Hello there my intrepid gamers!
How are you this fine Sunday? Me? I’m good. I’m actually in a musical mood. Ever had one of those moods? Well, my music choice is “Mr. Unsmiley” from the hit video game “Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.”
This song takes place when you, the player, take command of Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow jumps out of the sky and grinds down large metal rails. The action is fast, intense and dangerous. The objective is to make it to the endpoint where you can keep an eye on the approaching heroes.
This level meant so much to me as an angsty fourteen-year-old because it was the first time a video game let me play as a the bad guy. Shadow in particular is a troubled protagonist/antagonist; in his mind he is getting revenge on the world that condemned his friend to die. While my intentions have never been to destroy the world (:/) I too have felt that the whole world was against me and I had one thing I could do about it.
The music here is quick and fast-paced. Yet, “Mr. Unsmiley” generates a controlled pace at the 0:08 mark. The electric guitar and the synthesized sounds work against each other. The primary melody does an ascending pattern while the background harmonies switch from alternating descent to an ascending countermelody at 0:39. This harmonic blend creates a sense of controlled chaos above a sense of frenetic determination expressed by the electric guitar.
This song expresses the very nature of Shadow the Hedgehog: angsty, determined, angry and surrounded by chaos (pun intended). This was special to me because I was very much like Shadow at that age: angsty and my world was populated by chaos. Yet, much like Shadow I found my determination (frenetic as it may have been).
Thanks for reading!