Jukebox Heroes: EverQuest Online Adventures

From birth until its ignoble death, EverQuest Online Adventures always lived in the shadow of the EverQuest franchise’s wing. As a chunky-looking subscription game on a console that was ill-suited to handling it, the game presented obstacles that only a fringe community would overcome. And yet EQOA is very much beloved in some small circles for helping to pioneer console MMOs and for the fun it generated.

I was doubly surprised by EQOA this past week, which I did not think was possible now that the game’s been out of commission for a couple of years. My first surprise was that when I started listening to the soundtrack, it wasn’t early EverQuest’s MIDI bloops but a rich, sweeping score that ranks right up there with the other titles in the series. My second surprise was seeing Jeremy Soule as one of the MMO’s composers (along with Jeremy Bell, Rob King, and Paul Romero). I did not know he was attached to this project, but it does explain that touch of mastery it has.

So humor me today as we go back to a game hardly anyone played but everyone should hear.

1. Main Theme (Forever)

While this is a reprise of the classic EverQuest theme, to my ears it is different enough to include on this list. It’s a step up from MIDI, with a full orchestra, but isn’t as bombastic as EverQuest II’s theme (as enjoyable as that was). I love the swirling instrumentals in the background that add a layer of magic to the proceedings.

It sounds more playful and nostalgic, and no matter what, it has that familiar, catchy tune backing it, telling you that this indeed is an EverQuest game.

2. Blackwater

Dramatic and almost old-school classical, Blackwater is seeping with emotion. It isn’t a terribly happy track but one more suited to playing against an unfolding tragedy and redemption. Maybe that’s my poetic interpretation, but the piece goes from being melancholy to hopeful. While it’s a little heavy for my tastes, I cannot deny that it’s well-done and deserves a spot on this list.

3. Halas

Hands-down, this is my favorite piece of the bunch. Endure through the drawn-out first 35 seconds or so because you’re going to be treated to an epic tune that I’ve listened to on repeat ever since finding it. It’s just so… majestic, martial, and moving. The drums weren’t necessary, but they are certainly nice and go hand-in-hand with those horns, wouldn’t you say?

4. Highpass Hold

What’s up with the opening part of this track? It sounds as if the orchestra was warming up and got taken unawares, so it just decided to wing it from there on out. Fortunately, it gets better, taking another pathos-driven turn through this fantasy world. What I liked here is that if you listen closely, you can hear hints and foreshadowing to Soule’s later Guild Wars score.

5. Moradhim

Start out with an exotic-sounding cue, then take a rather simple melody and put it against the rolling thunder of a drumline. What you end up with is this proficient if somewhat clumsy piece. For what it’s worth, I could have enjoyed the tune without all of the embellishments, but hey, what do I know.

6. Qeynos

Can’t do an EverQuest soundtrack without a Qeynos track, right? Or should we be calling it Kaerbyad now? Sorry, bad studio joke.

While I usually associate EverQuest with high fantasy and lighthearted music, I have to say that this is not what I found in EQOA at all. It’s a much more serious and full score, although that’s not to say it’s terrible. But Qeynos is really the closest I found to a whimsical fantasy piece, and only in sections. It’s pretty and develops nicely throughout, almost as if it were telling a story of some kind. It’s a good note (pardon the pun) to end on.

MMOs are meant to be heard as well as seen, and chances are that music ties your memories to these games more than you might realize. Every two weeks Jukebox Heroes listens through a game soundtrack and picks out the highlights to share and discuss. And if you like this column, then don’t miss the author’s MMO music podcast, Battle Bards!
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23 Comments on "Jukebox Heroes: EverQuest Online Adventures"

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terryj1988
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terryj1988

I really do miss this game. Had a 60 Bow path Hunter on Hodstock (Ariakon/Rapta) remember grinding out to like 1300 CM to the point it took what felt like days to get 1 point. I wish that games would allow the amount of Stat manipulation that this game did, you rarely saw people wearing the exact same armor. Because you had so much control over where your Stat points went and how the Class mastery supplimented them.

Drusiris
Guest
Drusiris

This game was all I I did for about 6+ years. From the glory days when getting a group together was easy, until the bad days when I had to dual box to max out my cm points. My bravo monk werebear and faithful cleric werelion was my driving force. Not to mention my defiler and Pyromancer.

RobertBesson
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RobertBesson

Check out EQOA revival on Facebook dude. You might like what you see.

Fresnel
Guest
Fresnel

I have always said in many forums and youtube comments that EQOA has and will always hold a special part in my heart. Since I stumbled upon this article I could not help but give my 2 cents thought on the subject. I always enjoyed the music for each zone. Even if I became tired of listening to some, It was a great point of reference if I was approaching a nearby town or village. I’m proud to be part of a current online forum community, some of whom have created these audio videos. Our world will come back one day. When it does I will drop any game to go back to it. Peace :)

DeniseMathenyHuber
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DeniseMathenyHuber

I played EQOA for 9.5 yrs. I have many friends that were there with me! This gaming community was tight and fun loving! I am still in touch with many of my EQOA friends. Also as a console game it made a great family game. We had 4 players/accounts in our household. It is a shame that the servers were never merged to one! Check out the FB pages. I am sure there are other pages but these are the ones I visit regularly. Truly a shame the game is gone for those who hate PC gaming. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EverquestOnlineAdventure/ 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/137463369715018/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FerransHope/

Claydough
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Claydough

Have literally been searching Everquest online adventures (month)(year) every other day and at most once every 5 days if I’m on vacation in google in hopes of reading news about it returning or the progress made towards opening up a private server.

