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I love game music – and for a split second I wondered if I would be able to pick just one track to write about! There is one piece of music I have found myself adoring more than anything else I have run across. It is insane, perky, and one could argue, rather out of character from the rest of the game… but I find that it works perfectly.
Running Haramel, a solo instance in Aion was sheer joy for me because as soon as I zoned in, the "Shugo Medley" would start playing. Up until this point, the music of Aion had been sweeping, grand, and epic – not to mention just beautiful. Aion has a great soundtrack that really enhanced my experience of the world of Atreia and helped me to become even more immersed in it.
However, the very first time I logged into Haramel, I was stunned. After a few moments, I burst out laughing, thinking to myself that the music was simply preposterous. I greeted a Shugo (a weasely creature out to get a buck at your expense by undercutting you as much as possible) asking me to do nefarious things, and headed into the Odium Refinery – an area of worker Kobolds mining, sending things on mining carts, and stoking hot ovens with coals…. all the while hearing this cheery upbeat music… and I couldn't stop myself from imagining the kobolds doing a joyful ballet dance to it (akin to the Nutcracker).
The only point at which any character in this instance makes any sense in harmony with the music is when one runs across the Mad Scientist in the Odella Processing Plant who randomly falls down for no apparent reason when fighting him. Which even after 20 run throughs, still makes me snerk a bit every time.
That said, for some reason the dissonance worked for me. I loved running Haramel over and over, because I couldn't help but grin manically everytime I played through it. In truth, I have found I love it so much it has inspired me to get creative… and I hope one day to share the results of that creativity with the world -cue manical laughter-.
For now, you'll just have to amuse yourself with the music and your imagination running wild! ^_^
"Shugo Medley (Bonus Track)" from Aion: Annales of Atreia by Inro Joo.