Jukebox Heroes: Six cover songs of popular MMO tunes

    
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There’s a dedicated subcommunity of video game music afficionados out there that love these soundtracks so much that they devote considerable effort to producing all sorts of cover songs of their favorite tunes. In a weird way, you kind of know that your game’s soundtrack has made it if it prompts fans to start producing covers.

And believe it or not, this extends to MMO soundtracks as well. I never thought to check to see if there were covers of MMO tunes, mostly because I thought that the niche was too tiny to prompt such interest. But I was quickly proven wrong by how many I stumbled over.

Today we’re going to take a survey of six fan cover songs of popular MMO tunes. Do you know any others? Post links to them in the comments!

Fear Not This Night” from Guild Wars 2 by Little V

I have always felt that Fear Not This Night was much better as an instrumental track (sorry, fans, but those lyrics are a little lame).  Little V proves me right with this “epic rock” version of the song. Make sure you hang in there until the rendition goes into overdrive at 1:42!

Newbie Melody (Tutorial Island)” from RuneScape by Paul Refvik

I am a sucker for really well-done acoustic covers, and this one is spot-on terrific. RuneScape’s OST is legendary in scope and variety, so it’s neat to hear a fan share one of his favorite tracks.

Paul gives some background on his YouTube page: “[This is] the very first song you heard when you logged into RuneScape for the first time. It is also the song you heard every time you decided to make a new deadly pure account, which happened countless times, admit it. This is definitely one of my favourite and most nostalgic RuneScape songs, so I had to make my own version of it. ”

Tom Bombadil” from Lord of the Rings Online by Lonely Mountain Band

Lonely Mountain Band has been doing some great Middle-earth albums over the years, and I’m certainly glad to see that they dipped into LOTRO to perform their own cover of this beloved melody. The choice of instruments and the ambient sounds elevate this perhaps over the original, and that is saying something.

Nightsong” from World of Warcraft by Michelle Heafy

One of the amazing things of many cover artists is how they do it all. Michelle demostrates that with this stunning performance of a Cataclysm track, playing the piano, the drums, and singing all of the roles. I’m not super familiar with this particular track, but this cover certainly bumps it up in my notice.

Heroes (Knights of the Round Theme)” from Final Fantasy XIV by Losstarot

Another fun aspect of cover songs is that it’s up to each artist how he or she wants to reinterpret that tune — and in what genre. Here, Final Fantasy XIV gets remade into a chiptune: a simulated throwback to early days of video game music. It’s quite interesting, especially if you’re used to the fully orchestrated version.

Moons of Evening Star” from Elder Scrolls Online by Serakirah

Another one-person-band effort, this track brings out the haunting, magical melody of Moons of Evening Star with a deft touch. Instead of going loud and brash, which is what you often get with cover tunes, Serakirah keeps it quiet, paced, and dreamlike for the full duration. Definitely a quality piece.

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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oneeyered
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oneeyered

Nordavind oneeyered plynky12 Well there is the problem wikipedia; where everyone and anyone can define anything. I guess my angst is people always trying to put things in a box.

Anyhow you have a wonderful day as well. I am quite impressed in this day and age that anyone would even know who Satie is (outside a classical music upbringing).

Nordavind
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Nordavind

oneeyered Nordavind plynky12 I could have, but it was not needed in a context about music pieces produced by humans. But even so, the pure definition of the word “song” still does not include instrumental music created by humans.

Your comparison is objectively subjective. Personally I have no opinion of the matter.
I am not a musician (actual or otherwise, whatever the difference may be), but it’s not relevant here. No more than a race car driver gets to define what a car is. If any occupation should have a say here, it would be a linguistic :) 
IN ANY CASE: He made a picky (and humorous) statement about the definition of a word, you took it as a insult to musicians, I tried to defuse the situation, unsuccessfully so. Even I use the word ‘song’ for instrumental pieces. So just relax, we’re not badmouthing musicians.
May I suggest you continue the discussion on the Wikipedia talk page about song? I see it has already been up for debate there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Song
Now, if you’ll exuse me, I’ll go listen to Eric Satie’s Gymnopedie No.1. Calming music, err, song ;)
Have a most musical day!

oneeyered
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oneeyered

Nordavind oneeyered plynky12 sense your going to go by a definition please feel free to list all of them:
a musical composition suggestive of a song.the musical phrases uttered by some birds, whales, and insects, typically forming a recognizable and repeated sequence and used chiefly for territorial defense or for attracting mates.
Its still all hogwash as far as I am concerned. Plenty of full instrumental compositions referred to as “songs” 
It’s as ridiculous as Britney Spears being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. 

Furthermore, are either one of you actual musicians?

Nordavind
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Nordavind

oneeyered plynky12 He’s claiming (on about) that the word song*, per definition, is about vocals. He’s not saying that you’re not a musician unless you’re a singer.
*define:song = “a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung”

krieglich
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krieglich

oneeyered Lol. One of my guitars now is a stand for my G35 headset. :D

oneeyered
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oneeyered

plynky12 What are you going on about? I have been a musician since childhood (42 years strong now) and have kicked more useless singers to the curb then I can count. Some of the most talented musicians on this planet are instrumentalist with no vocal spewing going forth.

With that said, I enjoy many talented vocalists as well. But I and many other musicians I know prefer writing and playing without a singer and the usual attitude they bring into the mix. 

Also to you Flim below, I never knew anyone in the large circle of players I know to ever refer to it as a “purist” definition for the record.

Space_Ghostal
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Space_Ghostal

Flimflamberge Space_Ghostal Better than most MMOs out there ;)

Flimflamberge
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Flimflamberge

Space_Ghostal Ah yes, Mega Man 2, that great MMO. =P

Flimflamberge
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Flimflamberge

Huskybythegeek does a lot of video game rock covers that I dig, including a whole bunch of FFXIV ones. I’ll share the latest of those, which is pretty chill.

Flimflamberge
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Flimflamberge

plynky12 Not true. That is the purist definition, but all discrete musical arrangements that are worth listening without having to be in a particular context are generally considered songs. Get with English as it is.