19 votes

What are the most iconic video game sound effects you can think of?

I heard someone with the Sonic "ring loss" chime as their text message alert today and it instantly brought a smile to my face. Just wondered what other sound effects would be most nostalgic for you if you were to hear it in a similar situation, as there are many games/franchises/systems I have little to no experience with.

45 comments

  1. [2]
    JXM
    Link
    I think everyone knows the “coin sound effect” from Super Mario Bros.

    I think everyone knows the “coin sound effect” from Super Mario Bros.

    12 votes
    1. Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      For me, it's actually the jump sound effect.

      For me, it's actually the jump sound effect.

      6 votes
  2. [3]
    balooga
    (edited )
    Link
    Pac-Man's "waka waka" The "SEGA" start-up chime Yoshi's mount sound from Super Mario World (honestly most Yoshi sounds are iconic, but this is the first that came to mind for me) Mortal Kombat's...

    Edit to add:

    12 votes
    1. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Funny enough I would have never been able to place the Yoshi mount sound if I heard it randomly. I never played or even watched any of the Super NES Mario games until maybe five or six years ago,...

      Funny enough I would have never been able to place the Yoshi mount sound if I heard it randomly. I never played or even watched any of the Super NES Mario games until maybe five or six years ago, so I know it'd sound familiar but I definitely wouldn't guess correctly.

      I've also played my fair share of Tetris but I don't think I've ever heard that line clear effect. I must have came across it on GB in real life at some point, but I'm not sure I paid attention, to be fair. Tetris is one of those games that is so ubiquitous that you get somewhat familiar with it just by osmosis.

      1 vote
  3. [5]
    Thunder-ten-tronckh
    Link
    !

    !

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [3]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Probably because it says video game sound effects, and this sound effect is so widespread it's no longer seen in that context.

        Probably because it says video game sound effects, and this sound effect is so widespread it's no longer seen in that context.

        1. [2]
          culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Really? Where else is it used?

          Really? Where else is it used?

          1. Kuromantis
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            At this point it's kind of used as a generic scare song for some, like me IMO. It's that well known. It's used in omae wa mou shindeiru memes for example, even if that has it's own sound effects.

            At this point it's kind of used as a generic scare song for some, like me IMO. It's that well known. It's used in omae wa mou shindeiru memes for example, even if that has it's own sound effects.

            2 votes
  4. [4]
    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    Most of the ones I thought of have been listed, but Street Fighter 2's Hadouken! and to a lesser degree, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku are super recognizable. EDIT: Oh, and probably Round One! Fight!,...

    Most of the ones I thought of have been listed, but Street Fighter 2's Hadouken! and to a lesser degree, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku are super recognizable.

    EDIT: Oh, and probably Round One! Fight!, although MK's fight intro voice is pretty iconic too. (As an aside, I've always loved Guilty Gear's "Heaven Or Hell! Let's Rock!" fight intro, it's stylish and just a little bit silly.)

    EDIT 2: Just adding as I think of them.
    Megaman's death sound! The blaster sound too, probably. Pew pew!
    Legend of Zelda's redead scream!
    Star Fox 64's "Do A Barrel Roll!", although whether that's more "dialogue" is debatable.
    Unreal Tournament's "M-M-M-Monster Kill!" has meme status at this point too.
    Phoenix Wright's "Objection!"
    Many sound effects from Banjo Kazooie make me nostalgic, the game had really fun sound design. The voices especially. Then there's the little jinjo's "help!" and the Jiggy fanfare.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      No offense, but you're old.

      No offense, but you're old.

      3 votes
      1. rogue_cricket
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        In my defense, many of these sound effects have been moved forward through time and re-used and remixed for sequels! Or they otherwise attained meme status on the internet and would sometimes get...

        In my defense, many of these sound effects have been moved forward through time and re-used and remixed for sequels! Or they otherwise attained meme status on the internet and would sometimes get pulled out of context. You can still make Google spin around by searching "Do A Barrel Roll".

        And hey! That Mega Man sound effect is older than I am, though I think that may be the only one. :p I've been into gaming for ~25 years.

