Jukebox Heroes: Six soundtracks from MMOs that never launched

As an MMO fan, there are few things as sad as a promising game being killed in development without seeing the light of a full release. Those nagging “what if?” scenarios can drive a fan mad and keep one up through the wee hours of the night.

And while I don’t have the power to resurrect these MMOs through my sheer force of will and present them to you wrapped in a bow, I can perhaps deliver a consolation gift by pointing you in the direction of some of these games’ soundtracks.

Many MMOs that were nearing completion or in development for a long time already had work done on their in-game music. And some of that music has escaped the long, cold fingers of cancellation thanks to composers and fans who wanted to preserve the score. So while it may be bittersweet to listen to the following six games’ scores, it’s also a small triumph that we can do so at all.

1. Project Copernicus

At this point I don’t have to introduce Project Copernicus; we all know the backstory of this doomed MMO and the subsequent legal fallout of its studio’s demise. However, what you might not know is that Composer Gene Rozenberg smuggled out 31 music tracks from the game and posted them to his own SoundCloud account.

Unfortunately, the SoundCloud user can decide to disable embeds, so you’ll have to do the heavy lifting of clicking this link to go hear this fairly pretty fantasy soundtrack.

2. Jumpgate Evolution

Long thought to be vaporware until it became just that, the sequel to Jumpgate has a small musical footprint if you’re looking for sci-fi space scores.

3. Ultima X Odyssey

This majestic fantasy score was released by Composer Chris Field and can be downloaded for free from a few sites. Additionally, there are a few YouTube videos featuring the soundtrack, although no consolidated playlist that I found.

Interestingly enough, some of the music was prepurposed for Lord of Ultima years later. While it’s nice that it got used, I truly wish we had heard it with the released game.

4. Embers of Caerus

This fantasy sandbox died with a very odd whimper back in 2014, but not before almost a dozen tracks had been produced by different composers and shared on SoundCloud.

5. Stargate Worlds

So this was my joyous find of the past week: an absolutely massive collection of tracks from the almost-but-not-quite released Stargate Worlds. Composer Nick LaMartina published 57 pieces on his SoundCloud account.

“Presented just as it was, complete with songs that weren’t quite finished,” he wrote. “Spanning cultures, planets, and genres, this soundtrack a joy to create, with countless influences from the movie, the shows, and all the talented designers, writers, and directors that sat with me in my office while I listened to them tell me about all their planets and people.”

6. Middle-earth Online

We’re going to end with a strange entry. You might know that Lord of the Rings Online originally began as a more sandbox title called Middle-earth Online back in the late ’90s. Development on MEO meandered along for years and underwent studio, name, and focus shifts. However, when the project transitioned into LOTRO, some of the music that was already created for MEO was brought over.

So this playlist might sound familiar, but it’s interesting to explore, as tracks have odd names (as they were going to be used in completely different areas) and older variations on what would become the standard tunes.

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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sirnoldor
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sirnoldor

Justin, I have another one for your list.
Tabula Rasa Soundtrack found on MMOs.com.

Tabula Rasa Soundtrack


TQQdles™

sirnoldor
Guest
sirnoldor

Gottphoenix…
Some links for you!
First, E&B Music!  http://www.earthandbeyond.ca/community/fans/music.html
Next are the sites that run or try to run the emulator.  Some links are out-dated but many resources are found on the sites.
http://www.enbx.com/
http://www.earthandbeyond.ca/
http://www.enb-emulator.com/
TQQdles™

SeedEve
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SeedEve

I miss the days with the MEOsource community.

Gottphoenix
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Gottphoenix


It did release, but was very short lived though

bambocheur
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bambocheur

Technically Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising did launch, although it was for a brief period.  I played in the beta and a little bit after it launched and what I do recall in a positive light was the soundtrack.  A few tracks reminded me of the sounds of the  “Rome” series that played on HBO a number of years ago.  The game had pet minions, much like Star Wars: The old Republic, but much less interesting and a housing system.

sirnoldor
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sirnoldor

And about the link for the Middle Earth Online songs, you might check with Chance Thomas.  These songs were originally on his own website as samples/examples of his creative creations.  He may NOT appreciate them being shared…but then again, he may allow it as he is a great guy and has answered every email I’ve sent…with questions answered in more detail than expected! -)
TQQdles™

sirnoldor
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sirnoldor

I was one of the alpha testers for Jumpgate:Evolution and was invited to E3 2010 along with others for a preview.  Unfortunately, Gazillion really dropped the ball with that game…it could have out “star-citizened” Star Citizen if given half-a-chance and been something more than a MOBA-in-space!  Nice find for that music.
(Here I am asking the first question in the Q&A.  Obviously I am very camera shy and Very OLD!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X__Iumh7sk)
I was invited but couldn’t test Stargate Worlds because I had an AMD CPU at that time and the Devs required Intel CPUs only…they had that SSE threading function.  I still have my “Welcome to the alpha test…” email printed and framed! LOL
Ditto with Embers of Caerus.  The Devs shopped the game around at many gaming conventions and indie showcases but no one wanted to invest.  It would loved to have seen it on Indiegogo and would donate to its development.  Perhaps some day.  I already has a few songs in my 56gig song library.

And <waves to Syp> I’ve tried to help point Justin to other games but he has a list of free game music links that I just can’t add to anymore!  Perhaps he could post his link to that list of links??!!
Thanks for all the music!
TQQdles™

McGuffn
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McGuffn

Even if I were looking for sci fi space scores I wouldn’t go looking for jumpgate evolution. That is just awful. It sounds like the score to a bad pinball machine.

agemyth
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agemyth


Did OG Massively cover that video/story…? I somehow missed that info from 2014 despite being fascinated with everything to do with 38 Studios.

ITPalg
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ITPalg