Saturday, October 15, 2005

Civilization IV Music: WOW!

I don't play many computer games, though there are some I spend quite a lot of time on. A few of my favourite are flying games (Aces of the Pacific, MS Flight Simulator), strategy games (Civilization, SimCity), serious war games (Operation Flashpoint), grand epics (Total War) and the odd promiscuous game (Sims 2, contains nudity on my computer because I added a 'remove pixelations' line in the config.file hahaa).

As all strategy games know, the Civilizations franchise is like an institution. I mean, Sid Meier is like some deity... What's fun about this game is that one learns so much about history and human progress throughout the centuries. It's one of the few more 'educational' games around. I don't like shooting games like Quake et al. (yewl, so much senseless violence, blood and gore! hahaaa) When music is added to a computer games, it brings so much more to the experience. Two more recent works that come to my mind are the music from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Rome: Total War. The Stars Wars game had a plot and musical score that rivals (and some would even say surpasses) that from Episodes I and II.

And now comes Civilization IV, the game that will immediately occupy the weekday nights and weekends of all self-respecting strategy gamers... But first, you can listen to some of the soundtrack at the Civ IV website, in the 'media' section. I can't wait for this game to appear next month...

Update (!): A website called Civilization Anonymous is now warning people not to buy this game because it's too addictive. It's both funny and serious. Most gamers would be able to identify with this. You need to click all the links to get the whole story! George W. is apparently a member of the support group. I'm very excited by the role that religion plays in this new version of the game, and here's what he has to say about this.
"If religion has taught us anything...uh... throughout the centuries, it's that sometimes, to achieve peace, well, you...you got to start by killing a lot of people...uh... it's just the way it is. But also...but love. You have to kill them with love, and understanding... and kindness..." ~George W.
Update (!!): New music is now available from Christopher Tin's website. The theme song is sooooo goood! The other Civ IV song is Coronation.
Baba Yetu (from Civilization 4) The opening menu music from the highly acclaimed Civilization 4 features Talisman A Cappella, the award-winning singing group that Chris used to music direct. The lyrics are a Swahili adaptation of the Lord's prayer: "Our Father, who art in heaven..." This version, available for download, is the original 'Composer's Mix', as remastered by award-winning engineer Casey Stone.
The original version of Baba Yetu can be downloaded from Amazon.com. The lyrics are here.

Update (!!!): Woohoo! I just found the lyrics of the version in Civ IV after a long search.
Baba Yetu (The Lord's Prayer in Swahili)
CHORUS Baba yetu yetu, uliye Mbinguni yetu yetu, amina! Baba yetu yetu, uliye Jina lako litukuzwe. (x2)
Utupe leo chakula chetu Tunachohitaji utusamehe Makosa yetu, hey! Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe Waliotukosea usitutie Katika majaribu, lakini Utuokoe, na yule, milelea milele!
CHORUS Ufalme wako ufike utakalo Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni. (Amina)
CHORUS Utupe leo chakula chetu Tunachohitaji utusamehe Makosa yetu, hey! Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe Waliotukosea usitutie Katika majaribu, lakini Utuokoe, na yule, simama mwehu Baba yetu yetu uliye Jina lako litukuzwe. (x2)
"Here is a rough translation. Everything is mixed around, so I had to compensate. Tin added a bunch of extra "yetu"'s ("our"'s), so I took them out in the translation. I didn't understand some of the grammar, so I looked up key words in a dictionary and pasted corresponding Lord's Prayer from NKJ version of the Bible."
CHORUS Our Father, who art in Heaven. Amen! Our Father, Hallowed be thy name. (x2) Give us this day our daily bread, Forgive us of our trespasses As we forgive others Who tresspass against us Lead us not into temptation, but deiver us from Evil, and you are forever and ever!
CHORUS Thy kingdom come, thy will be done On Earth as it is in Heaven. (Amen)
CHORUS Give us this day our daily bread, Forgive us of our trespasses As we forgive others Who tresspass against us Lead us not into temptation, but deiver us from Evil, and you wake the dead (?) Our Father, who art... Hallowed be thy name. (x2)
Update (IV)!: I emailed Christopher Tin earlier today to ask for the lyrics (before I found the above), and he just replied me!
Hi Jeffrey, Thanks for your email. It's a pretty standard Swahili translation of the Lord's prayer, except that there are some mistakes. For example, the Swahili words for Jesus ('Yesu') and 'our' ('yetu') are very similar....and the text SHOULD be reading: Baba yetu, Yesu uliye mbinguni Yesu, Yesu, amina. Baba yetu, Yesu uliye Jina lako litukuzwe. The extra 'Yesu's', which mistakenly became 'Yetu's' in the final version, were inserted to make it work rhythmically. There were a few other syllables here and there that were altered, with a liberal dash of artistic license, to make it work musically.
By the way....if you feel so inclined, I would love it if you would email the people at 2K games and tell them what you thought about the music, and what you thought about the song. I'm trying to get more video game work, and every kind word helps. :) Best, Chris

8 comments:

Ali said...

"and the odd promiscuous game (Sims 2, contains nudity on my computer because I added a 'remove pixelations' line in the config.file hahaa)."

Oh my gosh, that's really creepy!!

And hey, you have that word verification thingy. I should get that.

jeffyen said...

The word verification thing is in the 'comments' section in your 'settings'.

And nudity in the game is the least of my problems!! hahaha There are so many weird things in the game that relate to relationships and so on ahhaa

wandie said...

1. Aces of the Pacific is a great game

2. I liked Ace Combat 5 for the PS2.

3. Is it me or is the Singapore skyline being used in Civ4's website?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where to get an MPG of the CIV IV version of Baba Yetu?
I found other versions only.

- Steve

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for an mp3 version, just look in the Assets\Sounds\Soundtrack folder of wherever you installed the game. the file you're looking for is called openingmenu.mp3

Anonymous said...

I love the opening music. The group doing the vocals (Talisman) has albums out if anyone is interested (I just ordered two). Their web site is http://www.stanfordtalisman.com/html/frames.htm

it's an award-winning a cappella group based at Standford University.

DynV said...

Thanks for the lyrics ! It's a great song, I don't appreciate the religious nature of it but it's ok as long as I don't understand it ! :)

joshvar said...

I FINALLY bought Civ 4 and the soundtrack is fantastic. As a cellist, some very enjoyable repitoire is included (the Saint Saens and Bach Suites are staples for all aspiring cellists!). The game itself is by far my favorite of the series...the civics make for a much more interesting governmental aspect, and military works a bit more consistently. So balanced, so great.

But I have to say, Quake's (multiplayer) violence isn't senseless. As a competitive player, the mental work is just as intense as any strategy game, with the added distraction of having to hit shots :)