“Good” music will always be a subjective topic and the answer will vary among person to person. This is probably why I also have a hard time answering the question of “what’s your favorite song?” I think they’re all good, you can’t make me choose a favorite! But for the sake of this blog, I chose another video game OST; the Phobia themes from Omori!
There was no way I could possibly discuss its music without spoiling the game, so here’s to hoping no one was planning on playing Omori. The plot of the game in the simplest terms is: you play as Omori who explores the world of Headspace with his friends Hero, Kel, and Aubrey. When not playing in Headspace, you play as a hikikomori (a person who avoids social contact) named Sunny who, depending on your choices, reveals the truth surrounding the death of his sister or takes it to his grave. While playing as Sunny, you have to literally fight his fears and that’s where these songs come in. The first fear is Acrophobia, the fear of heights. The music perfectly encapsulates the feeling of falling by having a continuous descending drone in the back. The second fear is Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. I don’t know how this fear fits into the game’s storyline, but I do know that the scratchiness of the music is meant to represent the feeling of spiders crawling. Finally, Thalassophobia, or the fear of deep waters. Probably the most in your face of the three, the music showcases the feeling of being submerged underwater by muffling the audio and adding some sort of rippling reverb to it. Among all three songs, one thing remains the same; the continuous heartbeat that gets faster and faster before the video transitions into the next phobia.
The unit these songs would fit into would definitely be Stories Without Words. Aside from clearly not having any words, the songs use mimesis to convey their story. A simple explanation of what the phobias mean make the musical choices obvious. The songs themselves may not be commonplace motifs for their given topics, but anyone familiar with the game and anyone given the explanation (like previously) will come to understand what it means.