through to me.
Of course, it wasn’t the only thing I listened to while I worked there, and I eventually left. But, it’s always been a soundtrack I’ve come back to over the years. As I’ve recently started a new full-time position, I’ve been remembering the music and going back to that place in my mind. I figured I would share the feeling with our dear readers, who can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube below—or, if they prefer, download the SPC files and loop them for hours instead.