Monthly Archives: January 2014

Block Rockin’ Beeps – Secret of Evermore: Omnitopia Surface

Track Name:Omnitopia Surface
Track Composer:Jeremy Soule
Game: Secret of Evermore
Platform: SNES
Sound Chip/System: Sony SPC700 +Sony DSP

Music can light a fire in the mind. It can burn with emotion and imagery, with stories yet untold. It is a constant creative companion to many people, creators inspiring creators, passing on wonderful, mutating ideas and sparking passions. It’s a wonderful phenomenon.

This track does this for me. Interestingly I’ve never heard the track in situ, only abstractly through SPC files or YouTube. Secret of Evermore was a game I tried to play but it failed to hook me into its gameplay and story, so I only ever got around an hour in. Still, what I had heard of the music impressed me and I sought out the rest of the soundtrack.

Jeremy Soule, best known in the gaming world for his work with Bethesda on the Elder Scrolls series, scored Secret of Evermore as his first game and it is an amazing entrance. Dramatic, emotional, mixing low and high-key sounds, it paints an absolutely amazing soundscape.

“Omnitopia Surface” absolutely blew me away when I first heard it, and I’ve returned to it time and time again. As I mentioned, I have no idea what the music is scoring, what the player is doing, what they know at this moment, but I love it all the same. The combination of the powerful wind-like ambient blast and the fearful skipping notes is emotionally vivid. Grand and dangerous is the world I see in this, ravaged, yet beautiful. Like the ruins of an unimaginable huge city on a rocky, alien plane, hazy from the constant desert sand; with stars above peeking through the deepening sunset, tempting cautious exploration.

This image could be far, far removed from the game and perhaps one day I will find out, but it proves the power of the music squeezed through the technology in the SNES. It also shows one of those interesting things about artforms that combine many, while I may have disliked the game this was attached to, I love it for itself. When people set out to create a game it is a collaboration of artists of many forms and regardless of the consumer or critical feelings upon its eventual release as a final product there are so many elements involved that it is worth digging, worth examining to find what beauty lies therein.