Jukebox Heroes: Warframe’s soundtrack

    
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I’m always keeping an ear out for recommended soundtracks from our readers here at Massively OP, and one that seems to get pushed my way every so often is, oddly enough, Warframe. Warframe kept slipping off my radar because it’s just not the sort of MMO that I think of when I envision amazing soundtracks, but it turns out that this one has been flying under the radar until it was ready to pop up and impress.

I can see why it gets the thumbs-up from its playerbase, especially as the action-oriented and moody riffs help to prop up the nonstop frenzied action in these missions. So today, let’s take a listen through some of the best parts of the Warframe soundtrack and keep this one hidden no longer!

“We All Lift Together”

Composer Keith Power put together this amazing industrial working man chant. The beat slams into you from the start. I have absolutely no idea the context of this song — isn’t Warframe about being space ninjas slicing and shooting? — but it’s truly remarkable even so. Makes me want to… I dunno, build a railroad or something.

“KDrive Race Music A”

The Fortuna update seemed to add a treasure trove of music to the game, with this quirky, stompy track at the forefront. It’s so weird, with all of the metallic clanks for percussion and the bizarre synth doing its thing, but it’s also — and this is important — catchy as all get out.

“Fortuna Login”

A really good login theme helps to transition you from your regular life to the promised adventures of a virtual one. It has to be low-key enough not to be annoying upon loop, but exciting enough to get the juices flowing. This one does the job perfectly.

“March of the Moa”

This track could easily belong in the Tron Legacy soundtrack — and that is a high compliment for someone who likes that type of moody EDM. Warframe’s sci-fi setting allows it to pull off songs like this that a fantasy MMO couldn’t (well, maybe FFXIV), and I adore it for just that.

“Synapse”

Synapse is another track along the line of March of the Moa — dark synth with ambient undertones — but it doesn’t have as strong of a hook. It could fit in great as a background track for exploring some sort of futuristic underworld, like a set piece from Blade Runner or something.

“Corrupted”

You hear a track like this, and you know that everything is about ready to hit the fan. This is “I’ve discovered a dark cult summoning a galaxy-ending god underneath my basement floorboards” style of music, and boy doesn’t it just get your hackles up while you clutch your gun even closer?

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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sophiskiai

Great to see Warframe’s soundtrack getting recognition!
Once you progress far enough in the game, you can actually install a jukebox on your ship and gather collectables in missions to unlock portions of the game’s soundtrack on it :)

To provide some context for the first couple of tracks…

“We All Lift Together” is played when you first arrive at Fortuna to introduce this colony of cyborg debt-slaves, who recruit the players to help them fight back against the limb-stealing tyranny of their capitalism-cult oppressors.

“KDrive Race Music A” is linked to the Ventkids, a bunch of teenage skater cyborgs who live in the vents of the colony and organise hoverboard races. When not racing they make music using abandoned industrial parts as instruments (hence all the metallic clanks), which you can see them doing in-game (though sadly the video below seems to have all the game’s audio sliders zeroed except voice).

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Anton Mochalin

Warframe soundtrack is good, definitely not the best of game soundtracks but still very good. Among the best tracks not mentioned here already are Ghosts of Void and Hunhow.

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Eamil

“This Is What You Are” is a fantastic track, with portions of it being used in moments of quiet reflection and others being used in epic moments.

Of course, the standout moment is the first time the player hears the track in-game during The Second Dream.

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engineeeeer7

Definitely feels like an article that should have been written by someone who has played the game…

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Why?

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engineeeeer7

The value of many of the songs is in the moments they tie to in game.

The writer is missing 90% of the impact of We All Lift and missed what is likely the most well made song This is What you Are.

It can be good by itself but it’s better with experience.

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Christopher Allcock

The fact that a ‘non-player’ can pick out tracks that are good only proves how good the tracks are…

That’s the point of this; any player would pick ‘This is what you are’ considering the impact of the song once you know why, much like any FF7 fan would pick ‘One winged Angel’.

With the quality of music these days you don’t ‘need’ to be a fan of the source to enjoy the soundtracks, I can probably guess that many more people will pick up the Doom soundtracks but not actually buy the game yet.

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EmberStar

Another example of that would be “Take Away It’s Pain.” The music itself is interesting, but the moment connected to it is what gives it context. (And to say anymore would be a massive spoiler. So I won’t.)

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sophiskiai

I could see an article on the soundtrack and how it ties into the game being written for the “Warframe of Mind” column, but that would be a very different article!

As a fan of the game, I enjoy hearing the perspective of someone who doesn’t play but does have an understanding and appreciation of music in general and can talk about the merits of these tracks outside of their context. It gives people who do play the game a new take on things, and gives people who don’t play the game a taste of what they’re missing, so everybody wins :)