Battle Bards Episode 92: Dragon’s Prophet

dragon

Strap in for a fiery ride across the skies in today’s episode of Battle Bards! While Dragon’s Prophet was not fated to last long — at least in North America — it did leave behind a treasure trove of music that we’ve only started to dig into. The bards get a little dragonish themselves for this show, perhaps of a different opinion of what constitutes the perfect score for giant flying lizards.

Episode 92 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Rise of a Hero — Call of Battle” and “Candlelight”)
  • “Auratia”
  • “River”
  • “Flicker of Life”
  • “The Black Swan”
  • “Commoner’s Dream”
  • “Light’s Path”
  • “Helmoth”
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: “Main Menu” from Conan Exiles, “Richer” from Valkyria: Azure Revolution, “Early Game 1” from Majesty
  • Outro (feat. “Dawn”)

Battle Bards Episode 91: Forest Tales

forest

Take a stroll through the trees and become totally lost in the foliage, drinking in the sounds of the forest with today’s show, as the Battle Bards go hiking through the woods to hear the music that they inspire. It’s an hour of forest tales on this week’s exploration of MMORPG soundtracks, so journey with us from Ultima X to Final Fantasy XI!

Episode 91 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Southern Janost Forest” from Runes of Magic and “Caledon Forest” from Guild Wars 2)
  • “Kingwood” from Ultima X Odyssey
  • “Albion Campacorentin Forest” from Dark Age of Camelot
  • “The Breeze of the Old Forest” from Rappelz
  • “Golden Wood Impression” from LOTRO
  • “Scatherran Forest Light” from RIFT
  • “Redwood (Ancient Forest)” from Aion
  • “The Sanctuary of Zi’tah” from FFXI
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: “Forest” from The Last Guardian, “Flash Forward” from Virginia, and “Heliosphere” from No Man’s Sky
  • Outro (feat. “The Song of the Forest” from Blade and Soul)

The great music overhaul of 2016

music

So if you’ll excuse my extreme nerdiness and self-indulgence today, I wanted to talk about my music collection.

Ever since I started collecting digital music in the early 2000s, I had my own organizational system. It’s nothing fancy, just a dozen or so folders devoted to various musical genres (pop, video game, comedy, Christian, etc.), into which I would put songs that I generally liked. I used to keep EVERYthing, but having long since realized that there are tracks I will never listen to ever again, I stopped doing that and only saved songs that I liked for one reason or another. The only exception to this plan these days are MMORPG soundtracks, which I have kept in full due to the projects that I use them for.

So as I listen to and sort tracks, I have thrown the best into a folder that I’ve called “Mobile Mix.” Since I have too much music to fit on most mobile devices (first iPods, later the iPhone and my car’s flash drives), I wanted to pull music that I would listen to the most while I was on the go. A favorites mix, if you will, which is something that I imagine many people have.

Over time, I kept throwing files willy-nilly into the Mobile Mix folder to the point where it started to buckle from being too big. At the start of this week, the folder contained over 4,500 tracks, which I had come to realize was causing issues. Firstly, it takes my car almost three minutes to index all of those and start playing them after I turn it on, which has caused a few hilarious moments when music abruptly started blaring while we’re already driving and my wife jumps out of her seat. Second, many of the songs that I had thrown into that folder were no longer appealing to me. I might have liked them at one time or included them because I thought they were noteworthy, but they weren’t “listen to all of the time” candidates any more. The whole idea of this mix is that it’s Syp’s personal radio station, and I should never want to skip a song of it because I don’t like it for whatever reason.

Because of this realization, this week I sat down and started a lengthy project to go back through all 4,500 tracks, listening to them one by one, and culling the songs that don’t have high replay value. I’m also taking the opportunity to fix spelling, capitalization, and other formatting errors.

It’s going to be a slow process, to be sure, but I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it. It’s that satisfying feeling of cleaning out a room that you’ve neglected for too long. Plus, it’s a chance to reaquaint myself with some of my old favorites and remember when I had added these. Also, I’m realizing just how weird my tastes are. As my wife said the other day when we were driving, “Is this the theme to the Snorks?”

