Waxing Lyrical: 10 Awesome Original Video Game Songs

Snake Eater (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)

Artist: Cynthia Harrell

"Some day you feed on a tree frog". This amazing track is clearly inspired by the classics of the James Bond film franchise. We first hear it in the opening credits, which themselves take heavy cues from 007 movies.

With its stunning vocals, string frills and brass stabs, the song ebbs and flows, climaxing on Harrell's delivery of the game's title in each chorus. The interplay of instrumentation paints a rich picture of a classic jazz-themed song. Like Shirley Bassey in Goldfinger, Cynthia Harrell holds her own against the power of the band behind her to give balance and weight to the performance. 

"Snake Eater" is simultaneously timeless and relevant to its game setting. MGS3 takes place in 1964, as protagonist Naked Snake journeys behind enemy lines into a Cold War-era Soviet Union. Stealthing his way through the jungle, Snake must survive in his harsh surroundings.

The achievement of "Snake Eater" is that it can relate to numerous facets of the game. There's direct meaning in the most literal terms, in which Snake must subsist on local wildlife such as snakes and tree frogs; not to mention the elite enemy "Cobra" Unit that makes up the game's wonderfully memorable boss battles. But like any good lyrical piece it goes deeper than this.

"Snake Eater" can be seen as another theme song of The Boss, Snake's former mentor and apparent defector to the USSR. Sung from her perspective, it talks about and references Naked Snake as the titular Snake Eater.

Of course anybody who has played the game will know the tragic truth; that The Boss was loyal to the end, carrying out her orders to gain the trust of Soviet enemies, before giving her life to prevent an all-out nuclear war.

it seems that the chorus' lyrics: "I give my life, Not for honor, but for you" - could be The Boss's feelings as she engages in a fight to the death with Snake, knowing full well that she must die for both his sake and her country's.

This makes even more sense given that the song once again begins playing at the climax of this duel. When you look at it this way, "Snake Eater" is even more deserving of praise as a classic original video game song.

The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of few that has produced quality original songs multiple times. Here are a few more of them:

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Published Aug. 31st 2016
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