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Blog 2 Gultom

For my song, I chose the orchestral version of “Your Best Nightmare” from one of my favorite games, Undertale! Toby Fox, the creator of the game, also composed all the music for Undertale by simply taking a few motifs and reworking them into different songs by speeding them up, slowing them down, and adding new sounds. “Your Best Nightmare” is a reworking of the character Flowey’s motif, “Your Best Friend.” Only this time, he shows his true colors, which is why the former song is much more fitting of a boss fight. I’m not sure where this song would fit in a genre, but I would generally put it in whatever category “video game soundtrack” music goes in.

To try and pick just one musically interesting part of the song would mean leaving a whole lot of it behind since it all works together to reflect what happens in-game. “Your Best Nightmare” is a kind of variations form, where Flowey’s motif is changed ever so slightly whenever the orchestra transitions to the next version of the motif. We have an A section, the first grand notes (and heartbeat in the Percussion if you listen real close!) that precede the maniacal laughter, and then a variation on that section before we transition into the “Your Best Friend” motif. Upon closer listening, I noticed that the first three times we hear the motif (I call B, B’, and B”), the Woodwinds are the predominant instruments, but later on (B”’, B””, and B””’), the Strings take up the melody. As we go along listening to the melody change, we go from a major key (the “original” key from when Flowey is still lying to you, the player) and gradually grow into a dissonance where we get the sense that Flowey’s gone power crazy. Those spare piano transitions between B sections (I dub “C”) create a contrast that helps the next A section shock you, as well as reflect the in-game sequence of healing your character before going back into battle.

(This video only showcases “Your Best Nightmare” but as the thumbnail shows, this segment was a part of Undertale’s 5th Anniversary Concert, a whole three hours of the game’s soundtrack played by an orchestra!)

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May 2024

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