Musical Monday IV – from libraries to mountains
It’s Monday again, which means it is once again time for me to bombard you with some of my favourite video game music from times gone by. Last Monday I was saying that I hope for a July filled with pleasant weather. Since then we’ve seen our country drenched under a month’s worth of rain. I have been ill since last Thursday though, so a positive in some regards is that I was never caught out in it. Unfortunately, it also meant that this post suffered a delay in being written, and was still in progress as Monday became Tuesday.
The first game I have chosen to be in the spotlight this week takes us back to a point-and-click adventure game by the name of The Longest Journey. This is another game that I have to be thankful to my Grandad for helping me discover, after he shown me the demo during one of my weekend visits in 1999. Without him sharing this with me, it is quite possible that this wonderful game would have completely passed me by. It would have been a great shame if this was the reality because I have always been a big fan of point-and-click games, from Monkey Island to Broken Sword. I remember that when I was given The Longest Journey for Christmas that year my computer’s hard drive required a quick spring cleaning session before I was able to install it. The 1GB of space it required was a sizable chunk of my 6GB total my computer had to offer. Whilst this was an annoyance at the time it was certainly worth it to experience such an enjoyable game.
The theme I have chosen sits comfortably in the middle chapters of the story. At this point in the story April is required to visit the Library of the Sentinel Enclave to learn more about The Divide and history of The Balance between the Magical world of Arcadia, and her home world, the technology driven Stark. This theme is played in the background while you are reading a selection of the library’s vast collection of books. I would always take my time reading the various stories and historical accounts, taking in every detail while thoroughly enjoying this music. I really wish that other games would include music similar to this when you are reading books. I would happily sit for hours in my character’s Arch Mage quarters on Skyrim reading through the books I have collected on my travels. I still do of course, but I feel music like this would certainly add to the atmosphere.
My second choice for this week’s post welcomes one of gaming’s most well-known characters into the Musical Monday spotlight. Lara Croft will be reborn in her upcoming game, currently scheduled for release in early March 2013, but for this choice we will be going back in time to her second adventure. The story was an interesting one; Lara, and her adversaries, were on the trail of the Dagger of Xian, an ancient artifact with the mysterious power to grant those brave (or stupid) enough to stab themselves through the heart the life and luxuries of a dragon. I think if I was presented with this opportunity I would kindly refuse and go and play one of my Spyro games. To use a saying that may only just fit this situation, it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Tomb Raider II was also the game that first introduced the popular sport of locking butlers in giant freezers (admit it, you couldn’t resist doing this at least once).
My chosen theme is one that you will encounter in the later stages of the game. Simply named ‘Skidoo Pursuit’ it plays when, you guessed it, Lara hops onto a skidoo for the first time during her adventure through Tibet. This first experience of skidoo riding never lasted for a few seconds because I insisted that she switched that noisy contraption off and listened to this music. After the music had finished she was more than welcome to continue her journey, but silence ruled during these two-and-a-half minutes.
As always, I hope you enjoyed listening to these themes as much as I do. For next week’s episode I plan to talk about some of the video game music that I enjoy listening to even though I haven’t actually played the game it belongs to myself. Some will be music that I have enjoyed while watching Let’s Plays on YouTube, others will be music that has been recommended by friends. Rest assured that each game that I will mention has a secure place on my ‘to play’ list. I will also hoping that I won’t be struck down with illness next weekend, resulting in another post being fresh off the keyboard at 2am the day after it was meant to be posted.
[Credits: The Longest Journey theme video – SuperGuitarDude, Tomb Raider II theme video – MioRaem]