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  • Aaron Langill

Soundtrack to a Non-existent Videogame

Since May 2022, I’ve been putting together a Spotify playlist for a soundtrack to a videogame that doesn’t exist. A hypothetical game inspired by my deep love of indie horror titles such as Omori, Yume Nikki, and OFF that I would make if the actual process of creating a game wasn’t so difficult and time-consuming. Still, through curating my playlist, I still get to have some fun imagining what such a game would be like! The following is a selection of some songs from the playlist and where they might go in my hypothetical game.

• "I Forgot The Shirts" by Música Esporádica, Suso Saiz, Orquesta de las Nubes

Definitely the happiest track here, I Forgot the Shirts feels like a wondrous adventure through a jungle. Frame drums, congas, and marimbas liven up the track, giving the otherwise dreamlike ambience something exciting yet still peaceful. This would be the perfect type of song you play at the beginning of the game before the game gets dark, serving as a great contrast to the next (much creepier) song.

• "Toy Box" by Pale Cocoon

Maybe too stark of a transition from "I Forgot the Shirts" to "Toy Box" can be downright hard to listen to. Experimental ethereal wave "Toy Box" features flutes (poorly) playing random notes, abrasively harsh plucking sounds, and almost cartoonishly evil-sounding drums. Maybe I’ve listened to it too many times, but I think it sounds beautiful and would be the perfect song to play to shock the player.

• "A White Sheep Walks (Groove Tape Mix)" by Sadesper Record

As the name implies, this is the grooviest song of the bunch. Great, hard-hitting ethereal drum and bass song. Despite coming in at nearly 8 minutes long, it never feels like it's dragging on, as Sadesper Record constantly explores different avenues of the track. I imagine this would be the theme for the largest section of the game, with an emphasis on combat to match the track’s aggressive percussion.

• "Come to Me" by Sweet Trip

Much more ambient techno than "A White Sheep," "Come to Me" contains distant vocals layered over muddied drums alongside some faint but glittering keyboard. That is until the four-minute mark, where the keys grow in volume and distortion to make the previously chill track even more aggressive than A White Sheep. It's definitely a combat area theme.

• "CD" by Sam Gendel

General feel-bad area music. Containing as funky a beat as such a lethargic song could have, CD is hard to classify. Jazz? Hip hop? I’m not sure. Either way, it sounds like you’re falling further and further into the abyss. It would be more depressing if the percussion didn’t slap so hard. A good choice for an exploration section where the music still needs to be engaging while keeping the atmosphere dreary.

• "Forevertime Journeys" by Naran Ratan

A calming keyboard pattern is played over the sounds of birds chirping. "Forevertime Journeys" should be a pleasant ambient experience, but something about it feels off. Like a stressful thought nagging at the back of your mind while you try to forget about it, but it's still there. It reminds me a lot of the Omori soundtrack, specifically tracks like "A Home for Flowers" and "Lost Library."

• "Intro" by Ahn Dayoung

It's just a sad song. So sad. Prime “Game Over”/”You Died” theme, with the track being only 37 seconds long. Barren track, only featuring harpsichord (?), it would just feel mean to include this as the real intro to the game, but sparsely placed throughout the game as a fail state sounds nice.

• "Memoir #02 [06.12.09]" by Maria Pseftoga, May Roosevelt

Another sad one. "Memoir #02’s" despondent droning feels hollow. The wailing of the track’s main instrument, the theremin, almost sounds like the cries of someone mourning. Quite, quite sad. It might be too cheesy to be used in a backstory sequence, but if somehow used at a key story beat, I’m sure this track would be immensely impactful.


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