The Unreal series, among its loads and loads of overlooked aspects, had AWESOME soundtracks along all of its games. Including the Dork Age ones.
Unreal and Return To Na Pali
Alexander Brandon and Michiel Van Den Bos joined forces to create the soundtrack of Unreal
and Unreal: Return To Na Pali
- "Flight Castle". When you open the game and check the flyby intro, you have a nice taste of what you'll be going into... and the calm yet intense music which will make you to get into the atmosphere of the game.
- The darkly evocative Vortex Rikers namesake theme, which perfectly suits the ghost ship it accompanies.
- "Dusk Horizon", the piece that plays once you exit the Vortex Rikers during the "Nyleve's Falls" level. Sounds even better when combined with the natural chirps and bird cries of the area. And the combat intensity that plays when you face a Brute for the first time.
- The industrial-sounding "Dig (Shareware version)" that plays in the Rrajigar Mine levels has 3 great sections; the progressive, upbeat main theme is complemented by a threatening minor key intro (starts at 4:34) and a truly awesome action track, which plays during your first fight with a Skaarj (2:40 - 4:33).
- "Nali Chant", the ominous piece that accompanies the "Dark Arena" level.
- Have a gander at the bouncy theme of the Terraniux levels, "Nightvision", by Brandon. A theme which varies between a calmer section (which will be playing while you explore the ship) and a faster, frantic section, which plays as you'll gun down those Mercenaries.
- "Hub 4", the dark and threatening track from the level Noork's Elbow.
- "Surfacing", the upbeat and magical piece which plays during the "Gateway to Na Pali" level.
- "Isotoxin", by Andrew "Necros" Sega, from the level "Outpost 3J". A mid-tempo techno track which plays as you find a teleporter out of Na Pali Haven as you gun down Skaarj officers and snipers. Like most of the songs in the game, it varies between a low-tempo section for exploration, and a faster beat for the combat.
- The raw orchestral power of the mind-blowing Warlord theme, which plays during the Boss Battle in the "Demonlord's Lair" level.
- Appropriately enough, the Ending Theme has to be the crowning music in a soundtrack full of CMOA; twisting through triumph, sadness and suspense about what the sequel will hold, it ends the game in epic style.
- Even the Expansion Pack, Return To Na Pali, has a great Intro song. It begins with the calmness and intensity you can expect from the Unreal intro, but almost a minute later, an imperial march (no, not that one) plays while the UMS Bodega Bay makes its appearance. Of course, made by both Brandon and Van Den Bos.
- "Neve's Crossing" gives strong backing to the level of the same name. There's an even more athmospheric and awesome remix called "Euphoria", courtesy of Bryan El.
- "Khyron - Dirt" is a hard rock banger that plays during the showdown on UMS Prometheus's roof, which highlights both the insane diffuculty and adrenaline-inducing epicness of the fight.
- "Journey" from the "Nagomi Passage" levels, follows in the footsteps of Chizra and Seti, producing an upbeat, mystical track with a truly beautiful pan pipe melody.
- The ethereal "Gala's Peak" evokes its icy surroundings perfectly.
- And just for laughs, the "Unreal Euro Dance Mix" - a bonus track on the CD that came free with the game's strategy guide.
Brandon and Van Den Bos would later join forces again for Unreal Tournament
. Their awesomeness is still intact.
- "Unreal Tournament Title": An epic and intense orchestral tune with a calm mid section. It's impossible to listen to this tune without thinking in that awesome intro with that Rousing Speech about the Tournament.
- "Mechanism Eight" (written by Andrew Sega), a cool, bouncy, yet tempo-moderate track which plays during the AS-HiSpeed, DM-Fractal, DM-Pyramid, DM-Zeto and DOM-Ghardhen levels. Gets a remix for Unreal Tournament III for a reason.
- "Go Down", a mid-to-fast-tempo technological piece with a simple yet effective synth riff opening it, and a closing "tapping" like section. This is the epic tune that plays during two of UT's most iconic maps: DM-Deck16][ and DM-HyperBlast, as well as DOM-Bullet from the Bonus Pack 4.