        3 votes
    2. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Everyone I knew had a different (incorrect) transliteration for those hurricane kick vocals. Same thing with the Iza, jinjyouni! Ipponme, shoubu! from Samurai Shodown. You'd think someone would...

      Everyone I knew had a different (incorrect) transliteration for those hurricane kick vocals. Same thing with the Iza, jinjyouni! Ipponme, shoubu! from Samurai Shodown. You'd think someone would learn some Japanese at some point.

  5. [2]
    Icarus
    (edited )
    Link
    Probably the ring sound from Sonic the Hedgehog. Because I constantly hear it across gas stations in America. https://youtu.be/FRgfAPe5s3U No idea why, but I think it is tied to their cash registers.

    Probably the ring sound from Sonic the Hedgehog. Because I constantly hear it across gas stations in America.

    https://youtu.be/FRgfAPe5s3U

    No idea why, but I think it is tied to their cash registers.

    8 votes
    1. wundumguy
      Link Parent
      Yeah, why is that in gas station POSs?

      Yeah, why is that in gas station POSs?

  6. Omnicrola
    Link
    The Final Fantasy 7 victory fanfare Many things from Super Mario Brothers Not a video game, but the Star Trek communicator noise my friend has for text messages always brings a smile to my face...
    8 votes
  7. [3]
    asoftbird
    Link
    Half Life 2 metal debris / explosion sounds.

    Half Life 2 metal debris / explosion sounds.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Crespyl
      Link Parent
      There's a lot of HL2 sounds embedded in my brain, even after 10+ years. The health pickup noise, the "can't-interact" noise, the downed-combine radio sounds, the slightly "springy" noise the...

      There's a lot of HL2 sounds embedded in my brain, even after 10+ years. The health pickup noise, the "can't-interact" noise, the downed-combine radio sounds, the slightly "springy" noise the shotgun makes when you reload it, it's all so good and instantly brings me back to my first playthrough.

      5 votes
      1. jcdl
        Link Parent
        Wow I was having a hard time thinking of really iconic sounds, but I can totally hear all of those HL2 sounds in my head.

        Wow I was having a hard time thinking of really iconic sounds, but I can totally hear all of those HL2 sounds in my head.

        1 vote
  8. pseudolobster
    Link
    Legend of Zelda chest sound has got to be up there. For me, even though I haven't really played much MGS, the metal gear alert sound is capable of doubling my heartrate. I used it (and the whole...

    Legend of Zelda chest sound has got to be up there.

    For me, even though I haven't really played much MGS, the metal gear alert sound is capable of doubling my heartrate. I used it (and the whole alert phase theme) as an alarm in the mornings for a while. Never failed to get me out of bed instantly.

    6 votes
  9. [4]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    Does anyone not instantly recognize "wakka wakka wakka wakka"?

    Does anyone not instantly recognize "wakka wakka wakka wakka"?

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Pretty sure much of the younger generation won't. Reminds me of the time I saw a Kids React vid where they looked at rotary phones, and I realized there's millions of them who've never heard a...

      Pretty sure much of the younger generation won't. Reminds me of the time I saw a Kids React vid where they looked at rotary phones, and I realized there's millions of them who've never heard a dial tone because they've all got cellphones.

      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Pretty sure Kids React isn't a valuable source of statistics about generational knowledge. You know how, once you start talking about it, it turns out a lot of people feel the same way you do? I'm...

        Pretty sure Kids React isn't a valuable source of statistics about generational knowledge.

        You know how, once you start talking about it, it turns out a lot of people feel the same way you do? I'm guessing a lot of people assume on their own that others don't know the same things they do.

        I'd used a rotary phone when I was a kid. My maternal grandmother had one. I'd often spend time at her place after school 'cause my parents worked crazy hours. We had your regular wirephone-on-the-wall, and then wireless. Gramma still had the old one. We tried hooking her up with a cellphone, but that didn't work out so well.

        In Russia, across people my age, I am by far not the only one.

        The cultural component of "the old days" differs significantly across Earth, especially in poorer regions.

        3 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Trust me, you're preaching to the choir. I didn't mean that it's everyone or the majority, simply that there's a not-insignificant quantity, simply by numbers.

