Children of Morta, Dead Mage’s contribution to the gaming world. While there is much to say about the game itself – it’s meticulous marriage of roguelike mechanics and storytelling being one topic, the audio layer seems to leave little to no trace. Not to say that there is no music inside the game at all, quite the contrary. To find out the meaning of this riddle, I invite you further.
What a strange, strange phenomenon.
The first clue is as simple as it could potentially be misleading. Namely: for a long while I couldnt find out who is responsible for Children of Morta’s soundtrack. I scoured Google, video game music online database, all to no avail. Only the game’s credits tell: Hamidreza Ansari. After inserting the name into the heart of the internet, little jumps out.
Secondly, and I write this as my heart is bleeding, the soundtrack is nowhere to be found on the internet. The score, definitely far from reaching some kind of VGM Messiah status, has it’s anchor moments, moments that just keep coming back to you. Here’s the catch: when you’re playing Children of Morta, there is likelihood of the music annoying you. But when you quit the game, the bars (some of them previously annoying you) come back like mermaids, itching their notes into your brain and romanticizing the idea of you returning to this title. What a strange, strange phenomenon. And so much resemblance to Ori and the Blind Forest, too.
One comparison that is apparently stuck in my head for the whole time of writing this review is between this soundtrack and the original release of Grim Fandango (the game, not the music), a cult-classic almost entirely forgotten. The caliber differs, but the fact that Children of Morta’s OST (and info about it) is nowhere to be found, combined with the bittersweet ‘anchor’ nature of it, could result in something the modern world of video game music has not yet seen.
Children of Morta’s soundtrack reaches out to the listener in a most unexpected and probably unprecedented fashion.
If you’ll settle for anything, here is something I found – on the studio’s official Soundcloud profile – but let me warn you: those are titled ‘WIP’-s (works in progress), and were published four years ago. Indeed, the connection with the actual in-game soundtrack is more of resemblance than carbon copy. Yet, not to leave anybody reading this text empty-handed, here it is.
Children of Morta’s soundtrack (buy), while too repetitive to serve it’s primary purpose within the game (seriously, looping three minutes for hours’ worth of gameplay?), reaches out to the listener in a most unexpected and probably unprecedented fashion. Not very original, but unnveringly memorable. Remember that Carly Rae Jepsen’s song that would get stuck in your head time and time again? Welcome back, but somehow something tells me you might enjoy this one. Here’s hoping for more from Hamidreza Ansari.