Surprisingly, in our vast library of discourse on the subject of Crystalis and The END DAY, we’ve never mentioned the rockin’ soundtrack. Let’s change that.
We can even start before the beginning. When you first load up the game, you’re given a prologue that really sets up the entire experience.
Even without the visuals, the music itself gives you a sense of the troubles ahead, but ends up a hopeful note (before, in the game, leading directly into the triumphant opening fanfare). For the era, the scoring here is surprisingly cinematic—more than just a looping chiptune, it sets the mood and is timed with the on-screen story.
The same can be said for the new-game intro.
You only listen to these two at the beginning of the game, but there are plenty of great area themes heard throughout. The town theme is up there on my list next to Zelda II and River City Ransom, and the same with the field theme.
The real magic happens in the dungeons, though. I’ll let the music speak for itself.
Not everything is perfect. A few songs always grated me a bit, but considering how well the developers made the music suit the mood, maybe they were trying to make you feel annoyed…as if those flying bug things that spray paralyzing gas weren’t enough.
And with the switch from fantasy to sci-fi as you reach the end of the game, the music keeps pace with the theme from the floating tower. If the town theme is up there with River City Ransom, the floating tower theme is up there with TMNT II: The Arcade Game.
I can’t hear this theme without thinking of cool and sunny days in early Autumn. It might not match well with pumpkin spice and fuzzy sweaters, but Crystalis has been part of my October routine for so many years that it’s hard to shake the association.
We’ll leave you with one of the best ending themes on the NES. It’s a really fun close to a great game, and I’ve always loved the musical representation of a question mark at the very end. Will there ever be a sequel? The world may never know!
For the full playlist, I grabbed the individual videos from here.