A musical journey through MMO soundscapes, Battle Bards reviews and discusses the soundtrack of MMORPGs with a trio of engaging hosts. The Battle Bards podcast alternates with Retro Reprise, a half-hour podcast showcasing classic VGM from the ’80s and ’90s.

ABOUT

A musical journey through MMO soundscapes, Battle Bards reviews and discusses the soundtrack of MMORPGs with a trio of engaging hosts. The Battle Bards podcast alternates with Retro Reprise, a half-hour podcast showcasing classic VGM from the ’80s and ’90s.


ARCHIVES

Find our Episode Archives here!


THE BARDS


Syp's blog
Steff's blog
Syl's blog


SUBSCRIBE VIA


FEEDBACK

You can send in feedback, questions and suggestions via Email or Twitter. We read our mailbag at the end of each show, so your questions will usually be answered on air within a few weeks time. Thanks!

Logo Credits

A big thanks to Tesh for the original Battle Bards logo! Retro Reprise TV graphic designed by Zirconicusso.

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As the Battle Bards cruise into their second hundred episodes, it's time to cover a very long-lived fantasy MMO from 2002, Ragnarok Online. The game has an... interesting soundtrack and a devoted following in some circles, but as the crew discovered on today's show, the score is not without its criticisms. It's time to kick summer vacation to the curb and trumpet another parade of MMO music!

Episode 101 show notes

  • Intro (feat. "Aplen Rose" and "Theme of Alberta")
  • "Theme of Lutie"
  • "Splendid Dreams"
  • "March with Irish Whistle"
  • "Dream of a Whale"
  • "Sleeping Volcano"
  • "Antique Cowboy"
  • "Christmas in the 13th Month"
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Mail from Frotierkilla
  • Jukebox Picks: "Meet Tiki and Mermaid" from Dragon's Crown, "Devil's Swing" from Bendy and the Ink Machine, "Drake's Theme" from Uncharted
  • Outro (feat. "Erebos' Prelude")
Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_101.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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Syp returns to the 8-bit era as he counts down his top 10 favorite Gameboy tunes. It's a harder task than you think, considering how long the system was out and how many great games and soundtracks were created for it! Chances are he'll ignore your favorite, but it'll be a fun show nevertheless with lots of cheery and catchy tracks. What's your favorite?

Episode 11: Top 10 Gameboy tunes

  • Intro
  • "Theme" from The Smurfs
  • "Staff Credits" from Metroid II
  • "Town of Albano" from Lufia: The Legend Returns
  • "Battle of the Holy" from The Castlevania Adventure
  • "Stage 1" from TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan
  • "Ripe Seeds" from Castlevania II
  • "Theme" from Monster Max
  • "Type B" from Tetris
  • "Tal Tal Heights" from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • "Birabuto Kingdom" from Super Mario Land
  • Outro (feat. "Cave Stage" from Turok 2)
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_11.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

Episode 100 show notes

  • Intro (feat. "A New Hope" from FFXIV, "Bard's Guild" from EverQuest, and "First Light" from Guild Wars)
  • Favorite Soundtrack Discoveries over the past four years
  • Steff: TERA ("Sanctuary" and "Godspeed"), League of Legends ("Braum" and "Demacia Rising"), and World of Warcraft: Legion ("Lion's Rest" and "Anduin")
  • Syl: Runes of Magic ("Veranas Bridge" and "Traveling Tale"), Dragon's Prophet ("Auratia" and "Candlelight"), and Ultima X Odyssey ("Town Life" and "Rule City")
  • Syp: Lineage 2 ("Praise the Victorious Knight" and "Talking Island Village"), WildStar ("Bandits, Thieves, and Epic Loot" and "A Story of Hope and Healing"), and RuneScape ("Horizon" and "Arise Legend")
  • Favorite single MMO tracks
  • Syp: "Freedom Theme" from City of Heroes
  • Steff: "Legacy of Romulus" from Star Trek Online
  • Syl: "Tidecaller" from League of Legends
  • Syp: "Spiritual Elysium" from Anarchy Online
  • Steff: "Sillus Mountains" from Aion
  • Syl: "Wolf at the Gates" from World of Warcraft
  • Syp: "Wailers and Waterwheels" from FFXIV
  • Steff: "Hills of the Shire" from LOTRO
  • Syl: "City of Tarir" from Guild Wars 2
  • Syp: "Smooth" from WildStar
  • Steff: "Sleepless Lullaby" from The Secret World
  • Syl: "Make Zone" from Lime Odyssey
  • Syp: "Peace, The Jedi Consular" from SWTOR
  • Steff: "Little Shepherd" from Blade and Soul
  • Syl: "Danaria" from Aion
  • Segment C: Listener feedback
  • Outro
Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_100.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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The Battle Bards are on vacation at a tropical beach paradise! In the team's 99th episode, they examine beach, resort, and island music cues from MMORPGs. Can it still be a resort when everything around you is out for murder? As long as the music is this good, who cares?

