I would define myself as primarly a narrative gamer, honestly. Outside of Underworlds, my partner and I have a board game collection of around 200 games, with probably around 60% of those being fully cooperative titles. Underworlds has been my main competitive gaming outlet, but I still maintain some of my narrative flair. When I’m playing casually at home, whether it be Underworlds or any other game, I literally always have music going to enhance our gaming experience. As much as I’d love that in a tournament setting, I would hate to have a distracting factor going for the other player. Today, I want to run through some of my favourite soundtracks for Underworlds, in two major buckets: The Game Ambience and Music to Roll Crits to.
I’ll be posting links to a lot of YouTube videos with the music I’m referencing, but feel free to listen on your platform of choice and urge you to support these amazing artists.
The Game Ambience
The most common style of music that I game to are fantasy soundtracks. Usually some of my favourite shows and video games. I like light instrumental music, as it still allows the players to discuss and play the game, while sinking into the background.
Hollow Knight is probably my favourite soundtrack of all time. It’s a haunting, beautiful set of tracks. In fact, my morning alarm is Greenpath from this album. One of the reasons I like this music so much is that it’s a mostly ambient set of tracks, fading to the background with its somber mood. But the boss music has a ton of amazing battle themes.
Favourite tracks: Dirtmouth, Greenpath, Hornet, City of Tears, Nosk.
Nox Arcana is a wonderful band that creates atmospheric gothic music. They’re effectively soundtracks without a piece of media to go on top of. Blood of the Dragon is a wonderful set of fantasy music. There are peaceful pieces, dark dirges and mystical musics. Here’s a fun note: the CD version of this album has an amazing set of puzzles strewn about it in the liner notes and if you solve the riddle and find the treasure, you will be added to the Scroll of the Immortals on their website. If you want to see my name on the scroll, click here.
Favourite tracks: The Quest Begins, Treasure of the Four Crowns, The Mystic’s Keep, Rogue’s Hollow.
Pillars of Eternity is a great CRPG in the style of the old Baldur’s Gate type games. The music has great fantasy tones. It paints the picture of sad cities, spooky forests and chilling dungeons. It’s a nice, calm set of tracks that bring you into the game you’re concentrating on.
Favourite Tracks: Title Theme (Eora), Dyrford, Inn (A), Heritage Hill.
The last one I’ll talk about here is the Diablo II soundtrack. It’s got great background tones that build on themselves. It’s a nice ambient track set and I’m mostly just nostalgic about it.
Favourite Tracks: Wilderness, Rogue, Toru, Coda.
Music to Roll Crits to
For me, this second set of music is part of my tournament ritual. Many players follow certain patterns in preparation for an event. Part of my ritual is having a warband song for each tournament. I listen to it at the start of the day and try to between rounds as well. It gets me pumped up and also brings my nerves down to focus back on my upcoming game. Let’s do this.
Night of the Werewolves by Powerwolf is the track that I’ve listened to in this vein the most. It’s been my Rippa song for as long as I can remember. My playstyle has always been that it should be the night of the werewolves, and that my enemy should run for their lives. I have a clear memory of stepping out for some air and listening to this track before the AB Grand Clash final. It centered me, steadied my nerves and allowed me to refocus on playing my game.
At the last Online Clash, I played Skaven. The amazing Swedish band, Ghost, has an excellent album opening track Rats. It’s an energetic track that gets me pumped up, even without a connection to Underworlds!
Music has been a large part of the gaming experience to me and I’m glad to share this with you. What music do you like to game to? Do you have any pre-match rituals like this? Thanks for
reading listening today! If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me at email@example.com or on the Underworlds Discord channels as Matt ~ Set The Tempo. Take care and set your own tempo!