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artguy360

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (video game) musical similarities to JW's HP scores

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I'm not sure if this is the right area of the forum to discuss this but I recently watched a gameplay video for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and I was surprised and amused by how the music in the game tries to carry over the sound of JW's Harry Potter scores. In a few places the music sounds almost like alternative versions of some themes and cues.

 

To me, this part sounds like an alternate version of Fawkes' Theme:

 

And the orchestration and style of this part reminds me of the general orchestral color of the 1st two HP scores:

 

Has Harry Potter video game music ever been discussed much on this forum? I'm now interested in listening to soundtracks to other Harry Potter games to find out how what they're like and if they are reminiscent of JW's scores.

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I have very fond memories of Jeremy Soule's first 3 HP game scores. They have nothing to do with the actual JW themes, (the first one was made parallel with the movies and I guess they figured to roll with it instead of suddenly having the themes in there) but there are similarities in orchestration - PS's main menu music is even played on celeste (I think)

 

These 3 have their own Hogwarts Theme with many variations:

 

I wonder if EA didn't have the license to use JW's themes but got hold of promo material like Hedwig's Theme and Hogwarts Forever! (or heard accounts of them) and tried to emulate it at least a bit.

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On 4/21/2018 at 5:50 AM, artguy360 said:

I'm not sure if this is the right area of the forum to discuss this but I recently watched a gameplay video for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and I was surprised and amused by how the music in the game tries to carry over the sound of JW's Harry Potter scores. In a few places the music sounds almost like alternative versions of some themes and cues.

 

To me, this part sounds like an alternate version of Fawkes' Theme:

 

And the orchestration and style of this part reminds me of the general orchestral color of the 1st two HP scores:

 

Has Harry Potter video game music ever been discussed much on this forum? I'm now interested in listening to soundtracks to other Harry Potter games to find out how what they're like and if they are reminiscent of JW's scores.

 

This is much more than mere allusions to existing themes. Rather, these are truncated versions of existing JW tracks, and sound almost like a scratched disc skipping ahead... Sounds like the very laziest way of avoiding copyright issues... 

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5 hours ago, Holko said:

I have very fond memories of Jeremy Soule's first 3 HP game scores. They have nothing to do with the actual JW themes, (the first one was made parallel with the movies and I guess they figured to roll with it instead of suddenly having the themes in there) but there are similarities in orchestration - PS's main menu music is even played on celeste

I wonder if EA didn't have the license to use JW's themes but got hold of promo material like Hedwig's Theme and Hogwarts Forever! (or heard accounts of them) and tried to emulate it at least a bit.

 

I have a soft spot for Soule's work on those games too; it's a shame they never got a very good release.

 

Here's what an EA sound director said about whatever influence Williams had or didn't have on the sound of the games:

"The other thing is that [Soule's] music's very close to the style of John Williams, and that feel works really well for Harry Potter. We did approach John Williams to see if we could license the score for Harry Potter. Everybody thinks 'The game's licensed from Warner Bros, so therefore you get instant access to the John Williams music,' but that isn't the case, because John Williams owns his own stuff. It would actually have cost us a fortune to use that music, and what we would have had was 90 minutes of very specific music written for the film, which we would then have had to jump through hoops producing edits for the game. So ultimately, yes, you'd get the sound of John Williams, but you wouldn't get music that was appropriate for what you were doing. So Jeremy was the best option, because he sounds like John Williams, and he can write music specifically for the bits of gameplay that we need it for."

 

The "John Williams owns his own stuff" comment seems oversimplified or dubious to me.

Also, on the PC version there's a file called "Invisible" in the music directory which sounds pretty darn close to Hedwig's Theme! As I recall it's not used in the actual game though.

 

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11 minutes ago, Skelly said:

The "John Williams owns his own stuff" comment seems oversimplified or dubious to me.

Also, on the PC version there's a file called "Invisible" in the music directory which sounds pretty darn close to Hedwig's Theme! As I recall it's not used in the actual game though.

 

That 90 minutes seems fishy to me, too. Of course it would be stupid to cut up the OST and use it in the game, but how about licensing the usage of his themes to Soule?

