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The Instinct

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Soundtrack - Killer Instinct - Theme04:54

Soundtrack - Killer Instinct - Theme

The Instinct (also known as the Killer Instinct Main Theme) is the eighth song from the original 1995 Killer Cuts soundtrack. It is produced, mixed and arranged by the original KI composer, Robin Beanland, with additional credit towards co-composer Graeme Norgate. This song is the official main theme for the Killer Instinct franchise, appearing in every game (from the intros to the menus and so forth). "The Instinct" is critically revered by fans worldwide as one of the most recognizable and nostalgic themes in the fighting game community (FGC) today.

Description

The theme overall is best described as a 90s industrial hard rock/metal track, featuring electric guitars performing the well-known melodies and synthesizers that set an almost brooding atmosphere, befitting the game's urban and gritty tone and setting. At the end of the track as it fades out, there is an almost sinister and foreboding synthetized piece that subsequently serves as the official Character Select theme.

Killer Instinct

While not as crisp or arranged sonically as the Killer Cuts rendition, the original arcade version of "The Instinct" has received plenty of high praise.

Except for the Game Boy version, the main theme also serves as the official credits theme for all versions of KI1, following the second and final half of boss character Eyedol's "The Extreme" theme.

SNES Version

Due to the hardware limitations of the Nintendo console, the overall soundtrack – including the main theme – was lowered in quality. The original programmers had to rearrange each track to fit into the console's 16-bit built settings.

Game Boy Version

On the (Super) Game Boy version of KI1, the game's music quality was lowered even further due to the handheld's limitations. "The Instinct" and the other songs were overall rearranged to fit the handheld's 8-bit/chiptune format.

As stated above, "The Instinct" does not appear in the official credits, nor does it appear in the Character Select screen, instead being replaced by Spinal's "Ya Ha Haa" theme in the latter.

Killer Instinct 2 Remix

When the sequel was released to arcades in 1996, a new and heavier rock version of "The Instinct" was produced, with an greater emphasis on drums and electric guitar. The Character Select rendition replaced the synthesized melodies with rock instrumentals and trumpets.

So far, this is the only game in the series in which both renditions of "The Instinct" – the Main Theme rendition and the Character Select rendition – would be separated into two tracks on the Killer Instinct Gold Cuts soundtrack, called "Title Tune" and "Select", respectively.

Gold Version

Though not as heavily scaled back in quality as the SNES, KI Gold, released on the Nintendo 64, had a small music quality decrease in both the Main Theme rendition and the Character Select rendition.

Killer Instinct (2013) Remix

After almost 18 years since the release of KI Gold, Killer Instinct made its return from hiatus to the Xbox One in 2013 with a new version of "The Instinct", now performed by new composer Mick Gordon. While a bit slower than the previous two versions, it makes up for the small change with a powerful heavy metal sound, befitting the reboot's darker, grittier tone and direction. It has been critically acclaimed by the original KI fans and newcomers alike to be the best version of the theme song.

The Character Select music is made even heavier with a slow metal rendition of the original tune.

Trivia

  • With the release of the 2013 reboot, "The Instinct" became more predominant than ever, serving as a leitmotif for some scores, including character/stage themes. For instance, the legacy characters – the ones who appeared in KI1 and 2 – had idle renditions that were essentially remixes of their original themes as seen here. But for the new characters (ex. Sadira, Kan-Ra, Mira), the idle parts of their themes are essentially a remix of "The Instinct".
  • "The Instinct" would be added as part of the 2013 reboot's practice mode, where the players can choose backgrounds for the training stage along with the themes represented in Killer Cuts-style-order. The background of the Warehouse Basement from KI1 represents the main theme.

Gallery

Killer Instinct

Unused KI1 Theme(s)

Killer Instinct 2/Gold

Unused KI2 Theme(s)

Killer Instinct (2013)

Killer Instinct Universe
Playable Characters
Killer Instinct Logo HD Jago ·Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sabrewulf

 ·Spinal ·Riptor ·Cinder ·Fulgore ·Eyedol

Killer Instinct 2 Kim Wu ·Maya ·Tusk ·Gargos
Killer Logo copy Season 1 Sadira ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 Kan-Ra ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·ARIA
Season 3 Mira ·Rash ·Arbiter ·General RAAM
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako
Non-Playable Characters and Organizations
Minor Characters Eagle ·The Chairman ·Ryat Adams ·Babylonian King ·The Master ·Yeouiju
Organizations Ultratech ·Red Eyes of Rylai ·Disavowed ·Night Guard ·The Coven ·The Alliance
Others
Comics KI Nintendo Power ·KI Issue #1 ·KI Issue #2 ·KI Issue #3 ·KI Special #1 ·KI Special #2 ·KI Special #3
Extended Stories The Secrets of the Tiger ·The Lycanthrope's Tale ·The Ice-man Cometh ·Murder of Crows ·The Widow's Bite ·The Firecat's Summoning ·The Quest of the Searing Skull ·Fulgore Mark 03 Field Manual-L ·Glory Days ·Temperance and Vengeance ·Death is no Obstacle ·You and Your Riptor Unit ·The Herald of Gargos ·Peacemaker ·The Everlasting Child ·The Third Degree ·Evolve or Die ·Kim Wu's Extended Story ·Tusk's Extended Story ·Mira's Extended Story ·Gargos' Extended Story ·The Reawakened ·Rash's Extended Story ·Arbiter's Extended Story ·General RAAM's Extended Story
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg ·The Watchman Awakes ·Dragon's Choice ·Conflux ·ARIA for Noömorph ·Shadows at Dawn
Soundtracks Killer Cuts ·Killer Instinct Gold Cuts ·Killer Instinct Season 1 Soundtrack ·Killer Instinct Season 2 Soundtrack ·Killer Instinct Season 3 Soundtrack
Gameplay Combo & Counter Breaker ·Ultra Combo ·Ultimate Combo ·Combo System ·Instinct Mode ·Shadow Meter ·Shadow Moves ·Shadow Counter ·Knockdown Value ·Lock out ·Frame Data ·Character Accessories ·Arcade Mode ·Rivals Mode ·Shadow Lords Mode
Stages

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