The Search for the Tune of Old

When people talk about their favourite game music, they mention things like, I don’t know, Harvest Moon? Pokémon? Sure, I love all the different instrumentals representing different cities in Pokémon games, and am amazed at the vast number of quality works that can be produced for each game. However, my favourite game music, the one that struck a chord with me most, is for the game whose name I’ve forgotten.

It was a handphone game, back when I had my… was it the Nokia phone? Yes, it was probably those times. I was about 17 or 18 then (so not too long ago) and I loved these games on my phone. No, no, I’m quite sure now it wasn’t in my Nokia… it might have been in the one before that… what phone did I have before my Nokia? One’s memory can be so alarmingly flawed.

Either way, I was really good at that game. It was basically a variant of Tetris, I think, where different kinds of seashells fall from the top of the screen and you position them such that 3 seashells of the same kind form a line and disappear. A pretty boring game (then again, look at what people are playing nowadays. Candy Crush Saga, not much better) but the music was so soothing, sometimes it sent a tear falling down my cheek. Even today, even when I cannot tell you the name of the game, I can still hum the tune as if I had heard it only yesterday.

And yet, without the name of the game, I simply cannot find the music again. It was a very peaceful, tranquil sort of tune, slightly jaunty and upbeat, but not at all the stressful, adrenaline pumping kind you expect in things like Space Invaders. It was so stress-free, so pleasant, it felt as if the tune understood me. And so the game became a relaxation. I was in no hurry to beat the game — the game was supposed to please me. And so whenever I was bored or miserable, I would open the game just to listen to that sweet and well-done music again. It was a simple game, and probably wouldn’t be very popular, but it was like a hidden gem that I had uncovered, and so it felt personal to me.

Sometimes these little undiscovered tunes are what stir the heartstrings. You feel as if you’re the only one with that emotional connection to it — the 2 of you had met, long ago, in a secret, private place, and sought a mutual understanding and bond that the outside world does not comprehend. They do not see the true meaning of the tune. Have you had such an experience? Perhaps only instrumentals can forge such an effect.

And this is why I constantly hunt for that tune. Someday, someday I will find it again, and we shall be reunited once more, dancing in the wild pastures of my imagination, free from society and its new-fangled mobile phone games.

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