In other news, I am a nerd.

I got hella bored today while doing laundry. Like, super hella bored. So bored, in fact, that I didn’t even feel like starting up a game of Civ at the time–but I wanted to listen to the music. Like, crazy wanting to listen to the music. But I didn’t have the soundtrack to the expansions, and I wanted to listen to the soundtrack to the expansions, and maybe some of the pretty idle, nothing-is-going-on, the empire is at peace right now-music. You know, the stuff that rarely makes it into the final OST.

I had an idea then: Like the time I got around Steam to launch Kerbal Space Program during the time a beta bug, I could get into the local content to see where it was and listen to it from there.

With a few clicks, I was in the file explorer and looking at the Vanilla music, found in .ogg format. Interesting, I thought, looking at it.

Granted, I have the Vanilla OST—it came with the Bundle—but after wandering around I noticed that oh hey, there’s the pretty idle music!

…let’s poke around a little more, shall we?

After about fifteen minutes of poking around, I found what I was looking for.

I am now in the process of deciding which device to put this lovely ear candy on to listen to while I get the writing done.

“Whoa whoa whoa, you nerd! How am I supposed to do that on a Steam game?!”

Hold your horses, I’ll explain it. It’s simple. DISCLAIMER: You damn well better not otherwise manipulate the files other than a cloning. I am not responsible for any bricked installs. It also goes without saying this is personal use only (don’t be piratin’ yo). They all start the same:

  1. Jump into your Steam.
  2. Right-click the game in the sidebar.
  3. Clck properties.
  4. Click “Browse local content.
  5. Find the folder with the music. DO NOT CHANGE OR MOVE ANYTHING.

After this you have a couple options.

Here’s a pair of methods:

SUPER RIDICULOUS EASY METHOD:

Sync the folder with the music with your Google music manager folder. Upload, refresh, boom, done, it’s in the cloud.

LESS EASY METHOD:

Clone the folder to the desktop, if space allows, and move it to a secure place—an SD card, a device, a sufficiently powerful phone. …depending on the device this could take a while. DO NOT MOVE THE ORIGINAL FOLDERS.

THINGS TO NOT DO:

DO NOT USE ITUNES. While it sounds like linking the original folders to the library is simpler, iTunes especially likes to tweak things’ metadata and can easily cause problems.

IN FACT, DO NOT USE ANY MEDIA MANAGERS THAT WILL CHUCK SETTINGS AT THINGS. Keep the entire process manual. It’s best you not have to need to turn around and reinstall anything, because—especially if you’ve got the kind of connection that I do—that can take hours.

Boom. =D Enjoy your new game music.

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100 Things #25: Video Games

…No one who knows me at all is surprised by this. Prepare for a ramble.

I’ve been a gamer since almost before I can remember. One of my earliest memories is sitting in front of my grandparents’ 27-inch TV (because that’s what we called a big TV back then) while we all passed around the Nintendo Light Gun and played Duck Hunt. Big Dad—Gramps to most people—was performing quite well, knocking down ducks left and right, but then he got a run of bad luck when the ducks just wouldn’t pick one direction for long enough for him to be able to get’em. As rules established, the gun went to the right—Bigmama (Grandma) was next.

She began to wipe the floor with the rest of us. Effortless, she just pops ducks off one by one—bam! bam! bam! My cousin and I just looked at each other, our faces a matching “whoa”-oh. Big Dad points out something then: Bigmama’s not using the sight. On this realization, she ALSO stops, looks at the gun, notices the sight…says “Huh,” and keeps wiping the floor with us.

My cousin and I just sort of slide over to one side.


Another thing that anyone who knows me is that I’m a sucker for RPGs. I got into them because I needed something to do when I was sick. A trip to Phar-Mor, an old pharmacy, resulted in a crapton of medicines for me and my parents promising to rent me a console while I recuperated. I picked Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for one of my choices, because the box was pretty and because the guy at the check-out counter said there was a lot of reading involved in that game.

Being a huge reader, of course, I called “CHALLENEG ACCEPTED…” or I would have if that meme existed when I was five.


