Jukebox Heroes: Allods Online's soundtrack

Allods Online
I'm particularly excited about this week's journey through MMO music because we're going to touch on one of those scores that doesn't get nearly enough of the respect it should. Like Runes of Magic's excellent OST, Allods Online's music is largely overlooked because the game itself isn't treated as a "serious" or "original" title. But one shouldn't be so quick to throw out the soundtrack with the bathwater (that is both messy and noisy!); Allods Online has several top-notch tracks that should be recognized no matter what you may think of the game.

Composers Mark Morgan (Fallout, Planescape: Torment) and Vladislav Isaev (Prime World) collaborated on the large project. "The music in Allods Online combines lots of different elements and styles," they said in a 2009 interview. "These range from dark ambient and ethnic music, symphonies and rock music, as well as various industrial noises. Some tracks in the game retain a Russian melody spirit combined with high a quality production and its own unique sound."

I think it's the Russian flair that sets this apart from being yet another fantasy soundtrack. Anything different and yet still catchy is welcome at my dinner table. Let's partake, shall we?

1. Xadaganian Theme

You see what I'm talking about with the Russian influence? It's hard not to imagine this as some official state theme of the old U.S.S.R. as fur-clad soldiers marched down Red Square. I'm not saying it's not awesome; it's definitely one of the best tracks in Allods Online. It just makes me a little nervous thinking that the game might some day have political aspirations and try to annex my living room.

2. Zone #25

First of all, I have no idea what the real name of this track is, and for that I am sorry. I spent way too much time trying to look it up. But even nameless, it definitely deserves a spot on this list. It's got a jovial festival sound going on that makes me happy right down to the bottom of my feet. The strings and funky percussion here are the real stars, and I really wish I heard something like this in more MMOs that I play.

3. Gibberlings

I don't know much about the Gibberlings in this game other than that they come in threes, they look adorable, and they probably represent the more light-hearted side of the game. This track seems to back up that last assumption, since it's a playful tune that has a hint of exoticism in its melody. It also has a lot of energy, as if the music is unable to settle down and has to keep pacing all over the zone.

4. Ice Island

While perhaps less catchy than the other tracks here, Ice Island deserves a mention for being really spot-on with creating a musical soundscape that matches the title. It has an "icy fringe of the empire" tone, with these brittle sounds suggesting frozen and desolate caverns.

5. Kania Settlements 1

Let's warm back up with Kania Settlements! The harps, bells, and female vocals spin and dance to make one feel very much at home. It almost has a renaissance faire quality to it, don't you think? I can totally picture some bard strumming this on the side of a road during a warm spring day.

6. Credits 2

There's just one word that I'd use for this track: grand. It's just grand and majestic and injected full of every good emotion that the space around it is envious. It definitely is a "credits" track, just like something you'd hear at the end of an awesome movie. I think it's a perfect tune to end today's column with because of that.

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!
This article was originally published on Massively.