Gather ’round children, and I will tell you a tale.
In 1973, author Arthur C. Clark came out with Rendezvous with Rama, about an encounter with an enormous alien ship. It was followed in 1989 with a sequel Rama II, about the second encounter with the ship. In 1997, the two books were adapted into an FMV first-person adventure game called simply Rama (the plot and characters are taken from the second book, but it’s presented as the first encounter with the ship).
The soundtrack to that game is…well, quite frankly, amazing. However, it was never released in CD form, and for a long time was only available at a compressed version taken direct from the game files.
Enter Ross of Ross’s Game Dungeon, who is a self-proclaimed soundtrack junkie. After a failed attempt on his own part, one of his friends was able to track down the original composer, Charles Barth, and he was able to dig out the original, high-quality files, which Ross then released for free along with his video covering the game.
And I offer the soundtrack to you, because this music is too good not to share.
And here is the Game Dungeon covering the game, which is typically entertaining. Watch for the rundown of who gets to be an astronaut.
We also get to listen to Arthur C. Clark himself (who partially narrates the game and who was featured in an extra CD entirely composed of interviews with him) talking utter nonsense about alien life. Rule of thumb: anything purportedly scientific or otherwise factual that is said about extraterrestrials that doesn’t amount to “we have no idea” is nonsense. There simply isn’t any real data to work with (though, as Ross says, some ideas are more…plausible than others).
Still, I’m not complaining: it shows that the gamemakers had a real respect for the author and the material, and that Mr. Clark had a respect for the emerging medium. Besides, I’m all in favor of allowing authors to rant and ramble about anything they like (I mean, what do you think I’m doing right now?). And to be fair, Mr. Clark’s comments, at least as shown here, aren’t nearly as absurd as some voices on the subject.
Anyway, enjoy the soundtrack and the Game Dungeon!
And if you like all that, maybe go back to the source and check out Rendezvous with Rama and its sequel. Full disclosure, I haven’t read them, so I don’t know how good they are, but if you find yourself interested after all the above, check ’em out and see for yourself.
Note: The above are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase them, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
P.S. No, I don’t intend to make Saturdays into an official “share a Ross video” day, it just happened that my mind went there again.