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MFG38

Playing video games with music other than the game's soundtrack

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I honestly do not for the life of me understand people who do this. Muting a game's music and putting something else over it kills half of the supposed mood the game is going for. Music (or lack of it) is half of a game more often than not, and fucking with that makes the experience too different to be enjoyable in my opinion.

 

I don't mean to sound like I'm advocating against people doing this - you do you. But I just fail to see the appeal in it, let alone the whole idea behind it.

 

Agree? Disagree? Want me to go kill myself?

 

Comment away.

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We did this in childhood with my brother often. :D Usually if we liked a game we would play the shit out of it. And after beating it 5-10 times or more of course we would look for ways to make it a little different. Downloading or making our own mods was much more effective of course, but even just replacing all songs in the music folder (god bless these games where it was that easy to do!) seemed like an awesome thing. Usually it was simply funny but sometimes the results would be quite atmospheric too.

 

So yeah, basically when you dislike or get bored of something in the game, you make changes to it so that you can have more fun. Not that difficult to understand maybe?

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I agree that it sort of kills the experience.  Honestly there's only one game I do this with, and that's WoW.  When I play that, I put on various Warhammer 40K soundtracks, and it seems to work just as well.  But doing this kills just about any other game I tried it with.

 

EDIT: or Lustmord... because playing an undead demonology warlock named Chernobog while his music is playing totally creeps me out, and that's fun.

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I'm not big fan of games soundtracks. Mostly I like to play with muted music or with my own music.

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I've always been a fan of keeping the VGM going.


That said, with some games I totally understand the appeal of being able to play my own music over the top.
 

Some examples of this:

 

  • Making doom levels - hearing the same midi 100 times is dull.
  • Playing games with 'custom music choices'
    • Planet Coaster lets you choose your own MP3's to go along with your rides, so I made a 'metal park' or sorts where rides play songs I like.
    • GTA - Customising the radio to have your own songs on when in a car is heckin' awesome
  • Games where the music isn't relative to the gameplay
    • Tony Hawks Pro Skater series - this game's music becomes repetitive, so why not mute the music, keep the sound effects on and jam along to your own music?

In most cases though, the music is incredibly valuable to the game itself. Setting the tone, atmosphere, or in some cases even being PART of the gameplay. If I played Doom '16 with my own music instead it wouldn't have been half as impressive I imagine! Also, some of my all-time favourite pieces of music come from video games, and the mere act of listening to that music takes my mind back in time. As an example, when I listen to the Pokémon Red OST I feel like a child again. Nostalgia is in my opinion one of the greatest feelings, and music from video games is a fantastic nostalgia trigger.

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Well, generally it can be fun in some games to change the music. For an example, many years ago, everybody used to play League in my school. I was always bored of it, but the few times I played I remember listening to disco, because the game's sounds weren't of great importance at all. One other occasion where changing the whole music was nice is in a game like GTA San Andreas, which has radio stations. And if I am in the same house with my friends we may mute the game's music and put a playlist, just for the laughs, which seems like it came out of a blender with mixed ingredients (metal, rock and others).

 

The thing is though that when I am alone, I rarely change the music in a game, as I feel it may not always fit well with the game or I may need to be concentrated and hear the steps of the enemy, so that I can react fast. And surely I wouldn't play other songs in games like Doom, Daggerfall, Deus Ex or any Amiga game ever, because they did marvels with those OSTs and it would be like discrediting the composers of the music, compared to modern games, where music is famous songs that the game devs payed the artists for, so that they are free to use them in their games (unfortunately, no imagination anymore).

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Well, I love shmup O.S.T.s, and those happen to go well with doom most of the time... In case I throw my head at some longer maps, that's what will be blasting. Sunder comes to mind, there was this map called "hag's finger" I believe, and that ambient sound this map had was insufferable at some point, so I had to listen to something else. The thing about me is that if there's action, I want/need the music for that. That's not to say I don't appreciate ambient music, but having some "drive" sure helps if I am to spend a lot of time on something. So in that regard I woud agree to what Memfis said.

 

On the other hand, "killing" a game's atmosphere can also be quite fun, or at least fun to watch. I remember this older video of iDubbz where he played "Slenderman" and put on "gangnam style". It was hilarious.