Episode 99 show notes

  • Intro (feat. "Maple Island 1" from MapleStory 2 and “Castaways from World of Warcraft)
  • "Starter Beach" from Wonderland Online
  • "Dolphin Island" from Rose Online
  • "Costa del Sol" from FFXIV
  • "Caribbean Port" from Pirates of the Burning Sea
  • "Oceania Town" from Uncharted Waters Online
  • "Port BGM" from Lime Odyssey
  • "A Tropical Getaway" from WildStar
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox Picks: "Run Program" from Tron Run_r, "Theme" from The Tenth Line, and "Oakvale" from Fable
  • Anniversary note
  • Outro (feat. "Palmgil Oasis" from Aura Kingdom)
  • Stinger
Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_99.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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Perfect World -- it's not just a massive games publisher, it's also an MMORPG! The team at Battle Bards timidly tiptoe into this unknown soundtrack, not sure of what may lurk around the next bend. Is it a pile of suck? An undiscovered gem? Forgettable fluff? We're not going to tell you in the intro here, you'll have to listen along with us to find out!

Episode 97 show notes

  • Intro (feat. “Rising Tide Theme and "Frostcovered City")
  • "Fly With Me/Etherblade City"
  • "Archosaur"
  • "Plume City"
  • "City of Raging Tides"
  • "Descent Theme"
  • "Genesis Theme"
  • "Cube of Fate"
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox Picks: "Main Theme" from Horizon Zero Dawn, "The Capital with a Beautiful Lake and the Holy Sword" from Tales of Zestiria, and "Caprice" from Morrowind
  • Anniversary show incoming!
  • Outro (feat. "Everywhere")
  • Stinger
Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_98.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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What was originally the swan song -- the "final" game developed -- of Square turned into the studio's flagship franchise that is now in its 30th year. For the return of Retro Reprise, Syl and Syp take a nostalgic journey back through the first nine Final Fantasy games, looking at the music from the NES, SNES, and PlayStation eras. Missing the combat tracks? Stay tuned for part 2 of this series!

Episode 10: Final Fantasy adventures

  • Intro
  • Final Fantasy I: "Main Theme"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Prelude"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Airship"
  • Final Fantasy I: "Matoya's Cave"
  • Final Fantasy II: "Chocobo Theme"
  • Final Fantasy IV: "Victory Theme"
  • Final Fantasy IV: "Love Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VI: "Terra's Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VI: "Aria Di Mezzo Carattere (Opera Theme)"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Aeris' Theme"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Cosmo Canyon"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Chasing the Black Caped Man"
  • Final Fantasy VII: "Ahead on our Way (Kalm Village)"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Liberi Fatali"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Balamb Garden"
  • Final Fantasy VIII: "Fisherman's Horizon"
  • Final Fantasy IX: "Behind the Door"
  • Final Fantasy IX: "The Place I'll Return to Someday"
  • Outro
Direct download: Retro_Reprise_Episode_10.mp3
Category:retro reprise -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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"Magic can be ANYthing!"

