Having played an embarrassingly scant amount of the original StarCraft, the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was very much a non-event for me. While I’m sure one day I’ll find the time necessary to fully play and appreciate the two games, for the time being I’ll just enjoy the dulcet tones of their soundtracks.
WINGS OF LIBERTY
Both soundtracks have a somewhat cold and ominous tone overall, frequently punctuated by a number of other elements, including operatic backing strings, echoey and punching guitar interludes, and various swirling melodies. In the case of SCII: WoL, a few of the tracks have a palpable “space trucker” vibe, most notably “Public Enemies” and the back half of “Heaven’s Devils”. In a first listen of each album, it’s easy to write off certain songs as merely filler, but each track has has some unique, underlying aural characteristics that make it worth paying attention to.
Though Arc Rise Fantasia has received some fairly middling scores overall, it does excel particularly well in the audio department. The soundtrack is scored by veteran composer Yasunori Mitsuda (whose previous works include Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, and Xenosaga), and this soothing and diverse collection of tracks perfectly showcases his trademark level of quality.
A SIGNPOST IN THE SHADE OF TREES
THE NORTHERNMOST OF THE EMPIRE, TOPAZION
TAKING THE ROAD THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
SNOWDROPS BLOOMING, OPALUS
THE PRAYER OF NOIRE
Over the past months, I’ve accumulated a large and diverse amount of potential Soundtrack Spotlight content. Unfortunately, some pieces end up relegated to a cluttered folder, intended to be used in some future edition. I’ll be drawing from this well of aural oddities as part of a Backlog segment; with any luck, I’ll find some interesting odds and ends you might have missed.
This week’s Backlog soundtrack is from Hexic HD. This puzzle game was designed by Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, and features a very ambient, space soundtrack. Composer Jerry Schroeder has released the game’s soundtrack, titled Hexophilia, for free, and though the original link no longer works, you can still find the album quite easily.