Music of the Wednesday – The Pantheon (Ain’t Gonna Catch You)

So, I’ve been on a bit of a Bastion kick lately. The setting, the story, the aesthetics… I just can’t get enough of it, despite having beaten it months ago. So I figured, hey, why not? Today’s track is the absolutely awe-inspiring bonus track from the Bastion OST. As always, hit the jump for analysis and a special bit of speculation about the in-universe connotations of this song. Enjoy.

Let me start off by saying that this song is everything I love about Bastion. The vaguely-Western ‘twang,’ the well-written lyrics, and – of course – Logan Cunningham playing the role of Rucks.

The music works so well with the setting. Again, it’s that good vaguely-Western sound that just ‘fits’ the world of Bastion. It may not fit the Bastion itself, but think back to places like the crumbling Wharf District. In a better time, before the Calamity, this song sounds well enough like something you might hear from one of the bars or a peddler on the streets. Or perhaps it’s a type of music born after the Calamity, with its dry and somewhat mournful sound mirroring the shattered world. Now it’s time for the part I’ve really been waiting for, because it means I get to speculate. Let’s move onto the lyrics.

Considering I’ll be talking about Rucks and Zulf a good bit throughout, please assume that the rest of the post will contain end-game spoilers for Bastion. If you haven’t played it, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s that good, folks. Anyhoo, moving on!

“Gods ain’t gonna help you, son.” Well that’s certainly some way of starting a song. If you’ve played through Bastion, you know that Rucks has a huge grudge against the gods and maybe it’s not too uncommon an attitude in Caelondia. I mean, Rucks does say that the Caelondians essentially made the gods into more of a joke then something to be feared or worshiped. Remember the plush (or was it balloon?) Pyth? Yeah. While he’s singing, he even sounds… not so much annoyed, but more-so ‘arrogant,’ but to a lesser extent. He’s giving you the facts: The gods don’t give a damn about you and, quite frankly, are pissed.

… But who is he singing about? Whose heart was ripped out by Micia, the Lorn Mother? Well, that’s the fun part of all this. I’ve got a few people in mind. Rucks is either singing about the Mancers (and, by extension, himself) or Zulf. Let’s take a look at why both of these make some pretty valid sense.

The Mancers were the leaders of Caelondia. The scientists who, in an effort to “never have to go to war again,” created the device that brought about the Calamity. Some people may think that the Mancers were doing what they thought were right. I mean, they were trying to make the old world better with the construction of the Grand Rail at Point Lemaign. The Ura were the ones who started the war anyway. Right? But, let’s face it, the Mancers were probably just looking for a way to wipe out or subjugate the Ura so they could deal with the old world how they so pleased. I could see why Rucks would be singing about the gods being pissed off that the only people who still truly revered them had been all but wiped out.

What about Zulf, then? Well, again, let’s assume that the Ura are indeed truly faithful to the gods. Considering that Zulf shattered the Monument in the Bastion and told the Ura about the Bastion, leading to the siege which (if you’re not fast enough) kills the animals you’ve managed to save. All of this happened because of Zulf becoming furious at what the hidebound journal told. Rucks could be singing this song after the Kid leaves to pursue the Ura forces, basically saying “Hey, Zulf. You screwed up. And not even the gods can help you.”

Anyhoo, I hope that makes some vague semblance of sense. If nothing else, it was fun and I do consider the song to be an in-universe piece. Right, then, expect a first impressions post up tomorrow then… who knows what on Friday. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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