Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Crowning Music of Awesome: Assassin's Creed II by Jesper Kyd

     Let's take a trip back to 1499. It was the time of change in Europe. People had rediscovered their heritage and embraced it. Great works of art depicting Biblical events became the norm. Artists were the veritable rock stars of that age. If you had the talent, and had a high paying patron and be set for life. Many writers use this age as a backdrop for romance novels; where a young man would sneak into the bed chamber of his maiden and the two would make love well into the night. This was the Renaissance.

     I've talked about Assassin's Creed series before and how much I love Jesper Kyd's work on the series. Since playing Assassin's Creed III, I have compared the soundtracks from all 3 main releases and still the second game's soundtrack is the best. Jesper Kyd made it sound like I was in Renaissance Italy and was wandering the streets of Florence.

     Crowning Music of Awesome was originally set up to be a series that highlighted a single great song from an album and there have been times that I have been hard pressed to find a song that stands out. Today's is no different because there are three songs on this album that easily vie for the number 1 spot. They aren't even unique songs. The three songs; Heart, Venice Rooftops and Ezio's Family all have a similar tune in each song. One of the song's give off an otherworldly feeling while the second song is more high paced while the third is a far more somber song. So today I will be talking about all three.

     Starting off the list is Heart. As I said, this song has a more other worldly feel to it and given the revelation at the end of Assassin's Creed II, I have no idea if this could be considered foreshadowing or not. The song doesn't foretell anything. At this point the player isn't aware of any weird shenanigans going on. Of course after the scene in Rome, this song seems to work. It is supposed to symbolize the more ethereal nature of the game. Of course going into Assassin's Creed II without playing the first one could have you cry out in surprise and possible frustration at the game's twist ending.

     The second song is Venice Rooftops, which feels far more action packed then Heart. There is no subtlety here. This is a song you listen to when you are sprinting across the Florentine rooftops trying to evade the city guard. There is no hint to otherworldly shenanigans. It is just you versus the world and you are currently kicking it's ass.

     The final song in this trifecta is Ezio's Family. This song carry's the seem tune but is far more warm and loving. It's a song that would fit the ending scene of a movie. It gives the player closure, knowing that they had won and could reclaim his life before fighting an invisible war. It's a beautiful piece.

     All three songs have the same recurring musical theme which binds them together. To review them separately would not be fair as they need each song for it to work. While the songs appear separately in the game and appearing in different scenarios, listening to it consecutively is far better. It set's up the songs as a story; Heart is the first act, Venice Rooftops is the second act and story climax and finally Ezio's Family is the epilogue. Music can tell a story and that exactly what these three songs did.

     This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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