The forces of magic run deep within MMORPGs, casting shadows of wonder wherever we look -- and listen. In today's show, Syl sparks a musical revolution as her fellow Bards struggle to rise to the challenge of defining what, exactly, constitutes a "magical" track and evokes that particular feeling. Did we nail it? You'll have to join us for the journey to find out!

Episode 97 show notes

  • Intro (feat. “The Magic Shop from PlaneShift and "The Magic Forest" from LEGO Universe)
  • "Ethereal" from Lord of Ultima/Ultima X Odyssey
  • "Crystal Castle" from Fiesta Online
  • "The Fortuneteller" from The Secret World
  • "All Out of Breadcrumbs" from WildStar
  • "Lost in a Spiderweb's Beauty" from Dungeons and Dragons Online
  • "Garangdol Plains" from ArcheAge
  • "The Elven Prophecy" from Runes of Magic
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox Picks: "The Calm" from The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, "Kingsmouth Ahead" from The Secret World, and "Santa Monica" from Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
  • Outro (feat. “Magic Undergrowth” from Trove)
  • Stinger
Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_97.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

With those words, you know you're in for a rollicking good adventure -- and some impressive and spellbinding music to match! On today's episode, the Battle Bards return to Star Wars: The Old Republic to look at the music of the recent expansions. Has the Force been with this MMO's soundtrack? I've got a bad good feeling about this!

Episode 96 show notes (show page, direct download)

  • Intro (feat. “Star Wars Main Theme,” "Fallen Empire Main Theme," and "Scorpio, the Deceiver")
  • "The Alliance"
  • "Versus Arcann"
  • "Aries, the Mischievous"
  • "Lana, the Advisor"
  • "Odessen, the Sanctum"
  • "Serenity"
  • "Fulfilling Destiny"
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: "Twin Seeds" from Nights into Dreams, "Boss Theme 1" from One-Way Heroics, and "Menu" from Spore
  • Outro (feat. "Escape from Zakuul")
  • Stinger

 

Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_96.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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Are they music critics or funky spelunkers? Today, the Battle Bards are both as they delve into the secrets of MMORPG cave and cavern music. It may not be a part of these games that you think about muchly, but underground spaces tend to be assigned their own unique sounds and themes. Let's check them out!

Episode 95 show notes

  • Intro (feat. "Cave of Wonders" from Vanguard, "Cave of Life" from MapleStory, and "Christmas Caverns" from RuneScape)
  • "Mysterious Cavern" from Shroud of the Avatar
  • "Misterious Cave" from Lineage II
  • "Caverns of Time" from World of Warcraft
  • "Ursa Caverns" from Rappelz
  • "Nameless Cave" from Ragnarok Online 2
  • "Memorial Caverns" from Free Realms
  • "Kaphras Cave" from Black Desert
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: "Main Theme" from Dragon Age Origins, "To the Ends of the Galaxy" from Stellaris, "Main Theme (Amiga)" from Secret of Monkey Island
  • Outro (feat. "Frostshard Cavern" from Aion)

 

Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_95.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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Do you find the German language to be inherently terrifying? Then you're going to love the soundtrack to this German MMORPG! Actually, it's quite lovely and a diamond in the rough, at least according to some of the Battle Bards. Today's episode ventures into territory marked by a drakensang -- a "dragon's song" -- and emerges refreshed and renewed.

Episode 94 show notes

  • Intro (feat. "Overture," "Where Ignorance Rules" and "A Glimpse of Atlantis")
  • "Opening/River of Time"
  • "Fight for Glory"
  • "Potpourri"
  • "Freunde/Friends"
  • "Born in the Era of Heroes"
  • "Ferdok"
  • "Kusliker Scherzo"
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Jukebox picks: "Hornet" from Hollow Knights, "Boost" from Velocity 2X, "Main Theme" from LEGO Dimensions
  • Outro (feat. "Home of Old Habits")

 

Direct download: Battle_Bards_Episode_94.mp3
Category:battle bards -- posted at: 9:00am EST
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