Monday, July 18, 2016

Gaming Soundtracks: Ghostbusters 2016 Score

This is post number 18 in the series “31 Days of Ghostbusters,” a celebration of the franchise’s return to the big screen.


For previous Ghostbusters movies, most of us only had access to the soundtrack albums containing primarily pop songs that accompanied some scenes. But not this time! Perhaps realizing that the modern soundtrack listener has developed more sophisticated tastes, the ghostly-music-producers have provided two albums for the 2016 film: one with the the pop songs and one with the score. Woo!

Today I’ll describe the contents of the Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Score) by Theodore Shapiro, the one I expect to be more usable in a roleplaying game.

  1. The Aldridge Mansion. This is a nice, spooky intro which builds in suspenseful creepiness. General purpose usefulness.
  2. The Garrett Attack. Also scary and more action-oriented than the previous track. Contains some eerie horror-movie vocals. Good for a showdown with a ghost or other action scene.
  3. Never Invited. Building action, ending with a hint of danger. Perhaps good for a planning scene.
  4. Distinct Human Form. Creepy and slow at the beginning, then adding hints of awe. Scarier toward the end, then triumphant, including hints of the Ghostbusters theme song. (This was when the Ghostbusters concluded their first encounter with a ghost.)
  5. The Universe Shall Bend. Another creepy beginning, then ominous with the addition of organ music. Back to quiet and suspenseful toward the end, concluding with a scare. Maybe useful during a conversation with a big ecto baddie.
  6. Subway Ghost Attack. Quiet, basic suspense music that builds to full-on action at the halfway point, keeping that up until the end. Good, general purpose action music.
  7. Ghost Girl. Bland, low-key dramatic music. Not spooky or especially useful.
  8. Mannequins. Starts scary, with chimes and strings, with a quick jump scare at the beginning, then at the midpoint, with most of the second half more action-oriented.
  9. Ghost In a Box. A short action piece, good for combat. Includes the Ghostbusters theme briefly.
  10. Dr. Heiss. Starts off like “Ghost Girl,” quiet and unobtrusive. Builds in suspense in the second half, but it’s stil not especially useful for background music.
  11. Ley Lines. Dramatic conversation music! Good for such a purpose in your game, or any scene where the action is starting to pick up. The last 40 seconds or so are more triumphant, including the Ghostbusters theme again.
  12. Pester The Living. Another blend of creepy and suspenseful with a dramatic ending.
  13. I Will Lead Them All. Suspenseful and spooky with a few jump scares.
  14. The Power of Patty Compels You. Calm for the first third, then adding rising suspense through the midpoint and into full action for the rest. Might be useful for kicking off a slow-build action scene.
  15. The Fourth Cataclysm. Full-on dramatic, portentious music (including operatic vocals), fit for a scene of major import. With bonus organ music!
  16. Balloon Parade. High-energy action music accompanied by creepy vocals. General purpose usefulness.
  17. Battle of Times Square. More high-energy action, more optimistic than suspenseful. Play it when the good guys are winning. Concludes with a triumphant rendition of the Ghostbusters theme.
  18. Entering The Mercado. Starts quiet and suspenseful, building up to a big reveal at about 0:40, then getting quiet again. The last 30 seconds are more action-packed. Good for a schizophrenic scene where the mood is all over the place.
  19. Behemoth. Spooky/suspenseful with a hint of building action, leading into ominous vocals. Good for a boss fight (which is fortunate, because that’s what was happening in the film at this point).
  20. Into The Portal. A blend of spooky and action-oriented. Features more creepy vocals. Gets quiet at the midpoint, and ends triumphantly. Good general purpose action music.
  21. NY Heart GB. Brief and triumphant. Use while handing out Brownie Point awards.