Playing Alien RPG? Here’s our favourite soundtracks for dying in space
Soundtracking your sci-fi horror-based RPG can be tricky. The tone has to be fairly consistent, and not too interruptive. Of course, we want to dodge music with lyrics too, there’s nothing quite as distracting as a catchy chorus in the middle of a tense scene of rising terror.
With our recent playthrough of Cinematic scenario, Chariot of the Gods for Alien The Roleplaying Game we tried out a few ambient albums. Here’s the ones we found that fit for our group of spacewalking corpses.
Heliopause – Anne Müller
Rhythmic pianos and strings are perfect for your space walks, or exploring an abandoned, ghosting ship. Found yourself off course? Of course you have. The album is a mix of electronic and classical with repeating cycles of cello stabs and skittering, strained beats that offer both rising tension and elegant backdrops to space exploration.
FaltyDL - ///|\||\\\\
When things are getting weird and the paranoia is rising, FaltyDL’s album of warm synths and ping-ponging rhythms does the work of an increasingly erratic motion scanner. Is that something I hear in the vents? The perfect soundtrack to stumbling into the egg-infested rooms of rotten space hulks and going slightly mad.
Zoë Keating – One Cello x 16: Natoma
A whole album of looming cello that moves from cool and sombre for your fretful downtime, to marching beats of incoming and terrible conflict. A great backdrop for the GM to pop on to signal to the players that, yes, something awful may be around the next corner.
Ariel Kalma & Sarah Davachi – Intemporel
An album of songs that start surprisingly warm and relaxing, but eventually add dissonant notes and sounds just out of the range of your hearing. The collection suits powering up a ship’s computer or other electrical engineering events that might, in the end, not have been for the best.
Alien Isolation OST
Okay, so this one is a bit of cheat, and probably what you were going to do anyway, but it’s the best on-brand Alien soundtrack to use during play. We tried out the scores from Alien and everyone found it surprisingly jarring and interruptive. Aliens is a bit better, but each song tends to end up with a bit too much excitement, which again threw a few people off. The Alien: Isolation soundtrack on the other hand lingers for a lot longer, making it pretty good for longer stretches of tension building and allowing room for much of the required treachery.