Just in case any of you missed this at the time, a reminder that Mark Morgan, composer for Fallout, Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment among others released the Vault Archives, a remastered double-album of Fallout/2's soundtracks for free online.
I've spent my morning listening to them, feeling trapped in a bubble of lonely nostalgia I find it hard to imagine anyone could quite understand.
I discovered Fallout via an anonymously sent demo disc in a beautiful presentation case when I was nine years old, acquired my first PC a year later and finally played the full game around the time I hit puberty and began to develop a conscious, independent mind. My formative years were shaped largely by the combination of Fallout, Unreal, Grand Theft Auto and the Discworld. Fallout somehow seems the most important of these influences.
Listening to the music of Fallout is like tasting my own childhood, and remembering another life. I think you might be able to imagine just how strong an influence such a game might have on a mind at such an impressionable moment in life.
Hmm. All my love for SotC, Red Faction: Guerilla, STALKER, System Shock or any other is an adult's love for beautiful artwork, no more nor less. Maybe the reason I can never quite let go of Fallout as 'the best game ever made' (or even the finest work of entertainment) is because it was my companion as I woke up...
Self-indulgent rambling concluded. Enjoy the music, friends.
Amazing find, Jakkar! [Image Can Not Be Found]
The Fallout score is among the best; probably one of my three favourites, aside Homeworld and Total Annihilation. It always felt like something was missing when I was playing Fallout 3, and I grinned madly when I heard some tracks from Fallout 1/2 had made it back into New Vegas.
If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever
Either of you reached the car music from Fallout 2 yet? Very different feel, but oh god it feels good...
Well, here's another - sadly not freely available for download, but GrooveShark is your friend!
American McGee's Alice, by Chris Vrenna (past Nine Inch Nails member).
And here's another one for you, delivered by Providence herself by the entirely legitimate means of the Official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Facebook group - the complete downloadable soundtrack of Shadow of Chernobyl.
It includes the main menu theme and a variety of twisted ambient tracks strongly remniscent of a more.. diseased.. Fallout.
I've listened to this collection several times over now (thanks again, Jakkar!) and I think the track that remains most iconic of Fallout, for me anyway, is "Vats of Goo."
I can't even attempt describing that one.
"Dream Town" reminds me of the best Vangelis.
I love the mix overall; it's done as a proper album and works wonderfully. The track transition between "Gold Slouch" and "My Chrysalis Highwayman" is perfect; really changes the sound up and hits you out of nowhere with a good lick, I'd almost describe the latter track as "twang."
If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever
Twang is exactly it. Or more literally 'Bwaaaaaaaaang (ting, tang ting tong)', but I won't be so pedantic as to press the issue. Twang is the right word for the car song. And Dream Town is absolutely beautiful. You remember discovering Modoc to that music? I believe Modoc, the dying town, was the only place that played in F2.
Vats of Goo has an undeniable quality, but I have a softer spot for City of the Dead - it's an absolutely beautiful piece of horror ambience. Not pleasant to listen to, but powerful. I'm more interested in what music can do, than whether or not what it does is pleasant, I guess. Music is a toolbox used to work on the mood. Necropolis was made by that music... Damn, that town was way too small. Do you remember the Map image for it? It made me ache to explore the entire burnt out city...
Oooh, Modoc, the dying town. Yes, I remember that place.
I love that the Fallout music is sort of beat-y, which is to say that it's less traditional notes put together and more tones and sounds assembled in a pleasing way to create a mood. I don't know much about techno or trance music, and really only like it when it's tied to a game or something with visuals, but the compositions of Fallout really remind me of that style. A little like Thief did music: not music, just... sounds, really well put together.
Did that make any sense at all? I think not.
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
Only a little bit, I'm afraid. Let's have a listen while I read it again and see if it becomes clearer.
Ah, a quick bit of browsing found me this… No, I'll check it before I share the download. *taps fingers repeatedly while waiting for the download [Image Can Not Be Found]*
Well, blast. It's a fan-made rearrangement of the Thief Soundtrack, not the original. Seems like the DarkEngine buried its music deep and no-one ever managed to dig it out. However someone did get a hold of one of Eric Brosius' original discs and uploaded the full System Shock 2 Soundtrack! 😀
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SOO1EQJO – Enjoy. Command 2 is my personal favourite, from memory.
Well, back on the original topic, I think I'm starting to get what you mean. Brosius uses a lot of percussive 'noise' in his music, a very natural set of sounds, and that has a fair bit in common with some of Mark Morgan's techniques on the Fallout Soundtrack. I wouldn't say it's all that noticable or something I'd noticed as distinct myself, but I can at least say you're not completely insane, Pike 🙂
Fallout's is the very heart of Ambient Music. It's neither so simple and quiet as to be pure Ambience, nor rhythmic or forceful enough to be truly Music. It's both, balanced perfectly to provide something a little catchy, something that moves you – without moving you far enough to interfere with your enjoyment of the game.
STALKER follows the same path, although not quite so skilfully.
System Shock 2 doesn't go anywhere near this path, and instead has a techno disco interspersed with angry cocaine fuelled RAGEDISCO BATTLES! [Image Can Not Be Found]
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