The year 1992 seems like it wasn’t that long ago. That’s probably just a sigh of my age that I admit to suck a observation. Of course, it’s over ten years ago, but for me, it was just like yesterday, especially when I pop in the CD version of Alone in the Dark and take a listen to the CD audio contained therein. The original Alone in the Dark for the PC was the game that set the standard for the Survival Horror genre. God-damn it, it was annoying as hell. Take a look at this video of the various ways which you can die in the game:
Yes, that is correct, at 2:13, your character’s torso is stretched like Play-Doh simply for reading a book. Don’t let the Librarian Association get a hold of this video.
Despite it’s difficulty, Alone in the Dark was a creepy and effective horror game, with an awesome soundtrack. Here are a few samples that would be perfect ambiance for your Halloween festivities of hanging up spider webs and rolling up popcorn balls. In the process of ripping the audio from my copy of the game, Windows Media Player decided that what I was ripping was, in fact, the Alone in the Dark album of one UK-based Electronica artist, Thee Maddkatt Courtship. The only album info I could find to replace that was the soundtrack to the 2008 Alone in the Dark game, not to be confused with the soundtrack to the 2005 Alone in the Dark movie starring Christian Slater, and directed by Uwe Boll. Seeing as this one of the first CD-ROM based titles to utilize CD audio, the confusion is understandable, however, this means that any name or artist info you see is incorrect. How’s that for Tricks or Treats?!
Most of these tracks don’t work so much as ambient music and were meant to punctuate specific moments in the game, though there are a few “soundscape” tracks that serve as background noise for certain environments. I believe it was Walter Murch, sound engineer for THX 1138, The Godfather, and others, who stated, “Sound makes the picture look better.” In the era of FM Synthesis, the CD-quality sound effects and music of Alone in the Dark truly achieves this, which is particularly significant when your characters consist of approximately 10 polygons.
While not the first track, this the track that plays as you approach the mansion and really gets your blood pumping and foot tapping. For me, this track IS Alone in the Dark.[audio:03 The Fissure.mp3]
Here is one of the aforementioned “creepy” tracks that not really a tune, as much as an atmosphere:[audio:06 Reception Hall.mp3]
This tension inducing track is a short, but effective freak out moment:[audio:07 The Humanz.mp3]
One puzzle in the game was based around an ancient phonograph and a few records that you can find scattered around the mansion. Playing The Blue Danube record causes some ghostly ballroom dancers to appear and cut a phantom rug:[audio:14 No More Humans.mp3]
Playing the Danse Macabre record would cause your character to be killed instantly by giant balls (see above):[audio:16 Niamam.mp3]