Jukebox Heroes: The best of Astellia’s soundtrack

    
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One of the more promising MMORPG imports that should be arriving in the west this year is Astellia, and we here at Massively OP have been watching this title with some degree of excitement. It certainly looks like a beautiful game — but does it sound like one?

Thanks to the game’s release in the east, we have a way to peek into Astellia’s world (or at least listen to it through a closed door). Much of the game’s soundtrack is out there, and I spent an enjoyable couple of evenings listening through it. So join me as we tour the six most memorable tracks that I discovered and see what might be worth anticipating with this fantasy title!

“Cemetery”

While there are several loud and bombastic tracks on this OST, it was Astellia’s quieter and more moody pieces that really caught my attention. “Cemetery” takes us into a slightly haunted realm with weepy, ethereal chords that are as lovely as they are sad. My only gripe here is the abrupt ending that isn’t handled very deftly.

“Mystery”

Aptly named, “Mystery” sounds like the score to a crime caper that’s equal parts nimble, stealthy, and, yes, mysterious. There’s a great mixture of quiet instruments that tiptoe through this melody (and don’t miss the clock ticking percussion!), gradually building up to a slightly epic moment or two. Definitely one of my most favorite pieces of this score.

“Desert”

I’m normally not one for desert tracks, as they all seem to follow the same audio tropes, but Astellia gets a little more innovative with its take. It’s a rich, warm piece with a lazy beat that takes me on an imaginary journey through dunes and canyons.

“Ancient”

Suggestive of past histories and secrets unearthed, “Ancient” gradually emerges as an upbeat piece full of optimism. It’s good, really good, but I couldn’t help but feel that it needed something a little bit more to make it a classic. Not sure what that might be, but it’s on the cusp of hitting it.

“Grassland”

The harp gets a lot of play in this score, and “Grassland” makes good use of this instrument to make a relaxing bed of music before layering in the flute and strings. This track would make for an excellent questing environment — not too obtrusive, but engaging enough to help cement the memories of these areas.

“Town 2”

There are a few town tracks in this score, but “Town 2” appealed to me the most with its chipper “good morning” attitude. It almost sounds like the start of an animated movie as the camera moves through a village to establish major characters and areas. In a game? I’d be up for leisurely exploring a homestead with this going on in the background.

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!