Battle Bards Episode 113: Anarchy Online


Alien, quiet, and weird — that’s the Anarchy Online soundtrack for you in a nutshell. For the first episode of 2018, the ever-contentious Battle Bards are back to quibble about, gush over, and nitpick the score to one of the older sci-fi MMOs on the market today.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 113: Anarchy Online (or download it) now:

Episode 113 show notes

  • Intro (feat. “Seascape,” “Spiritual Elysium,” and “The Cup”)
  • “Main Theme”
  • “Majestic Omni”
  • “Omni-Tek Theme”
  • “Ancient Civilizations”
  • “Dungeon Dub”
  • “Shadowlands Battle Music”
  • “Amongst the Trees”
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Listener notes: Friendly Necromancer, Katriana, and Rafael
  • Jukebox picks: “Simmering Steeps” from Portal Knights, “I Am Justice” from Diablo III, and “First Light” from Aion
  • Outro (feat. “Open Plains”)



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Zen Dadaist

Now I’m listening to it; a few rambling comments *dons vet player nerd hat*:-

– The 3 sides are actually Omni-Tek (a monopolising intergalactic megacorp that technically owns Rubi-Ka), the Clans (rebel freedom fighters/brutal terrorists depending on your POV) and the Neutrals (folks who are neither and go do their own thing). The planet is in the process of being terraformed and the wildlife is a mix of native species, invasive species brought from other worlds and escaped experiments…

– The “Main Theme” is not actually played in game any more. I guess it might work as launcher and character select music or something, but yeah it’s not really all that.

– The official AO soundtrack has a habit of cutting off the tracks somewhat, and having multiple names for the same tunes. Totally not confusing at all, nuh-uh. It also has, depending on if you’re listening to vol 1 or vol 2, rearrangements of themes as opposed to what you actually hear wandering around the relevant zones.

– They did add a couple of tracks to the game post-Shadowlands but nothing like an expansion soundtrack. A few with Alien Invasion, a couple with Lost Eden, nada with Legacy of the Xan.

– The limited graphical immersion was meant to be augmented by the soundtrack, particularly the way the soundtrack is incidental and not on continuous loop. It’ll start up suddenly, having been triggered by something – an action, a location, a situation etc. It’s a very atmospheric soundtrack, rather than action-packed.

– Leets \o/

– The combat tracks (Rubi Ka and Shadowlands) each have two variants depending on how well you’re doing: your hp & nano & level vs the hp & nano & level of the things currently agging you. It’ll switch between the two variants as the fight progresses and gives you an idea of how the game reckons it’s going. If you suddenly get the “You’re in trouble now!” variant combat music out of nowhere then chances are something big and ugly round the corner has just noticed you…

– The forest track sounds… like a forest! Well, fancy that.

– There’s been a couple of fun fan-made remixes which can be found online. I rather like one simply called Robots, but I can’t for the life of me remember where it can be found…

Bah, now I almost want to log in and play. Wish FC would fix my main so I could play her. Their CS seems to have stopped replying to my emails :(

I shall await round 2 in, oh, 2 years time or so :p

Also, here is the complete compilation of AO soundtracks in 4 YouTube volumes as compiled by a member of the game’s community:


oh wow, that’s a lot of info – thank you! I am happy the show resonated with old AO players – I’d definitely be up for a second round :)


Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh sooooo happy to see this soundtrack being discussed and featured on Battle Bards! AO was my 3rd MMO after UO and DaoC and you guys described it perfectly! Out of all the MMOs I’ve played, Anarchy Online’s soundtrack is probably the only one I will willingly listen to once in a while. Sometimes as background music for when I’m working since it’s subtle enough for that. Sometimes for nostalgia’s sake – as the atmosphere one had in AO can just not compare to any other MMO experience. And while listening, I cannot help but let me mind wander thinking back to memories of flying up in the skies with my Yalmaha ship, or running across a desert (until I bumped into the annoying server walls), or putting on my sexiest outfit to go strut my stuff in one of the many nightclubs. It really is a unique set of songs that evoke a unique atmosphere. I too sometimes fire up ye old game and peek into those familiar places, or to visit my Jobe apartment. Never stay long though, since it’s just too outdated to handle for very long anymore. “Amongst the trees” is indeed one of the better tracks.


Many players seem to remember this title fondly, that’s nice :) I happen to agree on the final track being very good ofc! ^^

Zen Dadaist

Holy shee-it, you guys actually did it :O

Will have to give it a listen when I can properly dedicate some quiet time to it.