 

For me it really depends on the game. If it's loaded with atmosphere, and plays accordingly, I'd rather stick to the O.S.T if it fits the situation. If it doesn't, well, I got several playlists and mixes that I can fire up on a moment's notice without any regrets whatsoever. Doesn't mean I don't respect the artist's work either. Tastes are there for a reason, and thankfully they're different. ;-)

*meow*

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I play Star Trek Online which has an in-game music player which can connect to external music players such as Winamp, and I play ambient or space based music from other games with it since I tire of the games default music.

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When i'm playing racing games like Gran Turismo or Midnight Club i tend to listen to music i have in my computer, while these games have some good songs, they aren't enough for me, so i listen to the music i have in my computer instead.

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The only time I ever change the music in a game is when I'm not feeling D_RUNNIN for a map I'm playing and IDMUS to something else.

 

When I was a kid, I would sometimes play music on my little tape deck when playing games that had no soundtrack. I recall doing this a lot with the first Duke Nukem, finally somehow settling on George Winston's Summer album as my "official" Duke Nukem soundtrack. It seems odd now, but it worked for me, and I still think of Duke Nukem when I listen to that album.

 

Another instance was with the Quake share-ware. I wasn't aware that the game would play any CD in the drive, and I had left Twinsen's Adventure in the drive when I started up Quake. I was surprised how well it worked, so I started using it as my Quake soundtrack.

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I have not really tried this before but, if I did I would attempt to put in music from Unreal Championship 2 and Red Eclipse into a few other games that I have played. In the game Warning Forever the author encourages you to put in your own music because the game does not have its own natively. I put in RE music into that one and it correlated wonderfully with the theme.

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46 minutes ago, Halfblind said:

In the game Warning Forever the author encourages you to put in your own music because the game does not have its own natively.

I wish I'd known that when I was playing that game for hours on end. How far have you made it? My best was level 24. It gets really insane in the 20s, and I'm not really all that great at bullet hell games.

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My friend always mutes the music because he says it takes him out of the game.

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When I did item runs in Diablo II I opted to turn off the music and play my own. Nothing wrong with it, I just wanted to listen to something else while doing these mind-numbing runs. Even then, about half the time I'd fall asleep and wake up to a "You died and lost XP and gold" message.

 

Now I want to make an uplifting 80s music playlist and see how I play. So far I've got The Touch, Man in Motion, Break my Stride, Holding out for a Hero, Eye of the Tiger, and that instrumental song that plays when people run in slow motion. Any others you guys may know?

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17 hours ago, MFG38 said:

I honestly do not for the life of me understand people who do this.

Cos sometimes the game's music sucks fuck from a duck, or is totally inappropriate.

 

I remember playing Shadowgate 64 and being immersed in the atmosphere...except for that damn incidental music that didn't contribute a damn thing to anything. I can't get into a game about Myst-like exploration of dark, eerie locales with chipper minstrel music playing in the background, and I don't see how anyone else could, either. So I found a soundtrack that suited the mood much better -- the SNES soundtrack to Addams Family Values -- and it was 100 times better because it matched the terrain I was exploring and the game's overall mood.

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The first time I go through a single player game, I'll leave the music on unless I find it personally terrible. After that if I go through it again I usually mute the whole game and play my own music.

 

There are instances in games where I'll turn the music off from the get-go, like Company of Heroes. I like to hear the battle taking place, not some grand orchestra going crazy in the background.

 

This has allowed me to catch up on albums I missed in the past.

 

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Unless the game has no or very little music, or the rare case of a bad soundtrack I will make do with the game's, and unless the music is really, really good and suits the game perfectly I won't make do with something else to take its place. But, I love playing my own custom soundtracks to games like a modded Wolf3D game (Wolfendoom by AReyeP), Carmageddon 1 and recently TDR 2000, and heavily modded Postal 2 as I have in recent times, be it various artists or music from other games. It can really make certain gameplay experiences a whole lot more cathartic or better themed. Then there's games that can make more sense like open world crime titles where there's radio stations.

