Jukebox Heroes: Elder Scrolls Online’s Elsweyr soundtrack and music boxes

    
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While I wasn’t that impressed with Elder Scrolls Online’s launch soundtrack, the scores for both Morrowind and Summerset did much to win me over. There are so many great pieces in both of those expansions (sorry, “chapters”) that I was incredibly excited to see what ZeniMax would compose for last year’s Elsweyr.

But man, I don’t know what happened with this one, however. Elsweyr’s soundtrack album came out a long time after the expansion released, and even when it did, it was rather small (just nine tracks). And out of those nine tracks, only three caught my ear in any way.

So for today’s Jukebox Heroes, I’m going to share those three picks as well as a trio of housing music boxes that players can pick up and use in the game. And here’s hoping that Greymoor will put out better effort this year!

“A Clash of Fang and Flame”

The title theme for Elsweyr, A Clash of Fang and Flame starts with a weepy version of the familiar Elder Scrolls theme before transitioning into a dark, brutal, and gripping theme that suggests war and conflict. It definitely does the job of getting the listener excited to jump into this region’s adventure!

“The Two Moons Dance”

There’s more than a bit of Arabian Nights vibe running through this region, and this track pays homage to those fantasy desert themes without becoming too derivative or cliché. I like how it gradually simmers to a boil at times and then backs off to be almost ambient. It’s a long track full of beauty, and I regret we didn’t hear more like this from Elsweyr.

“Purr of the Hunter”

This is a Khajiit track, through and through. It’s wrapped up in the beauty and soulful emotion of the race, achieving a sort of graceful majesty by the end. This isn’t a catchy melody, if you’re looking for that, but it does capture some of the essence of what makes this people beloved by players.

“Across the Hinterlands Music Box”

The flowing water and the tranquil bells give this piece a spa-like aura. It’s very relaxing and mellow, and as with all the music box tracks, takes a familiar tune from the game and creates a fantasy equivalent of muzak with it.

“Dancing Among the Flowers Fine Music Box”

I kind of think that many of the music boxes sound extremely Christmasy in tone. It’s probably because of the instrumentation — the bells and xylophone — which have a lot of cross-over with Christmas tracks. In any case, this piece would be really cheerful if sped up, but as it is, it’s merely full of cheer.

“Blood and Glory”

For a finale, how about a music box version of the main theme of the game? Usually we hear this as a very stirring theme, but put in this context, a different — and still quite enjoyable — interpretation of the melody emerges. I actually love it quite a bit.

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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