Help, I can't stop listening to audio loops from the Thief games on repeat

The ambience of Looking Glass Studios' Thief games was without compare. Eric Brosius and everyone else who contributed to their soundscapes knocked it out of the park. The echoing tunnels, the religious chants, the distant buzz of industry, the whine of electric coils, the inexplicable all-permeating hum in the darkness, and that one banging DJ Shadow-esque tune that blares when you enter the Downwind Guild. It's all perfect.

And now I've discovered it's all on YouTube, and has been looped. Some of the videos are shorter, like one that takes the cutscene music from the intro to the Assassins level of Thief: The Dark Project, which Garrett normally narrates over, and loops it before that part so we can hear it separate from the voiceover. That only goes for two-and-a-half minutes. If you prefer the ambience of Thief 2, here's two of its atmospheric audio files, s01mel1.wav and s01mel2.wav, looped for an hour.

YouTubers have gone further than that, of course. Which is why I've spent a significant chunk of today listening to a somber 10-hour loop of the Horn of Quintus from Down in the Bonehoard.

If you're not familiar with the 10-hour trend, back in 2011 when YouTube first expanded its video-duration limit the internet briefly went wild for a 10-hour loop of Nyan Cat. Now you can listen to hours and hours of anything, including the tinny Portal radio version of Still Alive, and the Tristram theme from Diablo.

Because I'm easily distracted and have tinnitus, I often play instrumental music while I work. Today, my copy of Mogwai's score for Les Revenants has gone unheard. Instead, I've been listening to an hour-long loop of loloop2.wav, which I believe is the noise of those Tesla-coil electrical generator things in the haunted mines under Cragscleft Prison, and a 10-hour loop of the ambient sounds and muttering guard from Thief 2's Running Interference mission. 

I'm a little concerned about the potential long-term side effects of this. What if I start reciting cynical monologues to myself or crouch-walking everywhere I go?

If you'd like to know something more practical about Thief's audio, YouTube can help there as well. The Python Blue channel has been excavating some of its sources, finding the origin of various noises sampled in Thief: The Dark Project among the presets of the Korg M1 synthesizer's Virtual Studio Technology software, as well as the Earshot SFX sound effect library and other sources, including Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki's Stabat Mater, which provided some of the choral chanting, and a haunting track from 2001: A Space Odyssey called Lux Aeterna. Which, naturally enough, you can find an hour-long loop of on YouTube. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.