I have a nightly ritual. Check the social media sites, and then hunker down to watch some video game commentaries by Harshly Critical. They are always entertaining and are always a mood lifter if I’ve had a particularly rough day. Yes, another shock of information about me: I adore certain video games. I’m very picky about them. In the past, they have helped to inspire some of my writing, ie: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was a huge influence behind “Vox”.
At the moment, HC has been doing a playthrough of a little known indie game called “Limbo.” It has black and white 2D graphics. The simple premise is that you play as a young boy who is trying to make his way through a series of hostile environments to find his sister. There’s no dialogue, there are no epic cutscenes, and it’s extremely linear. But, it’s one hell of a game.
I’ve watched walkthroughs of Limbo before. The atmosphere is spooky and surprisingly dark. There are a series of traps and puzzles that the player must overcome to advance and if they make a mistake, the game proceeds to show them how they die from said obstacles before having them start over a few steps back.
It wasn’t until this most recent playthrough that I noticed the music though. It’s composed by Martin Stig Andersen. Talk about atmospheric! It’s so good you hardly know it’s there. Several parts of the soundtrack are comprised of just sound effects which definitely adds to how scary it can be traveling through a dark and deep forest on one’s own. Sometimes a lack of music can be the most frightening thing of all. Remember some of those classic horror movies, where the music stops as the protagonist is wandering through a darkened room. Then the music spikes as the killer/monster attacks! This soundtrack is a little more subtle but has a similar idea.
If you are writing a horror, a thriller, an indie piece, or even just jotting down a few quick notes, give this soundtrack a listen. The soundtrack has two formats that I’ve found. One is the original video game soundtrack from Playdead, which features 6 chilling atmospheric tracks but not necessarily all the music from the game. My particular favorite track is “Boys’ Fort”.
The other format is an unofficial soundtrack made by a couple of guys from grunchbox.com. Here, they’ve ripped the music straight from the game, so there are far more tracks. However, they are quite a bit shorter as a result. Definitely listen to:
“Survival Instinct” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoWOeAiX0t8&feature=related
and “Machine Gun Tranquility.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdvJc0RNZc0&feature=related
Stay tuned for Monday! I’ll be posting a few of the songs that helped inspire “Aequitas”!