Free Music for RPG Video Games
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Music for RPG Games
What makes RPG video game music special? Keep on reading if that’s something you’re interestend in as I try to pin it down to a few points.
In every video game, music is there to bring the visuals to life. We video game composers strive to do this in the best possible way and of course every game genre and even every single game has its own musical needs. Things like the mood and/or setting of the game come to mind here. Because RPG video games come in all sorts of forms, many musical approaches are possible. For Example, you might have a mixture of dark athmospheres and epic larger-than-life music like in Dark Souls or soothing orchestral music like in ‘The Streets of Whiterun’ from TES V: Skyrim. Or maybe you want to have adventure music like in The Legend of Zelda. You might as well have all these different kinds of music in your game.
Often, but not necessarily RPG video games play out in fantasy settings. The majority of RPGs are in fact fantasy RPGs. The music in those games is therefore also often referred to as fantasy music. The probably most iconic and praised soundtracks of this genre are those from the Final Fantasy and the Chrono Series. The music composers really do a great job in bringing that fantastic sense of magical creatures, dark forrests, mysterious caves, ancient cities and otherworldly villains to the music. This is why they are such a great inspiration to me and many other composers and why we can learn so much from them.
All of the great games I have mentioned so far have orchestral music as their soundtrack. Even if they originally had a more chiptuny sound like the early Pokémon games, composers switched to using orchestral soundfonts as soon as the technical capability was there. There are many reasons why one might choose to have orchestral music in their RPG. For one the Orchestra is very versatile. It can create a very intimate atmosphere using instruments like the string section and the oboe. A combination that is also very often used for scoring love scene in movies like for example in John Williams’ famous love theme for Star Wars titled ‘Across the Stars’. But orchestral music can also have a very dramatic impact, when all orchestral instruments come together. Strings, wind and especially brass instruments can really create an unique intense sound. Just think about the Star Wars Main Theme.
Epic music is usually the kind of music for which we composers have to pull out all the stops, so we can achieve maximum awesomeness. Combining all the classical orchestral instruments I just mentioned with heavy percussion, a large choir and occasionally electronical instruments, epic music gives everything it has to get you hyped. But because we go all-out when writing epic music this high intensity is not sustainable over a long period of time or else the listener would gradually grow tired. However, for intense moments like decisive boss battles epic orchestral music is ideal. Epic orchestral music is also often used for trailers of all kind, but especially RPG video game trailers. Because in trailers you only have one to three minutes of time to convince potential players how good and enjoyable your game is. And this takes showing off your greatest content, but also enforcing it with responsive music to leave a lasting impression with viewers.