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Dwarf Fortress has a new soundtrack, including Dwarfish lyrics for the first time

Dabu and Simon Swerwer collaborated on the 15-song soundtrack

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II, more commonly known as Dwarf Fortress, has been ugly for its entire life. Some find the ASCII art charming, but for my money the game’s best feature is its soundtrack — a pair of Flamenco-inspired guitar riffs performed by co-creator Tarn Adams. But that music won’t be included in the new version, being produced in partnership with Kitfox. In its place will be a fully-produced, 15-song soundtrack. Most importantly, the music will include the sound of dwarves singing in their native tongue for the very first time.

The announcement came Wednesday on YouTube, with Tarn Adams and Zach Adams leaning blissfully into the camera together. The effort was led by Omar “Dabu” Dabbous, a musician, sound designer, and audio director at Ko_Op Mode. He’s joined by South African musician Simon Swerwer, whose first Dwarf Fortress-inspired album came out in 2012.

Fans have put other music into Dwarf Fortress in the past, including Swerwer’s work, which is part of the popular Soundsense mod. But the quality of these recordings is exponentially richer and more fully-formed. Expect the soundtrack to be available as an album some time soon.

Of course, if you’ve got a hankering for that old-school vibe, know that the original songs will continue to be available in the ASCII version of the game at the Bay 12 Games website. You can also download them on Polygon.

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