Jun 062012

Without a doubt the best podcast on the Citadel, covering all three Mass Effect games.

Achieve consensus by downloading now

0:00:00- Uncharted Worlds (Mass Effect)

0:08:55 – Theme (Mass Effect)

0:11:14 – The Normandy (Mass Effect)

0:12:46 – Battle At Eden Prime (Mass Effect)

0:18:58 – Saren (Mass Effect)

0:20:57 – The Wards (Mass Effect)

0:24:09 – Virmire Ride (Mass Effect)

0:35:33 – Illusive Man (Mass Effect 2)

0:37:52 – A Rude Awakening (Mass Effect 2)

0:39:30 – Mordin (Mass Effect 2)

0:57:03 – Mars (Mass Effect 3)

1:01:43 – Rannoch (Mass Effect 3)

1:04:43 – The Scientists (Mass Effect 3)

1:14:39 – M4 Part II (Mass Effect by Faunts)

Like what ya hear? All three albums are on Amazon right now.







  30 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 23 – Mass Effect musings”

  1. Great show guys! Best one I’ve listened to yet. I too loved the Mass Effect series. Chris better copyright his song he sang toward the close, someone may steal that gem. Great job fellas.

  2. Hell yeah, The Faunts song def has to be on that list, made the ending of ME so much more epic, of course with the many other iconic Mass Effect themes. I’ve listened to the soundtracks many times over. Also a good ME fan tribute artist: http://music.biggiantcircles.com/album/legacy (Shepard of the Galaxy is awesome.)

    Oh, I love how they used the opening menu music to relate to past ME times, really good audio team on these games.

  3. cool cool cool

  4. Awesomesauce! The Mass Effect games have some of the greatest music of this gaming generation. The entire score of ME1 gelled so well with the game’s atmosphere. The synths really make it. Blade Runner’s soundtrack was the most apparent influence that Wall & Hulick had aside from Dune. Tracks like “The Wards” just ooze of Vangelis-like brilliance. “Uncharted Worlds” and “The Normandy” are some of my favorite tracks, but “Vigil” takes the cake for me.

    The following is a bit of copy-pasta from an article where I discuss the ME soundtrack (shameless plug: http://www.pixelitis.net/features/staff-musings-what-makes-the-mass-effect-series-so-good) but bear with me.

    The moment I first heard the piece entitled “Vigil” on the title menu screen (that’s the one you guys were talking about), I knew I was going to be blown away by this game. The song managed to instill in me a feeling of being nothing but a microcosm in the universe, before I even dove into the lore and atmosphere of the game. The track is used again near the end of the game, when a huge load of exposition is dumped on you during a pivotal part of the story, yet it set the mood for the scene perfectly and it managed to keep me invested in the series’ background. I wish it was used more in ME2, but ME3 has it during a lot of appropriate moments.

    Sidenote: Kirk Hamilton from Kotaku uncovered that the mechanical “hum” of The Normandy in ME3 apparently sounds like “Vigil.” http://kotaku.com/5895616/mass-effect-3s-musical-secret Bioware’s Audio Lead Rob Blake responded to his post and said that apparently this secretive use of “Vigil” can be found at several moments in ME2 and ME3. Nuts!

    I’ll be honest, ME2 and 3’s music didn’t seem as memorable to me as 1’s, but that’s not to say it was bad or anything. “The Illusive Man” was definitely my favorite from 2. I’m really bummed that Clint Mansell barely composed anything for 3, considering he composed the soundtrack to the movie “Moon.” It’s just another case of a game publisher making a huge deal about a big-name movie composer working on a game’s soundtrack when in fact they’re not the lead (Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, & 4 were marketed that way too). Nevertheless “Leaving Earth” was really chilling in 3, especially with the Reaper “BRAWWWWWM” cutting in at moments and startling the crap out of everyone.

    Also “Are you a Salaaaarian or a barbaaaaaarrian” made me chortle near the end of this podcast. Or did he say “batarian?” I dunno.

    • Yah, I believe he said Salaaarian or a barbaaaarian. Lol cracked me up too. Hearing Vigil is the innocence of the galaxy, strip away all the political bs, the hostile forces that could wipe out a whole colony (Rachni), the daily grind to save the universe and you get this song. When I heard it when I saw Liara in ME3 I almost burst out crying.

  5. A Mass Effect episode dedicated to the series’s music? hell yes please!

  6. Definitely my favorite series of VGM music. The composition work is some of the best in the industry.

  7. I thought this was a pretty boring show, music-wise. I hardly ever listen to the music while playing games these days, partly because I have lots of podcasts to listen to, partly because the modern stuff just blends into the background for me, like the music in this episode. I still enjoy the chatter, though, even when the music doesn’t thrill me.

  8. This episode gave me 7 boners.

    I really wish Bioware stuck to the same kind of music from ME1 for the sequels. It was way more memorable.

    I too heard M4 Part II and went straight back in for another playthrough.

  9. to me the most iconic song of the entire series is the citadel theme when you first arrive, nothing else in the game will ever evoke such emotions as coming into the dock of the enormous space station and the thought of all the adventures that will occur.

