Jukebox Heroes: An MMO Halloween playlist

    
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Halloween is upon us, that spooky and magical time of year that exists both in real life and in many of our MMOs. While Halloween tunes won’t ever earn their own radio station the way Christmas music seems to, it is a sub-genre that exists and is kind of awesome.

Today I’m drawing up a playlist perfect for crackling dead leaves, eerie houses, sinister Jack-o-lanterns, and costumes hiding the true monsters within. From MMO halloween events to other creepy zones, here is a selection of music perfect for October 31st!

1. World of Warcraft: “Undead Tavern in Brill”

The old track — which I don’t think exists in the game any longer — was a cult fan-favorite of Horde players for a long time. It’s almost not even a song, but an unsettling jangle of bells and chimes along with some bizarre background noises.

2. WildStar: A Very Exile Shade’s Eve

There’s a pair of Shade’s Eve tracks for the new in-game holiday, but I give the edge to the Exile side for sounding more — to coin a phrase — Tim Burtonish. It starts off mischievous and playful before blowing up into a full madcap dance macabre.

3. Trove: Scary Hub

Trove’s minimalistic soundtrack might not be to everyone’s taste, but I think it works perfectly when applied to a Halloween setting. This track has a simple, old-school scary movie feel, with “wooos” and the synthetic piano providing plenty of ambiance.

4. Guild Wars 2: Halloween Theme

The Guild Wars franchise has lavished a lot of musical love on the Halloween season, and I could have gone with pretty much any of the tracks for a pick from that game. However, I’m particularly enthralled with this darkly beautiful piece that throws in the playful side of the holiday while even reprising the game’s main theme in a small, subtle way.

5. City of Heroes: Dark Astoria

Dark Astoria always creeped me out as a zone, and this short musical stinger probably didn’t help calm my nerves. Yes, it’s only a half-minute long, but this is the sort of thing you’d hear right before cold, bony hands grip your throat while a gutteral laugh comes from behind you.

6. Vanguard: Dead Forest

Like much of Vanguard’s soundtrack, this is a pretty piece, although unlike much of that late game’s score, it’s saturated in eerie tones. The choir and slow, deliberate harp strings paint an audio picture of a shadowy maze of trees and lost hopes.

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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monsoon315
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monsoon315

Entering the Fort Veldon area in DAOC always gave me the chills. Once in awhile I go back to the game and that is one of the first places I go to just to listen to the chimes.

zoward
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zoward

Hurbster Iwas thinking the same thing about the Graveyard cue, although it’s admittedly a little short.

knite16
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knite16

One of my favorite eerie tunes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IVZPvfyzfI

Hurbster
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Hurbster

Hmmmm, no room for the Karazahn theme ?

Mansemat
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Mansemat

Xhieron I did a spines/dark build and doubled up on the AoE damage from both sets. Was extremely heavy on the stamina drain but man, did it chew through some enemies.

Xhieron
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Xhieron

Dark Astoria. Right in the feels. Man, I remember grinding my spines/regen out there back in the early days, roaming pack to pack in the fog. It was right about the point in my build that I felt like I finally had my legs under me, but didn’t have all my powers yet. Died sometimes, but also felt like a total badass with how quick I could slushify those packs when things went right. Some of my best memories of CoH. Some of my best memories in any MMO. Thanks for reminding me.