Jukebox Heroes: Black Prophecy’s soundtrack
With just about a year of live operation to its name before closing, Black Prophecy wasn’t really here long enough to cement itself into the minds and hearts of most MMO players. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never heard of this 2011 spaceship game. It didn’t offer much depth and failed to draw attention to itself even though it was a member of a relatively small subgenre of MMO.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, of course. For 2018, I’m working through all of the soundtracks that I have yet to feature in this space, and Black Prophecy will be the first to fling itself out of an airlock and into your heart.
The soundtrack itself is fairly decent, if short, and was composed by Dynamedion, a European company that specializes in video game music. Four composers, a 70-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and “great expense” was used to make this OST. I think it’s well worth your time to explore, so let’s dig this one out of the historical archives!
After a quiet, ominous prologue, the main theme explodes in a flurry of action and choral chanting. It’s instantly stirring and even, dare I say, epic. It has that spirit of high adventure that I associate with some of the better moments of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Wing Commander, and I find it suits this style of game perfectly.
You don’t start out much more sinister than this. Like the main theme, that intro is a red herring so that when the blaring horns and faster tempo jumps out at you, it’s almost startling. I’m a little on the fence about this track; it can be, in parts, really exciting, engaging, too loud, and annoying. I think I come down on the “like” side more than not, which is why I share it here. Almost sounds Star Warsy in parts, if Star Wars was played much faster.
Having never played the game, I can only imagine that these tracks helped to underscore some thrilling moments of space duels and missions. Epic 1 sounds like the type of song where you’re running a near-suicide mission to destroy some planet-killing death machine. I’m down with that.
As you can tell by now, there isn’t a lot of variance or quiet downtime in the Black Prophecy soundtrack. It’s almost all high action music, such as found here. This track is short, clocking in at just over a minute, but it plunges the listener into a tense moment of high stakes. There’s some great and interesting percussion in the background if you can sift past the horns and strings.
Seriously, just about every track here sounds like it comes from the climactic moment of a spaceship movie. This piece is familiar in its construction and beats, yet it still had me hooked from start to end. There’s a lot of variation and storytelling going on here, even if the game isn’t around any longer to tell that story.
And for laughs and a change of pace, here is the credits theme. Instead of a sweeping orchestral piece, this track is a synth rave that sounds like an old video game track remixed. It’s not subtle or sublime, but I think it’s a pretty fun track even so.