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There’s a unique art to making video game background music. It has to be engaging enough to produce an emotional response, but not so much that it becomes a distraction from the gameplay. Each piece has to quickly establish its tone, but can’t be so simplistic that it becomes repetitive on the many occasions where the music loops around for a second play during the hero’s journey across the map or epic boss fight.

For years, the Pokémon franchise has been hitting the nail on the head with its soundtracks, and if that musical accompaniment adds a special something to your quest to catch ‘em all, why can’t it do the same to a late night of studying or your commute to work? So not only will a new app let you play Pokémon music on your smartphone, it’ll even give you a regular batch of free listens.

Just released this Thursday, the Pokémon Ongaku Zukan is an Android app featuring music from the entire franchise. Right now, selections are available from 1996’s series-starting Pokémon Red and Green, their 2004 remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, and 2009’s HeartGold,/em> and SoulSilver. Eventually, though, the Pokémon Company plans to add in tunes from the entire series, up through the newest installments, Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire.

Pokémon Ongaku Zukan translates to Pokémon Music Illustrated Guide, which seems like kind of a strange name until you see the interface and learn that the app looks as good as it sounds, with a design inspired by the monster-capturing Poké Ball.

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A slider on the left side of the controls allows you to switch over to an endless loop, just like in the games themselves, with additional settings to either fade out or jump right back to the beginning as the track reaches its end. If that’s not enough to recreate the atmosphere of your fondly remembered Pokémon battles, you can tap the three buttons under the display to produce sound effects from the games.

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Given the large number of pieces of music that make up a video game soundtrack, you might not know the exact name of the piece of music you’re in the mood to listen to. To make things easier, the Pokémon Music Illustrated Guide allows you to search by not only music and game titles, but also by tags such as “town,” “field,” “battle,” and “relaxing.”

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The app itself is free, with individual songs priced as low as 120 yen (US$1) and medleys starting at 240 yen. But because Pikachu is as generous as he is cute (and delicious), you can listen to three songs per day completely free of charge.

The Pokémon Music Illustrated Guide can be downloaded here through Google Play.

Source: Kai-You
Images: Pokémon Music Illustrated Guide official website (edited by RocketNews24)