Popular soundtrack creates buzz

Evan Williamson, Staff Writer

Music is very important to the structure of video games, from the 8-bit era to the almost cinematic masterpieces of today, video game soundtracks can make or break a game. I grew up on Nintendo making up words to Mario songs on the Super Nintendo, and falling in love with one of the greatest video game soundtracks in the 90’s “Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time” both composed by Koji Kondo. But there are a lot of other great video game soundtracks out there. One particular one I’m going to talk about is the soundtrack for “Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.” This game was released during the last week of the spring 2018 semester, so of course I spent half of my summer vacation playing through it a couple times. In my opinion, it has one of the greatest soundtracks I’ve ever heard.

Justin E. Bell returned to compose the music for the sequel leaving where the beauty of the original “Pillars of Eternity” soundtrack left off. He teamed up with the Budapest Art Orchestra who brought the music to life. The soundtrack could definitely be in movies like the Lord of the Rings, because it gives off that cinematic feel. I originally discovered the first “Pillars of Eternity” soundtrack after watching “Critical Role,” a show where voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons as Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer (who voices a couple characters in the game) would use some of the music for the show, and with all members of “Critical Role” doing voice over for the sequel he uses “Pillars of Eternity 2” now as well.

The thing about the soundtrack is it’s just well written. Some of the songs are a little longer, but have three different unique portions. An example of this is the fourth song called “All Gods.” The first portion of the song is nice and relaxing, the second portion takes a more mysterious turn while still keeping you relaxed, but a feeling of uneasiness creeps in. The final portion sounds scary, and is played when you are talking to Berath, the god of death, doors and the wheel of reincarnation. The music just sounds like this deity could strike you down at any moment and you can feel that tension. One of my favorites is the third song called “ The Fate of Caed Nua.” It goes from peaceful to “uh-oh something is happening,” to all hell breaking lose, to devastation and finally almost a feeling of hope at the end.

There are four factions in the game and each one has unique music based on who is in charge of the territory. One thing I didn’t like about the soundtrack is that it’s missing the tavern songs, which are just as good as the rest. I could talk about all the great music from “Twin Elms” to the “Sea Shanties” that almost sound like “Assassins Creed Black Flag.” It is truly a masterpiece. “The Majesty” of the soundtrack begins as soon as you opewn the file. I highly recommend staying on the title screen for three minutes. The rest of the soundtrack can be found on YouTube.