First time I’ve ever cried during a video game. Absolutely bawling my eyes out right now. Damn. The feels. Not only was the story gripping from the get go, the music connected me to this game in a way that brought it to life. It somehow interwove with the characters and the emotions they experienced on their quest to save their father. The game is a one of a kind piece of art, wherein you use the left and right sides of the controller to control both characters. And for anyone who has ever tried to pat their stomach while rubbing the top of their head, you’ll know that it can be kind of tough to multi-task. “Damn motor-skills,” is something that Let’s Player Cryaotic frequently rages about during his walkthrough of this game.
The game starts off by introducing the younger brother overlooking his mother’s grave and reminiscing on how he wasn’t strong enough to save her alone. Soon enough, we discover that his father is also ill and that the only thing that can save him is water from a tree that can be found very far away. Choosing to embark on the journey with his older brother, the two of them travel through deserted villages, over mountain tops, and through dangerous woods encountering everything from wolves, to griffins, to insane cultists. The game is much more adult than it appears in the beginning and there are several instances where I found myself in awe of the terrible things these boy’s encountered on their trip. The music was a soothing assist, always suiting the terrain and the situation perfectly with its various instrumentals. The most unnerving scene for me was the field of slain giants, the music cutting the air so hauntingly and with such sorrowful, almost emptying ambient notes. Today, I’ll be sharing five songs from the soundtrack by Gustaf Grefberg with you, and telling you what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!
He could see everything from here in the daylight. But concealed in darkness, it was like standing at the edge of space. One more step and he’d cast himself into a dark void, a void of stars and planets, a celestial world unlike the painful and bleak one he tread on now. But he didn’t have the energy to make that last step. He settled against the mountainside, drew his knees up to his chest and stared out at the blackness ahead. Perhaps it wasn’t energy as much as it was fear.
The sky turned rose colored as morning began to overtake the darkness. An animal called across the open valley, something that should have been familiar to his ears, but strangely enough, he couldn’t identify it. His heart was heavy and the tears he’d held back had almost sunken into his chest like lead weights. Light always showed the truth, always showed the things that we wished to forget about in the darkness. And somehow, a midst the stacking bricks of anguish and loss, the growing pink light contained an essence of hope, however tiny and fragile it may have seemed. There was always tomorrow. The world kept spinning. Life kept on going. He had to move along with it.
Wilderness Part 2:
The sun rose high over the desert, the sand baking beneath his feet the further he ran. No water in the last day had left him sluggish, his movements tired and his body disobeying him. He couldn’t give in. He couldn’t turn back. At the other side of these desolate dunes was his destination. And though the odds had mounted against him, he knew that if he stopped for a second, he’d lose any and all motivation to go on. He’d lose the last ounce of his energy and his reserve. She needed him. He had vowed never to let any harm come to her. He couldn’t start now. He couldn’t be beaten now.
Flight into Memories:
He shook the man’s hand. He didn’t know it yet but there were a great many terrible things that would come from that pact, a great many wrongs he would look back on and shake his head shamefully at. He would never be able to kiss his wife again, never embrace his newborn son when he would come into the world. He could have taken a different path, a safer path. They would never have had to know what he’d become. He’d never have to risk having them see this transformation and risk their safety. But he wasn’t strong enough to be away from them yet. And as his hand slipped out of his new boss’s, he began to realize he was a coward for having been talked into this deal. He was a coward for wanting to hold onto the last threads of life even though it had already been taken from him.
His mouth fell open. A charred hand rose up from a smoldering tent, the flesh so delicate that if a breeze touched it, it would shatter into ashes. Smoke screened the carnage ahead of them, and every dark silhouette beyond it raised the hair on the back of his neck. The others cautiously moved in, their guns drawn as they began peeking into tents, collecting cookware, and weapons. Something terrible had happened here and yet they could just amble in and pick the site clean like vultures? What kind of people were they? And how could they possibly know that the aggressors were gone? And then it hit him, the scents all to much for him as he sunk to his knees. We were the aggressors. They expected it to be like this. And so they have no shock, no misery, and no pity.
Next up on Inspiration Through Music, I’ll be investigating the work of Max Richter, someone whom I’ve been listening to voraciously while I work on Book 3 of The Monstrum Chronicles! Stay tuned!