There were few things in City of Heroes that set the mood more than the short pieces of music that played as you moved about the city. Nearly every neighborhood in every zone had unique music that clearly identified where you were, even without seeing what was on the screen.
The styles of music used varied widely, and ranged from soft pop and techno to hard rock and full orchestra. The music used for the original release of the game through Issue 5 consisted of fairly generic synthesized instruments and percussion, which made it more difficult to maintain uniqueness without sounding amateurish.
With the release of City of Villains and Issue 6, the palette of instruments and percussion was completely overhauled which allowed for more realistic and lush arrangements. All zones added or revamped since then (such as Faultline and Rikti War Zone) made use of those updated sounds.
The new music for the Praetorian zones in Going Rogue, and that which was added after Issue 18, was written by award-winning composer Jason Graves. It had a high level of thematic unity, with both melodic and rhythmic motives providing a more coherent immersion while playing through that content. One potential drawback to this composition method, however, was that it could be difficult to discern differences between pieces because they did all sound very similar.
After the shutdown of City of Heroes, a member of the Titan Forums converted the .ogg music files into MP3 format and made an archive available for download.
This is a consolidated listing of each zone's neighborhoods and the music associated with them. Neighborhoods marked with an asterisk (*) were duplicated or modified from music elsewhere in the game. See the following section for details.
Although there was a large amount of unique music found throughout the game, there were several neighborhoods that used musical cues which had slight differences from, or were exact duplicates of, those used elsewhere. Listed below are examples of the neighborhoods that used identical or similar music. They are sorted by the earliest zone/neighborhood in which the music was used, or by the first zone that used the most complete version. If there are no notes after a secondary listing then it used the identical version as the primary one.
- Echo: Galaxy City / Freedom Court -- longer version
- Skyway City / LaGrange Medical Center -- longer version
- Firebase Zulu / Point X-Ray -- longer version
- Kings Row / Crowne Memorial
- Steel Canyon / Steel Canyon Medical Center
- Faultline / Overbrook Medical Center
- Independence Port / Bell Medical Center -- shorter, similar version
- Talos Island / Phoenix Medical Center
- Founders' Falls / Harvey Medical Center -- similar version
- Peregrine Island / Aquarius Medical Center
- Eden / The Utopia Complex
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Atlas Park Sector
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Kings Row Sector
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Skyway City Sector
- Perez Park / Hell's Highway
- Crey's Folly / The Blight
- Rikti War Zone / Bloody Lane
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Underworld
- The Chantry / Bastion of Pain
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Steel Canyon Sector
- The Hollows / Grendel's Gulch
- Rikti War Zone / Sunken Road
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Boomtown Sector
- St. Martial / The Flush -- unused longer version
- Atlas Park / Downside -- shorter version
- Rikti War Zone / The Bulge
- Firebase Zulu / Point Victor -- similar version 1, added intro
- St. Martial / Turtle Spit -- unused similar version 2, added intro
- The Hollows / Eastgate Park
- Talos Island / The Serpent's Teeth -- similar, shorter version
- Striga Isle / The Bog -- same as Talos Island version
- Croatoa / The Misty Wood -- extended version
- Eden / Adeva Towers
- Peregrine Island / Curry Cove
- Firebase Zulu / Point Sierra
- Port Oakes / Villa Montrose -- extended version
- Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22) / Romero Heights -- similar, shorter version
- Founders' Falls / Louis Forest -- omit rhythm, added animal sounds
- Striga Isle / The Maw
- Striga Isle / The Wolf's Throat
- Terra Volta / Raysun Petroleum
- Sharkhead Isle / The Crush -- similar, longer version
- Perez Park / Gaiman Woods -- added animal sounds
- Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22) / Barca Plaza -- longer, added background effects
- Brickstown / Dark Waters
- Founders' Falls / Hutchinson Park -- longer, added bird sounds
- The Chantry / Bastion of Shame -- same as Dark Astoria version
- Striga Isle / Council Base -- extended version
- Firebase Zulu / Firebase November
- Nerva Archipelago / Agincourt -- longer version
- Nerva Archipelago / Primeva -- longer version
- Nerva Archipelago / Thorn Isle -- longer version
- Croatoa / Salamanca -- extended version
- Croatoa / Sunset Ridge -- extended version with intro
- Cap au Diable / Mount Diable -- similar, longer version
- Sharkhead Isle / The Pit -- unused longer version
- The Hollows / Cherry Hills
- Independence Port / Power Island -- slower, shorter version
- Peregrine Island / Nelson Borough
- Striga Isle / Port Noble
- Peregrine Island / Bayside Docks
- Port Oakes / Arena District -- longer version
- Striga Isle / Bonny Morass -- longer, added animal sounds
- Peregrine Island / Mera Heights
- The Storm Palace / Path of Madness -- longer version
- Rikti War Zone / Pavia -- added intro effect
- Cascade Archipelago / Tyrant's Rock -- slightly longer version
- The Storm Palace / Lock of Destruction -- extended version
- Breakout / The Yard -- longer version
- Pocket D / Hero Lobby 1 -- longer version
- Pocket D / Hero Lobby 2 -- muffled version of Hero Lobby 1
- The Hollows / The Red River
- Sharkhead Isle / Hell Forge -- unused longer version
- Peregrine Island / Cutlass Isles
- Monster Island / Cutlass Isles
- The Storm Palace / Lock of Anger -- longer version
- The Chantry / Bastion of Denial
- Monster Island / Tempest Quay
- Faultline / Overflow
- Recluse's Victory / Sector 2
- Pocket D / Villain Lobby 1 -- similar version
- Pocket D / Villain Lobby 2 -- muffled version of Villain Lobby 1
- Warburg / Warburg
Port Oakes / Oil Spill -- unused version
- Bloody Bay / Water Street
- Faultline / Overbrook Dam
- Grandville / The Fab
- Warburg / Hero Base
- Faultline - Aftershock
- Faultline - Arachnos Dig Site
- Grandville / Spider City
- Recluse's Victory / Sector 4
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Barca Plaza
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Dido's View
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Raimi Arcade
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Romero Heights
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Toffet Terrace
Unused and Alternate Music
Some neighborhood music cues had alternate unused versions or were omitted completely from the game. The list below highlights some of these.
