The holiday season is in full swing, with the New Year right around the corner, so here’s some more game music that’s perfect for the holidays…and one bonus track that I composed for LittleBigPlanet 3 (I’m told it makes most everybody think of Christmas!)
The 3rd Birthday (2012)
In this roleplaying shooter game, the city of Manhattan is decimated by a swarm of horrific creatures that burst forth from under the city on Christmas Eve. Despite this, there is some festive holiday spirit to be found in the musical soundtrack. Taken out of the context of the backstory, the holiday music in this game is perfectly warm and comfy for a fireside evening. Here’s a low-keyed, jazzy track called “Come Again to Christmas.”
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix + (2007)
This was a re-release of the awesome hit game from 2005 that mixed famous and popular characters and settings from top Square Enix and Disney intellectual properties. This music came from an area patterned after Disney’s Nightmare Before Christmas. The recording below is a newer orchestral version from the composer’s compilation soundtrack album, entitled “Drammatica.”
The Polar Express video game (2004)
This game is a tie-in to the CGI theatrical release and stays faithful to the plot of the original film, with the exception of a larger role for an evil puppet of Ebeneezer Scrooge. Here’s some music from early in the game. The track is called “A Christmas Eve.”
Ragnarök Online (2002)
A Korean massively multiplayer roleplaying game, Ragnarök Online is set in an elaborate fantasy world based on Norse mythology. Incorporated into this solemn fantasy setting is a more cheerful place called Lutie, the town of eternal Christmas, which can only be reached by talking to an NPC character resembling Santa Claus. This track is a mellow theme that greets players while wandering this holiday-inspired town.
Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare (1995)
Jazz Jackrabbit is a green bunny from a sci-fi future in which tortoises and hares have waged war for generations. Despite the oddly grim premise, the games featuring Jazz Jackrabbit are light-hearted cartoony platformers developed by Epic Games (best known for Gears of War and the Unreal series). In 1998, Epic released a Christmas edition with additional levels and a new boss. This is the music from the first level of the Christmas edition.
Bonus track: LittleBigPlanet 3 The Ziggurat Theme (2014)
This track greets players when they enter the sparkling world of The Ziggurat in LittleBigPlanet 3. With ballet dancers, falling snow and musical notes glistening everywhere, this environment (and the accompanying music) is very evocative of the Christmas season.
Happy holidays, everybody! 🙂
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning video game music composer whose most recent project is the triple-A first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution. Her credits include five of the most famous and popular franchises in video gaming: Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She is the author of the award-winning bestseller A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. As a VR game music expert, she writes frequently on the future of music in virtual reality video games. Follow her on Twitter @winphillips.