Obitus is a disorienting game. Its Tolkein-y fantasy setting of Middlemere has a certain stateliness that’s both enhanced and muddled by its labyrinthine stages. The game would play far better with a map or a compass, but there’s mystery in drudging too deep into the woods. The opening title scene of Obitus finds that exciting spot, where the discomfort of getting lost in the unknown is still electrifying.
The opening credits to the game appear against an endless forest tunnel, and the music, composed by co-creator Giulio Zicchi, complements that entrancing image with the dank foreboding of a new adventure. Several other renditions of this theme exist for other platforms including the Amiga and the Super Nintendo, but the electric piano and flute-like instrumentation in the DOS version work best. You could imagine this scoring confusion as much as triumph. It resembles something from the soundtrack of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth – probably not a coincidence given their shared maziness and inviting-but-scary fantasy worlds.
To boot, it has one very hummable melody. The main hook was stuck in my head for weeks before this post. Maybe it’s odd for a title theme that shoulders a game’s thematic contrast to be super catchy, but that’s far from the most perplexing thing about Obitus.