Liner Notes XIV: Game music worth waking up to


The best part of waking up… should be your alarm clock.

For some of us, waking up is like digging a corpse out of a grave. For others, it’s like birds chirp and the sun shines and they just wake up like Susie Sunshine.

But waking up is a part of daily life, and there are ways in which we can spice up the that routine.

After toiling with generic alarm clock noises for several years, my bedtime wakey-wakey (with eggs and bakey) was graciously changed for the better with the purchase of my first smartphone. With our bundles of touchscreen joy, alarm ringtones can be anything you so desire: a favorite song, loud obnoxious noises not related to ringing bells, or if you’re like me — videogame music.

So if you’re looking to enliven your daily routine of waking up with some good old VGMs, you’ve come to the right place. I may or may not have used some of these as my ringtones over the years.

“Let Me Sleep So I May Dream” by Yuko Takehara, Breath of Fire II

Kicking things off is an alarm clock ringtone I’ve used extensively for a year and a half. “Let Me Sleep So I May Dream” plays when Ryu and crew explore the dream world of Gandaroof the Great Wise Tree, whose memory is a little spotty thanks to a malicious demon.

The track carries a bit of a wistful tone to it, but its use in the dream world makes it incredibly fitting to wake up to. And those fleeting harp strokes are a wonderfully nice touch.

“The Goddess Appears” by Koji Kondo, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

I’ve personally started using this track as my alarm clock ringtone after being inspired by a tweet. It’s one of the first tracks you hear after booting up A Link to the Past, and it’s sheer calming beauty still sticks with me to this day.

That and it’s just too pretty to disturb with any early morning doldrums.

Though I prefer this first version of the track for nostalgic reasons, Ocarina of Time’s and Skyward Sword’s arrangements are great alternatives, too.

“Bed and Breakfast” by Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka, Earthbound

With an intro filled with delightful bird chirps, this feels like the quintessential way to wake up in the morning. Fans of The Beatles will notice the clear reference to “Good Morning,” which is one of many ways the band is referenced to in the game.

Now if we could only have a bellhop who read us the latest paper after we step outside of our rooms.

“Peaceful Days” by Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a lot of people’s favorite SNES game, so what would be more splendid than to recreate its intro?

All you need are some pixelated curtains, Crono, his mom and this beautifully relaxing JRPG tune.

The Alarm Ringtones from Wake Up Club, Playstation Vita

Wake Up Club is a glorified app that turns your Vita into an interactive alarm clock. Your goal is to wake up before other Vita users who also have their alarms set to the same time and tap your avatar icon followed by everyone else’s in order to wake them up.

While unfortunately there’s no option for custom ringtones, the app gives you a bevy of sound effects to choose from. I prefer the “coin” ring, as it makes for a nice combo with the following entry…

“Overworld” by Koji Kondo, Super Mario Bros. 2/USA

The entirety of Super Mario Bros. 2 takes place inside of Mario’s subconscious, so waking up to this would be like awakening from one dream to be in another dreamy world. Inception. 

“Overworld” is cheerful chiptuney goodness, and there’s no doubt that the track’s melody would be stuck in your head for a good part of the morning.

“Map 2 (Overworld)” by Koji Kondo, Super Mario World

The music played as you jump from stage to stage in the Donut Plains of Super Mario World is the type of cutesy music that could work in a montage of your morning routine of waking up, brushing your teeth, showering, and sauntering out the door.

“Hurry, Hurry” by Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy V

This track’s sense of urgency should help get your keister out of bed pronto. Plus its got quite a thumping bassline (that’s thankfully not reminiscent of Chessmaster). Just imagine that you’re Bartz frantically scampering out of Castle Karnak before it blows up.

Sonic the Hedgehog fans will no doubt compare the rhythm here to the infamously terrifying “Drowning” music. You’d have to be crazy to use that one as your ringtone, but at least it’d make you rush to shut the damn thing off… and just remember to breathe (in a bubble).

“Guile” by Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe, Syun Nishigaki, Super Street Fighter II

Because let’s face it: his theme goes with everything. America, the epic feeling of taking the world by the balls, etc.

As you can see, there’s a plethora of great game tunes out there worth waking up to. Chances are high that your choice of waking up in the morning is not represented in this admittedly SNES-heavy list here, so feel free to share your own down there in the comments.


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Author: Patrick Kulikowski View all posts by
Patrick Kulikowski is a Rutgers University graduate with aspirations of joining the game industry. I have a strong love of games and their music. When not serving as Associate Editor for Pixelitis,net and a writer for Game Music Online, you'll see him working on a game music drum cover project entitled "VGdrum" and managing his Breath of Fire Facebook and Twitter fan pages.

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