- "Foregone Destruction", the epic fast-tempo piece of drum-bass-and-synth that made the genre synonymous with space levels thanks to its association with, perhaps, the most iconic map from the entire Unreal series: CTF-Face, a.k.a. Facing Worlds. Like the Deck maps mentioned above, Facing Worlds is a Crowning Level Of Awesome and one of the hallmarks of its gameplay mode (Capture the Flag). Part of that is the level design. Part of it is the jawdropping milieu. And part of it is this music.
- "Save Me", the fast-tempo techno piece that plays during DM-Morpheus, DOM-Gearbolt and the GOTY edition's/Bonus Pack 2's CTF-Orbital.
- "Razorback", the extremely epic piece of fast-tempo electronic rock made by Peter "Skaven" Hajba featured in the maps DM-Gothic, DM-Liandri and DM-Peak. Good luck trying to gun down those pesky bots/players as you shake your head at the same time.
- "Fire Breath", a calm mid-tempo techno track crafted by Tero "Teque" Kostermaa and Kai-Eerik Komppaa which plays during CTF-Coret, DM-Grinder, DM-Pressure, DOM-MetalDream and the GOTY Edition levels DM-Crane (also present in the Inoxx pack) and DM-Mojo][.
- "Lock": A mid-tempo with a memorable intro section and a lot of cuts. The awesomeness of the track isn't tamed by the fact that it's featured on one of the most hated Unreal maps ever (DM-KGalleon). It's THAT awesome. It also plays in the GOTY Edition/Bonus Pack 1 level DM-ArcaneTemple as well as the Bonus Pack 4 levels CTF-Ratchet and DM-Closer.
- "Run", a very bouncy fast-tempo best known for being the track that ambients DM-Turbine, CTF-Niven, DM-Conveyor, DOM-Cinder, DM-Morbias][ and the GOTY Edition levels CTF-Hydro16 and DM-Shrapnel][.
- "Superfist", a rocking, urgent fast-tempo track with a nice guitar solo in the middle, featured in the GOTY Edition/Bonus Pack 1 map DM-HealPod][.
- "Colossus", a tune that doesn't disappoint in capturing the tense atmosphere of an Assault match such as the only map it's featured on, AS-Rook.
- "Mission Landing", the track of AS-Frigate, usually the very first map of the gametype players have possibly ever played. And fitting for the overall mood of the Assault gametype. Bonus points for including the original Unreal flyby theme inserted in the calmer part of the song. It also plays in the maps AS-Overlord, CTF-Gauntlet, DM-Codex and the GOTY Edition/Inoxx Pack map CTF-Kosov.
- "The Course", a bouncy and calm fast-tempo tune which gets you in the mood while you learn the basics of Deathmatch/Domination/CTF/Assault. Or play DM-Curse][, CTF-Dreary or any of the GOTY Edition/Bonus Pack 4 maps it's featured in: CTF-Nucleus, DM-Agony, DM-Bishop, DM-Curse][, DM-Grit-TOURNEY or DOM-CiDom.
- "Skyward Fire", the quiet mid-to-fast-tempo theme song which ambients CTF-LavaGiant and AS-Mazon. It's another of the tunes which got an UT3 remix, even though neither Mazon or LavaGiant made the cut for that game.
- In Unreal Championship, the port of Unreal Tournament 2003, the music duties fell to Will "Starsky Partridge" Nevins.note Several of the songs in there were later ported to UT2003 and UT2004:
- For starters, there's the asphyxiating, slow-tempo industrial piece that is "Level 2", the menu theme of Championship (in that game it also plays on CTF-LavaGiant2) and UT2004's DOM-Renascent.
- "Level 3", nice mid-tempo piece with an odd tempo-emphasizing beat that plays on BR-Bifrost (BR-Endagra in Championship), BR-Canyon and DM-Compressed.
- The Championship-exclusive "Level 4", a mid/slow-tempo drum'n'bass funky piece with an intro bass line and swell drum beat that will stick in your head for a long time. This piece plays on DM-Aqua_Mortis and the game's incarnation of CTF-Chrome.
- The syncopated beat followed by some nice synth chords of "Level 5", the song of BR-IceFields (BR-Kalendra in Championship) and DM-Flux2.
