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One of my favorite tunes has always been the theme song from Tetris, which it turns out is a traditional Russian folk song called “Korobeiniki” or “Korobushka.” If I understand correctly, it’s about a traveling pawnbroker who offers a woman a gold ring if he can sleep with her. Charming.

In any case, the punk rock band Ozma has done a great cover of it:

I really like this version: it has a sense of urgency, even hysteria, about it. I picture it as being good for a video game opening: At first, the player’s military unit finds itself in an unfamiliar situation. An enemy appears and the unit begins fighting well, and does a good job of holding its own. At 1:12, however, something changes and by 1:40 the tide has definitely turned in favor of the enemy (listen especially for the sound at 1:48). By 1:52, panic has broken out and your player and a few others have broken ranks and are trying to fight their way out. As the song closes, your comrades have fallen one-by-one, leaving you alone…your video game begins.

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