Jade Empire has often been praised for its wonderful music. Featuring a unique blend of strings, woodwinds, deep percussion, and traditional Chinese instruments, the soundtrack reverberates with over an hour of lilting, rousing, and highly dramatic music.

Unfortunately, locating the music for a specific area in the game folders is not as easy as it seems. This page will help you in finding a desired track, and - if you so desire - extract it or replace it with your own.

Tools NeededEdit

1. K-GFF (see Tools page for details)

The MusicbankEdit

The Jade Empire soundtrack (organized in standard .ogg sound files, and also known as ambient music files) can be found in the "musicbank" directory, which itself is under the "sound" folder in your Jade Empire main directory (\...\Jade Empire\sound\musicbank). However, when you access it, you will see that the ambient music files are not given user-friendly names. The .ogg files start with "Musicbank", followed by an increasing row of five digits. (e.g "Musicbank00019.ogg"). This makes it rather difficult to determine which file belongs to which area music, especially if you are looking for a particular piece to listen to or replace.

One of the methods is to search into certain game data files to get some elements that will help you locate the desired track - this is what we are going to explain, using the Forest Shadow's Heaven as a music area example. The other method is to go by trial & error, and, for obvious reasons, will not be detailed here.


To begin, you will need to find the desired area's .ARE file. The ARE files are located in your Override directory (\...\Jade Empire\Override) and contain key information about each level that you visit in the game. Those who are already familiar with tools like the ERF RIM Editor should recognize the way the ARE files are named. At any rate, the area music that we are looking for is the Forest Shadow's Heaven, so the file we are looking for is "j03_heaven.are" (\...\Jade Empire\Override\j03_heaven.are).

Fire up K-GFF and open j03_heaven.are with it. You will be presented with a window similar to what is shown below.


Using K-GFF with Jade Empire

Scroll down to the very bottom, and search the "Soundenvironment" tree for "MusicState". That is the line containing the number we need.

Note: You will sometimes have to click the "+" button under some values to toggle their proper trees.

The MusicState of "j03_heaven.are" has a value of "1300". Remember this.

Finding the trackEdit

You have the number, now you will have to find the designer's name of the Heaven track. Find and open "musicbank_xsb.txt" under the sound folder (\...\Jade Empire\sound\musicbank_xsb.txt). Any text editor should do the trick. You will be presented with a large list of data for each and every music track in Jade Empire.

Knowing that the Heaven value is "1300", look up that number in the musicbank_xsb list. The easiest way to do this in Notepad is to use the search function (CTRL + F) and type "1300". You should be brought to the (only) result:

"mus_amb_heaven1" 6 1400 1300

The text under the quotation marks is desginer's name for the Heaven track.The third number is the value you used as reference. The first number is called the "index", and is the one you will need to finally track down the soundtrack piece you want. The number in this case is "6", so the ambient music for the Forest Shadow's Heaven area is contained within the "Musicbank00006.ogg" file in the MusicBank directory. (\...\Jade Empire\sound\Musicbank).

The music files are stored in .ogg format, so to listen to them you will either have to use a compatible media player, such as VLC or to make copies of them and convert them to a more friendly format.

Note: Naturally, the process is the same for every other areas and their respective music files. Find the index using K-GFF and notepad, then go to the indicated file in the Musicbank folder. For another example, the index number of the Teahouse track is "67", thus the the sound file will be "musicbank00067.ogg." (\...\Jade Empire\sound\musicbank\ musicbank00067.ogg.).

Replacing the trackEdit

If you wish to overwrite the game's music with your own tracks, simply overwrite them by renaming your track with the desired label and moving it to the Musicbank directory, then answer "Yes" when asked if you wish to confirm the override.

When you run Jade Empire, visiting the modified area should play your own track instead of the standard one. If you ever wish to revert to the old ones, be sure to make a backup copy of the default track, and then simply overwrite your track with the old one instead.

Adding new tracksEdit

[more to come]

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