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Home Blog Features A Link to the Past: The Best 8-Bit Movie Themes
A Link to the Past: The Best 8-Bit Movie Themes Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 15:54

Scott Pilgrim melts the eyeballs of any geek who dares look at it, but Edgar Wright's digital freak-out also aims its pixels somewhere else: directly at your ears.

You may not register it at first, all those noises from games past and present, but Nigel Godrich and Wright have fused together those retro chiptunes with a modern take on Nintendo's gaming world. Who knew Street Fighter and Zelda could influence cinema so much?

The first sign comes from the opening credits: a gloriously naff rendition of an iconic studio's fanfare. After that fix, you'll be chomping at the 8-bit for weeks to come. But before you burn your speakers out with all the MIDI-fied goodness, save yourself some effort (and street-cred) because we've gone and rounded up the internet's best offerings for you. Because we're nice like that. And incredibly, incredibly sad.

So put your Gameboys on charge and turn your speakers to 11. Here are cinema's greatest themes. All in glorious 8-bit mono sound. Bring the noise.


1. Universal Pictures Theme


You can't quite beat the sheer awesomeness of Universal's theme - start singing it in a lift and even a tone-deaf baby could join in. Start singing it like this, though, and you'll soon be arrested for noise pollution. Or for being awesome. Whichever you prefer to tell your parents.



2. Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare


In a similar vein to the earlier studio's signature, this retro rendition of 20th Century Fox's is as painful as brilliance comes. You've probably already watched it twice by now.



3. Star Wars Theme


Yeah, you knew this one was coming - it was inevitable that someone would rework the classic sci-fi theme into NES mode. Still, it's hard not to love such a lo-fi disturbance in your eardrums. As gloriously geeky as it gets. Unless you count the work someone did on the Cantina Band's music...



4. Indiana Jones Theme


Either John Williams is very popular with geeks, or his work is just very easy to downgrade to console-quality crapness - something that this take on the Jurassic Park score confirms. 



5. Ghost Busters Theme


"I ain't afraid of no pixels!" Someone out there thought long and hard about the kind of people who spend their time hunting around for 8-bit versions of movie soundtracks and realised something important: Ghost Busters is awesome. Crank the volume up, get out your proton pack and dance your dungarees off. Cross the streams all you like with this track - no-one would be able to tell the difference.



6. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game


And finally, something even better than the Rocky music remixed for your SNES: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog re-imagined as an old-school video game. Yes, it grates after more than 60 seconds, but it's oh-so-beautiful. Especially around the 6:36 mark. Let's be honest, even the mighty Neil Patrick Harris couldn't do a better job on these 8-bit harmonies. Actually, he probably could. But he's not manufactured by Nintendo is he.


  • 20th century fox
  • 8-bit
  • console
  • dr horrible
  • gaming
  • ghost busters
  • indiana jones
  • jurassic park
  • michael cera
  • midi
  • nes