There are many ways to be good at popular medieval combat game Mordhau. You can sling cold steel with the best of them. You can fire arrows from afar. You can build fortifications that help your mates. But the only way to truly win, if you ask me, is to become the greatest lute player in all the land.
That seems to be the conclusion many players have come to as well. One of the most popular mods for the game is a bot that lets people play full, elaborate songs on their in-game instruments. It’s called Lute Bot, and it’s been beloved in Mordhau’s community since before the game catapulted its way to the top of the Steam charts late last month. Using a relatively simple interface, Lute Bot allows you to “play virtually any midi (.mid) file you may find on the Internet” on your plucky little string instrument that’s not a guitar but that’s doing its best.
In many online multiplayer games, bots are considered cheating no matter what they do. In Mordhau, instructions on how to install and use Lute Bot are the top pinned thread on the game’s forums, and multiple developers have chimed in with supportive words. The game’s community manager, Jax, even shared a video of a self-proclaimed 'Lute God' in which one player named Clock Tower, who’s playing lute the normal way, encounters a dude who nonchalantly busts out complex tunes from games like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This, of course, blows Clock Tower’s mind:
Recently, others have attempted to lay claim to the Lute God mantle, including BasildoomHD, who posted a video of himself storming the battlefield and jamming out to songs from (deep breath) Doom, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Power Rangers, James Bond, Super Mario Bros., Battlefield 1942, Tetris, Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, Popeye, The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon Fire Red, Metal Gear Solid, and Beverly Hills Cop, as well as classic rock bands ACDC and Deep Purple:
And of course, it wouldn’t be an in-game music feature without somebody playing 'Megalovania' from Undertale on it:
Seeing lute players on the battlefield alongside heavily armoured knights makes all this war stuff feel pretty silly, eh? Maybe all this bloodshed is unnecessary. Why swing swords and clamber around in awkward metal shells when people can just annoy each other to death with bad covers of popular music? Isn’t that what life is really about?