Video games and harmonicas

Video games have a lot more harmonicas than most media I would say. Maybe movies have more. But especially in the 90s with certain synth packs, folks wound up using harmonicas a lot more than you would expect, certainly over represented in breadth and genre than you‘d find in popular music of the day. There’s a lot of mario sounds you could say are analog to harmonicas, and I probably blame mario for the whole thing.

Anyway, let's share some hot harmonica action in games, synth or otherwise. Note that I don't like harmonicas most of the time, but this one is pretty undeniable.

@“exodus”#p89828 wow, that’s some hot harmonica action, love the trills! I like how unlike a stereotypical harmonica track this is…I usually imagine something more in the lazy cowboy genre of music.

I’m still trying to think of some more examples, but I _love_ this track from Sonic Unleashed. I’ve never actually played this game (or any post SA1 Sonic for that matter…) but I listen to a lot of Sonic music comps and this is one of my favorite tracks:

i think the barret jukebox song from FF7R is great. plok less so.

Two personal favorites of mine are both on the SFC - which maybe isn‘t surprising, lol. I think some players may not have even detected that they’re harmonicas! It‘s used a couple times throughout Ihatovo Monogatari, but my personal favorite instance is in the “sad” arrangement of Kenju’s Village (should timestamp):

as well as the battle music for the near-future chapter in _Live-A-Live_:

Very different applications, but so soulful and passionate in each!

@“Funbil”#p89833 SFC is absolutely the Harmonica Console in my opinion but in the early PS era there were a lot of harmonica remnants. Obviously Wild Arms had to get in there.

that game was kinda frontloaded with harmonicas

just now thought of a great one

was difficult to think of one that shreds but somehow I clutched this one from the depths of my memory.

but, yeah that OP track goes so hard, I can see why you'd ask for more but that's a tough act to follow. Especially when you hate mario. Maybe the most famous harmonica video game song is[ the flowery theme from Yoshi's Island]( Like above peeps I mainly think of western or very relaxed stuff rather than the absolute shredder of the OP.
here's a personal fave,[ file load / kk intro from animal crossing]( of course the mario connection is there. the synth 'monica has some good bendies and tremolo, vibrato.
either way I love harmonica, irl and in video games. call me a train hoppin solar cyber wook


@“exodus”#p89835 SFC is absolutely the Harmonica Console

Come on. Or should I say, c’mon c’mon.

No one can stop Mr. Domino has a hot harmonica track that uses a harmonica sound in a non-harmonica-like way

The harmonica going freakin nuts during this fight in Gungrave is a lot of fun. There's probably more harmonica in this game's soundtrack but this one always stood out to me. Two badass gunfighter dudes shooting at each other in a church with folky harmonica music is peak Yasuhiro Nightow.

This Mister domino track is especially good!!


@“穴”#p89855 No one can stop Mr. Domino has a hot harmonica track

Excellent stuff! The virtual sound library reminds me of a lot of 🇺🇸🇪🇺Bomberman 64 / 🇯🇵Baku Bomberman. Can’t tell if channels 3•4 (which I think are the same instrument?) are supposed to be harmonicas there.

@“chazumaru”#p89876 I do think that‘s a harmonica, though it could be an accordion or similar too. It’s tough with these because that kind of sound became such a “video game sound” that for a long time I never considered its origins. I have that a lot with pc engine cd soundtracks - they were so far from their source sounds that I just considered them synthesizer sounds abstractly.

Just remembered another really good techno one!!

and Plok just reminded me of a more standard one from Rayman

This thread rules cause it gives me the excuse to post this absolute gem:

Another one I learned about from a favorite YT comp:

@“treefroggy”#p89901 YES, this one indeed!!!

I guess with this and super monkey ball we are seeing that the best harmonicas are sega-adjacent.

Side note, but they should really replace teaching kids the recorder with the harmonica. They're probably just as cheap, they fit in your pocket, and you actually see adults playing the harmonica.

@“exodus”#p89980 Most definitely. Here’s some more Sega:

Even though the harmonica is limited in both of these songs, I think it accentuates its presence.