Yes. Yes it is. Have some fun with the Snorks, my dear.

Battle Bards Episode 90: Wizard101

wizard101

Expecto MMOsium! The Battle Bards have donned their robes and taken to casting nasty spells on each other with their wands, all in the spirit of today’s soundtrack — Wizard101. This surprisingly expansive kid MMORPG visits a wide range of genres and has a score to match. But was the experience magical or mundane?

Episode 90 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Main Theme,” “Home Sweet Home,” and “Grizzleheim 2”)
  • “Avalon – High/Abbey Road”
  • “Polaris – Ballet Theme”
  • “Avalon – Main Theme”
  • “Wysteria – Pickswick Academy”
  • “Marleybone – Theme 1”
  • “Darkmoor – Main Theme”
  • “Wintertusk – Austrilund”
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: “Bulls Eye” from Club Penguin, “Top of the World” from Eagle Flight, and “Where No Man Has Gone Before” from The Witcher 3
  • Outro (feat. “Polaris – Bad Ballet Theme”)

Retro Reprise Episode 9: 8-Bit Castlevania

castlevania

Candles will no longer haunt Syp’s dreams — Simon Belmont is here to whip them out of existence once and for all! Oh, and also Dracula. In today’s show, Castlevania on the NES gets the star treatment as Syp dives into the music from the gothic horror platformer trilogy.

Episode 9: 8-bit Castlevania (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Mansion” from Castlevania II)
  • “Vampire Killer” from Castlevania
  • “Starker” from Castlevania
  • “Wicked Child” from Castlevania
  • “Out of Time” from Castlevania
  • “Bloody Tears” from Castlevania II
  • “The Silence of the Daylight” from Castlevania II
  • “Beginning” from Castlevania III
  • “Deja Vu (Vampire Killer)” from Castlevania III
  • “Stream” from Castlevania III
  • Outro (feat. “Stage Clear” from Castlevania III)

Battle Bards Episode 89: Nightfall

night

When the sun goes down, the Battle Bards’ work has just begun! In this week’s episode, the crew explores nighttime music cues in MMOs, chasing the ever-elusive feel of what that period between dusk and dawn sounds like in game. Don’t fall asleep!

Episode 89 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat.“Shire Nights” from Lord of the Rings Online and “Moons of Evening Star” from Elder Scrolls Online)
  • “Painted Skies” from FFXIV
  • “Nacht” from Drakensang
  • “Starry Night” from Aura Kingdom
  • “Candlelight” from Dragon’s Prophet
  • “Nighttime Music” from Black Desert Online
  • “Palace at Night” from Chronicles of Spellborn
  • “Rogshire Night 2” from Runes of Magic
  • Which one did we like the most?
  • Jukebox Picks: “Heroic Assault” from Gears of War 2, “E3 2016 Trailer” from Cosmic Star Heroine, and “Main Theme” from Atlas Reactor
  • Outro (“Dusk of God” from MapleStory)

Battle Bards Episode 88: Revelation Online

revelation

The new hotness on the MMO scene is Revelation Online, the Chinese import that has gamers abuzz with its flashy graphics and rounded theme park offerings. But how does its soundtrack hold up? The Battle Bards investigate an eastern game with a western composer — World of Warcraft’s Neal Acree. How does it come off?

Episode 88 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Bamboo Thicket” and “Imperial Camp”)
  • “Swamp Town”
  • “Altar of Purification”
  • “Calm Blue”
  • “Underwater Adventures”
  • “Mystic Forest”
  • “The Chosen (Main Theme)”
  • “TianYu Island”
  • Which one did we like the most?
  • Jukebox Picks: “Prologue” from Rime Burta, “The Light in Us All” from Planet Coaster, and “Main Theme” from Oblivion
  • Outro (“The Chosen”)