Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Tunes

Sam and Max Hit The Road

Old school adventure games frustrated the hell out of me. This was before the internet, so it was simply down to you (and your friends – if you had any) to figure out just how to win that ridiculous pirate spitting contest [spoiler alert!]

There was simply no other way to advance the story – you sat there, hour after hour, just trying random (sometimes logical in hindsight) things like capturing an Energizer® bunny so you could use its batteries somewhere else. (I almost cried when I figured that one out.)

My point is this: you spent so much time immersed in the same environment, figuring puzzles out, that the looping background MIDI tracks and quirky sound effects stayed with you long after the end credits have rolled – and decades later you’re writing a post reminiscing about the good old days.

And so, without further ado – here’s my Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Soundtracks:

#9 Leisure Suit Larry III
Classic Sierra-style MIDI tunes. Did I mention this game was my first encounter with boobies?

#8 Sam & Max Hit the Road
Ass kickin’ – nuff said.

#7 Beneath a Steel Sky
Industrial, post-apocalyptic tunes.

#6 Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (on Crete)
Atmospheric and at times totally eerie – perfect for an Indy caper.

#5 Full Throttle (Increased Chances by Chitlins, Whiskey & Skirt)
I was so in love with this particular song I tried to cover it when I was learning the guitar.

#4 Day of the Tentacle
The music was as whacky as the characters themselves.

#3 Space Quest III: Pirates of Pestulon
Quirky, bizarre, and totally awesome.

#2 Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
An incredibly memorable mix of bumbling pirate-y tunes and Carribean island music.

#1 Grim Fandango
Masterfully scored collection of dark, greasy jazz, ethnic Mexican-inspired carnivale music, and grungy Americano tracks.

And there you have it!

Are you a fan of old school adventure games? Do you agree with my list? Would love to know what you think in the comments!

You might also want to check out my Top 10 Best Old School Adventure Games Ever, and my thoughts on why Online games just… kind of suck.

Published by Jiksun

I write at Desk of Jiksun, a blog about science, tech, art, geekiness, and culture. I'm also Interplanetary Director of Strategy at Go Public, an award-winning brand consultancy in Hong Kong. I post about running an agency, travelling to weird places, old school video games, and other observations I find humorous, while sitting at my desk.

5 thoughts on “Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Tunes

  1. Reblogged this on Old School Game Blog and commented:
    Hi everyone,
    Today I read an interesting blog post written by Jiksun (he maintains a blog called Desk of Jiksun). His article is about music in classic adventure games, like Leisure Suit Larry, Monkey Island and Sam & Max. I’m a big fan of such games, so it was great fun listening to the old tunes again. I thought you might like to read the post as well, I asked him if I could reblog it on Old School Game Blog. He agreed, so here it is! Hope you’ll enjoy it! :)


      1. I am not palying any of them right now, because my computer skills are as profound as those of a snail on crack … if you get what I mean. Hahaha. I wish I could play Day of The Tentacle. i really really really want to. Also Space Quest hmm 4, I think. And Monkey Island 3. … that’s what I want to play. Tell me how your Space Quest quest goes ;) If you make it happen, know that I will hate you :)


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