The many of you who have recently played, and are currently playing, BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 have no doubt noticed the return of an older theme from the original Mass Effect.
Vigil was the menu music in the first game, it also briefly makes an appearance in ME2 when you meet either Kaiden or Ashley on Horizon. In ME3 however it turns up in numerous of emotional moments, usually involving party members from the previous games.
Kirk Hamilton over at Kotaku posits that someone at BioWare very smartly realised bringing back this theme would bring back players memories of first entering the world of Mass Effect back in 2007. Afterall as the menu music for the first game, this piece of music arguably set the tone for not just the first game but the series as a whole.
It’s certainly used to great effect throughout ME3, but Kirk came across an almost sinister use of the melody in a prominent location. After almost every mission in the third game, Shepard is placed back in the Normandy’s War Room, giving you the opportunity to check on those all important war assets. While there there is constant noise, chatter from crew members and a constant drone from the surrounding machinery. Among those drones, the melody from Vigil can be heard. Clearly not content with plucking at those heart strings during important story moments, BioWare has set out to subliminally remind players of times past. It’s a startling discovery and certainly shows just how much thought went into Mass Effect 3‘s emotional impact.
Head over to Kotaku to read a more detailed analysis of Vigil and hear the War Room’s secret for yourself.