MusicOpinionVideo Games

Six More of the Most Haunting Tracks Used in Video Games

Here are six more of the most haunting tracks you may have heard used in video games, like from Octopath Traveler & Stardew Valley.

A video game’s soundtrack is a crucial component of its identity and one of its most valuable tools for creating impactful, memorable moments. Whether it’s used to augment a location’s atmosphere, accentuate a boss battle, introduce a character, or infuse emotion into a cutscene, a poignant piece of music will often occupy players’ minds long after they’ve completed the associated game. Here are six (more) of the most heart-stirring, awe-inspiring, and haunting video game music tracks to leave an indelible mark on your psyche (if they haven’t already).

Check out our previous list of haunting tracks too if you missed it.

More of the Most Haunting Video Game Music

Nascence” from Journey

Composed by Austin Wintory

Journey was the only video game soundtrack to be nominated for a Grammy Award prior to the introduction of the “Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media” category in February 2023. Although the full version of “Nascence” isn’t actually used in-game, it serves as Journey’s main musical theme, laying the groundwork for the rest of the OST and perfectly conveying the game’s serene and surprisingly emotional atmosphere. The opening motif performed by cellist Tina Guo is particularly evocative — even if years have passed since a player last embarked on their own “journey,” this six-note sequence is sure to conjure up mental images of crimson cloth and sunbaked sands.

“The Crest of Flames” from Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Arranged by Takeru Kanazaki, Original Theme Composed by Yuka Tsujiyoko

“The Crest of Flames” is a dark twist on the classic Fire Emblem theme, slowing its tempo and transposing that familiar, jubilant melody into D minor to create a track that’s both magnetic and foreboding. This arrangement has all the right instrumental ingredients to complement Three Houses’ story: organ to denote Garreg Mach Monastery, harp for mystery, piano for quiet solemnity, and a droning bassline to evoke the ancient power underlying Byleth’s past. Although much of the Fire Emblem: Three Houses soundtrack consists of rousing music suited to battle-heavy gameplay, “The Crest of Flames” and other similarly restrained compositions (e.g., “The Spirit Dais”) seem closer to the heart of the game’s narrative.

A Stillness in the Rain (Abigail’s Melody)” from Stardew Valley

Composed by ConcernedApe

As players being to cultivate a friendship with Abigail in Stardew Valley, they will eventually encounter her outside on a rainy day, standing near the mountain lake and playing a melancholy melody on her flute. The player’s character inexplicably pulls out a mini harp (Was it in their backpack the whole time?), and the resulting duet is one of Stardew Valley’s most noteworthy musical moments. Sometimes, a simple song is all it takes to turn an ordinary scene into a magical memory, and “A Stillness in the Rain” accomplishes just that. To quote Abigail, “It’s impossible to describe this feeling… watching the curtains of rain whisper above a silent lake.”

“Song of Healing” from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Composed by Koji Kondo

“Song of Healing” is a recurring melody that Link uses to undo evil spells and soothe troubled spirits in the Legend of Zelda series. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Link learns the song from the (extremely unsettling) Happy Mask Salesman and plays it to reverse the curse that transformed him into a Deku Scrub. While Majora’s Mask is easily the creepiest title in the Zelda franchise, “Song of Healing” — a gentle, pensive composition with the power to bring peace to those who are suffering — is a great representation of the game’s softer, more earnest side. Even among the series’s ever-expanding library of excellent music, “Song of Healing” remains a fan-favorite track.

Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer” from Bramble: The Mountain King

Performed by BJOERN

“Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer” is a hymn often sung by Swedish and Finnish schoolchildren at the start of the summer holidays. In Bramble: The Mountain King, an emotional rendition performed by BJOERN accompanies Olle’s first morning in the world of Bramble. As he walks across a flower-dotted hillside populated by birds, butterflies, and deer, it’s a stark contrast to the harrowing night he endured at the start of the game. Although this scene is incredibly beautiful from a visual standpoint, BJOERN’s haunting vocals are what make it truly unforgettable.

Flamesgrace, Guiding Light” from Octopath Traveler

Composed by Yasunori Nishiki

Even if Ophilia is not your hero of choice in Octopath Traveler, there’s something undeniably sentimental about the music that characterizes her hometown of Flamesgrace. Standing atop the hill overlooking the cathedral, surrounded by softly falling snow, one can’t help but imagine the wonder Ophilia must have experienced while beholding that magnificent view for the first time. Returning to this spot at the close of Ophilia’s tale produces a potent sense of nostalgia, and when the piano and strings start to simultaneously play the track’s main melody (around the 1:30 mark), it feels like the musical equivalent of two travelers beginning to follow the same path.

Let us know what else you think might rank among the most haunting video game music tracks.

About the author

Jessica Hoops
Jess Hoops is an editor and hobbyist video game journalist who works as a freelance contributor for The Escapist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with English Language & Literature and Philosophy majors, and she has done content and copy editing in the literary, academic, and medical spheres. She writes primarily about games that are thematically and aesthetically dark (horror, mystery, tragedy, etc.) and especially enjoys showcasing titles by independent developers. She speaks softly and carries a Great Scythe.