Want to get your spook on in time to celebrate Halloween? Then you’ve come to the right place! Having previously covered how much I enjoy horror visual novels, I saved this topic for this month to highlight my favourite horrifying visual novel BGM tracks. Let me know what your favourites are below!
Spooky Visual Novel BGM Tracks
Schizophrenia from Saya no Uta
As one of the first tracks you’ll hear when diving into this terrifying experience, “Schizophrenia” is fitting for a game revolving around Lovecraftian ideologies and influences. As a telling sign that not all is as it appears, the track immediately reinforces how uncomfortable and disturbing its world is. This is right alongside our mentally disturbed main character who has become trapped within his own mind after suffering from a car accident that has left his perception of reality completely bleak and dark.
A true living hell fitting the cosmic horror label. Now even his friends appear as grotesque, barely communicative, bloody creatures, apart from a single, simply dressed young girl. Saya no Uta excels in not only telling (and very uncomfortable showing) a solid, despair filled story, but its OST backs this up tenfold. It’s such a remarkable, memorable and striking OST, with “Schizophrenia” being just one of the best examples in showcasing how much of a masterpiece its entire OST is. For its full effect, you just have to give this short visual novel title a go, and especially so for the 31st!
Be advised that it is very disturbing despite its censorship on Steam (rape, lolicon, gore).
strain01 from Sweet Pool
Here we have a track played almost exclusively for the presence of a single character (character track). Zenya is the questionable love interest out of the three available, who is often a troublesome and aggressive individual in their school. “strain01” backs up your assumption to stay away from him. It’s the most uncomfortable, eerie and atmospheric track of the lot, sounding like a track that would be at home in a Silent Hill game.
While I find the title track hilarious since it could be potentially relevant in its wording to its main character’s internal stomach troubles, it’s mostly to indicate his mental straining. His mental struggles become more and more difficult to watch unfold, heightened most when he is completely broken down and made hopeless by Zenya’s doings. “strain01” may have a very throwaway name to it, but it’s one of the most memorable and foreboding tracks to come out of sweet pool and visual novels overall. It’s undoubtedly the most underrated track of my list.
Grab the bittersweet BL visual novel on Steam now.
Ridicule from Umineko
In a mystery visual novel where there’s a lot of hints being thrown about here and there, “Ridicule” encapsulates this feeling of absolute dread and anxious curiosity for answers. The track is the loudest and roughest of the lot, truly standing out from the game’s very lengthy run-time and over 240 other tracks within the series. But its sheer pressure on our ears and droning, distorted noise adds to the game’s tension and suggesting that something is wrong in the very few scenes it is featured in. Not only does this hammer home the significance on such a scene, but nothing is explicitly stated. All we have to go off of is the disturbing BGM track that’s playing, just barely suggesting of something ominous and foreboding. And it’s not one you’ll be able to forget about any time soon.
Grab the complete collection of Umineko on Steam, or in separate parts.
Nothing Happened in this World from Little Busters!
Unlike my choices above, “Nothing Happened in this World” is not a horror visual novel BGM. This increases the sheer discomfort and tension of it being so unexpected in a slice-of-life visual novel, a Key title in fact. “Nothing Happened in this World” is used sparingly, with possibly the most memorable moment being at the finale of Rin’s ending. The track is, by itself, a bizarre duality of calm meeting disturbing, where you can’t quite place why it sounds so soothing but at the same time telling of something wrong. In fact the track’s name itself ominously hints at the game’s shocking revelation discovered through the more routes you complete. You have to play it to have the track be as effective as possible, but even on its own, “Nothing Happened in this World” is absolutely mesmerizing, striking a deep sadness and depressive tone through the whole of its seven minutes.
Little Busters! is available on Steam and Switch.
Where is this place? from YOU and ME and HER: A Love Story
“Where is this place?” is what happens when every single telling sign and despairing hint comes together to make for the climax of a tense play through of an already eerie game. For YOU and ME and HER, it’s at the height of everything coming together to make for one hell of a shocking moment. This is shown by the track being less distorted and chaotic until it finally becomes the abomination of the mere 2 minutes you hear here. There’s a lot of scenes that are hidden throughout the game unless certain conditions are met, and a lot of surprises in store for you as soon as you boot up the game. This track is just one example of how much this game plays with your mind and sends warning signals down your shivering spine. But by this point, there’s no turning back.
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