Gary Steinman over at Bethesda has released a lot of new info on the soundtrack for the much-anticipated Fallout 4
. Music has always been important to the Fallout
experience, and for the latest offering of the franchise, this is especially true. Offering three times as many songs as were found in Fallout 3
, Fallout 4
uses music in a number of ways, especially to create a sense of nostalgia in a blasted world.
That’s especially important when wandering through the Wasteland because Fallout 4 is an experience that’s suffused with nostalgia – both for previous Fallout games and for a world that was left behind. Much in the same way that you might see an old car or an oversized computer and you’re immediately filled with a sense of wonder about what came before, the right music can trigger all kinds of responses. At times it’s a happy sense of nostalgia – but when heard against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, it can take on a more wistful flavor. In other cases, it’s a sad song about a lost love, which can help remind players about all they’ve lost – and, perhaps, what they might have to gain as they forge ahead. At still other times, it’s a peppy period pop song – perfect for those moments when (in the words of this video below) you’re “ready to %#$@ some $%*# up.”
Audio Director Mark Lambert describes the music as falling into three types: well-known songs by well-known artists, little-known songs by well-known artists, and obscure songs by people you've never heard of. That creates an eclectic mix of tunes as evidenced by "Pistol Packin' Mama" from Bing Cosby and the Andrew Sisters; "Orange Colored Sky" by Nat King Cole, and "Crawl Out Through the Fallout" by Sheldon Allman. Sheldon who? See, I told you.
The music is arranged, too, so as not to get boring. You can let the original score play throughout the game, or you can hop back and forth between the Diamond City Radio Station and the Classical Station, whichever best fits your mood. The music can be adjusted at anytime. Finding a collection of songs that could be played again and again without becoming irritating or old took a great deal of testing:
Once they settled on a working selection of songs, Howard made a playlist. “I listened to it all day at work for three or four days,” he says. “Just the music, without the DJ.” A few songs quickly got annoying. Others were too melancholy. Some were too long, interrupting the flow of the game. These were all tossed aside, and through this iterative process of listening, listening, and listening some more, the team honed in on a mix of songs that felt fresh and fit the mood no matter what you’re doing.
An aspect of the music you might not expect is one of the stars of the show: Magnolia, sexy songstress and owner of the bar in the town of Goodneighbor. The lovely Magnolia is voiced by none other than Lynda Carter. That's right, friends, the original Wonder Woman is, in fact, a Grammy award-winning singer with her own band.
According to Carter, Magnolia is much more than a pretty face.
“She [Magnolia] is in many ways a respite for the travelers in the game,” Carter says about her character. “People love hearing her sing.” But don’t think Magnolia is merely there to charm and delight the player as they pass through. Her bar is also a place where the powerful converge and where deals are made. “She knows who the players are,” Carter says. “She’s a great judge of character. She’s really, really smart. And she does what she does because she loves it. So this is a safe place for her too.”
Not only does Carter sing five original songs in the game, but she wrote them, too, in collaboration with songwriter John Jarvis and guitarist Kerry Marx. Check out the sexy sound of "Good Neighbor."
For more of the story on the music development and Lynda Carter as Magnolia, you can check out the original blog here
and all its grand music will be here next week, Tuesday, November 10th.