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A Rough Guide to the Icewind Dale OST

dustbubsydustbubsy Member Posts: 249
Hello everyone, it's been a while.

At Christmas I purchased the Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack on Steam and wanted to share my thoughts. I like to go through the game and see where the soundtrack differs and other interesting information. Nearinfinity is a useful tool for this.

Track listing can be found here. There are 69 tracks. Tracks 1-41 are related to the original Icewind Dale. Tracks 42-51 are all labelled "Bonus Track" and as far as I know have no "official" title, but on last.fm they do have titles to distinguish them from each other. I have no idea who came up with these titles, or when. Finally, tracks 52-69 are from Heart of Winter. I will now proceed to go into ridiculous depths about what I found. ;)

Firstly, track 4, "Hrothgar's Home". The OST version is longer than the version you hear in game by 8 bars. This change isn't as dramatic as track 5 however, "Temple of Tempus". In game, the Temple has only some soft chanting, while the soundtrack version has added percussion and a whole second half that you never hear in-game. I theorise that the game's creators thought a few of Jeremy Soule's pieces were a bit too loud for the mood they wanted to convey, in this case the sacred space of Easthaven's hallowed church.

Moving on we come to track 6, "The Lost Caravan". This plays in the orc cave Hrothgar sends you to, and is also reused in Trials of the Luremaster, where it plays in several of the Anarauroch Castle dungeons. The OST version is around 25 seconds longer than the one that appears in game.

Track 7, "Drums of the Dead". The main thing about this track is it's the battle music for when you fight Belhifet, and is therefore out of place in an OST that is mostly chronological.

Track 9 is the famous "Kuldahar Theme", however did you know the version you hear in the game is different from the soundtrack version? In this case the game version is longer by some 18 seconds, despite the fact that the OST version has an added intro. I actually prefer the game version.

Track 10, "Arundel's Home", is another song that is longer on the OST. It has an 8 bar intro you don't hear in the game.

Next we come to the tracks associated with the Vale of Shadows. The main music for the exteriors, track 11, is also heard in Dorn's Deep, on the Tiers of the Dead map where you first encounter Terikan the lich. Track 12, "Lysan's Lair", is actually a battle theme for the Vale exterior - it doesn't play in Lysan's cave as far as I'm aware, making it a bit of a misnomer.

Track 13, "Kresselack's Tomb", is not heard in game. Again, I theorise that it sounded just too "alive" for a dusty tomb, and was replaced by an alternate version that is much quieter. You hear this version in the entry level to Kresselack's tomb. On the other hand, Track 14, "Kresselack's Lair", which plays on the bottom level of the tomb, is unchanged from its game counterpart.

From here the OST and in-game versions become far more unified and there is less to say. Track 23, "Larrel's Daughter" is interesting - not only the shortest track on the album, it occurs twice in-game: once when you pick up Evayne's diary in The Severed Hand, and again when collecting her 2nd diary in Dorn's Deep.

Now some assorted tidbits. Track 26, "Upper Dorn's Deep Entrance", is 30 seconds longer than the in-game version. Track 34, "Svirfneblin Refugee Camp", is reused in Trials of the Luremaster, in the ruined Temple of Helm. Track 37, "The Fallen Temple" plays in the area you fight Crenshinibon, but will only play after you destroy the idol. It's also reused for the basements of the four towers in Trials of the Luremaster.

Track 38, "Belhifet's Doom", is interesting, because I couldn't find any point in the game where it played. Could it be "cut content?"

Now on to the 10 bonus tracks. As I said earlier, they have unofficial names. Most of these names are accurate but there are two that stand out to me, Tracks 46 and 47, titled "Chapter I" and "Chapter II" respectively. These are short pieces that play alternately during the start of each chapter, while the narrator gives a short introduction. The funny thing is, because the game starts with a prologue, the track named "Chapter I" actually plays during the Prologue, while "Chapter II" plays at the start of Chapter I!

On to the Heart of Winter tracks. Track 52, "More Trials Await", is another track I coundn't locate in game. It's very short. Track 55, "The Shrine of Waukeen", is not heard in-game, though according to Nearinfinity it's still in the game's code for Quinn's Waukeen temple in Lonelywood. I can understand why it doesn't play though - it's far too grand for the tiny establishment he's running. Track 58, "King Wylfdene", plays in the mead hall of the barbarian camp, but is also used for the interior of Anauroch Castle in Trials of the Luremaster.

There are two pairs of tracks that I believe are misnamed. Firstly, tracks 63 and 64, "The Flowing Caves" and "The Seer Speaks". Both play on the level of the Gloomfrost where you find the Seer. However, the track named "The Seer Speaks" plays before you have spoken to the Seer, while after you've spoken to her, "The Flowing Caves" starts playing. Seems like the names got mixed up.

The same thing happens with tracks 65 and 66, "Icasaract's Lair" and "The Sea of Moving Ice". The former plays when you first arrive at the island where Icasaract dwells, while the latter plays indoors, when you enter her sanctum, guarded by the sahuagin. Naturally, you can see how their names make far more sense reversed. Or maybe the names are correct, but the tracks were coded for the wrong areas.

Finally, the track generically named "Heart of Winter" actually plays in the werejackal caverns beneath Anauroch Castle, in Trials of the Luremaster. The in-game version is better as it goes on for longer and has a defined ending, while the OST version just has a fadeout. Track 69, "Expansion Credits" seems virtually identical to Track 42, "Credits (Long)". Strangely, while there is a track for the opening movie of Heart of Winter (53, "Visions of Hjollder") there is no track corresponding to the ending movie.

Hope you enjoyed this rambling guide that went into far too much detail. I just like the idea of illuminating an overlooked part of this game which is over 20 years old at this point, ha. :D
Post edited by dustbubsy on

Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,466
    Amazing! Also, nice to see you're back.
  • Azzaman004Azzaman004 Member Posts: 1
    I'm resurrecting a 6 month old thread here, but I'm wondering if any looped version of the soundtracks exist for tabletop games. I'm having a play in audibly right now, but I am an absolute music nonce and am getting poor results. Given this was a fantastic write up on the ins and outs of the music in the game I was wondering if you would have any knowledge on this department?
  • spacejawsspacejaws Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 380
    Thanks for the bump because I hadn't seen this and it's a great, insightful, write up that's making want to listen to the OST now! Good call on the possibly misnamed tracks, or maybe they are named right but the original developers got their placement mixed up? In which case they are named correct! :D
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