May 19, 2011 4:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins
I have long been fascinated with sense memory and love asking folks who identify themselves as gamers what their emotional triggers are. Usually it's audio that transports them to some special moment of time or place, whether it’s part of a song or maybe a sound effect -- enes that I'm often familiar with, even if it they don't have the same effect on myself.
For me, I’d have to point to the QSound chime, which marked the beginning of every attract mode for Capcom's arcade offerings from the early to mid 90s. For those not familiar, it was a sound-processing algorithm that gave the impression of fully immersive, three-dimensional audio. Capcom was perhaps the most high profile practitioners or said tech, though I also recall it being touted by Sega for their Sega CD titles.
For the most part, it was rather ineffective in an arcade setting, due to every other game vying for your attention, never-mind all the patrons having to shout amongst all the ruckus to hear each other. But at least its jingle is unmistakable. Even though many of the examples presented above are generally the same, there are a few distinct variations; some feel especially melancholy, and in other cases spooky! I'm just glad the one that takes me back, to the summer I worked at an arcade, where Darkstalkers was perhaps the loudest machine of the lot, is included.