You wake up in a pixelated dreamscape, a technicolor world where round things are roundish and slightly jagged, where turtles are bipedal and some princess somewhere is always being kidnapped, your every move controlled by an invisible puppet master. (We promise this isn't the plot of Gamer.) And the music, these wondrously catchy wordless loops of bleep-blorps. Never again would you hear a plucked string or a cymbal crash.
That last part is either Will.i.am's dream or Dave Grohl's nightmare, but on the internet it can be your reality (thanks, internet!). There's a whole universe of 8-bit remixes on the information superhighway, so if you only wanted to listen to your favorite songs in neutered video game form, you could. Just know that most of the 8-bit hits out there sound horrible, like a haywire hearing test meets aural epilepsy.
But sometimes, SOMETIMES, a GarageBand guru does it right. Below, we've listed 15 8-bit hits that are actually worth your time, and we've paired them with Nintendo games that could totally vibe to them. At the very least, this list gives you a reason to throw that Nintendo party you've been putting off.
1. Lana Del Rey -- "Video Games"
UhDOY, this one was just begging for the video game treatment. Through the course of this remix's nearly five minutes, it changes styles more than LDR's own voice does. And also, guys, is it possible this version is more exciting than the real thing? (Seriously, just make it to the 1:42 mark and you'll see.)
Game: Something from the Zelda series, probably during a sequence showing the Princess getting kidnapped.
2. Lady Gaga -- "Bad Romance"
One of Lady Gaga's best and most blown-out songs gets whittled down to Morse code tones, and it ends up sounding much more cheerful than the original.
Game: This would have to be paired with something whimsical like Dr. Mario or Paper Boy.
3. Guns N' Roses -- "Sweet Child O'Mine"
OK the world is totally cruel and unjust because this one deserves like 20 million more hits. It works so we'll we're now convinced GNR's version is the cover.
Game: End credits of Contra or when you enter your initials at the end of any game.
4. Europe -- "The Final Countdown"
Now we just need a pixelated Gob Bluth gesticulating with a sword<http://vimeo.com/1418162> (get on that, internet). By the way, 5:38 seems entirely too ambitious on the part of this remixer.
Game: The perfect accompaniment as you're torching the horizon in Captain Skyhawk.
5. Daft Punk -- "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"
Not much of a stretch, right?
Game: This could be used to pump up a gamer entering the boss's lair in a colorful game like Kirby's Adventure.
6. Michael Jackson -- "Billie Jean"
Who would've thought, the keyboard plinks lack the passion of the original.
Game: Moonwalker, obvs. Or maybe an underground level on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
7. Nirvana -- "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
We would say Kurt Cobain is rolling in his grave when this plays...but then, he's probably tired out from the spin cycle that Forever 21 induced when they tried selling his Flipper t-shirt<http://stereogum.com/892242/cobains-homemade-flipper-tee-now-at-forever-21/news/>.
Game: That pummeling electro-percussion is perfect for the pummeling you're about to give to the Black Warriors gang (that's racist<http://youtu.be/zyu2jAD6sdo>!) in Double Dragon.
8. Taio Cruz -- "Dynamite"
With pop music ceaselessly marching in this dance-party direction, will 8-bit remixes die out because they're so similar to the actual songs, or will that similarity cause an uptick in 8-bit hits? Talk amongst yourselves.
Game: Rad Racer as the car darts off into the sunset, en route to a pixelated bottle-poppin' party.
9. Linkin Park -- "In The End"
Proof that 8-bit music can be dystopic.
Game: A nice fit for the similarly cold and dystopic Marble Madness.
10. Tool -- "Stinkfist"
Proof that 8-bit music can do epic prog-metal.
Game: This would go well with one of those murky Metroid levels, though at five minutes long, it would have to loop about seven times before you got through to the next level.
11. Black Eyed Peas -- "I Gotta Feeling"
We're having a tough time figuring out if this is an 8-bit cover or the actual song.
Game: Mega Man, mainly because Will.i.am dresses like him.
12. Iron Maiden -- "The Trooper"
No keyboard squelch can match Bruce Dickinson's wail.
Game: Spy Hunter. Doesn't this just make you wanna hunt some spies?!
13. Queen -- "Don't Stop Me Now"
Just as infectious as the original (that was NOT an HIV joke).
Game: Excitebike just got more exciting.
14. The White Stripes -- "Seven Nation Army"
The simple, looping riff is the stuff classic video game tunes are made of.
Game: Those staticy snares hit like so many kicks to the face in Kung Fu.
15. Rob Zombie -- "Dragula"
Boy, this list really dragula'd on, didn't it?
Game: An ominous boss battle in Castlevania, or that part in Zelda where the ghosts pop out of the gravestones.
-Written by Carl Williott