- The hard-hitting "Level 6", with the initial chord giving way to a series of lead hits. A minute later, the second part of the song hits, with an industrial slow-tempo track that gives way to hard-sounding guitars. This piece is the BGM for the levels DM-1on1-Crash, DM-Leviathan and DOM-SepukkuGorge. In Championship it's also the BGM piece for that game's incarnation of CTF-Smote.
- "Level 7", like many other songs from the Unreal Engine 2-powered Unreal games, takes some time to ignite, but the initial beats lay the foundation for a heavy theme which includes a memorable organ crescendo at the end. This is the BGM piece for BR-DE-ElecFields and its Capture the Flag counterpart, while in Championship it plays on DOM-Deserted and that game's incarnation of DM-Insidious.
- For a much more muted song than "Go Down" which borders on Soundtrack Dissonance, check out the simply named "Level 8", the theme of DM-TokaraForest and the 2004 maps CTF-BP2-Concentrate, CTF-Grassyknoll, DM-BP2-Calandras and DM-Gestalt. In Championship, meanwhile, it plays on BR-Adrift and that game's incarnation of DM-Antalus.
- "Level 9", a bouncy, Egyptian-flavored piece from Championship (BGM for the levels DM-Molten and that game's incarnation of BR-Disclosure) that also plays on 2003's CTF-DE-LavaGiant2. Although the map didn't make the cut for 2004 (thus relegating the song to Cut Song status, as it isn't used in any other map), it still appears in that game.
- "Level 11", a fast-tempo piece which opens with a brain-shattering lead sequence that plays on DM-1on1-Squader, DM-DE-Osiris2 and DM-Goliath in 200X and CTF-OtarosRun and BR-Anubis in Championship. The guitar sequence halfway through rounds the song.
- Another Championship-exclusive piece is "Level 12", a muted piece beginning with a nice synth line giving way to a nice drum pattern ambiented with some muted electric guitars. This piece plays on the game's incarnations of CTF-Maul and DM-Curse3.
- The fast-tempo "Level 13", which begins with a bouncy synth line and a nice drum line, plays on CTF-Orbital2, DM-DesertIsle and DM-Oceanic (DM-Vidona in Championship). Halfway through, distorted guitars kick in and the song gains in urgency.
- Also a Championship-exclusive is the Half-Life-esque "Level 14", in which a synth chord leads to a swell piano section and kicks into a slow-tempo drum beat. This piece plays on the game's incarnations of CTF-LostFaith and DOM-SunTemple.
- "Level 15", a bouncy, fast-tempo piece that plays on DM-DE-Ironic. Championship players also remember it as the BGM piece of DOM-Frigid, that game's incarnation of CTF-Citadel and the Downer Ending of the game, making it to border on Soundtrack Dissonance.
- Rounding the original Championship tracklisting is "Level 16". Like many other themes, it begins with a muted line, but near the minute, this leads into a hard-hitting beat that includes some swell synth lines; around the 2:26 mark, the song goes back to muted, but it leads to a drum section that increases on intensity until the song returns to full-force at 3:22. UT2003 and UT2004 players may identify this piece as the BGM of BR-Colossus, CTF-Colossus, CTF-Grendelkeep, DM-DE-GrendelKeep and DOM-Aswan, while Championship players may remember it as the piece that plays on the game's incarnations of CTF-Geothermal and DM-Gael.
- Nevins was later joined by Kevin Riepl,note the main composer of both UT2003, UT2004 and Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict:
- The main theme of Unreal Tournament 2003, even with the game falling into Canon Discontinuity, and which you can also find in Unreal Tournament 2004. The most epic intro for any of the Unreal games. It gives you the sensation of fighting a gladiator game.
- The menu theme of UT2004 remixes and expands the '99 version - all on a full orchestra!
- If you liked "Save Me", then listen to UT2004's MK-ish Asbestos by Starsky Partridge.
- The techno-orchestral remix of "Go Down", called Hyperblast Redux, is even more awesome than its counterparts from the other two games it was featured.
