Saints Row: The Nightmare Chorus

By way of beautiful/monstrous coda to today’s (well, yesterday’s. I’m up toooooooooo late) Advent Calendar entry, please enjoy this taste of the Saints Row 2 videogame’s singular madness.

Occasionally, your self-designed character will sing along to what’s playing on the in-game radio. That can be strangled enough by itself, but this… This is what it sounds like when doves die. Or, more accurately, when all six possible main character voices’ howling, babbling versions of A-Ha’s Take On Me are composited together into a freakish but highly chucklesome chorus of mangled Scandinavian pop. Don’t have nightmares.

As shared in comments by comrade Larington. Tharington.

And, because it never gets old, here’s how it should have sounded…

Now to bed I go, before my housemate wakes up and inquires as to why I’m loudly playing A-Ha at 2 o’clock in the morning.


  1. Larington says:


  2. Psychopomp says:


  3. Vinraith says:

    God dammit, now I HAVE to buy it, bad PC port or no.

    Curse you Alec, CURSE YOU!

  4. JimmyJames says:

    Awesome. It’s sort of like The Legion of Rock Stars.

  5. Cerbis says:


  6. Wulf says:



    A truly inspired music video if ever there was one.

  7. Scalene says:

    Yup, ditto. This is too awesome not to buy.

  8. nhex says:


  9. Thiefsie says:

    Sounds like Australian (insert other country) Idol

  10. etho says:

    Yeah, that just singlehandedly sold me the game. I might go for the console version, just cause the PC version sounds… flawed.

    But, wow. That was amazing.

  11. Haplo says:

    Oh man, this song is fantastic. That video clip is the best.

    I’m actually impressed that they put that in. SR2 seems to have some really alluring little touches.

  12. Paul Moloney says:

    By far, one of the worst games I’ve ever played. I fail to understand how this got reviews above 30%. Like as if the developers of Big Mother Truckers tried to clone GTA4.


    • Jesse says:

      So’s your mom.

    • fearghaill says:

      Paul M:

      I see, and how long exactly would you say you’ve hated fun?

    • oceanclub says:

      Fun is my middle name. No, really, I love stupid games as much as the next person (Noam Chomsky in this case), but we have a driving game were vehicles have the handling qualities of a block of butter, even with a gamepad, and where – in my game at least – pedestrians all stood around perfectly even when you were rampaging around 2 feet from them. After coming straight from GTA4, it just seemed so shoddy. I don’t think I would have minded too much if I’d picked it up in a bargain sale, but I bought it almost full price based on reviews from here and PCGUK.

      And yes, it has a character generator. But then, so do the Tiger Woods games and that’s not enough to keep me playing them either.


    • Dave says:

      I thought it was like a diamond in the rough… that someone had covered in strawberry-flavored lip gloss and snot, poured a couple of beers over, dropped down the bottom of a well and then shoveled in several dozen pounds of manure. Like there was some fine entertainment to be had, but it was (A) half-mad and random, and (B) pretty much ruined by the overall experience.

      That said, this song approaches epicness.

  13. fearghaill says:

    Didn’t Kieron just mention this as his favourite music video, if forced to pick one in his Warren Ellis week’o’questions?

  14. JuJuCam says:

    I kinda want to hear the mangled chorus without the original backing it up.

  15. AlabasterSlim says:

    I love that song.

  16. whitebrice says:

    Alec Meer, there is nothing cooler than loudly playing A-Ha at 2 o’clock in the morning.

    I think you just sold me on that game to be honest.

  17. x25killa says:

    That’s just a bonus added to Saints Row 2.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Don’t you mean Saints Row 2 is just an added bonus to A-Ha?

  18. Gnarl says:

    Yet another example of RPS selling out to the man. Pretending that a post is anything other than an advert, abusing your poor readers.

    Stop taking money from old bands RPS, it’s just wrong.

  19. Matzerath says:

    I shan’t be tricked!

  20. Tom Camfield says:

    If their adverts were men and women singing badly along to A-Ha, but in the game, then I would have bought this long ago.

