Jukebox Heroes: The best of Atlantica Online’s soundtrack

    
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When you think about it, Atlantica Online is positioned in a great place for a diverse soundtrack. After all, it takes place in a fictionalized version of Earth’s past with all of the same countries (and a few made-up ones) that we are used to today. This means regional music is totally within limits, allowing the composer to sample cultural tunes all over the place.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that this is the best soundtrack ever, but I feel confident is promoting Atlantica Online as a better-than-expected tour of ports from Spain to South America — with a few action-packed moments along the way.

Let’s give it a listen as I share my favorites from this score!

“Login Theme”

Sporting an enchanting opening that gradually transports you to this fantasy version of real history, Atlantica’s main theme elects to keep things measured and stately. That’s something most MMOs could never do for their up-front theme, but I think it works well for a game about sailing over the next horizon, looking for new vistas to explore.

“Battle Theme 4”

Atlantica has many rocking battle tracks, but this one has always earned a spot on my MP3 playlist for its intense action and unashamed electric guitar going all-out in delivering frantic action. Does it really fit into this game world? Probably not, but it most likely works just as well as some of FFXIV’s wackier tracks do — and is loved for it just as much.

“Hanging Gardens of Babylon”

I’ve long since been partial to this track for its swirly, magical tone that is almost dizzying in how fast the tempo goes. Played at half speed, this might be a classic Harry Potter or Danny Elfman tune, and for me, that’s high praise. I only wish it was longer.

“Van Gogh Gallery”

One of the fun games I play when I’ve never actually logged into a game is to try to imagine where these tracks fit in based on the title and tune. With this one, I’m simply guessing that Vincent Van Gogh is an endboss of a painting-themed dungeon and he tries to slice your ear off or something. Aaaand from reading the YouTube comments just now, I see that I’m at least partially right there.

“Christmas Villa”

I’m tossing this in because it amuses me so much. Not because it’s a Christmas track — we have plenty of those in MMOs — but because the composer decided to eschew any sort of instrumentals that would sound more period appropriate. Instead, he or she went full-on synth to make a version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” that you’d expect to hear at a shopping mall on December 10th.

“China”

Let’s get at least one more regional track on this list before we part ways! I’m going with “China” for its strong percussion that is backed up by the strings, rather than the other way around. It’s clearly an eastern track from the instruments used but it doesn’t go in a stereotypical direction, which I appreciated.

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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Nemui Byakko

Thank you for reminding… Natsukashii…