Having received Baldur’s Gate I & II Enhanced Edition from my youngest daughter for Christmas, I’ve been finding myself gaming like it’s the 1990’s all over again.
Now, it is fair to say that the visuals can be a bit rough, and the controls are a little janky at times (after all, this game was designed for PC point and click goodness), and storytelling in video games has come a long ways over the last couple of decades – but I have been enjoying the Nine Hells out of my return to the Forgotten Realms.
While some of these gameplay elements have aged better than others, you know what is still fantastic today? The original soundtrack. So this got me thinking back to those older games in general – Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, Planescape and of course, Baldur’s Gate. So here is a quick collection of what I consider to be some of the more memorable songs from a bunch of absolutely fantastic soundtracks.
Icewind Dale – The Mage Tower
When I think of Dungeons & Dragons, my imagination begins to paint so many mental pictures. One of them is always a softly paying, enchanting environment filled with magic and wonder. This particular tune helps to create that atmosphere perfectly.
Planescape: Torment – Deionarra’s Theme
Planescape is such an odd setting, harsh in every way but also rewarding when you stumble onto glimpses of something good and happy. Deionarra’s story however, is not one of those happier tales, and her sad story had a haunting theme that used to make the hairs on my neck stand up a little whenever I would visit. Used to – and still does, I should say.
Planescape: Torment – Civic Festhall
Where as the prior track is slow, lingering and dark, there is a deranged and upbeat quality to Civic Festhall that shows how dramatically the events in Planescape: Torment can swing. It captures some of the lighthearted music often used in taverns, but with a slightly different, unhinged quality to it as well.
Baldur’s Gate II – The Five
This tune comes from the Throne of Bhaal expansion, and is a perfect example of how these older Dungeons & Dragons titles absolutely nailed their battle music. There are often multiple fantastic combat themes in each and every game, but for my money The Five is an epic combination of sounds that set the stage beautifully.
Baldur’s Gate – Attacked by Assassins
Continuing my theme of epic music, this theme song starts strong and never lets up. For me, this is the song that just embodies the spirit of Baldur’s Gate. It promises an adventure and delivers throughout its minute and a half run.
Neverwinter Nights – City Docks Day
I usually keep these Memorable Music lists to five songs, but felt compelled to add an extra one here. Why? Because it is one of my all-time favorite pieces of gaming music ever. Now, I had listed this one once before (almost four years ago in Memorable Music in Gaming #20), which is why it is getting sort of an Honorable Mention status in this article which is paying respects to the other Dungeons & Dragons games of the era.
Now, if you’ll excuse me – the Forgotten Realms await…