Pulvis et umbra sumus.
(We are but dust and shadow.)
-The Odes of Horace
It’s the weekend, you need a soundtrack for it. Maybe you’re playing some God of War or tinkering with Nintendo Labo. Maybe you’ve got chores to do or some books to hit. Whatever way you slice it, music makes everything better.
Let’s add another layer to our hypotheticism, though. Let’s say you’re done with the cheerful stuff: jazz isn’t doing it for you, thoughts of the natural world fail to elate, even the familiar warmth of nostalgia cannot encapsulate the melancholy of your weekend soul. That’s when you need some real soul and what has more soul than the agonizing struggles of video game dungeons, crystallized in their music? Well, I don’t really know. I’ve never thought of this before. I’m just kind of making this up as I go along (hint: many writers do).
With “Oubliette”, our mix of dark dungeon music, I aimed for a selection of sounds that evoke sadness, fear, solitude, aimlessness, and madness. That last one is hard to nail down sometimes, when it’s not right on the nose, of course. “Madness” seems to me to be a trendy subject in today’s fiction but musically it’s not always so easy to materialize. There’s one track in particular (toward the end) which I think defines the sound of insanity.
Dungeons typically draw from low noises, a lot of bass grumbling to build tension, as well as antiphonal cries and echoes that seem impossible to place. It’s the kind of music that makes you feel like you must explore but with caution. Where are these noises coming from? Are they the sounds of freedom just around the bend, the sounds of light and water and air? It’s tough to find your way in the darkness but rest assured that every dungeon has an end. Even the Infinity Dungeon in Breath of Fire II did.
There’s a story here too. Can you see it? It’s all about following the tunnel deeper.
Can I say “enjoy” this mix? Yes, I can. Sometimes you need some moody music to reach optimal focus. “Enjoy” and if you do, please subscribe to our channel, like, comment, RT, share, promote, lock us up and throw away the key, etc, etc, etc.
Special thanks to the Badly Backlogged Mage (aka Mr. Backlog) once again for proposing this week’s TWRM Radio theme! It’s one that’s super ubiquitous and I was shocked I didn’t think of it myself. Heck, we still barely scratched the surface of the dungeon music iceberg.
Next week’s theme is… Racing! This is definitely a broad theme but we’re looking for only the fastest, adrenaline-fueled songs in gaming! What are some of your favorite Racing themes? Share them with us in the comments and maybe they’ll make the cut for next week’s mix.
Play it with feeling,
-The Well-Red Mage
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Categories: TWRM Radio