We have another edition of Memorable Music in Gaming, and this time Hamza found himself going to the same well a few different times. There was one console visitor, but otherwise this week's space was dominated by PC entries.
Super Mario 64 (N64) - Dire, Dire Dock
Water levels get a bad rap, and quite-deservedly so. The controls become impossible, navigation gets stilted, and generally the entire sequence turns the gameplay into an incoherent, convoluted mess. If you cannot infer from the intro already, I detest water levels. In fact, any water sequence of any kind makes me crunch up my nose in disgust. I hate it most especially in racing games and thus, I avoid those racers like the plague. Apparently game designers are aware of this fact because, and I assume it's done so as a sort of palliative for the player's underlying tension and fear regarding water segments, some of the best music the industry has to offer are from water levels. Though without any shadow of a doubt Aquatic Ambience stands as the quintessential water music, this little composition from one of the most revolutionary games ever made stands as a definite blueprint on how to create calm, relaxing music for an area populated by scary, scary eels!
Minecraft (PC) - Subwoofer Lullaby
Everything that could be said about Minecraft's near-perfect OST has been said already, so if this little passage begins to feel familiar to you, feel free to quit reading and just focus on the music.
Composed by Daniel Rosenfeld, the ambience-laden and ethereal Subwoofer Lullaby is by and far the essential track from the album. To me it perfectly captures the childlike wonder new players experience when they step into the world of Minecraft for the first time. It's the sort of music you know you want to hear when you step into the unfamiliar and the unexpected and the wondrous and the charming.
Minecraft (PC) - Living Mice
Living Mice is a slower, quieter, and more melodic version of Subwoofer Lullaby. If you loved the latter, then you're absolutely going to adore this one!
Minecraft (PC) - Haggstrom
A light-hearted, mellifluous affair, the strangely titled Haggstrom is one of the definitive highlights from one of the best albums the world of video gaming has to offer. Split into two, the first half sounds like a nursery lullaby, while the second half brings enigmatic, rhythmic atmosphere into the mix. Both parts are fun to listen to and together they make for a very easy, endless-looping listen!
Quake (PC) - THE ENTIRE THING!
I'm a dedicated id Software fan, yet I never got into the mythos of Quake. Maybe it's because my brain had become numb from fatigue by looking at brown textures and low lightning ad nauseum in the Heretic/Hexen franchise before I opened up Quake for the first time. Out of all the games by id, it was the Quake franchise that took the longest to warm-up to me. While I'm not the greatest fan of the original, I absolutely love Quake 4, and the level design of the game still to this day contributes greatly to my amateur designs whenever I fiddle around with DoomBuilder or GTKRadiant.
However, as much I enjoy Quake 4 over all the other instalments in the franchise, when it comes to the music there's no beating the original. With the music and pretty much the entire audio system designed by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, this game's entire OST is arguably one of the finest to emerge in the industry. This album is so perfectly crafted it puts all the subsequent follow-ups' OST to deep and utter shame. Tracks to look out for include "Quake", "It Is Raped", and "The Hall of Souls".
Article by Hamza