          Trust me, you're preaching to the choir. I didn't mean that it's everyone or the majority, simply that there's a not-insignificant quantity, simply by numbers.

          1 vote
  10. [3]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Not all necessarily iconic/nostalgic, but well known. Oof! (Roblox, pain sound) Ooh! (Minecraft pain sound, from way too long ago) UuowWaAAaoOOOooOOOoHhHh........ (Super mario 64 or sunshine...

    Not all necessarily iconic/nostalgic, but well known.

    Oof! (Roblox, pain sound)
    Ooh! (Minecraft pain sound, from way too long ago)
    UuowWaAAaoOOOooOOOoHhHh........ (Super mario 64 or sunshine falling off map, I think. Also is it technically a sound effect?)
    Oof! (pain sound, same game as above)
    Hrm. (Minecraft villager sound)
    The mushroom growth sound from many Mario games.
    The mushroom loss/damage sound from those same Mario games.
    Yoshi!
    AWOWOowowowo...
    The undertale intro sound effect

    EDIT: The MW2 intervention sound effect, core to any MLG montage, that washed over the Internet/YouTube like a wave ~-7-5 years ago, at the peak of edgy YouTube.

    As for me, personally I'd say this disappointed yay from reimagine the game is my favorite, most memorable sound effect.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      This is really interesting to me, as I'm not part of the Minecraft/Roblox generation. I've watched a couple streams here and there but can't even tell you what the starting areas look like. At...

      This is really interesting to me, as I'm not part of the Minecraft/Roblox generation. I've watched a couple streams here and there but can't even tell you what the starting areas look like.

      At this point, I think most Mario sound effects are going to be iconic, but it'd be interesting to note exactly which versions you think of. I'd expect you won't think of the OG versions that the seniors in here would, but then again maybe Mario Maker's success has mitigated that to a certain extent?

      2 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Okay? I will have to note that: Roblox is often used in memes and played for humor's sake, so citing a roblox sound effect doesn't mean I'll name my generation after it. Minecraft is 10 years old,...

        This is really interesting to me, as I'm not part of the Minecraft/Roblox generation. I've watched a couple streams here and there but can't even tell you what the starting areas look like.

        Okay? I will have to note that:

        Roblox is often used in memes and played for humor's sake, so citing a roblox sound effect doesn't mean I'll name my generation after it.

        Minecraft is 10 years old, so it should probably not be mistaken as a young people thing. "Ooh" for example was removed 8 years ago.

        I'd expect you won't think of the OG versions that the seniors in here would, but then again maybe Mario Maker's success has mitigated that to a certain extent?

        I don't really see too much of a difference them, mostly just varying degrees of technological impairment. (Being intentionally mean is fun /s) . I definitely do think of super Mario world first however when it comes to sound effects and graphics. Mario maker (2 now) definitely helps, although I do not pretend to be able to tell between stuff from other games and stuff that's unique to super Mario maker, and if I do know that, most of my knowledge of what goes to which game is 90% from Nintendo segregating the games' by functionality.

        1 vote
  11. [2]
    Silbern
    Link
    They're not iconic, but nonetheless very well known - the bump sound in Pokemon, when you walk into a wall, and the chime when you press A on a dialogue. They haven't changed those sound effects...

    They're not iconic, but nonetheless very well known - the bump sound in Pokemon, when you walk into a wall, and the chime when you press A on a dialogue. They haven't changed those sound effects in... ever, I think, and I've yet to find a person younger than 30 that doesn't instantly recognize them, regardless if they've only heard them in Let's Plays or were/are hardcore Pokemon fans who've played every generation of games.

    3 votes
    1. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      Similarly, the Pokemon Center jingle is still taking up mental real estate in my head.

      Similarly, the Pokemon Center jingle is still taking up mental real estate in my head.

      2 votes
  12. [4]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    You're gonna have a list of things in this comment section. This list would be incomplete without Call of Duty's hit market sound. Then again, the sound is only partially iconic: you need the hit...

    You're gonna have a list of things in this comment section.