- Check this trailer for Unreal Tournament 2004. It contains two songs: the opening track is Assault. And, near the end, when the Leviathan is showing up for serious Mighty Glacier asskicking, you hear the latter part of Atlantis, supplying some Ominous Latin Chanting, just to add even more awesomeness to the fray and making you to wish to play this game.
- The DM-IceTomb song, the heavy-hitting piece of Symphonic Metal called Infiltrate. It takes a bit to warm up, but when the double bass drum hits, it begins.
- KR-Rankin, the epic piece of mid-tempo industrial rock for the equally epic and industrial DM-Rankin.
- Corrugation - Rise, the theme for DM-Corrugation and, more famously, CTF-Face. It alternates (although in-game the track plays constantly) between a calmer piece, a rocking section, and (after a small interlude) the combination of both at the end, going back to the calmer piece.
- Run, from the first Unreal Tournament, has a worthy Spiritual Successor in the form of KR-Roughinery, DM-1on1-Roughinery's song.
- The Mothership assault theme takes about 37 seconds to warm up, but then...
- The Sound Design Groupnote made the Onslaught map songs in 2004:
- Their big-hitter for UT2004 is Onslaught 01, ONS-Torlan's theme, which also had a remix for UT3. A very awesome song which wouldn't be out of place in games like Age of Empires.
- The slow but awesome Onslaught 08, ONS-ArcticStronghold theme.
Riepl does the music of this game. Don't worry, it's still awesome in its own right.
- The remixed version of the first Unreal Tournament's intro theme is even more awesome than the original version thanks to many new sections and an even more orchestral instrumentation with even a bit of rocking added to it.
- There's also Legacy (a.k.a. Anubis Fights Selket), an Egyptian-ambiented fast tempo which starts with a programmed line later joined by an orchestra and a wailing. It gets you in the mood for a serious ass-kicking against that bitch in the Rites' finals. It also plays in the game's version of Unreal Tournament's DM-Tempest.
A lot of people thought that Epic scored big time
when they called in two of the best in the field, Rom Di Prisco (Need for Speed
, Prey (2006)
) and Jesper Kyd (Hitman
, Assassin's Creed
) for the OST of Unreal Tournament III
. Awesomeness resulted.
- "World of Liandri", by Kyd, gives a feeling which goes hand on hand with the Japanese style of the levels it's featured on, DM-ShangriLa, CTF-Reflection and the Titan Pack level VCTF-Stranded.
- Rom remixed classic Unreal Tournament songs:
- The even more insane and faster remix of Unreal Tournament's "Go Down", which plays on, where else, DM-Deck.
- "Foregone Destruction", the remix of Unreal Tournament's eponymous epic drum-and-bass piece used in, you guessed it, CTF-FacingWorlds. It says a lot when most of the original tune's structure is being kept in this remix. You don't fix what isn't broken.
- The obscure but just as awesome "Mechanism Eight", used in DM-Arsenal and the game's version of long-time Unreal mainstay map DM-Morbias. Like "Foregone Destruction", it respects most of the structure of the original tune and adds only bits that are meant to make the tune even better.
- There's even a remix of SDG's "Onslaught 01" for UT2004 (the ONS-Torlan song) made by him. In this game, it's used for the maps WAR-TankCrossing and the Titan Pack map WAR-Confrontation. It's even more somber and urgent than the original tune, while retaining most of what made ONS01 a beloved classic.
- The awfully short but epic Space Victory Theme.
- The bouncy "Plasma Oscillator", which plays on both versions of VCTF-Suspense.
- The calm and beautiful "Frozen Babylon", which plays on DM-Gateway, WAR-OnyxCoast, both versions of WAR-Serenity, and the Titan Pack maps DM-EdenInc and WAR-Hostile.
- "Mekapolis", a Cut Song from the game that made it into the game's official soundtrack, is a beautifully dreamy piece.
Even as a pre-alpha, the game still contains awesome pieces of music:
- For starters, there's the unmodified Unreal Tournament versions of "Foregone Destruction" and "Go Down", used for the game's incarnations of Facing Worlds and Deck.
- Timothy Seals's "Chasing Voids", the theme of CTF-BigRock, a piece of drum & bass that is positioning itself to be "Foregone Destruction"'s Spiritual Successor.