My new lane is watching people play music on Half-Life: Alyx’s piano

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Can you Handel it?

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The internet is incredible but oftentimes predictable. For instance, as soon as I saw a hotel lobby piano in Half-Life: Alyx, I thought “Oh shit, people are gonna play real music on that.” And they have. But just because it’s predictable doesn’t mean that watching them plunk away at virtual ebonies and ivories is any less fascinating.

Not all Alyx players will find themselves capable of playing the Northern Star’s piano, and it has nothing to do with musical aptitude. It’s really only possible on the Valve Index’s controls because they individual finger tracking. Anyone on Oculus Touch or any of the other VR controllers will only be able to mash their fists against the keys. It doesn’t sound great.

However, those with Index controllers are able to perform a virtual concerto. Let’s take a look at some of the best. First, I would like to start with the maestro who took his time to perfect the beat:

Now, let’s move into nu-metal. If you think rap to Linkin Park is whiplash, you obviously don’t remember Collision Course. (I ordered a frappuccino, where’s my fucking frappuccino?) 

Too simple? Okay, here’s a virtuoso who took Russ up on his joking request to play “Flight of the Bumblebee!” This operatic orchestral piece was written in 1900 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for The Tale of Tsar Saltan. It is, for lack of better descriptors, chaotic and fast as hell. It’s basically a constant run of sixteenth notes up and down the chromatic scale. This is impressive dedication to the in-game gag, even if it takes a six-video split-screen to make it happen.

From one classic masterpiece straight into another. All that glitters is gold: 

Let’s cap it off with the song everyone knew would show up on this list. “Still Alive” once used to describe GLaDOS’ never-dead state, now describes our chances for more Half-Life and Portal. Huge success.

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Brett Makedonski
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby...