Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Great Experiment

Originally composed by Takane Okubo from Sim Earth for the Super NES.

Sim Earth is a Maxis game like most others where you are God and you create the world within a certain scope. You had Sim City, you had Sim Ant, and here’s Sim EARTH which, at the time, was mind blowing because the game tasked the player with developing entire planets. This involved deciding on the size, age, axis orientation, and other factors of your planet along with how the geology of the planet worked and what degree of which processes were found in the atmosphere. You could eventually create water, life, and even watch civilizations rise up or destroy them all with a meteor.

That was if you wanted to start from scratch. Otherwise, you could choose to begin with planets at different timescales such as the dawn of life, or the dawn of technology, or just a planet completely covered in water. Each of these types of worlds had their own music and, having found myself liking a great many of them, thought I should go ahead and cover a few.

I started with what I felt would be a nice sound-of-empty-space sort of music for the beginning as there would be a vast nothing before one started cultivating their world, right? Sort of the ambient soundtrack to a stellar nursery. Next is a very desolate sounding bit for a desolate planet. This is music from an empty random planet mode I believe. Once this all settles into its groove, the sounds of animals like birds and such can be heard and this represents the majestic flourishing of life on the planet. These sounds then usher in the final theme from the game, the song which plays as a significant event changes the planet. It’s a happy end to a great experiment on a planetary level.