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Hello everyone, and welcome to Theme of the Week! This weekly piece aims to shine a light on the amazing musical talent in the gaming industry by picking out a single track that we particularly enjoy and sharing it with all of you!

This week’s Theme of the Week is Pesky Marauders from the soundtrack of The Falconeer by composer Benedict Nichols.

When Odhrán and I interviewed Tomas Sala (sole developer of The Falconeer) for The Unofficial Game Pass Podcast, we didn’t expect to still be thinking and talking about it months later. The Falconeer is a game that is at times deeply meditative and at other times a stressful, frantic fight to survive. One half of the game is gliding over a beautiful ocean with the backdrop of the setting sun or the glimmering stars of the night sky. These introspective sections of calm are accompanied by Benedict Nichols‘ use of Mongolian throat-singing, and the soundtrack uses instruments such as bagpipes to create an ancient, tribal feel as you traverse the fantasy world of The Falconeer.

Source: Screen capture – Conor Smith

However, the other half of The Falconeer is the deadly aerial combat. The soundtrack in these sections, as you’ll hear in Pesky Marauders, charges you forward into battle with the intense beating of drums; the long-drawn-out breaths of throat-singing change in pace and become short, darting lifts in pitch. A male chorus chants incomprehensibly, singing in ancient unity. What makes Pesky Marauders, though, is the use of the cimbalom, a type of hammered dulcimer played in Central and Eastern Europe. The hammered strings of the cimbalom begin as a background rhythm but slowly emerge at the forefront of the track. The melody played on it is intricate, almost joyful in how it rolls along. Amidst the fear and tension of the drums and throat-singing, the cimbalom is you, the falconeer, fighting back. The prevailing melody is your hope, your resolve, your spirit as you make that perfect roll away from an enemy warbird’s fire, and land a shot on them.

For fans of The Falconeer who can’t get enough of Nichols‘ work, you’ll be pleased to know that Wired Productions is releasing a double vinyl of the Falconeer soundtrack, which will be available to pre-order soon (you can sign up to be notified!)

Furthermore, The Falconeer: Warrior Edition launches for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on August 5th, 2021 and includes the fully updated game, The Hunter DLC, and the new Edge of the World DLC, which contains 3 additional side quests and new boss encounters. For anyone who hasn’t yet played The Falconeer, that’s one impressive package to pick up and fly with. You can see how happy Tomas is with the new stock:

Benedict Nichols is also contributing his music to the indie game, Omno, which is set to release on July 29th, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and will be included as part of Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One.

If you’d like to check out our full playlist, which includes the previous Theme of the Week pieces you can check them out on our Spotify playlist and/or YouTube playlist.

Want to keep up to date with all of our upcoming reviews, news, and features here at Gaming Sandbox? Feel free to follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to support us financially you can do so by following the link to our Patreon!

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