And I've always been a fan of classical music. By classical, I really mean the "Romantic" era stuff--Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Wagner, Liszt, Dvorzak, later Beethoven, Mahler, etc. That kind of stuff. And, I've been a fan of good musical movie music scores. Of course, given my age, I barely remember a time before John Williams and the Star Wars score, which really changed movie music forever. In fact, I still consider the Star Wars music amongst my favorite music of all time. I bought the two-disc (each) Special Edition soundtracks when they were released years ago. Great investment.
In fact, I got a bit carried away picking up movie soundtracks a few years ago, and while I'm arguably still carried away, I don't buy as much as I used to. Movie soundtracks are, I've also found, great to play in the background while gaming, or while working on gaming, or while writing, or while developing, or whatever. Most movie soundtracks are scored specifically so that they can emulate a tone and theme. Sure, moods may change within the course of a movie, but picking a movie that has the same kind of "feel" as you want your gaming to represent, and then playing the music for that movie in the background, is a great way to make sure that your game has the right feel too.
DARK•HERITAGE, being a setting that has pluralistic influences, naturally needs a pluralistic soundtrack, and no single movie or series of movies even, can hope to give me everything I want in terms of tone, feel and theme. But I have taken several stabs at creating the "ideal" soundtrack for DARK•HERITAGE. For various reasons, I've decided that I will only accept as much music as I can burn on a single CD-R (as mp3s), so depending on file size and quality, I can get between 7-12 or so soundtracks on it. Ten is usually the target I'm aiming for, but if there's still room, I'll add some more. CD-Rs are very convenient for me because they are easily portable, really cheap (so I can redo them if I feel like it later), I can play them in a variety of devices, and because of their constant size (700 Mbs) it keeps me from getting carried away and adding more than I need. Plus, I can play it in my car, in my DVD player, in my stereo, and on my PC. While I can mostly do that with my mp3 player too, it's not as convenient as just throwing a CD-R in. It's the perfect solution for me.
Because I'm always picking up new soundtracks, I find from time to time that I need to adjust my DARK•HERITAGE soundtrack--or if I don't need to, I want to because some new soundtrack fits so perfectly with what I want my game to "feel" like. So although I haven't yet burned a CD-R with this new listing, here's what I'm thinking of doing for the "new" DARK•HERITAGE soundtrack, when I make my new CD for it. For now, it's eleven soundtracks long, but with some judicious editing of tracks, I can probably fit some more stuff in too.
- Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End
- Pirates of the Carribean 4: On Stranger Tides
- The Wolfman
- Sherlock Holmes
- Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows
- Red Dead Redemption
- The Mummy
- Prince of Persia
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight
- The Woman in Black
If you look at the list, you'll notice a few themes that are represented more than once. Westerns, although darker revisionist Westerns, not heroic stuff (I could have added The Magnificent Seven, for example (great themesong, by the way) but deliberately did not), I've got pirate-sounding music, I've got a bit of Victorian Gothic type stuff, I've got "Arabian Nights" sounds, and there's a strong vibe of horror. Frankly, the new Batman soundtracks sound like horror soundtracks rather than superhero soundtracks, which makes them perfect for my purposes too. James Newton Howard is brilliant.
Now, any given game within DARK•HERITAGE might not hit on all of those themes. It would probably be rare for a game to focus on both pirates and cowboys, at least at the same time, for instance. But I don't want to get into themed variations, I want a "one size fits all" DARK•HERITAGE soundtrack that I can always use and which always works. I think this soundtrack fits that bill nicely.