I’ve been rediscovering quite a bit in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition lately. At first it was just learning how much fun playing with mods could be, but, as I’ve been playing, many of the smaller things that made Skyrim into a favorite have also been finding their way back into the limelight. Little details like ants on a log, the beautiful night skies, and especially the music. Skyrim’s music is easy to take for granted. It’s always there in the background; adding that little extra something that elevates your Dragonborn’s wanderings into something more. They’re all great, but “Far Horizons” stands out as one the best.
Video source: MirrorsEdgeworth
For me, and I suspect many others, Skyrim has always been about adventure. Sure it has quests, quest markers, and objectives, but it’s entirely of to the player to find and trigger them. Aside from the critical path, the game unfolds as you see fit. Just pick a direction, start walking, and see what you can find! “Far Horizons” captures this sense of grand adventure perfectly. Its movements are those of an adventurer: calm downtime as you make your way from one location to another followed by grand swells of sound and energy as you take in the the landscape from a high ridge and spy an intriguing ruin in the distance. The tune is a constant and excellent companion throughout your travels in Skyrim; staying out of the way most time, but also making its presence known at just the right times and places.
For me, this is the song that gives Skyrim its magic. Without it, my Dragonborn might as well just be running around in the Canadian wilderness (they have Frost Trolls and Spriggans up there right?). All the other atmospheric musical tracks in the game definitely do their part to make Skyrim feel like a grand fantasy world, but “Far Horizons” is what brings that feeling home. I’m not sure what exactly about the song inspires that grand sense of scale (probably the horns. I LOVE the horns in this song!), but whatever it is, I know that Skyrim would definitely not feel the same without it.
Most games have one or two songs that stand head and shoulders above the rest of the soundtrack, but that’s not the case with Skyrim. The entire soundtrack meshes together in order to support your immersion into the role of the Dragonborn. “Far Horizons” stands out in this soundtrack not because it’s just that much better than the rest, but because it kind of encapsulates the rest while remaining its own thing; a first-among-equals kind of situation if you would. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to many more hours of discovery with “Far Horizons” playing softly in the background. 😀
What’s your favorite Skyrim adventuring tune? Can you think of any songs from other games that can match it?