Jukebox Heroes: Six more groovy tunes from MMOs you’ve never played

    
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As an MMO music collector, I’ve gathered some really obscure soundtracks over the years, including ones from games that people don’t even remember existing, nevermind having actually played. I won’t lie: Some of these soundtracks are downright forgettable. They might have one or two halfway decent tunes tucked among them, but they certainly do not have enough good tracks to justify a whole column on them. Once in a while there might even be a gem that can be sifted from the pile, but these end up being anomalies.

Back in 2016 I posted a quick list of six great tunes from MMOs that most people had never played, and today, I’m going to do another. Sure, maybe there are a few of you out there who did log into these games back in the day, but chances are that a majority of readers on the site did not. In some cases, the music is all that remains of a long-lost experience.

So let’s see what gems we might uncover today!

“Misty Moors” from Rubies of Eventide

I’m probably not starting on the strongest foot with this uneven track, but there’s something intriguing here with how it’s trying to establish a mysterious atmosphere. It’s definitely synth/MIDI town that peppers in a lot of background sound effects to keep it from being too tranquil. I think that as a zone track, it would certainly be evocative, although probably not to everyone’s taste.

“Deep Sea Palace” from Zu Online

This eastern MMO does sport a few interesting tunes, but Deep Sea Palace really caught my ear with its haunting melody that takes us through a magical place that few have ever seen. While most of the track is relatively quiet, it does build up to this incredible crescendo that makes me want to listen to it all over again.

“Character Selection” from Wizardry Online

There was zero respect from the community for this short-lived Daybreak import back when it was running. The weird setup and buggy experience kept a lot of people away, which means that few ever heard this transcendent character selection music. It’s exactly the kind of peaceful, non-intrusive tune that I would want to hear while fine-tuning my character. Too many character creation themes are loud and jarring, which can make the user feel pressured to get going already. This track? It invites you to take your time.

“Outdoors” from The 4th Coming

Wow! This really old MMO had a couple of strong surprises lying in wait when I came upon its score, and Outdoors bowled me over with this uplifting and stirring synth piece. I don’t know why it gets cut off that early, but from what is present here, this track delivers the goods and then some.

“Psychobilly Slugfest” from Motor City Online

If that previous track was too high fantasy for you, how about some rockabilly for a change? This racing MMO had one of the most audibly distinctive soundtracks I’ve ever encountered, and while I can only take rockabilly in very small doses, I do appreciate the energy and catchy nature of this track.

“Lobby” from Exteel

Ah NCsoft, don’t you get tired of cancelling all of your games? Anyway, here’s the lobby theme to Exteel, which was (I believe) a game of giant fighting robots. When you’re getting amped up for a match, you need the music to match — and this theme does the trick. It’s a lot like adventure movie trailer music that keeps building and building until you’re out of breath just listening to it.

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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nobleeinherjar

As a fan of the series, I remember being excited for Wizardy Online. All of the reasons why are kind of fuzzy now, but I didn’t stay long.

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Etharion Ethie

Ooh, I played Exteel! Wasn’t quite Armored Core and there were some fundamental mechanical problems (as tends to be the case with all Korean imports), but I generally had fun and it did have some neat music!

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

I would really play an Armored Core World (online AC title), should it ever come to pass.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

I certainly have played Rubies of Eventide. It’s one of my favorite MMORPGs ever. I’d play it now if someone would be kind enough to put it back online. Not played any of the others though.