Ballin' Overworld (Music)

What‘s some great overworld music? Feel free to interpret this as loosely as you want, but the quintessential overworld experience is that first time your little protagonist’s sprite/model morphs into an even littler protagonist as they are thrust into the game‘s world at large. Great overworld music can elicit feelings of adventure, hopefulness, despair, desolation, heroism, wonder, and anything in between. Here’s a couple selections to get the ball rolling:

The Terranigma music falls squarely into the "adventurous" camp for me, with just a hint of mystery, which is a perfect way to start a journey to rebuild a broken world.

I had to include a Final Fantasy game here, and I don't think anything is quite as wonderful as that wistful melancholy of the score accompanying the party's emergence from the Rotting Pizza.

As anyone who may be following my recent posts may have gathered, I am enraptured by SMT Nocturne at the moment, and the Large Map theme has played no small part. This track perfectly encapsulates the idea of a slick modern world swallowed by weirdness.

I'll leave it off with one more SMT track--I haven't played IV yet, but the first time I heard this song I knew I had to some day!


I have to throw in one more that would be criminal to overlook:

As I discussed in the [ambient music thread](, this is an incredibly textured track, espscially considering the medium it was being produced for. Perfectly bleak and foreboding.

More than the orca chase or whatever else, my Sonic Adventure “this is next-gen!” memories are most acutely triggered by Theme of Mesmerizing But Almost Entirely Empty Hub #1.

@“gsk”#p49024 The dream of the Dreamcast lives on forever in this song

It was on hearing FFXV's “Wanderlust” that I was duped yet again into thinking the game would be everything I had hoped (whatever that was…)

It doesn't have an overworld theme as such but this is pretty close.

If Lost Odyssey actually had an overworld, by god, this would be the theme:

(if memory serves (lol) it rarely if ever takes long enough to load to play the guitar part)


@“a non-threatening cube”#p49022 Feel free to interpret this as loosely as you want

[joke answer](


@“captain”#p49052 joke answer

_joke answer, joke answer_ (applause)

I was just praising how unbelievably good Shin Megami Tensei V soundtrack is in its own respective thread. Coincidentally, the song I used as an example is the overworld track for the last major area of the game.

@“JoJoestar”#p49065 I know I’ll be playing V next, so I’m holding off on indulging in the music too much until I can hear it in context. After playing some of Nocturne I was confident enough that I would love the new OST that I actually tracked down the premium edition, which I’m patiently waiting for to arrive!

@“a non-threatening cube”#p49069 That‘s completely fair. Honestly, you don’t even need to hear the whole thing, the soundtrack is so good I think 30 seconds of any song should convince anyone of how well executed the music (and just the whole sound design) of this game is.

I find it extremely funny that the game got a nomination for best RPG on the Game Awards thing, which I think is debatable, but not for best soundtrack, which I think it's not. This is hands down and without a doubt the best soundtrack of the year. The only real contender is the Nier Replicant soundtrack, and even that would be cheating, because of it being a remake/rearrangement of an older game.

In Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean every island has its own overworld theme. This is the one I would listen to when I left the game running overnight to age some of my items:

@“baftaboo”#p49076 oh wow that bass is sick

This little anecdote is giving me an idea for another thread about when and why someone might leave a game sitting idle for extended periods…

SMT IV is the best SMT in my opinion so give that one a look!!!

A lot of these are going in the ambient direction. As for me, I like a driving overworld theme, so for that I go to classic PCE falcom games.

unbeatable! when I think of game music in general this is what I think of. also incidentally the newer insert credit theme was primarily inspired by pce falcom overworld themes.

@“exodus”#p49113 PCE Falcom music really unbeatable!

The Ys games sound so good! Sometimes when I'm playing games other people in my house ask me to turn the volume down a bit, when I was playing Ys they were like “Hey… turn that up!”.

Back onto ambient again though, the Chrono Cross OST is really incredible:

You give me an excuse to repost Tengai Makyō II: Manjimaru’s field theme, I am not gonna miss it.

Here is a cute quintet cover.

Here is an impressive solo MIDI keyboard cover.

And here is a frosty sunday morning hot cocoa at home vibe sax and flute cover.

I sure liked The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls's overworld track:

Okami's twofer of Shinshuu Plains and Ryoshima Coast, also: don't you hate it when a game doesn't realize that a banger is playing and insists on interrupting it every time, for example, a battle happens? Okami was a game that liked to get in its own way!!

@“chazumaru”#p49177 That Joe Hisaishi should consider composing for another video game or two, I wouldn't mind.

Might be the best overworld theme in the series, along with Tokyo from SMTIV.

@“exodus”#p49113 Yes! Can't forget Falcom. I just played Ys I for the first time this year and I was so glad that the Chronicles version allowed me to swap between all of the different OST arrangements on the fly. The PCE CD arrangement is excellent, though this was the version I heard most of the time:

Those Dragon Slayer tracks are hot! The Underground Cave track gives me some Casiopeia vibes--in my head I imagine Mukaiya going absolutely nuts on the keys. I could have _sworn_ I heard a vocal version of the Field music somewhere, but I can't seem to find it now (I spent a lot of the year listening to the Falcom Vocal collection).

@"connrrr"#p49181 I didn't know he did any game composing! I just got tickets to a Joe Hisaishi concert in January and I'm effervescing with anticipation :)

@"ukigusa"#p49189 The SMT overworld music was probably the tipping point for my making this thread! I tracked down the SMT 25th anniversary arrange album and this version of Tokyo from SMT IV stood out. It's definitely been Persona-fied and is probably not as good as the original, but I still love it:

Also, I just recently heard this overworld theme from SMT IV Apocalypse and I admire the sheer _swagger_:

I just remembered another, from Front Mission: Gun Hazard and it's an ominous one.


@“a non-threatening cube”#p49190 I just got tickets to a Joe Hisaishi concert in January and I’m effervescing with anticipation :slight_smile:

Holy cow, that's pretty exciting! Will it be all film scores or is there a mix of his personal work in his concerts too?

@“connrrr”#p49191 Based on the billing I think it’s going to just be his work with Miyazaki, but I’ll see if I can slip in some Tengai Makyō requests :wink: