Jukebox Heroes: Six great Runes of Magic tunes

    
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Jukebox Heroes: Six great Runes of Magic tunes

Welcome back to Jukebox Heroes, the column that dares you to close your eyes and unplug your ears. Well, after you’re done reading this opening, of course. So what’s the greatest tragedy in modern musical history? Everyone has an answer to that, but mine will be, “How much Runes of Magic’s score is overlooked because the game’s slipped into obscurity.”

According to a few accounts I’ve read, Runes of Magic’s music is both cobbled together from tracks of other video games as well as original pieces composed specifically for this. I honestly don’t care where the music comes from; I just care to turn my speakers all the way up and feel epic when it’s playing.

So here we go with my absolute favorite tracks from Runes of Magic!

“Main Theme of Chapter 4: Lands of Despair”

Each one of Runes of Magic’s chapters has its own theme, and each one is goosebump-worthy. It’s hard picking favorites, so I won’t. Instead, I drew one of them out of a hat: Chapter 4. In a tight two minutes, you’ve got something that sounds like it should be at the forefront of a summer movie blockbuster, not a mere MMO. It just keeps building and building, and by the end you can’t help but want to be ripping off your shirt and making household objects into legendary weapons.

“Adventure”

This is not the sort of music that I’d expect to hear in an MMO. It’s far more cinematic, similar to movie soundtracks where someone is heading off to war or an epic quest. In any case, it’s certainly quite uplifting and should be played right before you leave your home to head out to work or the Dairy Queen.

“Absurdia”

I wouldn’t call this my absolute favorite Runes of Magic track, but it’s got a nice quality to it. Makes me think of a grand entrance, like a conquering hero returning home to a throng of celebrating people.

“Cataclistic”

I don’t know what “cataclistic” means, but if this track is any indication, it’s “a frantic and desperate motion as one scrambles away from the end of the world.” The chanting choir transitions to an uplifting ballad by the end, and then this short-but-sweet piece crashes to a close. Love it.

“Obsidian Stronghold”

This starts out as an almost-forgettable piece of generic fantasy music, all except for the non-stop thumping in the background. There’s a quite urgent feeling to this piece that culminates in its crowning moment of awesome at 1:52. It’s at this moment that the build-up pays off, and it would be a far weaker track if it didn’t have two minutes to get there.

“Traveling Tale”

Traveling Tale actually sounds like something that came from an inspiring movie drama than a video game. It also has the full backing of a symphony rather than a synthesizer, and that quality comes out in the sheer variety of instruments at play here. It’s not just great MMO music; it’s great music period.

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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