Jukebox Heroes: MMO carols for your gaming joy

If someone — and we are not necessarily suggesting you — were to create an MMO Christmas carol album, what songs would be included? “Raiders from the Realms of Glory” would definitely be one. “The 12 Dailies of Christmas” is a possibility. And if “Grandma Got Run Over By a Wildly Oversized Mammoth Mount” got cut, then the album might as well pack it in and call it a day.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about making this happen, because MMORPGs already contain a surprising amount of winter holiday music. These range from the traditional Christmas ballads to adventurous tracks that incorporate the sound of the season.

So as you make some gaming time this holiday week, here’s a half-dozen Christmas tunes from MMOs to keep you company (even if you’ve been naughty this year!).

“Scape Santa” from RuneScape

Simple? Perhaps, but the incredibly basic melody here is also incredibly catchy. I’m sure it’s borrowing a passageway right into the middle of my long-term memories. Just stick with the track, though, and you’ll be treated with more “winter wonderland” type music that gives you some of the flavor of RuneScape’s version of Santa.

“Winter Holiday” from World of Warcraft

I have to say that this tune floored me the first time I heard it. It’s the closest I’ve ever heard Blizzard’s audio team get to Danny Elfman’s style, or perhaps something from a classic Christmas movie. It’s sentimental and familiar, and I’m not quite sure that it fits into the game. The weird Pandaran interlude feel out of place, though. What is up with that?

“Christmas Music” from Aion

You can always count on Aion to deliver great music, even if it’s basically an instrumental cover of several classic Christmas tunes. For whatever reason, eastern MMOs don’t have any problem embracing and using actual real-world Christmas carols. Aion does go a little beyond the typical with some additional melodies, and all of them are soothing and atmospheric. There’s a lot packed into these seven minutes, including a music box carol and some weird Jingle Bells cheering.

“Metropolis Christmas” from DC Universe Online

How to create a Christmas carol knock-off in two easy steps:

  1. Throw in sleigh bells.
  2. Add music. Any music. We’re not picky.

There was a Gotham Christmas theme, but I had a hunch that Metropolis was probably going to be a tad more upbeat. It’s where I would spend the holidays if I had to choose, at least.

“Frostfell Theme” from EverQuest II

Christmasfying the EverQuest II theme is pretty clever and works well here. There are a lot of transitions and slices of seasonal music, from the familiar to the created. Not all of it works well, but generally I found it pleasant and light-hearted. Probably exactly what you would want for this in-game holiday.

“Fae Yule Music Box” from RIFT

This is as close to an official Fae Yule theme that I could find for this MMO, and you know what? It’s pretty great. The etheral chorus elevates a fairly simple and short theme into a lovely little slice of the holidays. I’d be just fine with this playing in my dimension!

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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The one from FFXIV needs to be in there https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jkZrSW4bE4