  21. MadTinkerer says:

    By the way, i love the PC version of SR2. Maybe I just happen to have the ideal hardware setup for it, but I never encountered any bugs and once I got used to the control scheme (most, but not all, of the keys can be re-bound, unfortunately) it was pure awesome.

    GTA San Andreas – pretensions of seriousness + a sense of humor and fun – forcing you to play plot missions in order to enjoy content + rewarding you for playing side-missions and minigames as much as you want = Saints Row 2. GTA makes you work for the fun parts. SR2 periodically makes you take breaks from the semi-serious parts to go enjoy yourself, like a job that forces you to take six day (paid) weekends. I love SR2.

    This music video is also pure awesome.

  22. Popular Energy Drink says:

    The PC version of SR2 isn’t really that bad as it’s made out to be. Really, the most annoying/infurating parts of the game are the harder challenge missions; having millions of enemy gang vehicles flying at you from everywhere really is both amusing and “HOLY HELL” inducing.

    Not to mention hilarious physics. The bugs aren’t bad at all, and the UI does have its console issues, but if you put aside its flaws and play it with a good friend, SR2 is a worthwhile experience. My mate and I had a great time playing together, at least.

    • Spod says:

      @Popular Energy Drink: Well it’s a lottery, some people have a flawless experience, some not so bad and some have a game-ending bug in the way of the stuttering. When it comes to the driving, something I think we can agree is a significant part of the game, it becomes unplayable for me – the stuttering results in an uncontrollable car. I’d love to find a solution for it but so far none have worked, it’s a great shame because the areas of the game that worked well were massively good fun.

  23. Mundus says:

    So far the biggest bug of all is the massive game-breaking stutter when driving.

    It’s random and apparently completely unrelated to computer specs. Sadly, I was hit with it and it’s almost impossible to play without god codes. Especially later on when gangs are after you all over the place.

    And you know what? It’s still fun. A testament to how good and zany the game is. Playing a crazed British thug dressed like an extra from Clockwork Orange with a touch of Joker thrown in is surreal and hilarious.

    • wiper says:

      British thug? I don’t remember there being a British voice option in there… has been a while since I made my character, though. Fantastic game though, I grinned like a loon the first time my character started singing (badly) along with A-ha :D

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, there’s a british voice, although it’s vague enough to pass for Australian by way of Cockney.

      So that’s why I made Saxton Hale from the TF2 comics as my character. It made his knife-happy rampages and throwing little old ladies in front of moving trucks all the funnier.

  24. Heliosicle says:

    thats pretty cool :D

  25. alseT says:

    The stuttering is caused by not loading the files from the hard-disk fast enough, so it’s said that disabling paging file and having at least 4 gigs of RAM helps with that.

  26. Surgeon says:

    I love Alan Partridge.

    • Kanamit says:

      I just watched series 2 of I’m Alan Partridge for the first time last week. I laughed so hard I cried.

  27. Quercus says:

    Ha ha – that was hilarious.
    I love the idea of having in-game characters sing along to the in-car music and combining them for a gangster karaoke is just too funny for words.

  28. Spacewalk says:

    Saints Row 2 combines my dislike of A-Ha and thug life games so I just have to let everyone know about it. So I guess I’m out in the cold with this one.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’d classify SR2 as less ‘thug life’ and more ‘cackling supervillain simulator’. A buddy of yours is on trial for about a thousand murders? Walk right into that courthouse and shoot everyone that isn’t him. Problem solved!

      It’s very much cartoon criminality, rather than anything vaguely sane or gritty.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      To be fair, it wasn’t until the 90s A-Ha turned into yet another generic adult-contemporary pop outfit…

  29. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    the plague is spreading… :)

  30. phil says:

    Saint’s Row 2 was just super dense fun, in every sense. Little moments like this, the flasher runs, the car hand stands, the nitro assult courses, the sword fight, the Destruction Derby and thousand of other touches, make you wonder why any sand box game wants to ape the seriousness of the Wire. GTA4 is in many ways a beautiful experience, but barring the bank job and carting a corpse around in a car with a faulty lock on the truck, it was no where near as enjoyable as SR2.

