Spencer Nilsen – Ecco: The Tides Of Time OST (1994)

This shit haunts the absolute fuck out of me. I could never really get very far in Ecco 2 (The Tides of Time), my little child brain couldn’t work out the abstract puzzles, concepts and messages that were on display. I used to just swim around eating fish and doing jumps out of the water, and that’s about it. I did end up using passwords that I got out of some cheat book to see some of the crazier higher levels however, and what really always stuck with me about the Ecco sequel was the soundtrack, which is equal parts laid back / chill and also moving / anxiety inducing.

Pulling this soundtrack up on YouTube or whatever instantly beams me back to the mid 90s, to the sounds, smells and mystery that was life as a young child. It feels so long ago, yet only yesterday. The people I was always around back then, grandparents etc., are long dead. The console I played this game on is now a forgotten, dusty relic, consigned to the attic of my own parents, who are now the age of the people who watched over me as I sat in my own world, lost to the music and fathomless depths of Ecco’s adventure.

I’ve got my own son now, who’s probably a year or two younger than I was when I played Ecco and fell in love with this music. I’d can’t imagine he’d be much into Ecco, he’d probably give it a cursory glance and wonder wtf is this old dolphin game lol

The cyclical, pulsing nature of Nilsen’s fantastic OST really helps deliver the vibe of the game, where time and life and death are just abstract concepts. I can’t help but apply that to my own life as I sit here, seemingly in the middle of the circle myself, remembering the people who are now gone, and appreciating the generation that are now coming up behind me. Soon enough I’ll have looped around the circle myself, but that’s OK. We’re all on the same track here.

Is it future? Or is it past? Does it even matter?