The Abbey Soundtrack, Emilio de Paz, 2008
A murder in a Medieval monastery? A wise monk, accompanied by a young, inexperienced companion, investigating the crime? It’s hard not to assume that The Abbey’s plot was more than a bit influenced by Name of the Rose. Then again, it’s an intriguing, still original enough set up for an adventure game. The Abbey wasn’t as well received as Name of the Rose though, with reviewers handing out mostly middling scores.
Where The Abbey differed most clearly from its obvious inspiration was in its surprisingly sumptuous soundtrack. James Horner had scored Name of the Rose with a low-key, largely synthetic soundtrack that divided film music fans. The The Abbey soundtrack takes an almost diametrically opposed approach. The score utilises a full live orchestra, organ and two choirs (male and boys) to create the sort of gloriously melodic bombast one would expect from a historic movie epic, rather than from a relatively obscure adventure game. The surprise is even greater when one considers that composer Emilio de Paz wrote this outstanding score while also working on The Abbey as project leader and lead designer.