Jukebox Heroes: Rappelz’ soundtrack

    
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When you cover a metric ton of MMOs and other related games professionally, it becomes an interesting task to keep them all straight in your head. A futile task, I should say, which is why it is helpful to have all of these titles categorized and hyperlinked so that we can look them up and recall which obscure game is which.

Rappelz, in my memory, has a single entry below it (“This game exists”) and is often confused with that other ends-with-a-Z title, RaiderZ. When you end something with a “z,” it gives me hives, by the way. In any case, Rappelz is not the type of MMO I’d rush to when hunting around for a good soundtrack. Yet it is actually quite good for what it is, and I am sincerely glad I had a friend call my attention to it a while back.

Let’s keep in mind that Rappelz is Zleppar backwards and carry on with an examination of six tracks that caught my attention!

“A New Epic”

Perhaps a little derivative of peppy fantasy themes — and a sprinkle of Disney — this login track is nevertheless a lot of fun to behold. It’s packed with sheer joy as it leaps to and fro with loads of magical sparkles and a stirring theme that beckons to the imaginative child in all of us. It crushes it from start to finish, and I think I might be a little bit in love with this score based on a single track alone.

“A Lost and Secret Island”

One thing that I appreciate about this soundtrack is that it demonstrates range (which is not always something present in MMO scores). This piece is a pensive, creeping track that successfully straddles the line between dread and discovery. The harp and flute lend this mysterious tone that helps to get the player in the mood for exploration.

“Halloween Wonderland”

And sometimes you simply want a madcap tour through lunacy and light terror. For that, we turn to Rappelz’ Halloween theme, which trades back and forth between spiraling into the grinning night and showing some genuine warmth. Halloween isn’t all about scares; some of us feel right at home in that holiday, after all.

“The Ursa Caverns”

We’re back to a high adventure action track, where you’re missing out if you’re not galloping on a horse while listening to this. I keep three horses on hand just for this eventuality. There are almost cartoony elements here, which is not something you’d often hear in MMOs, but I appreciated it all, kit and kaboodle.

“Decisiveness”

This piece grew on me over a series of successive listens. You know how that goes? When you’re not quite sure how you feel about a track, so you keep repeating it until you have an opinion? This heavy, bombastic piece took a little to win me over, but I think it was the horns and the quieter flute sections that eventually put this on the list.

“The Morning Breaks of Rondo”

I have no idea what that title means, but I suspect it’s a poor translation of something that makes more sense. In any case, this is a laidback travel theme of sorts that keeps the percussion firmly in check while taking us on a languid journey across a scenic land. Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like it would be right at home in the FFXIV soundtrack.

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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