  10. never paid attention to mass effect’s music. It didn’t stand out to me.
    guess I’ll give this a listen

  11. I love the Mass Effect scoring but this podcast made me cringe. Probably because I know too much about the soundtrack and read and listened to multiple interviews by the composing team. I wished you could use a electronic music group besides Daft Punk to describe something electronic.

    The two biggest influences of the Mass Effect 1 soundtrack was the group Tangerine Dream, and Vangelis the guy that scored Blade Runner.

    Of the 3, Mass Effect 1 is still probably my favorite of the soundtracks. Uncharted Worlds “Sam Hulick” polyphony was well done, with more layers being added and then the last 20 seconds a distinct melody emerges. The soundtrack did a great job of reflecting exploration and mystery. Mass Effect 2 soundtrack mainly focused characters, and the gameplay reflected that. Mass Effect 3 had some great parts, but for me it didn’t have a coherent theme, and seemed more of a movie score. I did enjoy “I was Lost Without You” “A future for Krogan” and “Rannoch” a lot. Especially the horn section. Clint Mansell had a shitton of buzz when EA announced he was going to score Mass Effect 3. However he only scored 2 songs.

    For the club music in Mass Effect 2. All the club music they used was already from other EA games. EA is sitting on a gold mine of properties and all the assets there of. Saki Kaskas- Callista that played on the upper floor of the Afterlife was in Need For Speed High Stakes from 1999. That song in Need For Speed High Stakes was used in Showcase, where you got to see pictures of the interior of the sports cars, and that music would play. That song was dormant for over 10 years before it got used again. Saki Kaskas NFS game he scored was NFS Porsche Unleashed in 2000. Since 2002 NFS Hot Pursuit 2, EA has been using horrible EA TRAX.

    The lower level song that played at Afterlife “Lo Fi Epic”, by Jesse James Allen, a audio director at EA composed the song in 2006, for EA Sports Arena Football, but the project got canned and the producer said it was too techno. All the club/bar music was uncredited in the game.

    • Cool, thanks for the info Turbo. Yeah, A Future for the Krogan was one of my fav from the ME3 soundtrack. I’ve grown quite fond of Mars too, that mission kicks off the events of ME3, aside from the tutorial mission Earth.

    • I think Tangerine Dream and Vangelis are pretty close to this type of music, kind of boring to my ears, but good in certain situations. Daft Punk is a pretty specific type of electronica, too, I wouldn’t call them out as often as Brett does, either, they’re pretty basic, like TD and Vangelis, good in certain situations.

  12. Great episode, love ME music. Although I was hoping to hear Legion’s music from ME2, that is my favorite piece of VGM this generation


  14. Miracle Of Sound has some pretty amazing Mass Effect fan songs


    Maybe there should be an episode on music ABOUT videogames.

  15. The Galaxy Map theme, Uncharted worlds is one of my favorite Overworld or map themes. Thanks for doing this episode on Mass Effect.

  16. I love the ME soundtracks, but the theme from ME3 will always stay with me as a reminder of how depressed I felt upon finishing the trilogy

  17. Great episode. I really love the Mass Effect games and universe. I knew it had a great soundtrack, but hadn’t ever just listened t the songs and appreciated them before.

  18. The first 2/3 of this podcast was the best thing that I have ever heard but then when I heard the final 3rd it ruined it all for me and I hope the hell you burn in is a special place for those who have trolled me so thoroughly.

  19. Long time listener, 1st time caller. First off, Love ya Brett!!!!!! So cool. Great show. So many good things to say aboot Mass Effect musick. I wuz wonderin’ when you were gonna get around to it. Cheers bro, you are Bro Shep to the max!!! lol. Anyhoo, I love the Vampire video game music podcast because (unlike actual vampires) its to the heart! The time you take to make this happen makes me smile because its an effort worth making. THANK YOU, BRETT ELSTON.YOU TOTALLY RULE AND STUFF…or whatever.

  20. Finally got around to listening to this one, and I’m glad I did! I never really knew Mass Effect had such good music beyond Uncharted Worlds; probably because there’s so much extra shit going on when ever your not in the galaxy map…

  21. Also Suicide Mission should have been in there somewhere

  22. I may be coming a little late to the party here, but Brian Di Domenico, one of the composers on Mass Effect 2, also plays keyboard for The Megas. Check them out!

  23. Stumbled upon this podcast by chance, and, man, am I glad I did! Great stuff all around!
    It’s things like these that make me feel warm and fuzzy about gaming and the internet community around it.
    Keep up the excellent work!

  24. I am catching up on the previous VGMpire; hence, this comment 2+ years after the original post of this episode. My last great console machine was the SNES, so I am very much removed from more recent video game offerings.

    With my limited exposure to video game soundtracks post-SNES, I find that current soundtracks don’t sound as catchy to their 16 bit or even 8 bit counterparts. However, consoles after PS1 have a more realistic sound that sounds like actual instruments were used. But because they don’t sound as catchy, my brain registers next gen music as “inferior”. Having said this, I was surprised that the tracks that Brett picked for this episode was catchy and definitely worth a revisit.

    A sprinkling of Star Trek TNG discussion was an added bonus for me. There ain’t nothing wrong with Picard in the dune buggy scene from Star Trek Nemesis. 🙂

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