Welp, that thesis project has been pushed back by an unreconcilable lack of data. So, I get to do more work on other stuff! Not that I dislike working on the thesis, just it had definitely superceded every other item in my backlog. But, since it's pretty set in stone that I'm not going to be able to graduate this semester, I now have time for other things! Like the Video Game Music Challenge!

For those of you just joining us, this is Day 16 of a 30 Day Video Game Music Challenge; if you missed the first fifteen days, they're all grouped together in the same category, at the top of the article. Each day consists of a different category of music, and I respond with a song that I feel fits it well, in terms of being one of my favorites of that category. Hard mode: I can't repeat games. Challenge mode: I can't repeat franchises either. (Repeat characters appearing in other franchises are fine.) In each entry, I've also been providing an honorable mention, a song that fits the bill quite well; in order to avoid removing other franchises from the running, I've been keeping these honorable mentions within the same franchise as the original item. Got it? Good!

Day 16's theme is "16-Bit music"; alas, I've used a number of great candidates already. But, an excellent song from the 16-bit era that I feel doesn't get the love or recognition it deserves is "Basement of Dr.Leo" from the Quintet/Enix title Soul Blazer (Soul Blader in Japan). The first time I ever heard this song, I was completely amazed! It's such a good song, highlighting the dangers and oppressive atmosphere of the titular dungeon. The other way you know it's good: The song isn't repeated anywhere else in the game.

"But, you already used Illusion of Gaia!" I hear you say. I sure did! Technically, these two games are not from the same franchise. I do agree that they form a solid overarching story alongside Terranigma, and even a couple other games Quintet developed (including another title I discussed in a previous entry), but they are not officially the same franchise. So I say it counts!

For today's honorable mention, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention "Battle with Deathtoll", the final boss theme from the same game. Is it a grand, sweeping orchestral theme? No, not really. But it's triumphant, and its regular use of minor key highlights just how desperate a battle this is. You're fighting the demon Deathtoll, for the fate of the world. You've gathered the six stones, assembled the Phoenix, freed the world's living beings from Deathtoll's clutches, and now you must defeat him once and for all.