Crouching Music, Hidden Tracks

Video game systems with CD players - weird, right? No?

I suppose not. In a world where most consoles can stream Netflix and cell phones are used to play games, non-game functions are increasingly a given in our beloved systems. However, I would bet at least a dollar (or a pound) that versus the hours and days spent actually playing games, my dear readers have spent mere minutes here:

A CD player? How quaint!

There's not much to say about the player itself. Even competing PlayStation had a similar feature, so it was not unique. However, a few years ago, I discovered a secret.

Well, I thought I had: hidden music tracks, on my very Dreamcast game disc! I remember playing some game in the player and finding (besides the usual warning) an oddly out-of-place piece of music. But I couldn't remember what it was, or even what game it was on. So I embarked on a survey of all my Dreamcast games. Despite my affinity for the system, my Dreamcast collection isn't that big, so it didn't take too long.

Boy was I disappointed. Most discs had just the usual warning, something like "This is a Dreamcast game disc. Do not play it in a regular CD player," or some such. Being American, I liked the variant that featured different languages, including an *exotic* British accent for the English one. Besides that, the differences were minimal. Different words. A male voice versus a female one. A few discs had a smattering of actual in-game tracks available for listening. My results below for easy comparison:

  • No Warning or Playable Tracks: 2
  • 1-2 Warning Tracks: 14
  • Warnings, plus OST Sample: 5
    • Armada
    • Generator Vol. 2
    • Looney Tunes Space Race
    • Q*Bert
    • Toy Commander
  • Warnings, plus Cool Stuff: 2
    • Web Browser 2.0
    • MDK 2
I don't list the 14 games with only warnings, lest this article turn into a giant - pointless - list fest. Suffice it to say, most discs bore no fun secrets or hidden music. I was about to give up. Then, I got to the Web Browser and MDK 2.

Web Browser 2.0 was a surprise. I hadn't used it at all, but I didn't imagine that it, of all discs, would have a hidden track. But sure enough, the disc had a track of Spanish-esque guitar music on Track 04. It was rather nice. I'd post a link, but I couldn't find a video of it on YouTube...

MDK 2.0 made it all worth the while. Initially, it seemed like just another Warning and OST Sample having disc. 04 through 29 were just music. But 30, that was the best. I won't spoil it for you, but it's pretty amusing. (I haven't gotten very far into the game, so I don't know that it doesn't show up in normal gameplay.) But still:

Joke's on you BioWare. I got the game used, 15 years later!

Overall, my quest was unfulfilling. Maybe I found a few OSTs that I'll listen to later. Maybe I found one amusing track. For the Dreamcast, though, I'll stick with "Play" rather than "Music" for my soundtrack listening needs!

And now, this article is OVER. What is it?



pcwzrd13 said...

Unfortunately most games don't have anything interesting on them but I managed to find this on Pop'n Music: I'm pretty sure it's just the warning with some music in the background but I don't know Japanese so I could be wrong.

Tom Charnock said...

Wow - this is cool! I never knew about the music on the web browser disc. Maybe I should investigate the various Dream Key discs I have lying around! Top stuff. Also - exotic British accents? Hmmm....!

Animated AF said...

My favorite findings for me might be the warnings being voiced by different characters on each of the 4 shenmue discs. :)

Dave said...

You can listen to the soundtrack if you access CD player with Quake 3 in.

G said...

Funnily enough I was just listening to a cd in my Dreamcast as I was reading this!
But when I get round to my backlog of games, i'll check are there any hidden tracks!

okokonline said...

I wish I could find a comprehensive list of all the games with music on them. I popped in my Ecco disc and unfortunately there was only a snippet of a song after the usual warning. For a game with such a good overall soundtrack I'd hoped for more.

Brycer345 said...

You can access Guilty Gear X's soundtrack by using the Dreamcast's CD player as well. Not much point to it though, as you could just use the sound test in the game to listen to it as well.