Soundfall, a musically driven twin-stick dungeon crawler has been recently announced by Drastic Games. Soundfall will focus heavily on rhythm-based gameplay and is really shaping up to be a promising title. After having the trailer playing on a loop solely for the soundtrack for hours (it’s amazing), I started to pay attention to the trailer. There seems to be more to the game than slick visuals and catchy tunes. I think Soundfall is a game that will be about loss and dealing with that loss.
On the surface, Soundfall seems like a charming game full of bright colors and vibrant environments. While I’m confident the final product will be just as advertised I also think there is another tone under all of the colors and music. And that is the tone of grief. At the beginning of the trailer, you see Melody alone in her apartment. She puts back the photo, puts on her headphones, and then lets the music transfer her to another world. That photo is key; the trailer shows it briefly but if you stop it at fifteen seconds you can see it clearly.
There are two photos, one is of a man and a woman and the other is of the same man and woman but with two girls. I am assuming Melody is the girl in the photo on the right, being held by her dad. I make this assumption because of the hair color; her hair is purple with blue tips. The girl on the left has the same hair color. What I think is happening is that Melody lost her family in some kind of tragedy and she uses music to cope with her grief. This may also explain why there are candles surrounding the photos. It may have happened some time ago and that is the reason the photos are of her young mother and father. And that would also explain why she herself looks younger in the picture than she does in the trailer.
There are a few other snippets of evidence that may support this theory. The first one is almost impossible to see if you don’t slow down the video. Eight and a half seconds into the trailer you see an expression of sadness on Melody’s face as she looks at the photo. Another important element to note here is that she did not pick up the other photo with just her mom and dad. She is looking at the photo of the whole family.
The last little tidbit comes from Content Director at Drastic Games, Julian Truntmann. In a press release about the game he is quoted as saying
“Music connects people in ways that are difficult to articulate. It’s been an incredible pleasure working with such an emotionally engaging medium.”
Death is something that is not easy to deal with. It’s something that you can not prepare for and can be incredibly difficult to cope with. I think Soundfall is offering up a method for coping with tragedy. Music can be a great escape from the world around you and allows you to drown out the noise.
To me, music is one of the most, if not the most, powerful medium we have. I grew up playing in jazz band and eventually learned to play the guitar and drums. Music can truly transport you to another world. It’s something that has gotten me through a lot of struggles, and I can definitely appreciate a game that deals with grief in this way. I may be miles off of what the team over at Drastic Games is actually trying to convey, but their announcement trailer definitely leaves us some interesting clues.
What do you think Soundfall is all about? Feel free to form your own speculation in the comments below.