Today isn’t necessarily an exercise in seeing scenes while listening to music as much as it is appreciating said music. There are times when I get stuck while writing; happens to the best of us. Often we get up, we go for a walk, we fold laundry, wash dishes, watch a movie…anything to get our minds off of it so that, hopefully, an answer will come to us through something else. I often will listen to some music…and usually, it’s from a selection of video game soundtracks that I hold in high regard. Video game soundtracks can and often are a form of art. Growing up with Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Playstation… I’ve been introduced to several gorgeous compositions that have fully immersed me in the world of the game and often inspired me in my writing. If we’re being honest here…there are dozens upon dozens of game soundtracks that I own and adore. But, today, I’m going to share with you my top ten along with why I enjoy them. So…here we go!
Inner conflict is one of the sole drives in stories. Characters battling with inner demons about what they should do or coming to terms with what they already have done. To me, there’s nothing more emotive and heart-wrenching, as a simple instrumental song to illustrate this inner turmoil. And it was with extreme excitement a few months back, that I discovered Jessica Curry’s soundtrack to the indie game, “Dear Esther.”
“Dear Esther” is a short paranormal/mystery game created originally as a mod from the Half Life series. I’ve already referenced mods before in my “Cry of Fear Soundtrack” post. My favorite game commentator, HarshlyCritical, did a let’s play of this game which can be found here. The game follows a male protagonist who wanders about an island reminiscing about his lost love and alluding to several scientific formulas and Biblical passages. The game’s pacing is slow but the atmosphere it provides is stunning. And Curry’s score for it ultimately swept me away. Haunting, delicate, and sorrowful in some places but also inspiring and uplifting in others, the 17 track album was probably one of my best buys this year. Today, I’d like to share 8 of those tracks with you.