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Subtle BGM in Video Games

Some of the best music is music you don’t listen to in epic movies – because the music fits so well. This is notorious for things like Marvel movies or action epics.

But what about video games? There are some truly artistic pieces hiding in plain …sound in a bunch of video games. Here’s some good examples:

Tribunal Theme – Disco Elysium:

This theme is very dramatic, sets the atmosphere of tension as it slowly builds up. It’s a repeating argumentative song compared to the subtle wooshes and washes of the industrial-style atmospheric BGMs in other parts of the game.


Rito Village (Day) –  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

The piano starts up – the music builds in. Familiar melodies sprinkled over the background. A mystical and beautiful village to explore in front of you. The tunes are not overbearing, but strike an ‘unexplored area’ type of vibe.

Calm – Minecraft:

An internet and gaming classic. Minecraft’s ‘calm’ sets the night and the day. There’s almost never a bad time for this one to play. At first you think only a little of it, but as it becomes more familiar during your favourite moments of building it really does feel like home.


These are only three prime examples of how subtle music can mean a lot despite being background noise. A lot of people favourite tracks that are bombastic, epic, conclusive – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those. But giving homage to the music that matters just as much – the music that drives a separate emotional response is something that goes missing a lot in VGM talks.

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