    This list would be incomplete without Call of Duty's hit market sound. Then again, the sound is only partially iconic: you need the hit market itself to complete the circuit.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      If anyone needs context, this is one of the sound effects that was used and kinda abused by the MLG wave that happened in 2013-2015.

      If anyone needs context, this is one of the sound effects that was used and kinda abused by the MLG wave that happened in 2013-2015.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        weystrom
        Link Parent
        Is it too early to feel nostalgic about 2013? I'm feeling a bit of a thirst for Mountain Dew and Doritos for some reason.

        Is it too early to feel nostalgic about 2013? I'm feeling a bit of a thirst for Mountain Dew and Doritos for some reason.

        1 vote
        1. Kuromantis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I was a kid in third grade in 2013 so I guess I'll enjoy it.

          I was a kid in third grade in 2013 so I guess I'll enjoy it.

  13. joplin
    Link
    For anyone who spent time in an arcade in the 80s, the kicker when you put a quarter into Q*Bert is definitely one of those sounds! You could hear it from across the arcade with a thousand other...

    For anyone who spent time in an arcade in the 80s, the kicker when you put a quarter into Q*Bert is definitely one of those sounds! You could hear it from across the arcade with a thousand other games blaring out their sounds!

    2 votes
  14. moocow1452
    Link
    The sound effects from the Portal franchise, specifically the ASHPD firing is very good sound design.

    The sound effects from the Portal franchise, specifically the ASHPD firing is very good sound design.

    2 votes
  15. parsley
    Link
    Sonic drowning music It's not nearly as iconic but Super Metroid has a wonderful (...ly horrible) "you are going to die" low health alarm sound

    Sonic drowning music

    It's not nearly as iconic but Super Metroid has a wonderful (...ly horrible) "you are going to die" low health alarm sound

    2 votes
  16. Gerile3
    Link
    This one came to my mind first dunno why : Kirov reporting

    This one came to my mind first dunno why : Kirov reporting

    2 votes
  17. Adys
    Link
    On top of the classic arcade game sounds: Portal's portal sounds Pokemon's "ding ding ding ding ding" at the pokecenter And purely a personal one: Independence War 2's "LDS" propulsion activation...

    On top of the classic arcade game sounds:

    • Portal's portal sounds
    • Pokemon's "ding ding ding ding ding" at the pokecenter
    • And purely a personal one: Independence War 2's "LDS" propulsion activation sound
    1 vote
  18. [2]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    For the people who played it, a lot of the stock sounds in the original DOOM. I guess there's a professional sound pack that has had a lot of the same sounds in it for decades, and every so often...

    For the people who played it, a lot of the stock sounds in the original DOOM. I guess there's a professional sound pack that has had a lot of the same sounds in it for decades, and every so often I hear demons in the weirdest places, then remember what I'm watching. There's a few that you may have heard, particularly the Imps and the Soliders.

    Oh yeah, this YAY. It was programmed into me watching Markiplier play FNAF (I'll never play that series, but bought them to support Scott Cauthon), and any time I hear this canned kids cheer, I think of those games. It's everywhere.

    1 vote
    1. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Yeah. I didn't know what sound effect you were talking about until I clicked the link because I don't really associate it with FNAF, since I don't think I've ever watched a FNAF playthrough or...

      Any time I hear this canned kids cheer, I think of those games. It's everywhere.

      Yeah. I didn't know what sound effect you were talking about until I clicked the link because I don't really associate it with FNAF, since I don't think I've ever watched a FNAF playthrough or even a single episode of it, but I recognized that sound effect immediately. Now that's widespread.

  19. mat
    Link
    iD software's assorted double barrelled shotguns. Shows up in a lot of games but I like the Quake 2 variant best, personally.

    iD software's assorted double barrelled shotguns. Shows up in a lot of games but I like the Quake 2 variant best, personally.

  20. m15o
    Link
    The "hitsplat" on Old School Runescape!

    The "hitsplat" on Old School Runescape!

  21. Wes
    Link
    There's something very satisfying about the Dark Souls 2 parry sound effect. There's even a mod to use it in Dark Souls 1.

    There's something very satisfying about the Dark Souls 2 parry sound effect.

    There's even a mod to use it in Dark Souls 1.