My Story

Its about 7pm eastern and I’m watching whatever the older brother is watching. A commercial comes on and its the EQOA advertisement. After it ends I said to my brother Holy shit man I’m buying that this Friday with my pay! Throughout the week all I could do was think about that commercial and how much I wanted to try it.

Friday rolls around and during my 1 hour lunch break I head to the bank located in the mall and cash my first pay from this dishwashing job. Once I have the cash in my hand I walk to EB games and pick up a ps2 and just my luck the internet adapter that is sold separately comes with a copy of EQOA! bonus! During the remaining hours of my shift im sooooo itching to get home to play. Finally 4:30PM hits and I bus home.

My story and most memorable experiences are lengthy and to be honest it pains me to even bother typing this in because the games not here. The community was amazing along with the sense of exploration. Sorry to anyone that never had the chance to experience this. To my fellow EQOA players, im right there with you on every video that’s ever been posted and I feel your pain.

Ps also the point of me mentioning how I spent my first pay on a ps2, adapter/eqoa was because once I got home and loaded that game I ended up getting fired for calling in sick for my remaining shifts & no showing…EQOA was that amazing! lol also I think I was maybe 16? now im 29 with a house/income property and a gf of 7 years with a painting business lol man Id still call in sick if EQOA  came back!

Cheers

Claydough  
CLW

Rain_Creations
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Rain_Creations

I played this. It was my first mmo.  I even bought the one and only expansion for it, Frontiers.  Although I never did hit the level cap  Then FFXI came out for ps2 and EQ couldnt compare.

MichaelHawes
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MichaelHawes

Oh man, i used to play this with my buddys, it was fun ,  To this day i think it had the best world out of every MMO i ever played and no in game map made it exciting

I used to make extra Tunare by guiding people from Halas to Qeynos

EmanonQQ
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EmanonQQ

krieglich NoYou I have one laying around in the garage.  Recently, I gave one away to charity (kept the other one for my boys) along with a large CRT TV.  They took the PS2 with the attachment and left the TV.  I’m sure it had to do with the size of the TV, but I like to think they had their priorities in order.

Kaloth
Guest
Kaloth

I wanted to play this one so bad, but I couldn’t ever get my ps2 to work online. No idea why, it just never worked for me.
I bought the game at discount, all of $5, from the store I worked for at the time. It’s probably still sitting in storage, unused. Such a shame.

krieglich
Guest
krieglich

NoYou Man, this thing is lying around in my cellar as well. :)

archert24
Guest
archert24

This game was the first MMORPG that I played. Plenty of memories. Ghast/ Telvanni, “The Ring”, Ferran’s Hope server.

agemyth
Guest
agemyth

Oh my goodness… while listening to Blackwater I had to double check that I was listening to video game music and not an actual classical song. The “Main Theme” there is also the current Main Theme of EQLive. They replaced much of the midi music after EQ1 was a few expansions into its life. I was pleasantly surprised to listen to all of these as they were not just rehashes of the EQ1 themes for all these locations or their equivalents. I guess they figured the PS2 audience were less likely to be mostly EQ1 veterans. Edit: The comment below points out something that I may not have considered :P Whatever.

Side notes: What’s up with these huge 4:3 Youtube boxes for audio tracks :P
I find that placing the Youtube embed before the number+name kind of confusing. My brain expected the embeds to be right under the number+name under the description.

WildarX
Guest
WildarX

Excellent list!  I never played EQOA, but I have always preferred PC over console games.
The Qeynos track is same piece that plays in EverQest Live zone Planes of Tranquility, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPI5agufRu0
I have folder of EQ classic midi files.  Brings back a lot of fond memories.

Avarius
Guest
Avarius

I’m fairly certain that the EQOA title theme is now the title theme for EverQuest. I certainly cannot distinguish the two if that’s not the case.

agemyth
Guest
agemyth

CthulhuDawg Multi-boxers (or in this case, multi “-Stationers”) were the “whales” before F2P whales. :D

NoYou
Guest
NoYou

Ah yes, the game that got me started playing MMOs. Remember this (nearly) useless thing? Good times.

EmanonQQ
Guest
EmanonQQ

EQOA is what got my wife and I into MMORPGs.  We have a ton of great memories from this game, and this music brings them back.

CthulhuDawg
Guest
CthulhuDawg

I loved EQOA. I have hemophilia, a bleeding disorder that requires you to have your legs (or w/e is bleeding) above your heart for long periods of time and I used to play the hell out of this from my bed in highschool when I was having a bleeding episode and couldn’t sit at my desk for my EQ fix. It wasn’t quite EQ but it sure did the trick and the people who played it were a great crowd, I was very sad when it closed down. Does anyone remember the god awful commercials? “Let’s slay the dragon!” A friend of mine was so into this game he actually bought 6 ps2s and mini tvs and boxed his own groups.

Raging Berserker
Guest
Raging Berserker

I never got the urge to try EQOA.  I was really against console games 5-10 years ago, but now I am a lot more open to the idea if done right.  A shame I will never get a chance to play it.  By the way, track #6(Plane of Tranquility) and #5(Plant of Storm’s) are also in EQ.

Gylnne
Guest
Gylnne

Very beautiful music thank you.:)

Karl_Hungus
Guest
Karl_Hungus

I totally forgot all about EQOA.. wow

ihatevnecks
Guest
ihatevnecks

Lets not forget the real masterpiece that came out of EQOA: 

wpDiscuz