In my own personal experience and from talking with friends, I've realized that sometimes we love a piece of music not for its whole but because it has a small portion that just grabs us and won't let us go. Hoelbrak is a very fine town theme, but where it goes from "fine" to "earworm" is this little section at 1:44. It's not a long cue, but it's so rich and poignant and sad and triumphant that you just want to keep hitting rewind (if this were, y'know, a cassette tape) to hear it again and again.
2. Logan's Journey
Right out of the gate, Logan's Journey erupts with this jubilant theme that's really addicting. It's got the horns for that traditional triumphant fantasy sound, but the strings are what lend a magical tone to it. I like how it keeps transitioning into new sections, each one its own creature but linked by this overall exuberance. No matter how you feel about Logan, this track deserves a high amount of praise.
3. Out of the Dream
There are a few instruments that I'm partial to hearing from a full orchestra, including the xylophone and the harp. I guess I just like instruments that play clear, individual notes; it makes them stand out to me. Out of the Dream is, like the title implies, dreamlike, and utilizes the harp to great effect to convey this mood. It's beautiful and definitely what I'd call an "Elf track." Look it up: Most MMOs have at least one or two Elf tracks on their score.
4. Snaff's Workshop
As an Asura player, I had to include one of that race's most iconic tracks in this column. Plus, as my friend Syl observed, I'm a sucker for "tinker tunes." I guess this qualifies as a tinker tune, although its playful nature is certainly offset with a darker sound and a transition into a more traditional fantasy riff in the middle. Taken together as a mix, it's a short piece that leaves me feeling mischievous and wanting more.
5. The Vigil Goes to War
I think I used to like this track a lot more than I do now, but it's still quite serviceable. It's more heavy on the horns than I prefer, choosing to take the main stage of a pre-battle moment instead of playing it cool. That's its choice, although it does make me wonder whether Jeremy Soule just has a horn fetish and walks around with a horn entourage trumpeting his every step.
6. Fear Not This Night (Instrumental)
OK, I'm going with the instrumental version of this song because, well... the lyrics are way too cheesy and melodramatic for me. I think it actually sounds far more beautiful and captivating without words, allowing the listener to concentrate on the notes. It's an uplifting piece, although you can hear it battling with a sorrowful element at times. To me, it's about overcoming adversity and also not fearing no nights.
MMOs aren't just about looks; they also have great soundtracks that often go unnoticed. Heroes don't stand for that! Every Tuesday, Jukebox Heroes will check out a game's soundtrack and feature the best tunes to share and discuss. Your DJ for the hour is Justin Olivetti, and the request line is open!