This seems to be what you're talking about, and I'm also quite sure it wasn't used in the PC version.

 

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Do they seriously not have better-sounding orchestral sample libraries for these apps? It's 2018... 

4 hours ago, Skelly said:

 

 

I have a soft spot for Soule's work on those games too; it's a shame they never got a very good release.

 

Here's what an EA sound director said about whatever influence Williams had or didn't have on the sound of the games:

"The other thing is that [Soule's] music's very close to the style of John Williams, and that feel works really well for Harry Potter. We did approach John Williams to see if we could license the score for Harry Potter. Everybody thinks 'The game's licensed from Warner Bros, so therefore you get instant access to the John Williams music,' but that isn't the case, because John Williams owns his own stuff. It would actually have cost us a fortune to use that music, and what we would have had was 90 minutes of very specific music written for the film, which we would then have had to jump through hoops producing edits for the game. So ultimately, yes, you'd get the sound of John Williams, but you wouldn't get music that was appropriate for what you were doing. So Jeremy was the best option, because he sounds like John Williams, and he can write music specifically for the bits of gameplay that we need it for."

 

The "John Williams owns his own stuff" comment seems oversimplified or dubious to me.

Also, on the PC version there's a file called "Invisible" in the music directory which sounds pretty darn close to Hedwig's Theme! As I recall it's not used in the actual game though.

 

 

Luckily they decided to spend that fortune for the last four games and Hannigan's scores.

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But that costs money, which the licensing probably took up. Also probably why they have to just barely tiptoe around the themes in such an incredibly obvious way.

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15 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

Are the Soule scores orchestral or synth?

I can't remember, but it probably didn't help it coming out of a PS2 almost 18 years ago through the speakers of an old panasonic TV.

 

I'd say synth.

 

 

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Nope, they were all orchestral, and wonderful to boot. His Hogwarts theme still makes me warm inside.

 

 

EDIT - They may have been a mix of both, but there's definitely a large amount that was recorded with a real orchestra, like the second video that Holko posted.

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Too bad these HP game scores never had soundtrack releases (although I think some of the later ones were available on iTunes briefly).

 

By all accounts, Hannigan's work on OotP and HBP exceeds the quality of the film scores themselves.

 

We need a label that specialises in licencing games scores, there's so much good music begging to be released.

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The entire HBP game is much more bearable and closer to the spirit of the book than the damn movie it's supposedly based on. From what I remember anyway, I played it years ago and only slogged through the movie once.

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On 22.4.2018 at 9:32 PM, JTWfan77 said:

Too bad these HP game scores never had soundtrack releases (although I think some of the later ones were available on iTunes briefly).

Actually EA once had their very own digital download service (together with their own soundtrack label "E.A.R.S."), and all the HP game soundtracks (up to HBP) were released there (as digital downloads). All of them were heavily edited, of course, especially the Hannigans with all JW quotes gone. Then, for some unknown reasons, they pulled them from all download stores.

 

 

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It got a significant backlash. All you have to do is tap on the screen like crazy, then wait 2 days or pay money to be able to tap some more. In one stage, the character is being strangled, and escaping requires more currency than you are allowed to store up at a time, so you're literally being strangled until you pay.

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Yes, I recently started playing this game to see what it was and cane across the musical similarities @artguy360 mentioned. It's one of the few good things about this game, it's familiar at least and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

 

The game is a complete sham, nothing more than a way to take money from children (or their parents). The 'tap or pay' system is complete bollocks and makes me wonder if J.K. Rowling knows this shit exists.

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4 minutes ago, Arpy said:

makes me wonder if J.K. Rowling knows this shit exists.

 

She assisted and enabled the movies and Cursed Shit, so she clearly doesn't care in how many ways her creation is being ruined as long as she gets the royalties.

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@Holko What!? The movies are brilliant! 

 

I'd be surprised if she knew about this though, but something tells me that it's just another thing that is so far off her radar.

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Even the first two which she directly assisted in writing start the character assassination of Ron from the motivational heart of the group and exposition dumper into a comic relief idiot, instead making Hermione the pitch-perfect goddess who can't do wrong.

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