Music in games: “Homeworld 1+2: Remastered Collection”

Graphics and storytelling aren’t the only ways to immerse the player, as music is just as important to create atmosphere, with Homeworld 1+2: Remastered Collection being the perfect examples of great soundtracks.

While playing and later reviewing the Homeworld: Remastered Collection, I realized that I haven’t really given much blog space to music, except for a few band videos. So this will hopefully be a good start, not only to make people aware of the expansive universe of game soundtracks, but also the composers behind it. An even more important question is if listening to the music on its own is just as enjoyable as playing the game(s).

As I haven’t had much experience in reviewing music, I still hope that this is a good start. Maybe with time these articles will become more in-depth. However, I actually don’t want to spend the same amount of time and space as with a game review for time management reasons.

First, let’s say a few things about composer Paul Ruskay who runs his own sound studio Studio X Labs, a company that doesn’t only focus on musical scores for games, but also for short movies, documentaries, commercials, animated movies, and even speech localization (like the amazing Thimbleweed Park). Unlike the more common industrial, sometimes even rock soundtracks in RTS games, Ruskay uses ambient electronic music with Middle Eastern influences, as can clearly be heard in the Homeworld scores, the first 1999 version of which he won the Best Soundtrack award by magazines PC Gamer and Eurogamer for.

In the following, I’ll list all the individual tracks of both soundtracks and provide the playtime for each, as these can already be reasons for some people to buy them or not, although one shouldn’t mix up quality with quantity.

So here are the tracks for the first Homeworld with a 54min 30sec playtime:

1. The Guidestone
2. The Beginning
3. Hyperdrive Test
4. Outer Kharak System
5. The Kar-Selimin
6. Turanic Raiders
7. Return to Kharak
8. Did Not Survive Interogation
9. The Great Wastelands
10. The Bentusi
11. Tradeship Exchange
12. Pursuit
13. Imperial Battle (Original)
14. Imperial Battle (Remixed)
15. Imperial Transmission
16. Into the Heart of the Galaxy
17. No One Returns
18. The Gardens of Kadesh
19. Ultimatum
20. Swamers Attack
21. Similarities
22. History of the Kadeshi
23. The Sea of Lost Souls
24. Entering the Outer Rim
25. Heavy Radiation
26. The Emperor Speaks
27. The Bentusi Under Attack
28. The Rebellion Begins
29. The Karos Graveyards
30. Hiigara System
31. Bridge of Sighs
32. Hyperspace Inhibitors
33. Final Preparations
34. Headshot Asteriod
35. Final Throes
36. One Step Too Close
37. Tutorial

And here are the Homeworld 2 tracks with a 1h 38min 46sec playtime:

1. Opening
2. The Pride of Hiigara
3. Tanis Base
4. Vaygr Bombers Approaching
5. Assault on Chimera
6. Vaygr Invasion
7. Transports En Route
8. Transports Under Attack
9. Captain Soban
10. Hiigara Under Siege
11. Sarum
12. The Bentusi Arrive
13. Sajuuk’s Identity
14. Outskirts of Gehenna
15. Inhibitors
16. Vaygr Battle Theme
17. Oracle Located
18. Gehenna
19. Into the Dust
20. The Oracle
21. The Karos Graveyard
22. Movers Emerge
23. The Movers Attack
24. Awoken
25. The Lighthouse
26. Progenitor Derelict
27. Derelicts
28. The Progenitors
29. Dreadnought Berth
30. The Guardian
31. The Heart of the Graveyard
32. The Keeper
33. Ancient Technology
34. Counterattack
35. Taken to Thaddis Sabbah
36. Soban Captured
37. Keepers of Sajuuk
38. Sacrifice
39. The First Core
40. Rescue Mounted
41. Vaygr Approach
42. Thaddis Sabban
43. The Path to Sajuuk
44. The Bentsui Foresaw this
45. Point of No Return
46. Sajuuk-khar
47. Battle For Sajuuk (Original)
48. Battle For Sajuuk (Remixed)
49. Core Transfer
50. Balcora
51. The Trinity
52. The Planetkillers
53. The Age of S’Jet
54. Credits
55. The Eye of Aaran (Unreleased)
56. The House of S’jet (Unreleased)
57. The Megalith (Unreleased)
58. Trinity Ambience (Unreleased)

I actually found the second soundtrack much more varied with more chorus elements. Both games certainly have that sense of drifting in space and then being in the middle of a battle. If one plays the music, one feels a foreboding and downright creepy atmosphere at times, too. With an interesting mix of build-up moments and faster set-pieces this might be the perfect accompaniment to all sorts of board game sci-fi battles, but the quieter pieces, especially with the first game, also make the music a perfect fit for just closing one’s eyes and relax a little bit.

All in all, the Egyptian-style tracks are memorable enough to set the games apart from other RTS and sci-fi game music. I wouldn’t say they’re more enjoyable than the games they accompany, but they certainly stand on their own with much variety and receive a 8.5/10 for the first and a 9/10 for the second game.

Buy the digital soundtracks on
GOG (Homeworld 1+2)
Steam (Homeworld 1)
Steam (Homeworld 2)

For further information on the remastered and new audio recording of both games, please go to the Studio X Labs website where more links to videos and articles can be found.

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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3 Responses to Music in games: “Homeworld 1+2: Remastered Collection”

  1. Pingback: Music in games: “Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak” | Emotional Multimedia Ride

  2. Pingback: Overview of (blog) life in June 2018 | Emotional Multimedia Ride

  3. Pingback: GOG release: “Submarine Titans” | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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