Forsaken World was composed by Austrian Roland Mair-Gruber. I am not that familiar with Mair-Gruber (his portfolio is a little skimpy thus far), but if this score is anything to judge him by, he's a lover of serene soundscapes. This is the kind of soundtrack that you could just put on the background in a spa, for the most part, although that doesn't mean it's forgettable. I liked it enough not to consider my time listening to it a waste, even though there weren't as many standout tracks as I've heard elsewhere.
So what should you listen to from Forsaken World? I've got you covered this week in Jukebox Heroes!
1. Main Theme
While probably the best track in the whole album, the main theme does suffer a little from Generic Fantasitis. If you squint with your ears -- yes, you can do that -- you might hear shades of Final Fantasy toward the end.
What I did appreciate was the utilization of the entire orchestra, most notably the clanks of percussion, that never did sound like a mess. It's got an energy and a relentlessness to it that carries through to the end with the horns tying it all together.
2. Character Creation
Yes, I'm a sucker for character creation music if an MMO has it, so it was inevitable that this track made its way to this list. Here's where the "tranquil" of the score takes over, where a pleasant if not terribly memorable stretch of music stays firmly in the background save for an Asian-sounding flute that provides the track highlight.
3. Elf Forest
You know what's the ultimate kick in the pants for self-proclaimed Elf-haters like yours truly? When MMOs constantly give the race some of the more amazing and well-done pieces of music in the game. "Elf starter zone music" is shorthand for "must listen" more often than not.
This track is... OK. I've heard better in the Elf school of musicology. It does the job of giving a magical vibe coupled with some sort of beauty, although I feel that the vocals here should've stayed home to improve the track tenfold.
4. Kindred Village
The harpsichord is in full effect here, and we all know that the harpsichord does two things very well: give off an aura of antiquity and make us think of creepy things that go bump in the night. Both of these back up the notion of a vampire town, so it's a good fit. I would be perfectly happy playing this in a haunted house one Halloween if I were putting together a playlist.
5. Nightfall Freedom Harbor
Ready to go on a grand adventure? Well then, Timmy, you're going to need a pair of big boy pants and an appropriate soundtrack. Might I suggest this piece? It's extremely upbeat and will probably help you stop dwelling on the fact that your best-case scenario is to return to your hometown missing only one leg and your ability to reproduce. Hey man, that's what dragons do. Don't say we didn't warn you.
6. Windward Cloister
Listening to this track, I can picture it easily as being set against a place that epitomizes safety and comfort. It's a lovely little tune anchored by a dueling harp and piano (a very simple duel, but nevertheless), exuding that warm feeling of being home. Remember Timmy? Bet he wishes he were still home.
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!