For our next Resonance post, we shall be visiting one of the Duck’s favorite platformers, the original Jak and Daxter on the PS2. This game’s soundtrack is unique in that the music is almost…not there, in a sense. And that’s kind of what I like about it. There’s just something about this game that relaxes me like few others, and it is thanks to the soundtrack’s non-intrusive tunes that allows me to get lost in the serene beauty of the game’s largely natural environments, from sandy beaches to, well, snowy mountains.
While I love how the music in the first Jak and Daxter doesn’t get in the way, so to speak, there is one track that goes beyond simple background noise. The music that plays on Snowy Mountain contains a certain lonely beauty that fits perfectly with the environment in which it plays. Snowy Mountain has always been my favorite location of the game because of your ability to see great distances from its peaks, south across the many environments through which you have already travelled, and north, to the foreboding Dark Eco Silos, the final and most challenging location of the game.
While Snowy Mountain is beautiful, its views equally so, it is also a rather lonely landscape. High up in the mountains, our heroes’ home in Sandover Village looks so far away, their carefree, inexperienced lives with it. I feel like this is what the music of Snowy Mountain embodies, a song that is both peaceful and strangely frigid, reminding us that we mustn’t get too caught up in how far we’ve come when the greatest trial still awaits. The reason for their journey has almost arrived, and only time will tell if it was worth the trip.
Video from Youtube User: gamesoundtrack
Unlike the rest of this game’s soundtrack, Snowy Mountain has stuck with me, for it is not simply there to accompany your adventure, but to make the icy landscape feel that much colder and that much more lonesome. The music here pulls me into the game like none other before it, encouraging me to pause and reflect over where I have been and where I am going in a manner that feels as if I had really just embarked on a wondrous adventure that was soon to be over, even if logic reminds me that it was all just a game and nothing more. It is thanks to songs like this that games become more than just mere entertainment, but an emotional experience that I remember for years to come. And that, dear readers, is why Snowy Mountain resonates with me.
Image from Flickr User: Niranjan