EVE Online's Latest Front Is A Battle Of The Bands

EVE Online
EVE Online
Graphic: CCP Games

EVE has been torn apart by war between the game’s largest factions for close to nine months. The war is raging on every imaginable front: massive fleets wreaking untold destruction, economic powers exerting their influence over the game’s markets, players vying for karma on the EVE subreddit. Recently, two maestros on opposing sides have begun trying to win the title of EVE’s supreme bard, remixing popular music tracks with EVE lyrics and producing videos cut from screenshots, video capture and in-game cinematics to urge their side to victory.

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Known as ErodiceSGHQ and Looktoyourleft_1 on Reddit, these players have been releasing track after track shining a light on their respective faction’s victories and the failures of the opposition. It all started with a little ditty called “We Didn’t Crash the Server” posted by Looktoyourleft a little over two months ago. The song is a parody of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, and covers the events of one of EVE’s largest battles ever. The song is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the fight from the Imperium perspective, full of in-jokes, personal references, and jabs at the opposing force, the PAPI coalition.

From there, Looktoyourleft when on a bit of a spree, releasing a new video every week or so, completely uncontested in the realm of EVE-related bardic pursuits. His videos range the musical gamut from the screaming metal of Parkway Drive’s “Wishing Wells” to pop sensations like Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Not all of his videos focus on Imperium propaganda; one video, released alongside the announcement of the 2021 EVE Vegas fan celebration, was just an ode to the game in general, hyping up the first massive EVE IRL gathering since the covid pandemic forced everyone to cancel everything they had planned for 2020.

Looktoyourleft told Kotaku that the response from the EVE community has been “positive overall.” Some people have told Looktoyourleft that “I could be making EVE classics and I’m wasting my time with goon propaganda, but as an overall I think everyone can appreciate good propaganda.”

It takes about two weeks for Looktoyourleft to produce a video, or a bit quicker, he says, if he starts with a good hook in mind. He credits his vocally talented friends with a lot of his success, being able to source talented vocalists to match the tone of the video he’s trying to produce. For several weeks, it appeared that he would be the only player in this current round of EVE musical supremacy—until a challenger suddenly appeared on the battlefield.

ErodiceSGHQ’s first release came on the scene a little over a week ago, serving as the PAPI response to Looktoyourleft’s propaganda. “When it’s Gone - The Beacon Provides” is a cover of the song “When I’m Gone,” made famous by the Pitch Perfect movie. This parody tells the tale of PAPI killing wayward Imperium vessels inadvertently jumping into very hostile territory and being destroyed in short order.

Erodice told Kotaku that he was inspired to make videos by other EVE songs, but said that “recently [Looktoyourleft] has been putting out some really great ones, so I figured why let them have all the fun!” According to him, he has yet to speak with Looktoyourleft, so no collaborations have been planned, but both artists spoke highly of each other, so I expect it’s not off the table.

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Erodice’s second entry into the field, and the latest video by either artist, is “Goons, Goons, Goons,” a play on Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Erodice said he didn’t do the vocals himself—“I have the vocal talent of a dying goat.” Instead, he outsources the singing on his videos to freelance artists on Fiverr.com, providing them with the lyrics and doing the video editing himself.

“The response has been great: everyone has been very encouraging from the alliance and from Reddit as well,” Erodice told Kotaku, echoing Looktoyourleft’s sentiments on the EVE community’s support for his work. Regardless of whose side you’re on the in the current conflict, it seems that EVE players can just sit back and enjoy when people go above and beyond the call of duty.

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As for what the future holds for these two artists, only time will tell. While talking with each of them, I did mention the idea of deciding the fate of the war in some sort of epic rap battle, and neither of them seemed opposed to the idea. Fingers crossed.

DISCUSSION

thisoneoptimistic
thisoneoptimistic

One of the coolest moments I’ve experienced in my social gaming life, was sitting in the cold darkness of space with 1000 other fleet members, while our fleet commander played acoustic guitar and quietly sang over mic.