Welcome to our second entry of Stellar Soundtracks in Gaming! Today, we’ll be delving into the soundtrack for the indie RPG title Disco Elysium. Developed by ZA/UM Studio and composed by musical group British Sea Power. Here are a few of our favourite tracks from the game’s standout OST and why they’re worth checking out.
In Disco Elysium, the “Whirling-in-Rags” hotel is a home of sorts for you. Harry Du Bois is an amnesiac cop with a heavy drinking problem, broken heart, and murder case. Tucked away in the waterfront of Martinaise, is the Whirling-in-Rags. A hub for the working class, lively both day and night. Its quaint rooms and karaoke floor are a place to mingle, get some rest, and sing his poor heart out. Its daytime music track relays certain energy not quite seen in the rest of Martinaise. With the Whirling as a center for both conflict and comfort. This music track marks the start of Harry’s journey, and a familiar return throughout the course of the game.
In Martinaise’s “doomed commercial area,” a supposedly cursed building complex of failed businesses, the dicemaker runs her store. Stumbling past creaky floors and abandoned rooms, a makeshift staircase leads to the chimney where she resides. Illuminated only by the filtered light from the window before her workbench. The dicemaker is a mysterious character; an anomaly, her business is miraculously afloat amidst the doom of failure around her. Whether through passion or luck, her survival is encapsulated in her music theme perfectly; both soft and uplifting, this track is certainly a standout from the OST.
One of the more haunting compositions Disco Elysium in comes from exploring the Capeside Apartment complex in Martinaise. With a sick, elderly cleaning woman sweeping its ever dirty halls. The complex paints a bleak picture of life for its residents; overdue bills pile up in mail slots, “graffito” hides the corridor’s peeling walls. The soft, sad music from this track lingers in the background. A stand-out for the game’s use of music in world-building and tone is the Capeside Apartments theme. It resonates with the player as we get a better sense of the difficulties of life in Martinaise.
Off the coast of Martinaise lies a small fishing village. Where children play on cracked concrete, and homeless men convene near building rubble. The sounds of seagulls call out from the water in the near distance. The fishing village sparks a bevy of emotions with its music: intrigue, sadness, a sense of calm. Having a dynamic change between day and night themes, this track feels powerfully evocative. Stopping to take in the lapping of the ocean’s waves while it plays is a breath of fresh air in the heaviness that is Disco Elysium’s world.