Jukebox Heroes: MMO tracks to make your heart happy


Music doesn’t just speak to emotion; it often evokes it, conjuring it out of thin air with notes and tones and those squiggly lines on the staff that always confused me in band. If you don’t like being emotionally manipulated, you probably should never listen to music, since it is downright underhanded in tweaking how you feel at the moment. Of course, once you’re aware of it — and you all are — you can use that manipulation to your benefit by altering or enhancing your mood at will.

Maybe it’s the most innocent drug of them all: Just pop a music pill and wash it down with a little boogie. Feeling down? Here’s a tune to perk you up! Need some energy to get going? This track has 180 bpm of pure adrenaline! Want to write some college freshman poetry? Put on an album that distills inky depression into a vortex of black notes.

While I do like a wide range of emotional compositions, I am certainly partial to MMO tracks that positively exude unabashed joy. Today, in no particular order, I’ve put together a playlist for you of six MMO songs that make your heart happy.

1. “Lion’s Pride” from World of Warcraft

Maybe it’s my long association with this game, but this tavern track (which you’re listening in its updated format) has been like an old friend to me and never fails to cheer me up. The ye olde renaissance faire sound, the toe-tapping drums, and the catchy melody fill me with warmth and always beckon me back to this game.

2. “Protostar Theme” from WildStar

Plenty of bubbly tracks float around in this OST, but how could I not include this zany, madcap romp? It’s so deliciously 1950s commercial while also injecting a healthy dose of retro sci-fi. Listening to this is like putting the Jetsons on fast-forward.

3. “Kariela’s Song” from Shroud of the Avatar

I think this is the main theme — or at least the login theme — for this upcoming game, and I am absolutely in love with it. It’s like a wedding march that’s been soaked in sunshine and a dose of high fantasy. When it keeps building up and up, I can hardly restrain myself from spinning around in my chair in glee.


4. “Crimson Hills” from Aion

Aion is certainly not short on upbeat tunes, but the second I heard this particular one, I knew that it would be an irresistable earworm. It’s like this funky western track that’s both a little silly and a lot catchy, with inviting percussion and a harmonica that goes to town. Should make this my morning alarm ringtone.

5. “Bo-Down” from Final Fantasy XIV

Every Final Fantasy game has to have its own take on the chocobo theme, and Bo-Down is among the top… three most catchy such renditions. I love the strong intro riff that swiftly transitions into a somewhat dignified version of the horse-chicken soundtrack. It’s pretty uninhibited and a welcome spark of fun in any day.

6. “Tom Bombadil Theme” from Lord of the Rings Online

I have a friend who despises this track, but she may be the only one I’ve ever met who isn’t an absolute fan of the Tom Bombadil theme. It’s one of the highlights of LOTRO’s original soundtrack, a glorious dance of nature, new life, and celebration. The flute and the guitar (lute?) play off each other to create this memorable tune.

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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