If you’ve spent countless hours wandering a 3D Elder Scrolls game, lost in the epic beauty of its score, you have Jeremy Soule to thank. Let’s take a listen to some of my favorite pieces throughout his tremendous catalog.
Morrowind – Caprice
Soule’s work on Elder Scrolls perfectly matches the gigantic, yet meditative adventure. Mysterious, curious, and always emotional.
Morrowind’s score is lighter and more nimble than the heavier feel of Skyrim. Morrowind always reminds me of navigating towns and personalities, climbing up multiple ladders and stealing through the night as a plucky Khajit trying to rise the ranks of the Thief Guild. This track breathes and dances along, easily allowing the hours to pass.
Oblivion – Auriel’s Ascension
While Morrowind started you off as a newly freed slave with a simple errand to run, Oblivion placed a heavier burden on your shoulders from the opening moments. Although many console players encountered a glitch that stopped this track from playing, it remains a favorite for many, even without the proper context.
The track builds with suspense but releases the tension with a much warmer progression that strengthen’s the player’s resolve for the task ahead.
Skyrim – Streets of Whiterun
I mentioned before that Skyrim’s music is often heavier, evoking the power of mighty Nords and their harsh, intimidating environments. The Streets of Whiterun flips the script with delicate tones, but it produces its own staggering amount of power through sheer beauty. Truly a standout track for the entire generation.
The best Star Wars Prequel (by 12 parsec)
Knights of the Old Republic – Sith Guard Encounter
If you like Star Wars and haven’t played KOTOR you should absolutely give it a chance. It holds up extremely well from 2004 and features one of the best stories and music ever created outside of the original trilogy. It was Bioware before they got too big for the galaxy, and one of the reasons they rose so high.
Sith Guard Encounter is urgently dangerous, as alarming flutes flutter over low, bellowing horns. Soule captured the magic of John Williams while creating his own worthy additions to the franchise.
Guild Wars 2 – Raven Speaks
I haven’t played any Guild Wars but this track speaks for itself. The choir, strings, and horns desperately plead for resolution, perfectly scoring a decision and moment of intense consequence with limited time. I imagine a dastardly coup-de-tat, perhaps a devious rival set forth a plan to wrest control in the most unscrupulous way possible, with this song blasting as the dark plan comes to fruition.
Secret of Evermore – Horace
Soule started working with Sqauresoft shortly after high school and immediately made an impressive mark on the industry with his thoughtful work on Secret of Evermore. Soule coaxed out tremendous sounds from the SNES hardware while his seductive melodies and winding changes here took me on an exotic journey.
Another fantastic example of the mystery, curiosity, and above all, beauty, Soule was weaving with a limited palette, setting up for the tremendous work he would do on the Elder Scrolls.
Soule has a tremendous catalog perfect for studying or relaxation. I’ll definitely be adding Secret of Evermore to my instrumental writing playlist. I’ll leave you with Soule’s wise words on gaming as a medium.