Okay: As much as I love videogames and their soundtracks, no one can fault you if there isn’t any of it on your personal Makeout/Sex/AwkwardAfterglow playlist. It’s a matter of taste. Plus, most commercial videogames in the U.S. don’t put sexual arousal high up on their mission statement (the ones that do are usually given the dreaded AO rating and never heard from again). If you want to find some game tunes that will enhance your sex life, you’ll generally need a) an understanding partner and b) enough time to sort through all of the many OST’s out there and find something suitable. I’m just saying that it’s possible. Another key rule of thumb should probably be to stick with post-NES era music. I’m sure there are more vintage chiptune aphrodisiacs galore, but after 1992 it gets a lot easier. But it can be done.
You all are encouraged to experiment with the following pieces yourselves to determine bedroom effectiveness, though be advised that if any of these stir up traumatic memories of endless frustration and game overs you might be better off just throwing on some Massive Attack like a normal person. And no, before anybody asks, I have not personally “tried out” any of these tracks myself to see if they “work”. But you can take heart in knowing that all of these at least passed the Red Shoe Diaries test: if you can imagine a sex scene from Red Shoe Diaries synced up to any of this music while it’s playing, it’s a keeper. That’s exactly what real sex is like, right? (Just kidding. Real sex is a lot more like Forbidden Science).
10) “Corridors of Time”, Chrono Trigger
Sensual bongos, airy chimes and a zithery-sounding synth thing transport you to the exotic Kingdom of Zeal, the floating Babylon of 12,000 BC, where there are infinite delights to be sampled (especially if you’re into blue-skinned tomato people). I guess it could also transport you to the frozen planetside continent after Zeal is destroyed and all the people begin to mix. Isn’t it symbolic how the music is the same for both? Feel free to discuss this with your date as you awkwardly stare at your Square Enix action figure collection from the edge of your bed while trying to figure out how to start kissing. This tune may not be slow enough for your eventual purposes but the rhythm makes it an undeniable toe (and hopefully ass) tapper.
9) “Water Temple”, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Sometimes sex can be a little bit like the Water Temple in that you can get about two thirds of the way through before you mess up and have to start over. If that’s the case then hearing this stream out of the iHome in your bedroom is not going to do you any favors intercourse-wise. Also, you might need some professional help. But this track’s relaxing, shimmery new-ageyness might help make up for its lack of a driving beat and meandering faux-Egyptian guitar noises. Put it in an early spot on your playlist before the evening’s tempo escalates, so to speak, and you might just get to knock iron boots sooner than you thought. A sidenote: despite the reputation of Ravel’s Bol?ro as an erotic classic, the Bolero of Fire is by no means suitable for non-Hyrulian lovemaking unless you can get everything done in under two minutes, in which case you clearly don’t need a soundtrack at all.
8) “Opening Theme”, Ecco the Dolphin
For a game that was probably inspired by staring at an aquarium poster for seven hours, Ecco the Dolphin always weirded me out as a kid. The overly serene natural settings might have been relaxing to some but made me feel like a big heavy shoe was going to drop, even then. If I’d only known that the storyline of Ecco is actually completely insane, involving aliens, time travel, Atlantis, and a final battle against the Vortex Queen, I might have been more interested. Listening to the theme now it seems like somebody at Sega really dug Pink Floyd, and in fact there are Floyd references in multiple Ecco games. Music was integral to the Ecco franchise, and composer Spencer Nilsen even got his own soundtrack for the Sega CD versions of the first game and its sequel, an album called Songs of Time. That’s a big accomplishment, but this original version is probably the more fuck-worthy one. Don’t ask me why. There’s just something about the pacing of it that seems like it would be a superior mood-setter, especially if your quarry is something of a Ray Lynch fan.
7) “Funky Akuda Bar”, Beyond Good and Evil
Akuda. Bar. Get it? Stuck somewhere between a stripper anthem and the backing of a lost Cake single is this little ditty. After a long day of digging up dirt on the government, battling aliens and travelling around in a hovercraft with a talking pig, a photojournalist has got a right to unwind, hasn’t she? Of course. You get extra points if you can love it up to this one and then follow it with the music from the dreaded disk game.
