Certain games lend themselves well to more music than just the soundtrack. The PLAYlist is just that, a search for the best alternate audio pairings for your gaming pleasure on Beta Fish’s own video game related music blog series, Bleep Bloop.
This episode will cover From Software’s masterpiece of of hardcore role-playing games, Dark Souls, Prepare to Die Edition.
Comment and add to the discussion if you have your own Dark Souls playlist, and throw out ideas for future installments.
Dark Souls has affected your life. If you haven’t played it, you’ve seen someone play it. If you haven’t seen anyone play it, you’ve heard them talk about it. Get on the internet and the minute you set foot in a video game newsphere, you read about it.
The intrigue was unavoidable. Dark Souls is a slap in the face. Or rather, a thousand slaps. An invigorating, GET IT TOGETHER, MAN bunch of slaps that rewards with the intangible vapor of accomplishment.
I purchased Dark Souls for the 360 soon after the game’s release. College had dulled my hardcore level of my gaming, as Dark Souls quickly pointed out.
The game grabs your attention immediately I but couldn’t break in far enough to really unlock the addicting and vague mysteries of the world. Eventually I settled for watching my much more prolific gamer roommate Conor Morris struggle his way through the trials.
The spectacle of the game is immense and the challenge even steeper. Of course the soundtrack adds to this, but there’s room for improvement. Especially if you’ve played the game through, mixing it up a little will motivate you to do that Prepare To Die Edition extra content.
If any others of you out there are experiencing the Prepare To Die Edition right now as I am in anticipation of the upcoming Dark Souls II, try giving these tunes a spin.
By exploiting your already frayed nerves with some great music, the manic levels can be amped up, the dark notes made darker and your Dark Souls experience be that much more rewarding.
Dark Souls gameplay is best matched with solitary, haunting noises. Drone is par for the course. Granted, the action can get absolutely off the charts, as every move can be the difference between life and death. A couple of artists and choice tracks perfect for Dark Souls should provide a balanced starting point for the range of experiences the game has to offer.
Someone at Rockstar games noticed HEALTH’s talent and tapped them to the score Max Payne 3 last year. So it’s no coincidence their music works to heighten the mood for a variety of games. For the grandiose set pieces of Dark Souls, HEALTH would be perfect. Uniquely, you are usually blocking and dodging for your life between the swords of lethal enemies while trying to take in the scenery. HEALTH makes getting chased by a giant spider witch woman enjoyable.
“We are Water” – The ultimate pairing for paranoia. Buzz-saw screams and panicked pace push Dark Souls into a dangerous mental anxiety experience.
The cold of the Great Lakes Region can create some dark things. One such creation takes the form of a witchy group called Salem. As dark as the darkest Michigan winter night, and as ambient as the spooky wilderness, the trio has created some goth star bassy vibes.
“King Night” – Ironically, the same song that served as runway music for Givenchy’s Spring Summer 2011 Women’s line is perfect for a video game. The titular track of their album, “King Night” is a grandiose, dark synth track. Perfect for the biggest events in the game.
“Whenusleep” – Off of the Water EP, the song is like the bittersweet relief of resting at a bonfire, just before looking out into the dangers of the world.
LIL UGLY MANE
One of my favorite artists around, everything he touches is dark and warped yet oh so beautiful. Depending on who you are, syrruped out Southern rap could kind of pull you out of the game, as it isn’t naturally medieval. Or, is it extremely medieval?
“End Ya Whole Shit” – The only line in the song is “Swear to God I wanna just slit my wrist.” That incessant bleakness is the perfect auditory accompaniment to your Dark Souls experience.
“Bitch I’m Lugubrious” – Dark Souls may be great at making players lugubrious, but there’s admittedly something kind of thug about being an undead warrior who just keeps coming back and chopping stuff up. Despite taking a giant ax to the head, in the world of Dark Souls, you just get back up and kick some gothic ass. So let that uzi spit.
Okay now we’re in the extreme section. As in, extreme metal. Or at least that’s the case with British band Anaal Nathrakh. Their name comes from the 80s movie Excalibur, so, yeah. The reasoning behind this choice should be obvious.
“Blood Eagles Carved On the Backs of Innocents” – It’s like what you feel like after getting murdered by Super-Smough’s lightning smash. The song is rough around the edges and filled with screams. Sounds about right.
“Human All Too Fucking Human” – Heck, in Dark Souls you’re lucky to be even that.
The term “black metal” was taken from the title of Venom’s second album. Kind of like the movie Halloween, they are now simultaneously an origin for a genre, and kind of corny. Nevertheless, they are pioneers of a style that fits our needs here.
“Thousand Days in Sodom” – That’s what this game sort of feels like.
“Welcome to Hell” – Too perfect of a title to not start your game out with the titular track of their first album. Spin the whole album if it’s your first playthrough.
“Raise the Dead” – Again, fitting title. This is the essence of the respawn mechanic.
The mind-bending literary masterpiece “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski is set in terrifying world that is out to hurt and maim the characters. Wandering the contorted and dangerous pathways of Dark Souls is akin to the dark abyss the characters explore in the novel. British metal band Johnny Truant took their name from the main character in “House of Leaves” and made some Dark Souls appropriate music while they were at it.
“The Bloodening” – Another track dripping with that anxiety of being chased. The guttural-voiced lines “they’re gonna get you, they’re gonna catch you” and “wipe the blood from your face” are the ultimate motivation in Dark Souls.
“Puparia” – Some instrumental goodness. Great background music, all the power of metal without the terrifying screams.
An insanely interesting electronic/grindcore group.. They are actually labelmates with HEALTH on the label that one of Genghis Tron’s members, Mookie Singerman, founded called Lovepump United.
The entirety of the “Board Up the House” album because it’s just that perfect.
“From the Aisle” – This track builds up in a more ambient way, and slips you into the insane pitch of Genghis Tron until next thing you know you’re out of Estus Flasks.
That’s it for this installment of PLAYlist in Beta Fish’s video game music blog Bleep Bloop. Hope you found some cool tunes and a way to mix up the action in one of the best rpgs made in years.
Next time I’ll address League of Legends and provide some tunes to fuel anyone’s PvP experience, from the toughest tank to the glassiest cannon. Or the most murderous jungler.
Thanks for listening.