Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Is Music To Cower To

Image: Rockstar Games / Kotaku
Morning MusicMorning MusicSet your dial to Morning Music to enjoy friendly chat and great game music with other early risers. Coffee optional!

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s new, daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today we’re checking out the spooky soundtrack to Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, one of the best video game expansions ever released.

Best? Yeah, I really mean that. If you locked me in a room and told me to list the top 10 expansions I’ve ever played, Undead Nightmare (longplay / VGMdb) would be at the top without a second’s hesitation. It took the already-incredible Red Dead Redemption and used that world as the setting for one of my favorite zombie games ever made. (I really like Undead Nightmare, if you can’t tell.) And like the original Red Dead Redemption, Undead Nightmare has a fantastic soundtrack.

As with Red Dead Redemption proper (longplay / VGMdb), Undead Nightmare’s music was composed by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson. The music of the original game was intended to imitate classic western movie soundtracks. Undead Nightmare’s soundtrack takes some of those same sounds and instruments and blends them with spooky echoes and creepy howls, whistles, and pianos. The end result is something that feels like a perfect fit for an old west afflicted with zombies.

Have a listen!

Rockstar Games / Batistuta.rwm (YouTube)

Every few years I go back and play through Undead Nightmare and it still holds up. I plan on playing it this year too. It’s a perfect Halloween game, and the music is a big reason the atmosphere works. I genuinely find the world of Undead Nightmare to be unsettling and creepy. Zombies lurking around the entire map, huge open areas where you can easily get chased, and small towns under attack from the never-ending hordes of undead. It’s enough to make anyone a bit scared! And then a song like this comes on and you straight up feel the urge to turn the lights on or take a break:

Rockstar Games / Batistuta.rwm (YouTube)

LIke RDR’s soundtrack, Undead Nightmare’s also featured some songs performed by bands and musicians other than composers Elm and Jackson. These are mostly used in specific sections of the game to help add to the experience of a certain mission or narrative moment. My favorite of these is “Bad Voodoo” by Kreeps (Bandcamp), a song which I listen to regularly to this day.

Rockstar Games / Batistuta.rwm (YouTube)

With Halloween season starting soon (or if you’re me, it started like two weeks ago) Undead Nightmare is a perfect game to revisit. If you’re too yellow-bellied for that, at least throw the soundtrack on in the background while you carve pumpkins and eat candy.

That’s it for today’s Morning Music! As you can tell by now, I’m a big fan of spooky Halloween things. So expect a few more creepy and odd soundtracks to pop up in the coming weekends. Anyway, chat about this soundtrack or anything else in the comments below. Or suggest some music you want to be covered in future Morning Music posts!

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.



I listen to this soundtrack every October. It’s a perfect combination of horror and western I didn’t know I wanted. This DLC might seriously be one of the best ever made in terms of what it adds to the game and just how much it changes the feel and flow.