6) “Aquatic Ambience”, Donkey Kong Country
It’s funny: listen to this music away from the game it was made for and it almost seems like something from an ’80s teen movie slow dance scene rather than the underwater levels of Donkey Kong Country. This is indeed from the original DKC, though (not to be confused with dyskeratosis congenita, which is apparently a big concern for Wikipedia). Something about designing water-based levels seems to bring out the sensitive sides in game music composers: I guess there’s something more romantic about floating around underwater than, say, stomping on lizard people in an abandoned factory (that’s a challenge, game designers). If you do decide to add this particular weapon to your sexual arsenal, make sure you avoid thinking any thoughts related to the CG cartoon series from the ’90s. That, as Justin Bond would say, is a real weenie shrinker.
5) “I Am the Wind”, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Ohhhhh yeah. You’ve just vanquished Dracula once again and scored a (perhaps bittersweet) victory for the forces of light. How else to celebrate than with this sizzling soft-rock masterpiece? Symphony‘s soundtrack is part of what has made the game so beloved in the minds of Vania fans the world over, and all throughout the score is very textured and eclectic, ranging from spooky ambience to kickass power-metal. It also contains such amusing track titles as “Rainbow Cemetery”, “Festival of Servants”, and “Abandoned Pit”, which a friend of mine once left looping on my dorm room computer while I was out until it had played 327 times. And then there’s this. With all due respect to vocalist Cynthia Harrell, calling this slow jam incongruous is putting it very mildly. I guess the idea was to give us a suitably cinematic love theme to close out on, given the epic nature of the game. We may be supposed to contemplate the tragic nature of vampire hero Alucard having destroyed his father, but as soon as that saxophone starts up it’s impossible to think of anything other than a good old 1997-style tastefully restrained shagging. Another cut that might get the job done is “Crystal Tears”, as long as gothic organ-style synth solos aren’t a dealbreaker for you and your lucky significant other. Pray that they aren’t, lest you screw the whole thing up and be left alone on another Friday night with your miserable little pile of secrets. By which I mean your genitals.
4) “Birdman”, Pilotwings 64
Because anyone in a bright green wing suit = prime sexual real estate. Pilotwings 64 offered many vehicles and modes of play from hang gliders to a “rocket belt”, but the strangest was probably the Birdman outfit. The main reason you’d pick it would be to explore the serene landscape and look for Easter eggs once you got bored with the standard mission objectives. Why composer Dan Hess decided to make this so damn sexy is a mystery: the tempo is unmistakably pornalicious, and if there’s any doubt it immediately vanishes once the faux-flute appears around 2:30. You can almost certainly bet that somebody somewhere has created their own Birdman suit for a different type of recreational activity (which just seems a little impractical more than anything). Still, I suppose if I was gliding around over a polygonal island there’s no reason I wouldn’t listen to music like this, especially if I’d just been hanging out with Robin, amirite fellas? Although I’m sure Ibis has the better personality.
3) “Stickerbush Symphony”, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
What was Rare trying to tell us? Sure, unless you’re Dr. Abraxas, there’s nothing inherently sexy in navigating a pair of monkeys in people clothes through a giant bee-infested briar patch. But take this tune out of context and my mind goes straight into Cinemax mode. Maybe it’s just me. I prefer to think that there was a secret conspiracy to inspire sexual thoughts in America’s young people throughout the ’90s, which is why so many of us developed crippling addictions to both porn and videogames. Or maybe Rare had a secret softcore division in the Philippines that none of us know about. No wonder they made Conker’s Bad Fur Day. There’s only so much you can suppress the urges brought on by listening to such MIDI devilry all day.
2) “Dolphin”, The Longest Journey
If you’ve been playing all of the items on this list in order and things have sufficiently heated up, you can consider this the “just kidding, now let’s actually have sex” track. While they’re all pieces you probably can fuck to, this is the only one that I’m sure someone must have fucked to at some point, in that it sounds the most like something you’d actually have on your ipod. Longest Journey had a lot of great, atmospheric, industrial music in it, and this is a prime example. You get a nice two-minute intro before the beats and underwater vocals show up, and then it’s all aboard the futuristic fuck train. Between this and Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy‘s use of Martina Topley Bird’s “Sandpaper Kisses”, it should be obvious that adventure gamers are better lovers. Not that I’m bragging or anything. The tradeoff is that we had to play Dreamfall, so all you non-adventurers can feel relieved (IT’S A JOKE! NOT A TROLL, I SWEAR!).
1) “Victory Fanfare,” Any Final Fantasy Game
If you have sex with someone and you time it so that this plays right after the two of you climax and they agree to see you again, you two should get married immediately.