P-Vock's Music Box: War in the Stars
Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. We got a doozy today, so let's jump right in.
Earlier this week, a birthday was celebrated. An absolute legend who, born in April, would do all kinds of incredible feats.
They are the most out of this world person to ever live, and they are going to herd us into a brighter future.
Their name is Shepard, and they are our only hope.
Commander Shepard is the semi-self-insert protagonist of the very much beloved Mass Effect franchise. This three-part science fiction epic has stakes that rival even the greatest wars or treks the stars have ever seen and manages to provide incredible moments, unforgettable characters, and absolutely stellar music.
For one of the first pieces of music to greet the player, the Mass Effect 1 main theme certainly delivers on preparing the player for everything they are about to experience. A relatively tame start that has a gradual yet consistent increase in intensity and tempo that remains interesting and engaging throughout the entire experience.
It knows what it is and gives you just enough intrigue to make you curious about what's in store. This is aided by the fact that the game accompanying it is an absolute gem.
The opening track is great, but the ending track is absolutely incredible.
Somber, emotional, and powerful while remaining intense, hopeful, and confidant. This is exactly what the ending of Mass Effect delivers, and Faunts captured it so perfectly in this song that you'd be forgiven if you thought it was composed for Mass Effect.
Normally, I would never drop a licensed track in one of my columns (Sorry, Florence and the Machine's cover of Stand By Me). But, this is so tonally perfect for what ME1 represents that I can't not play it.
It does just enough to let the sheer emotion of the final moments overcome you, while also giving you just enough reason to be excited for what will come next...
Mass Effect 2 is one of the greatest sequels in all of media. It takes everything great about the first entry and delivers it again to a much higher and more intense degree.
More great moments. More sadness. More tough decisions. More weird alien races that'll make you feel like a freak for being as aroused as you were when you first saw one of those weird aliens in Star Wars or Star Trek (what? I barely know those two franchises).
But, beyond all that, it delivers an even better final moment that will worm its way into the head of anyone who plays it.
Look at the title and tell me this doesn't tell you everything you need to hear.
Most late-game missions are these intense moments that get your adrenaline pumping as you're ready to finally triumph over a big bad. But, Mass Effect 2 is not most games.
Suicide Mission is not most tracks.
You and your team know what has to be done, and that it is extremely unlikely, if not outright impossible, that all of you will survive. Despite this, much the absolutely incredible percussion, you march on and on toward what is very likely your end.
Mass Effect 2 is a wonderful game that absolutely deserves its legendary status. However, the moments like Suicide Mission are what push it beyond that and into an extremely prestigious class of media that truly deserves to be in the conversation of the best ever.
It is extremely difficult to talk about Mass Effect without either spoiling every little great moment or rambling on for two Bibles worth of nonsensical text. This is why it has taken me so long to cover it here. It has a reputation that precedes itself, and that reputation is completely deserved in my opinion. It is every bit as epic, emotional, and unforgettable as any other blockbuster piece of media and it has its EXTREMELY loyal fanbase for a reason.
I doubt you're going to be taking down an army of evil space bugs or having Seth Green (yes, he did voice one of the best characters in this franchise) call you a hardass this weekend, but I hope this music helped get you at least a little excited for whatever you will be getting up to.
Thank you, as always, for checking out my content, and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.