Fastfall: The Dustforce OST

Fastfall, by Lifeformed, is easily one of my favourite albums. I mean, we’re talking top 10 here – and I like a lot of music. To understand my love for Fastfall, you first need to know about the game for which it was composed: Dustforce.

The premise is simple: the world is dirty, you’re a janitor. Pick up your trusty broom (or push-broom, feather duster, or vacuum), and get to it! It’s a frenetic, high-energy platformer where you need to clean up the world as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can cling to the ceiling, double jump, and fling yourself around in these amazing acrobatic feats; it’s gorgeous to watch and invigorating to play.

It’s also too much for me to handle.

Four arrow keys and three/four buttons (I think I’m forgetting one) and I still can’t really get into a groove. After hours of practice, I could be considered ‘okay’. Not good, but okay. For a game all about time trials and getting it perfect with practice, I find this almost infuriating – I’m not good enough for the leaderboards, and I likely never will be. Ordinarily, this would be enough for me to put down the game. I’m super competitive, and my practice hasn’t brought me up to reasonable enough levels – so why keep playing?

It’s the soundtrack.

Dustforce  is about going quickly and being the fastest out there – it’s competitive and tense. This is not reflected at all in the music. You can feel the energetic beat pushing you forward, but it is somehow relaxing and lovely; it’s inspiring rather than stressful. I should be freaking out about that one jump I can’t quite master or that one pit that keeps getting me, but the music calms me down. It tells me to chill, and I do. What’s the rush? You’ll get it next time. And so I keep trying.

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be my style of game; Dustforce could easily be stressful to the point of not fun. However, “Fastfall” makes it a great experience to which I keep going back – even if I know I won’t beat everyone else.

If you want to get your hands on it, Dustforce is one of the games available in the current Humble Indie Bundle, and “Fastfall”, the Dustforce OST, is included.

  • // Zoë Quinn

    god this album is gorgeous. it makes me almost not mind how awful jumping feels to me in the game :<

  • patrickwlindsey

    I totally know what you mean about not being able to get into a groove. This is one of those games that feels really really good when it works, but it often feels like it’s just not quite working. Very aggravating. Weirdly, I bought the soundtrack a while ago on someone’s suggestion (it’s great writing music) and it made me want to play the game.