Castlevania: Bloodlines — The Sinking Old Sanctuary
I have had this song stuck in my head all day.
Bloodlines has some of the best tunes in the Castlevania series, and in this gamer’s humble opinion, considerably outclasses its contemporary Super Castlevania IV despite the obvious superiority of the SNES’s sound chip when compared with that of the Genesis. (Of course, my affection for the Genesis’s unique sound is a matter of public record.)
Michiru Yamane, who would later go on to do the score for Symphony of the Night and at least four other entries to the series on several different systems, cranks out some really rocking tracks for this Genesis/Mega Drive outing. I’m a particular fan of the track “Calling from Heaven,” as I’ve mentioned before. “The Sinking Old Sanctuary,” however, from the game’s second stage, is a much more ponderous and mellow piece of music, one that tends to lodge itself in my head and play on loop for several hours before I’m finally able to replace it with something else.
An interesting note: Despite being a Genesis owner, I didn’t actually play Bloodlines until many years after its release. I first fell in love with this track when Castlevania: Circle of the Moon used it, in the time-honored tradition of Castlevania composers borrowing standout tracks from previous games. That version is accessible here–in some ways the GBA’s sound chip is just as limited as that of the Genesis, and the track has less punch than the original version, but it still has that inescapable melody that can take control of my brain for hours at a time.