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Jukebox Heroes: Project Copernicus' soundtrack

Justin Olivetti
October 15, 2013
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Out of the many tragedies that emerged from the 38 Studios fiasco was the fact that so much artistry was ultimately abandoned, unseen, and unheard by players. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a composer who spent months working on a full MMO score only to have the studio tank and the music silenced.

Well, I can't bring back 38 Studios or Project Copernicus, but today we can at least hear a little of the music that went into the game. As a helpful commenter noted in the Sound Cloud column a couple of weeks ago, Composer Gene Rozenberg of The Witcher 3 fame posted a heap of the (then upcoming) Project Copernicus score on his page. Since it's still there, although not downloadable, I wanted to highlight a few of the best tracks before this too gets erased.





1. Dverga Lullaby

Sometimes female vocals that aren't actually singing anything specific can divide listeners. It can delight and it can annoy. For me, it's all about context. Here I really like it, because coupled with the background sound, it gives this deep intonation that carries weight and transitions well into the cathedral hymn section of the track.


2. Fond Memories (Music Box Arrangement)

I can't say that I've ever heard a music box tune in an MMO yet, so I had to include this at least for the novelty of it. It does tack on an accordion for that Parisian sound, so if the first half-minute grates, at least there's that to look forward to.


3. Almere Valley, Edderton

Ah, the harp. Every time I hear one in a fantasy soundtrack, I just assume that it's a Final Fantasy piece -- especially if you throw in a flute, like this track does. It's got that nice, tranquil "intermission" feel to it that's relaxing but not triumphant. It's a short tune, but worth the listen.


4. The Crymbil (Goblins) -- Thematic Racial Exploration

Both of the Goblin tunes on this Sound Cloud page share the same discordant melody that's catchy despite being played with out-of-tune instruments. I like the first three tracks I listed in this article, but this is perhaps the first one that I love. It's got a sea shanty pep to it that makes it oh-so-endearing.


5. Teeth of Naros -- Further

This is an action track that's done with a Middle Eastern vibe. The unique choices of instruments take what could have been a very pedestrian tune and make each part stand out even while they work together.


6. The Ljosolfar (Ice Elves) -- Thematic Racial Exploration

First of all, "Ice Elves" sound a lot more original than Dark Elves, Moon Elves, High Elves, and Dirt Elves. Again, it's such a shame that we'll never get to see this game. This piece has a fragile beauty to it that's unsettled and drifting. I like how it picks up and becomes this grander voice with the synth and the slow booms. I think it lends gravitas to an otherwise flighty track, and by the end I've been won over. Not by the Ice Elves, necessarily, but by their music.

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!
































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