  31. Garg says:

    Chris, where have you been?


  32. Collic says:


    It’s still the best pop song ever. I really want to hunt down this game now.

  33. hydra9 says:

    That’s actually pretty tuneful. SHIT IS COOL!

  34. Clovis says:

    I’ve put quite a few hours into SR2 and somehow missed out on my character singing along to any song. Oh well, everything else (except the bugs) has been great.

  35. Risingson says:

    A-ha debut album: one to reivindicate. And “The sun always shines on TV” is one of the best tunes of the 80s.

  36. Ed from Brazil says:

    Guys, even with all the shitty coding, SR2 PC is fucking awesome to the max. And MODS have made it better!!!! It’s the best coop game in the world too.

  37. Songbearer says:

    If you’re not playing SR2 in co-op, you are playing it wrong.

    It has to be one of my favourite games in recent times. I’ve completed it about four times on PC and 360 and even now it’s still fun to go on a rampage with a buddy. It’s centered entirely on allowing you to be the biggest arsehole in the history of gaming and it works perfectly!

    Eagerly awaiting APB for SR2 on a larger, even more customisable scale.

  38. Iain says:

    Saints Row 2 is a buggy mess that has more originality, humour and downright awesomeness than any other sandbox game. It’s cheap. Go out, buy it, and get a close friend to buy it too for co-op. You’ll run around with chainsaws and flamethrowers decimating the civilian population of stillwater, you’ll turn your gangsta’s into an army of ninja’s, you WILL SPRAY FECAL MATTER ON HOUSES.

    Seriously, just buy this game. Make your character morbidly obese, give them the english voice. Every cutscene will bring new hilarity, every mission new and excitig ways to go crazy on a city, and every single time you find something new it’s going to bring a smile to your face. Yes, it’s broken. It’s got more bugs than a terrarium. The graphics aren’t too amazing. And the fact that so many people overlook such glaring flaws as little more than minor quirks is a testament to the sheer unfettered joy this game will bring you.

  39. Cooper says:

    Ok. Will be playing it again when I get back home…

  40. shiggz says:

    Typically I dont have the taste for things that glamorize ghetto life for a bunch of empty white suburban kids. But I rather enjoyed Saints Row 1 and 2. Personally I liked them more then GTA.

  41. Flobulon says:

    Thanks, ants.

  42. shiggz says:

    And the random singing along is hilarious lots of times in game it was just a line or two. If you really to make people crap bricks from laughing get an old grizzled ghangster thug singing along to Sakuranbo.

  43. Ging says:

    Clearly, the best version of “Take on me” is the literal version (clicky)

  44. EthZee says:

    I owned this on PS3, so I never had the crippling technical problems. But I’d agree that yes, it is an awesome game. Although I can understand how people wouldn’t like it; I was fairly dismissive of it until I went round a mate’s house and tried it myself; ten minutes of chainsawing people and setting them on fire whilst wearing a polka-dot ninja outfit later, I was sold.

    I did end up trading it in for another game, though. Sadface.

  45. CalmHorizons says:

    “Thanks, ants.”


  46. CalmHorizons says:

    Flobulon says: “Thanks, ants.”


  47. Eplekongen says:

    Wait, what the hell? Saints Row 2 was a good game?

  48. Gabanski83 says:

    Do they sing along to any other tracks as well, in the game?

    Very tempted now…

  49. Dave L. says:

    @ Gabanski 83: A couple sing along to ‘Sister Christian,’ and I’ve heard the latina voice do ‘Land Down under.’

    I actually thought that each voice only had one song that they did, but if all six do ‘Take On Me’ there may well be more.

  50. Chaz says:

    I played the game for bloody hours and my guy never once sang along to this. I know you could increase the chances of it happening by buying the song from one of the music stores and sticking it on repeat in your personal play list, but I wasn’t going to spend ages driving around listening to the same song over and over again.

    I picked the English voice and made my guy look like Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy back in the Floodland era.