I have two big announcements today. The first is that Jukebox Heroes is switching from a bi-weekly to a weekly schedule, which should delight my 30 readers and cause an epidemic of indifference elsewhere. The second is that we're going to take a week off examining specific soundtracks to have a little fun with how silly MMO studios can get.
If you haven't figured it out already, this column is kind of a not-so-subtle outlet for sharing my MMO music collection with you. I don't have any firm method of collection other than I just acquire tracks that my ear tells me I'd like to hear again. So along the way, I've acquired a few oddball pieces that you probably won't find on any OST but that are notable enough to share.
In some cases, these tracks represent studios' attempts (successful or otherwise) to let down their hair and be humorous. In others, these songs are parodies or one-time special events. So let's take a sidebar to look at the whimsical and odd songs of gaming.
Maybe you missed this when we posted about it a few weeks back, but Cryptic released a special in-game song for Champions Online's third anniversary. It's not the best thing you've ever heard, that's for sure, but I'm willing to admit that it might be a slight guilty pleasure. I like to think that it's cheesy on purpose.
The above video was shot in-game, but if you'd like to hear a better version of the audio, I can hook you up.
So back when Guild Wars 2 was in the business of torturing us with glacial previews, ArenaNet decided to have some fun with the final class reveal. Everyone was expecting the Mesmer (which turned out to be the case), but when we navigated to the Guild Wars 2 front page, we found something... different.
What greeted us was a goofy-beyond-belief jiggling Minstrel playing a horribly butchered version of the Guild Wars theme. It was an instant classic, and I knew it belonged on this list.
Also, I really would've played a Minstrel. Just saying.
I'm not overly familiar with The Dares, but it's still pretty cool that SOE snagged a band to throw an in-game concert for the players. It's an OK song and is pretty appropriate for the game in question. I'm just pretty impressed that the band performed live in-game. That's some incredible technology right there.
You knew this had to be on the list, right? Even if it's not from a specific MMO, it's all about MMOs (and nominally World of Warcraft). Auto-tuned to hell and back, it still managed to be a catchy tune that poked a lot of fun at our hobby and those who perhaps get a little too into it.
Besides, it's all worth it just to see Vork awkwardly dancing in the background.
Wow, I had totally forgotten about this song until a friend from my Warhammer Online days brought it back up. Right here is a perfect example of the flawed genius behind the game: crazy developers who weren't afraid to rock out to an original song about how hardcore Dwarves are. It's most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime composition.
You'll kiss my axe, and I'll drink my beer indeed.
We're just about out of time, but here are a handful more if you're in the mood for a smile and rave:
Hope you enjoyed our brief trip to the Twilight Zone of music, for next week it's about to get all funky up in here! And no, I have no idea what I'm doing. What do you suggest?
MMOs aren't just about looks; they also have great soundtracks that often go unnoticed. Heroes don't stand for that! Every other 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!