Gaming became an outlet for frustration then, as I dove into shooters and harder RPGs—nothing like shooting someone’s head off to get that bad mood knocked down. Putting a controller in your hands—it’s got this sense of power that I’d never really felt before, being the family’s runt preemie and having never really caught up to average. Even if I was spending most of my days being beat up by my cousins, or later in adolescence, my aunts, uncles, and even father—at night I could beat the living daylights out of whoever I so chose. Mooks had my family’s faces superimposed on their heads, and I’d pump them full of lead and lasers until I felt better. And then there were the rocket launchers…

In the game Perfect Dark, there were two kinds of rocket launchers. The first one was this normal run-of-the-mill rocket launcher that had two modes: shooting rockets, and shooting heat-seeking rockets. It was efficient enough and got the job done. But that wasn’t my favorite one. That title went to a weapon named the Slayer. The Slayer had two modes as well—really, every weapon in this game, even your bare hands, had two modes. (Barehand’s second mode was stealing the other guy’s gun right off of him.)
Anyway, the first mode of the Slayer was a standard rocket. A little slower than the standard rocket launcher, but with a bigger boom. Its second mode? Remote controlled camera-augmented rocket. You had to ‘drive’ the rocket to its destination, using the camera view to steer properly. So you could shoot a rocket, run it to the player who’s been getting on your last nerve thus far, and then aim the rocket at their face. …Your decision as to whether you let the rocket explode on its own or kicking its detonation button immediately.


I think that the thing that stuck with me more than anything else about video games is the potential for beauty. (Funny, seeing this after I wax rhapsodic about the wonders of exploding face rockets.) Games could have wicked scenery that distracts you from your mission. Games could have a storyline that makes you forget that it’s a game.

Most of all, games can have chillingly beautiful music.

I suspect that I am into the ambient genre thanks to video games—specifically the RPGs. People say that games can’t be art, that the music is just throwaway jingles. That a gamer is biased in this argument because it’s built solidly on nostalgia.

I refute that argument because the composition that had me BS-ing an allergy attack to explain the sniffles was from one of the games I had never played.

I’ll leave it with that: one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.

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100 Things #5: “That’s so awesome! I never knew that!”

   The Prelude (Title Screen) by Final Fantasy on Grooveshark

We’ve all got that one thing. You know, that one thing that you just absolutely loooobster love to perhaps slight extremes. You know a lot about it. You have followed it for perhaps years—or maybe you’re a recent convert and you caught up in the span of, like, a day and a half—but the point is, you’re just about an expert on the subject and nothing is going to deter you from learning everything about it.

I’ve got that sort of relationship with the soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series. (Some of you knew this a long time ago, eh-heh…) I remember getting stuck, bringing up the menu, and just listening to the music until I got an idea for what I was supposed to do next. I could go on and on about that music—but that’s another of the 100 Things. Right now all we need to know is that I made a point of knowing A LOT about it, getting my hands on as much of it as possible, learning the back stories behind why THIS track here and not THIS track.

Perhaps the most iconic theme from the series is the Prelude. It’s the little twinkly harp melody that you hear at the title screen for almost every game in the series. Once you hear that, you know what kind of game you’re playing. Final Fantasy and the prelude are almost the same; it seems like you can’t have one without the other. 25 years, after all, is a long time.

I jumped into the Inter-webs—digging through link after link, speculation after speculation, until I hit pay dirt at last. There had to be a story behind this little song, and it just had to be absolutely epic and inspiring. I find a link that looks pretty official and I learn…

…that the composer, Nobuo Uematsu, wrote this lovely little gem on request at the last minute—and it took him all of ten minutes to do it. I never knew that…and it just added to the song this level of awesomeness. It takes considerable talent to be able to do something like that. The Prelude has been a part of my word for as long as I can remember, and almost every time I hear it I learn something new about the composition.

I love learning new things about the things that I like. It makes me like them even more.

Audio from Grooveshark’s service. I do not own that piece of lovely aural gold.
</legal stuff>

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