Music is an integral part of any game. While pieces that truly compliment their environment are often capable of stirring emotions and conveying a story without the use of words, dull, uninspiring themes can go completely under the radar.
The list below is a compilation of some of my own personal favorite shop themes in RPGs. I have attempted to provide an eclectic mix of tracks from all sorts of RPGs throughout the years, but I’m sure that I have missed many amazing pieces as a result. But that’s where you come in – be sure to leave your own personal favorites down in the comments below.
Perhaps the most thematically appropriate theme on the list, this “podunky” jig matches the zany feel found throughout Earthbound quite well. Also, to my surprise as I was listening to it for the sake of this list, I noticed that it has a pretty neat (but subtle) panning string effect thats noticeable while listening with headphones. Nice!
Atelier Rorona ~The Alchemist of Arland~ DX
My current series obsession, the Atelier Arland games on Switch have surprised me in more ways than one. While I simply adore their mechanics ,I also enjoy most of the music found within their games. This piece in particular will probably get stuck in your head too, should you ever play the game yourself.
River City Ransom
Arguably the most iconic RPG shop theme on the NES, save for FF1, this River City Ransom tune is just fantastic. It is no wonder that one of the shopkeepers is willing to give a “free smile” with something like this playing in the background!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
What better way to celebrate being in the presence of a crazed, cooped up librarian than with an equally bizarre theme song? This plays any time Alucard partakes in the master librarian’s goods, and the demented hermit is almost as iconic as a…certain someone in my next pick…
Honorable Mention: Resident Evil 4
I know, I know, this is not an RPG, but this track is just too good to pass up. Since I first played this on the Wii I’ve always been amazed at the balance it struck between feeling appropriate to a “safe zone” while, at the same time, being downright haunting, which is obviously ideal considering the subject matter of the game. And who can ever forget everyone’s favorite, mysterious shopkeeper?
That’s it for this list. What did you think about my selection? Stay tuned for more musical spotlights in the future!