Ask most players what the most memorable song from the Destiny soundtrack is, and they’ll probably answer with “Hope for the Future,” Paul McCartney’s power ballad that plays over the game’s end credits. When the “Hope for the Future” music video premiered last December, it took the Internet by storm, and for good reason: the image of the former Beatle crooning earnestly over images from Destiny – as a hologram, no less – is really, really funny. Laughter probably isn’t the reaction that Bungie was hoping for when it made the video, but alas, the damage has already been done.
Ultimately, however, “Hope for the Future’s” dominance over Destiny’s musical legacy is unfortunate, because for all its faults, Destiny has a fantastic score. The soundtrack, written in part by legendary Halo composer Marty O’Donnell, is sweeping and exciting, giving the game a sense of gravitas that its middling story can’t muster. Don’t just take our word for it: Destiny won Best Soundtrack at The Game Awards last December, beating heavy hitters like Sunset Overdrive and Alien: Isolation.
That being said, there’s always room for improvement, and YouTube musician TcPron thinks he’s found the answer: more drums. In a video, TcPron adds a rock and roll drum track over the O’Donnell’s symphonic “The Union,” which originally premiered at a Video Games Live concert in 2013. While the drums certainly make the track sound different, the spirit of the original remains intact, heightening the drama of the game’s epic sci-fi action. Bungie agrees: they featured the video in this week’s Destiny update. In addition to “The Union,” TcPron has also covered Destiny tracks “The Warmind” and “The Last Array.”
TcPron is a pretty good drummer, and the videos serve as an excellent tribute to Marty O’Donnell’s work. O’Donnell could probably use the encouragement, too: he was fired from Bungie just under a year ago, after over a decade at the studio. Shortly after being dismissed “without cause” (O’Donnell’s words), the composer filed a lawsuit against Bungie president Harold Ryan, claiming that he hadn’t been paid for “unused vacation, paid time off, sabbatical time, and other benefits,” as per his contract.
While the lawsuit was ultimately resolved, causing Bungie to fork over $100,000 as part of the settlement, the whole endeavor remains a black mark on what should be a triumphant artistic achievement. With his work on Myth, Halo, and now Destiny, O’Donnell provided the soundtrack to many of gaming’s most unforgettable moments. Tributes like tributes like TcPron’s prove that while O’Donnell might be gone, his work lives on forever in the hearts and minds of players everywhere.