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While I'm a big fan of games like Blood and Quake, their use of a few select tracks (due to using a CD for music) gets very repetitive after a while. It's my custom in these cases to make level-by-level soundtracks that includes the original music but also music that fits in with the game. In Quake's case, for example, I use a lot of LS-TTL -- an artist whose work seems to have almost completely disappeared from the internet. I'll have to fix that.

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On 4/12/2017 at 4:41 AM, MFG38 said:

I honestly do not for the life of me understand people who do this. Muting a game's music and putting something else over it kills half of the supposed mood the game is going for. Music (or lack of it) is half of a game more often than not, and fucking with that makes the experience too different to be enjoyable in my opinion.

 

I don't mean to sound like I'm advocating against people doing this - you do you. But I just fail to see the appeal in it, let alone the whole idea behind it.

 

Agree? Disagree? Want me to go kill myself?

 

Comment away.

Changing the music of Fallout 3, to Ennio Morricone's themes for movies like "The Thing" (1982) helped make it more interesting. I also included atmospheric music from The Terminator (1984), Escape from New York (1981) and other OSTs from games like Resident Evil. With a game like that, its good to play it vanilla the first time around. But changing it up, helps to create an even cooler experience IMO. Lots of games take influence from movies. I think its cool to make these influences more pronounced by using the actual soundtrack.

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I like to play Doom with music composed by John Carpenter playing in the background, the theme to Assault on Precinct 13 and other of his films fit Doom for me. Whatever tickles your pickle right?

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There are those games that feature lots of areas where you spend like an hour straight yet it has a 2 minute music loop - In that instance, I understanding just playing your own music instead. Aside from that I feel pretty much the same as you about it, MFG.

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9 hours ago, Kontra Kommando said:

Changing the music of Fallout 3, to Ennio Morricone's themes for movies like "The Thing" (1982) helped make it more interesting. I also included atmospheric music from The Terminator (1984), Escape from New York (1981) and other OSTs from games like Resident Evil. With a game like that, its good to play it vanilla the first time around. But changing it up, helps to create an even cooler experience IMO. Lots of games take influence from movies. I think its cool to make these influences more pronounced by using the actual soundtrack.

I actually do stuff like this too, though not those choices. My Fallout 3 soundtrack includes: Soundtracks from FO1, 2 (and 3 -- it's decent enough to keep around,) the Wasteland 2 soundtrack (the fan-made WL1 soundtrack doesn't seem to work in FO3 for some reason), the Dead State soundtrack, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series soundtracks, plus select tracks from the likes of Desiderii Marginis, Ghoul Detail, and especially Earth (I really wish it were easier to put music into FONV, I would totally use Earth.)

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I very much did this back in my youth just like Memfis. It ended up usually happening with Quake - for the longest time I thought it was meant to be played without music. Cue one day there's an audio CD in the drive and suddenly after Quake boots up the music from that CD starts playing. It blew my mind. I eventually did play through the game with the original audio many times, but back then I would swap out CDs with whatever CD I was jamming to at the time and find the levels that would play the songs I wanted to hear. It felt awesome back in the day.

 

It's not something I do as much these days, but I occasionally get the urge to put on a good rock/alt rock song and play some FPS. Last time I recall I replayed the Lucifer fight from Painkiller with heavy metal rocking in the background. Sometimes it really just depends on the mood. For all intents a purposes though I do agree that it pays to play the game with the original music at least once to understand the original feel and situation the game wants you to understand. Music helps define a game and its atmosphere and the full syntax of the game is lost without it (unless it is left out intentionally). I say play whatever you are in the mood for, but to be able to appreciate a game on its own it is necessary to play it with vanilla music at least once (or the first playthrough). Beyond that I fully sympathize with wanting to play using different music when you are feeling a certain mood. 

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I usually swap out the soundtrack to games I have been playing them for years like the 3D Fallouts (the originals are just not the same without the classic soundtrack), The Elder Scrolls, Fable, Bordelands ect... I have already "enjoyed" the soundtrack and would like it to be a little different (if I find a game I like I'll squeeze out every second of it and new music helps).

 

I also do it for playthroughs of games I don't like and don't give a shit about like Darksiders, The Darkness, Rouge Warrior ect... Music makes it somewhat tolerable.

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