- Downside -- unused
- Fool's Gold District -- unused
Faultline (Pre-Issue 8)
- Aftershock -- removed in Issue 8
- Dark Canyons -- removed in Issue 8
- Downfall -- removed in Issue 8
- Precipice -- removed in Issue 8
- Reservoir -- removed in Issue 8
- Subduction -- removed in Issue 8
Faultline (Issue 8)
- New Overbrook -- extended version
- New Overbrook -- unused alternate version
- New Overbrook -- unused New Age version
- New Overbrook -- longer Oriental version looped in Mr. Yin's store
Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22)
- Dockside -- unused alternate version
- Fort Blood -- unused
- Oil Spill -- unused alternate version
- Marconeville -- unused alternate version
- Villa Montrose -- unused alternate version
Cap au Diable
- Devil's Coat Tails -- unused alternate version
- Haven -- unused alternate version
- New Haven -- unused alternate version
Miscellaneous Unused Music
- BoomBox Propaganda
This list includes the different tracks that could be selected when using the BoomBox emote. Lo-Fi versions of the tracks were implemented in Issue 17 to more accuractely simulate the sound quality from a real boombox.
|Wind It Up||Hi-Fi||Lo-Fi|
These tracks were used in the various cutscenes which played in missions and task forces later in the game. They were generally first started to be used in Issue 18, and continued up to the last Issue 24 beta.
- Anti-Matter Rift Enclosure
- Atlas Park
- Calvin Scott
- Calvin Scott Death
- Clone Death
- Clone Lab Escape
- Dark Watcher
- Death Incarnate
- Dr. Vahzilok Speech
- Emperor Cole
- Fixodine Stash
- Hero Walk
- Imperial Crusader
- Imperial Power
- Imperial Responsibility
- Imperial Warden
- Keyes Island
- Minds of Mayhem
- Mortimer Kal 01
- Mortimer Kal 02
- No Man's Lady
- Rage Quit
- Sig Story Arc 01
- Sig Story Arc 03
- Sig Story Arc 04
- Sig Story Arc 05
- Sig Story Arc 06
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Clamor Reveal
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Pandora Warning - Hero
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Pandora Warning - Villain
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Phalanx Meeting
- The Strong Survive
- Summer Event - Casino A
- Summer Event - Casino B
- Summer Event - Gladiator
- Sutter 01
- Sutter 02
- Underground Avatar Intro
- Underground Final
- Villain Walk
Easter Eggs and Obscure Music
This final list includes music cues which a player would typically have to go to a specific spot to be able to hear.
- Bianco's Italian Cuisine -- Stand outside the restaurant door at (881, 31, -1830) in New Overbrook to hear this music.
- Cryptic Lounge -- Stand near the jukebox in the Cryptic Lounge to hear this music.
- El Super Mexicano -- Stand outside the restaurant door at (1088, 31, -1537) in New Overbrook to hear this music.
- Lord Recluse Voice-over -- This was the speech that looped in the main entrance to Grandville.
- Dev Prison -- This music could be heard coming from the restrooms in the Dev Prison room hidden in the tunnels of Grandville. It is an altered version of the old standard Moon River, with some PG-rated sound effects added.
- Purgatory -- This music could also be heard in the Dev Prison.
- C.D.E.C. Lobby -- This music could be heard while inside the C.D.E.C. building.
- TPN Newscaster -- This "spoken" loop could sometimes be heard outside the TPN building.
- Studio 55 -- This music could be heard while inside Studio 55.
- Seed of Hamidon -- This was the "breathing" noise made by The Seed of Hamidon as it flew around First Ward.
- City of Heroes Freedom Title Screen -- This music became the standard login screen music upon the release of City of Heroes Freedom.
- Hero Title Screen -- This is the post-Issue 17 version of the music that looped on the City of Heroes login screen. (inactive)
- Hero Title Screen -- This is the pre-Issue 17 version of the music that looped on the City of Heroes login screen.
- Hero Mission Complete -- This is the music that played when a Hero completeed a mission.
- Villain Title Screen -- This is the music that looped on the City of Villains login screen. (inactive)
- Villain Mission Complete -- This is the music that played when a Villain completed a mission.
- Praetorian Title Screen -- This is the music that looped on the Praetorian login screen. (inactive)
- Praetorian Mission Complete -- This is the music that played when a Praetorian completeed a mission.
- Holiday Rocket Pack -- This music looped while you used the "Jingle Jet" temp power during a Winter Event.
- Carnival of Shadows -- This music looped in the area of the Carnival of Shadows tent setup on mission and zone maps.
- Zombie Stinger -- This music was heard when a Zombie invasion began in a zone.
- Deadly Apocalypse -- This music was heard when a Deadly Apocalypse began in a zone.
- Deadly Apocalypse Cleanup -- This was heard when a Deadly Apocalypse ended.
- Sonic Barrier -- This was heard when approaching the sonic barrier surrounding the Praetorian zones.