When going on musical expeditions, I get the most excited when I open up a folder of tracks from lesser-known MMORPGs. I think that’s because you never know what you’ll get, and there is always the very real possibility that a soundtrack gem has remained largely hidden from the community’s eye. So it was with that sense of curiosity and hopeful anticipation that I waded through the soundtrack of Trickster Online to hear what this title offered.
Created by Korean studio Ntreev Soft, Trickster Online ran from 2003 to 2014 and made very little waves in its operation. The title was a cute anime-styled MMO that drew inspiration from Greek mythology, which resulted in a tonal mix that filtered down into the score.
So is this a gem or a dud? I’ll let you listen to my six picks after the break, but I shall say that Trickster did not end up being some sort of surprising reservoir of melodic masterpieces. There are a handful of interesting experiments and agreeable tracks but nothing that will help this title’s legacy endure. At least now I know!
I think you can get a good sense of Trickster’s entire soundtrack from this particular piece. It’s pleasant, it has poppy percussion, and it’s kind of schmaltzy. It’s almost designed not to offend anyone, but at the same time, it’s not taking any risks to truly stand out. Really, if you can envision your MMO music being played in the lobby of a hotel, maybe you’ve taken a wrong turn at some juncture.
“Alteo Empire Night”
I do appreciate that this OST has a number of day and night tracks, as I think those are highly underutilized in MMORPGs. This particular one is as relaxing and intimate as you would want from an evening piece, complete with various sound effects and gentle musical stingers.
So would a phantom school be no school at all? Eh, never mind. This track leans heavily on a simple harp melody, metallic xylophones, and background humming to create an aura of mystery, and you know what? It kind of works. It’s definitely listenable, in any case.
Hey, I never said that schmaltzy was bad all of the time. Take this track as an example. It might make some people’s eyes twitch, but for me, I can get into the goofy, holiday mood that it’s trying to cultivate. Cheesy is how you want your tracks sometimes.
Are you a sucker for tracks that toss in a particular favorite offbeat instrument? Well, I totally am, which is why I hear steel drums and I’m like, “Yes, please!” This piece isn’t that complex, but it’s having a fun time getting its Caribbean groove on even so.
“Dark Rose 1”
And for my final pick from a rather lackluster selection, I’m going to go with this ambient track, mostly because I kind of like the vibe that this lays down. It’s kind of peaceful and I can imagine questing to it in the background, so congrats, Dark Rose 1. You are getting your 15 seconds in the spotlight. This will never happen again.