Classic Game Themes: Pirates of the Flying Fortress
Over the past few years I have been regularly writing about Classic Movie Themes and posting specific music cues that I particularly enjoy. Often the term “classic” is not necessarily applicable and it may be more appropriate to simply label them personal favourites. However “classic” is a better fit for headlines and search engines, so I shall continue to use that title. I’ve subsequently decided to post music from the games soundtracks that I feel are of note. The gaming industry has a multitude of talented composers and musicians who enhance games and bring virtual worlds to life with their ambient music and scores.
Pirates of the Flying Fortress is a curious expansion pack, in so far that it’s actually an improvement on the original game, Two Worlds II. The game includes a simple sailing mechanic that adds an extremely enjoyable dimension to the proceedings. Furthermore it is accompanied by a appropriately nautical theme by Borislav “Glorian” Slavov and Victor Stoyanov, which adds an ambient seafaring undercurrent while navigating between islands and archipelagos featured in the game. The scores for both main game and expansion are strong and subtly different from traditional game soundtracks, favouring ambient pieces instead of reoccurring leitmotifs.
Pirates of the Flying Fortress is clever example of understated, low-key game composing. The music seamlessly fits with the narrative and provides an aural enhancement, rather than directly reflecting ongoing events with specific themes. There is an emphasis upon ambient ethnic or folk related tracks which add greatly to the atmosphere. There is also a broad range of instrumentation used to craft the soundcape. It’s a robust soundtrack in the context of the game. However some cues such as “Sails and Journeys” do have a pleasing quality to them that works outside of the game.