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Myst V: End of Ages Soundtrack
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: September 20, 2005
Composed By: Tim Larkin
Arranged By: Tim Larkin
Published By: Cyan Worlds
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Descent
02 - Beginnings - Atrus
03 - Great Shaft
04 - Villa
05 - Laki
06 - Arena Reveal
07 - Tahgira Ice Fields
08 - Beginnings - Yeesha
09 - Noloben Lab
10 - End of Ages
11 - Todelmer
12 - Time Machine
13 - Fighter Beach
14 - Beginnings - Esher
15 - Trapped
16 - Myst
17 - Finale
Total Time:
49'20"

Myst V: End of Ages was released last September as the final chapter of the Myst saga. It seems like the publisher, Cyan Worlds, pulled out all the stops for this game. Now, I haven't actually played Myst V, but from what I have seen of the trailers and heard from friends, it is a game that lived up to all of its hype. To help facilitate the success of this game, Cyan Worlds turned to their own in-house Composer and Sound Designer Tim Larkin to produce a soundtrack that would match the ambiance of the world the Miller Brothers created and Cyan Worlds was about to close the book on.

Having left Myst V unplayed to this point, I cannot say which tracks are in the game and which are not but upon listening to the soundtrack in its entirety, I was left with the impression of something dramatic and also very organic. The soundtrack opens up with Descent, a short but very exciting piece that throws the listener straight into the action. The timpani provide a dark, almost tribal feel that will set the pace for the next five tracks. Seeing the trailers, I imagine this piece and the next five pieces take place in the Great Woods at the beginning of the game. I have to say that they really do fit the images I have seen. Track 3, especially, gives a person the feeling that they are traveling through a dark and ancient forest with untold secrets waiting for them.

The tone switches in Track 7, the Tahgira Ice Fields. There is a suspicious lack of a bass of any sort. The sound here is somewhat sparse with the foreground sounds sounding in discord with the background. It creates the image of a lonely ice field quite well. Out of all the tracks, Noloben Lab is probably the most unusual. It begins with the same kind of dark feeling that the earlier six tracks had, the almost sinister undertone track 7 and onward had but there is a brief trumpet solo that lasts for about a minute of the piece that adds to the piece but also hints a bit at Mr. Larkin's jazz background. It's a very different piece and while it jumped out at me, it is still subdued enough to blend seamlessly with the rest of the soundtrack.

By 10, the listener is back to the same kind of dark dramatic sounds that drive the first track. The following tracks are less tribal and instead begin using various string instruments to accompany the dark sounds of the timpani and the bass drum. This is a theme that will continue all the way till the last Track, the Finale. Out of all the tracks, the Finale is the one that is the most 'musical.' It features the full range of an orchestra and is not nearly as subdued as the rest of the soundtrack. Here, the instruments take front stage, slowing down and speeding up in the same way must ending credit songs tend to do. Unlike the rest of the soundtrack, it fluctuates between bright sounds and dark sounds until it reaches a triumphant crescendo at the end.

Overall, I will have to say that stylistically, this is a beautiful soundtrack that really brings to life some of the stunning images the Myst World has been known for. As a soundtrack, it does its job well, providing that extra subtle push in mood and ambiance without being overpowering.

This soundtrack was originally released with the Myst V Limited Edition box but it can now be purchased separately from Amazon, the Ubistore and a few other places online.

Reviewed by: Rebecca Cheng



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