The time has come, faithful readers of GIMMGP! That magical day is upon us. Time to celebrate the spooky holiday of Halloween!
Over the last 30 days, I have shared some fantastically creepy and impressive video game music. It has all been leading up to this track. As Halloween is a time to enjoy delicious treats, today’s song is pure indulgence for me. Not only is this track from an appropriately spooky game, but it is also my favorite music across the whole of video games. It is none other than Bloody Tears from Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest for the NES.
This fantastic song was composed by Kenichi Matsubara, who would go on to write the music for the arcade version of Castlevania, titled Haunted Castle. In the context of Castlevania II, this rousing theme plays the moment our hero Simon Belmont leaves the safety of a town. As the first rolling notes of Bloody Tears hit, the player is immediately accosted by reanimated skeletons, bloodthirsty werewolves, and maniacal mermen. The song is a perfect match for the macabre action encountered in the forests and swamps of this classic game.
Like so many beloved themes from the NES-era, Bloody Tears became a recurring track in its parent series. Over the course of the Castlevania lineage, Bloody Tears has been featured in 19 different games. This song is also considered in the pantheon of excellent NES music, and has been covered in a variety of musical styles, including hard rock, soft jazz, and acapella.
For the final day of our Spooktacular Video Game Music month, I leave you with a showcase of covers and reimaginings of this rousing and spooky track. Happy Halloween, everyone!