Battle Bards Episode 78: EverQuest

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Before World of Warcraft, there was EverQuest — the king of the MMOs and the pioneer of true 3D graphics in virtual worlds. Today the Battle Bards pay homage to this classic game, going back to 1999 to see how the music (in its various formats) hold up. If you were waiting for an episode where Steff spends most of the time screeching in agony, this is it!

Episode 78 show notes

  • Intro (feat. “Main Theme,” “Bard’s Guild,” and “Karana Bridge”)
  • “Kerra Isle”
  • “Plane of Storms”
  • “Plane of Knowledge”
  • “Akanon”
  • “Tower of Soulsek Ro”
  • “Solitude”
  • “Toxxulia Forest”
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Mail from Shannon Doyle
  • Jukebox picks (“Bridge Zone” from Sonic SMS, “From Past to Present” from Skyrim, and “Following Stanley” from The Stanley Parable)
  • Overclocked Podcast shout-out
  • Outro

Listen to episode 78 now!

Music Mondays: Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS)

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Believe it or not, when Sega released its iconic Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis, the studio also made a version for its 8-bit Sega Master System (and Game Gear) as well. What’s interesting here is that a different composer made a (mostly) original soundtrack — and it’s quite good (which is unusual for the SMS). Here are some of my favorites!

Music Mondays: Keygen Music

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So here’s something slightly interesting that I’ve been listening to lately: keygen music. I didn’t actually know that this was a thing that existed until I stumbled on it the other week. Now I’m plowing through hundreds of tracks and am pretty enchanted with many of them.

The interesting thing with these is that they are usually paired with an illegal activity: software pirating. According to Nest HQ:

“For those not familiar, a keygen, short for key generator, is a tiny piece of illegal software, usually bundled with a torrent download, that generates an unlock code to the full version of an application. Just click “activate” and your trial version of Photoshop is now the full suite. The best thing about these apps is the music that plays every time you open one. There are thousands of these things out there and all of the tracks in them are amazing, but until today, most of the artists and track titles have remained largely unknown, or unlooked-for.”

So while the keygens are illegal, the music isn’t — and some of it is pretty darn good. It’s hard to classify them, as they’re mostly electronic with some that riff off of classic video game tunes, pop culture hits, and whatever else they want to throw in there. Here are a few that have caught my attention so far!

Music Mondays: Amiga tunes

Here’s something a little different for Music Mondays: A bunch of catchy Amiga tunes. I never had an Amiga back in the day, but I have to say that that computer had some incredible soundtracks. I had a great time exploring Amiga music a few months ago, and here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

 

Battle Bards Episode 77: Spirit of Adventure 2

Steff has decreed the return of spirit of adventure — and so it shall be! In the second part of this theme, the Battle Bards explore adventurous and inspirational MMO tunes. Are we out of ideas or overflowing with incredible tracks? It’s definitely the latter, so grab your hiking stick and join us as we venture out into the great yonder!

Episode 77 show notes

  • Intro (feat. “Gahren Plains” from Vanguard and “Tullan” from ArchLord)
  • “Ship of Destiny” from TERA
  • “Make Zone BGM” from Lime Odyssey
  • “A Grand Adventure” from WildStar
  • “Freedom Wind” from Aura Kingdom
  • “Albrassia Field” from Ragnarok 2
  • “Halas” from EverQuest Online Adventures
  • “Sailing Icy Seas” from World of Warcraft
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Jukebox picks: “Main Menu” from Overwatch, “Wings” from Xenogears, and “Animated” from Zombies Corporate Life
  • Outro

Listen to episode 77 now!

Music Mondays: Vanguard

Welcome to Music Mondays here at Bio Break! The idea is to pick a game or franchise every week — MMO, retro, or otherwise — and post a quick and dirty mix of my favorite tracks.

Going to start with Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. My fellow Battle Bards didn’t really take a shine to this OST the way I did, but hey, their loss:) I always thought it was a charming fantasy soundtrack that exuded the beauty of this now-dead land.

Brightwood Dells is a neat forest piece — a little haunting, a little magical, and (in my opinion) memorable. Very synthy, which is something you get with this soundtrack, but I don’t mind.

Music for sneaking around a school of magic? Great atmosphere with this one.

With a title like “bamboo forest” I would have expected a lot more eastern-style sound, but instead it’s a rather pretty, pensive track that mixes the two hemispheres together. The deep “THRUM” sounds are quite interesting.

We simply don’t have enough grotto music in our lives.

Lots of parts and transitions here, but by far my favorite is the flute/percussion duo that emerges after a minute or so. I’m still whistling it.