Let us descend into another dark and utterly spectacular world given to us by Telltale Games, the creators of The Walking Dead Game. Inspired by Bill Willingham’s Fables comic series, the game “The Wolf Among Us” drops us into the seedy and sinful atmosphere of Fabletown and right into the shoes of our main character, Bigby Wolf. The characters are the real world versions of characters taken from popular fables and fairy tales, some of whom have moved to the city and others whom have remained behind in that other world.
The thing that drew me to The Wolf Among Us besides its gorgeous artwork, fabulous plot line, and intriguing characters was the music, composed by Jared Emerson-Johnson, the same composer for The Walking Dead Game. I was immediately reminded of a 1950’s film noir, one of my guilty pleasures. A detective or private eye gets caught up in a bigger scheme than he intends by investigating what looks to be a simple crime. Although this time, we can add some supernatural elements to it and the revitalization of characters we know and love. Johnson’s music really sets a gritty tone for Fabletown, tinged with moments of remorse, tragedy, and above all else, the character’s needs for self-preservation. Everyone in Fabletown is looking out for themselves, and the music makes you believe that these characters are willing to do anything and everything to protect themselves. My favorite Youtube LPer, HarshlyCritical finished up the second episode recently. Here is his Let’s Play of it. Today, I’ve got a list of 5 different songs from the first two episodes of “The Wolf Among Us”. I’ll be describing what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!
Faith: She lit a cigarette, and exhaled a clean burst of blue smoke into the night air. Her eyes were big; he could see they were still trying to get passed what had just happened in the hotel. It had been no place for a lady. He was only glad he got there in time. She took another puff from the cigarette, her hand beginning to shake and then dropped it, smooshing it under her heel. She pulled a fresh cigarette out of her pocket and lit it up. When he looked at her with a raised eyebrow, she chuckled nervously and said, “Nothing like those first few drags. Everything after them just doesn’t have the same kick.”
Beast Inside: He stared up at the dark building, no lights on inside. No sign of life. He knew they were in there. They’d been there the whole time, under his nose. He balled a fist at the thought that he could have stopped them earlier if only he’d had some clue. Still, he was going to make sure they never did anything like this again, never hurt another person. Pulling the gun from the small of his back, he checked the fresh clip of bullets he’d loaded into it in the car, switched off the safety, and went straight for the front door. They wouldn’t be expecting him so soon.
Interrogation: He put a hand on her cheek, not sure what to say. She held it and pressed her face further into it. That warmth, that small touch made him somehow crack open. He didn’t like that. The vulnerability, the memory of another time… He carefully pulled his hand away and turned toward the window, looking out at the rain-soaked city and the traffic building up on the street below. He’d avoided death tonight, only just barely. It didn’t mean that it wouldn’t come for him another night, and it didn’t mean it wouldn’t be soon either. He had to make sure that he wasn’t caught off guard then. For him, luck was sparse. He wouldn’t get another chance to make things right after this.
I’ll Be Fine: He didn’t watch her walk away. A strange ache had settled in his chest and the further she got, it only seemed to tug harder and harder. He closed his eyes and moved in the opposite direction, back toward the bleak and dark part of town where home lay. There was no rest for the wicked. There would be no happy ending waiting for him, no one to make him dinner when he got home, no one to tell him that it would be okay when everything was going to hell. It couldn’t be that way. It was too dangerous. And hell, he probably wouldn’t be able to stand the company for long anyway. He sighed. No matter how he tried to rationalize it, it still hurt.
Opening Credits: Black buildings. A blue sky. Purple figures passing by quickly, wrapped up in themselves. The city never changed. He’d wandered it, been swallowed and retched from its underbelly and had somehow emerged from it still breathing, his clock still ticking. It wasn’t a curiosity to him as it had been when he’d begun his work here. Everyone had a motive, everyone looked out for themselves. People didn’t go out on limbs for one another unless they themselves were in danger. Turning blind eyes and whispering were common here. And those few that were loyal or relied on the hands of others to help them were always up to something, the least innocent of everyone here. He didn’t exclude himself. He couldn’t. People had to fear him to know he would do anything to take them down. It was just how things worked.
Interested in playing the game for yourself? Check out “The Wolf Among Us” here. Want to see more of Jared Emerson-Johnson’s work? Here is his official website.
Next week, I’ll be picking some selections from one of my all time favorite video game scores that, in my opinion, doesn’t get nearly the attention that it deserves. Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Soundtrack is next week. Stay tuned!
One thought on “Inspiration Through Music: The Wolf Among Us Soundtrack”
Fantastic article. 🙂