If music and video games aren’t a match made in heaven, then at least they deserve to be happy. Without doubt the scores and songs to our favorite games help greatly to make them the incredible experiences they are. Let’s look at a few favorites from a huge span of years.
Every time I hear the main Skyrim theme, I get goosebumps. Just listening to YouTube videos in preparation to write this made me nostalgic and desperate to get my hands back on the game. It has been two years since my save file has been loaded up but I can never forget the song of the Dragonborn. I loved it so much that I made it a ringtone to notify me when friends were calling and to their frustration I would let the call ring just to hear the music for as long as I could.
The soundtrack of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is just that amazing. When considering video game soundtracks I had many considerations, several on this very list, yet no other game’s music made me feel and respond the way Skyrim‘s did. The sweeping score made you believe that your adventure awaited you just beyond the mountain face on the wings of a mighty dovah. Reading the lyrics in both the dragon language and in English instills an appreciation for the composer’s ability to make music and lyrics meld beautifully in both a real language and a fictional one. Without this fantastic music, the game could have felt hokey or silly but instead it lent a grand and epic tone to a masterfully crafted piece of entertainment.
Ar Tonelico is a fairly lesser-known franchise of JRPGs originating on the PS2, lost in the shuffle of Final Fantasy’s and Dragon Quest’s. Indeed, I didn’t pick up the first game in the series until 2013. And the only reason I did was because of the music.
This is a game that features music and singing as a system of magic where characters sing songs to cast incredibly powerful spells, a gameplay mechanic that will feature heavily in the franchise’s spiritual successor Ar Nosurge. And all of these songs are sung in a fictional language called ‘Hymnos,’ a complete language with a fully functional writing system.
Aside from the background music, almost all of the songs are sung in this language with Japanese mixed in. The tones and melodies of the songs are nothing short of chill-inducing. The language itself was written with the sole intention of conveying emotion as purely as possible, and each song manages to convey those feelings perfectly despite being completely indecipherable. It’s common to write music in foreign languages, but to write so beautifully in a made-up one is truly spectacular.