1. Project Copernicus holiday card
This past week I received an email from an ex-38 Studios
employee who asked to remain nameless, thanking me for the column on Project Copernicus' soundtrack
: "I am glad that the music can be enjoyed by some of the old fans of the game. As a special thank you, I would like to show you something nobody outside of the 38 Studios have ever seen. It is an animated Christmas card that was first released internally and was intended to be shared with our fans the following year. Please accept it with my best holiday wishes.
"The music is one of the songs written for the folklore of the game's world. It is shin as performed by the 'Guild of the Silver Harp' -- a bardic collective of the Kingdoms of Amalur. The quality is not the best, but it conveys the idea behind the song."
No commentary on this one; I just wanted to share it with everyone! Pretty cool, eh?
2. Lord of the Rings Online: Winter-home
I love the somewhat muted, discordant sound of the band that plays here. It sounds much more in-world than your typical fantasy track, and while it's got a festival ring to it, it doesn't draw upon typical Christmas carol motifs. It kind of makes me think of an old timey (circa 1914) band striking it up on the fairgrounds.
3. Guild Wars 2: Wintersday in Lion's Arch
There are plenty of holiday tunes in this game, bless their musical hearts, but I went with this one because I like how grand and epic it sounds without leaving the seasonal sound behind. At times it has a carnival tone that calls out to one's playful side, while at others it gets a little serious. Like what Batman might listen to on December 25th.
4. Atlantica Online: Christmas Villa
My wife's a big fan of Mannheim Steamroller for Christmas music, so much so that we once went to go see them in concert. Anyway, Christmas Villa is MMO holiday music brought to you by a Mannheim fan, apparently, because it so sounds like the group's creation. That makes up for the fact that it's pretty much a traditional Christmas tune ("Santa Claus is coming to town") instead of something composed for an in-game holiday.
5. Glitch: Winter Holiday
Can you believe it's been over a year since this very unique MMO went under? At least the music perseveres. I've been waiting a while to share this track with you, as it's probably my favorite from what I've heard. It's definitely got some sleigh bells going on, but that's coupled with a somewhat haunting music box tune. I love how understated it is, kind of like a kissing cousin of Carol of the Bells.
6. Star Trek Online: Rainbows
I would not have placed this song in Star Trek if I heard it out of the blue, but no matter, it's still an awesome, relaxing piece. It begins with a synth choir being all grand and moving, but it's at 1:32 that the track finds its hook with a trippy little electronica harmony. I think I could put this on repeat and be happy with it playing for a few hours.
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!