Track of the Week: Torvus Bog (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)

Take a trip back to planet Aether with this week’s track.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 01/26/2014 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Whether out of nostalgia or the lack of new Wii U software, I was recently inspired to pick up my copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy again. I played through the first installment of the collection not long after I completed The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and the fun I had revisiting that title (plus a break in my work schedule) led me to start a new file in its sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, this past week.

Just as with the first game, I was drawn into Echoes thanks to its stunning visuals and level design, both of which are just as impressive now as they were in 2004, when the game was first released. But I was surprised by just how…uninviting Echoes feels, particularly compared to its predecessor. From the moment you crash land on Aether, the planet on which the game is set, and begin your mission to locate the Galactic Federation squad stationed there (which takes you through the winding, web-encrusted bowels of a cavernous insect hive), to the first time you set foot in the arid, windswept dunes of the Agon Wastes and see the extent of the planet’s desolation, the entire game exudes a somber, unwelcoming atmosphere that makes it more difficult to get into than the first Metroid Prime.

That is, until you reach Torvus Bog.

Like Agon, Torvus has also been ravaged in the wake of the Phazon meteor that crashed into Aether and set the game’s events into motion. But unlike that region, Torvus was able to retain some semblance of its original ecosystem. Despite the devastation left by the meteor, there’s a lush beauty to Torvus that makes its flooded sanctuaries and plant-choked waters a welcome reprieve from the rest of Aether, and that feeling is only accentuated by the soothing, whistle-driven melody that plays while you’re in the region. Compared to the ambient droning of Agon, Torvus Bog feels like a paradise…

…until a pair of ravenous Grenchlers start bearing down on you, reminding you of the dangers that lie in wait. After all, even the most serene Metroid environments have their share of deadly inhabitants.

What are some of your favorite Metroid tunes? Share them with us in the comments!

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