Boy, American McGee's Alice really sticks in the mind of a ten-year-old, doesn't it? It resides in the Goldilocks Zone of creepiness: just the right amount of creepy to be considered cool, and not quite creepy enough to cause nightmares. There were quite a few things I loved about the game, but none more than that deliciously haunting opening theme that played in the main menu.
Have a quick listen-a-roo of the theme here if you like.
Could you imagine a better piece of music to get you in the mood to delve into a twisted, brooding Wonderland, with nothing but your bloodstained dress, a wicked-looking kitchen knife, and the most evil-looking Cheshire Cat ever conceived to keep you company?
It gets even better when you discover that much of the music in American McGee's Alice was created with the help of children's toys, clocks, music boxes, doors, and other wonderfully unusual makeshift instruments. As a theme for Alice herself, it's simply perfect. It reminds us that she's still a child, but the darkness in the theme prevents us from seeing her too much in that light. This is an Alice who has had to grow up far too quickly, whose disturbed and unstable mind has created an equally disturbed and unstable Wonderland through which you must journey.
It's a magnificent introduction to the game, and the music has stuck with me even a decade and a half later.