12 Things You Didn't Know About Video Game Soundtracks

2. The Lavender Town Urban Legend

In the nineties, Pokémon sent scores of children into delirious rapture, the fad quickly sweeping across the world to become a global phenomenon. At the same time, rumours emerged that certain elements of the game delivered groups of kids into abject despair.

Allegations abounded that Junichi Masuda's haunting, funereal tones which played in the sepulchral setting of Lavender Town - the final resting place for Kanto's departed Pokémon - provoked mental disturbances in any who listened to them. Children were said to be particularly susceptible to its atonal chords and high frequencies, some apparently affected to the extent that they were driven to suicide.

Naturally, the claims were complete nonsense, an urban myth perpetuated thanks to a less globalised world where news from the Far East could easily be transformed and mutated. The bad publicity from the rumours were enough to concern Nintendo however; the track was marginally adjusted when Pokémon finally made its long-awaited journey to the west. It's a testament to the legacy and pervasiveness of the Lavender Town myth that it is still repeated today.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.