By MajorMitch 0 Comments
Like most Rare games, Banjo-Kazooie has a fantastic soundtrack. On of my favorites is Click Clock Wood, and I especially love that it has its own variation for each season.
The actual Click Clock Wood level has four different versions, one for each season. While it's the same basic level each time, there are plenty of subtle, thematic changes that not only make each version look different, but play different as well. Different areas can be accessed, there are different enemies to fight, and different environmental interactions are available. And of course, there's a different version of the same basic song. That's what's great about this song- it's the same core melody each time, but there are a ton of small changes made to each one that really make them unique, and fit each season extremely well. First of all, the winter version just feels cold. It makes great use of stereotypical winter instrumentation via chimes and bells, and the pacing is slow and torpid, almost as if the song itself is frozen in a winter wonderland. The blowing wind in the background is another cool touch, and the whole thing fits really well with the bright white snow covering the level. The summer version is similarly slow, but rather than feeling frozen, it just feels lazy. It's as if the brutal heat that summer can bring has bogged this song down, and it's having trouble mustering up the energy to make it to the finish line. The use of animals such as birds, crickets, and bees as instrumentation is also fantastic. Where I'm from, these are certainly the sounds of summer.
The spring and fall versions are more upbeat, and I feel like the song's predominant melodies shine brightest here- especially in the spring version, which is my personal favorite. It's just has a fun, snappy beat that will brighten anyone's day. It's something that Rare has consistently been able to do in their games, and the spring version of Click Clock Wood is among their best. And yet, just because the core themes come out a little more doesn't mean these two versions lose any of their thematic flair. There are still great touches from birds and crickets in the spring, to frogs and woodpeckers in the fall, and the rest of the instrumentation is equally brilliant- everything feels just right. Ultimately, that's what I love most about each version of Click Clock Wood. It all falls into place wonderfully to represent each season incredibly well, which aligns perfectly with the nature of the level itself. I'll never get tired of seeing great music so accurately represent a great game, and Click Clock Wood does that as well as any.
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