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Retro! Computer game music


DTMark
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One for those who remember..

Back in the day, there was always the same "debate" as to which was the better machine. The Commodore 64 or the Spectrum.

Not sure why. The Spectrum was crap and outclassed by the C64 in every respect. And not least the decent 4-channel synth chip. Which with a bit of manipulation and clever effects could sound like more than four channels. It was rather capable for its time. It didn't just make beeping noises.

And it led to some real computer game music masterpieces. Like Rob Hubbard's wonderful theme for Monty on the Run.

.. subsequently re-recorded by a stack of people. Here's a guitar based version.

I love the way that this does not deviate one bit from the original. It's just played on guitars. And it's wonderful.

 

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unregistered_guest

Yes - Rob Hubbard changed the face of chip music on 8-bit systems back in the day.

For those of you who want to recreate the experience of working within the limitations of the day; it is possible to emulate this using an arduino. But like my first forays into working with a MIDI sequencer back in the late '80s and more recently with Sonic Pi; the one thing I've learned is that I'm rubbish at composition.

So, here's a contribution to the thread - moving into the heady days of 16 bit computers with a couple of attempts to bring something seen as essentially nerdy into the mainstream by tying in popular musicians of the day

Bomb the Bass and the music for Xenon 2 - Megablast; & Jean Michel Jarre with the music for Captain Blood (I was pretty rubbish at both these games too - but the fractal landscapes in Captain Blood intrigued me).

 

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I used to have a game called 'LED Storm' for the ZX Spectrum. It was a monochrome top down car racing game that was pretty addictive back in the day - 1988ish. The theme tune for it was pretty epic. I think it only worked on the more powerful 128k versions.

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I was lucky enough to have an Atari st back in the day.  I was only into the games at the time but think it was regarded as extremely proficient at musical stay composition/ sequencing.

Anyway I fondly remember bomb the bass featuring on xenon.  A lot of other titles had good sounds albeit not necessarily soundtrack level.  There are whole genres now reimagining those Amiga/ outrun/ late 80s neon tinged days.  Will try to find some examples at some point.  Case in point, I was listening to a something on YouTube a few days ago and somebody commented that it sounded like the game Strider.

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On 11/01/2019 at 21:41, Bedrag Justesen said:

Those early Spectrum games designers in their bedrooms were ahead of their time. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Smith_(games_programmer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manic_Miner

Matt Smith was on an IRC channel a few years back when Reprap/3D printers were largely a build your own affair.

Eidos bought out Core (6 brits) who developed Tomb Raider, what a buy out that was. No lack of talent in the UK, just support. 

 

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I had this wee tune in my head for literally 25 years without knowing what it was called or what game I heard it on.... before finally finding it one hour in to a 2 hour compilation of C64 music:

 

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16 hours ago, Lightly Toasted said:

A bit later, 16-bit era but a classic game.

Yes it's a brilliant game; I was unfortunate enough to get my copy about 24 hours before I had to go off on the third year French exchange. A solid 12 hour day later I hadn't completed it and spent the first few days of the trip properly jonesing to get back and finish it!

Anyway, two of my favourite bits of game music are from one Bitmap Brothers game- far from their best actual game IMO, but playable enough. After a quick youtube search I can for some reason only find the SNES version which sounds slightly different to the Megadrive and PC versions I remember. The second tune I think actually has one different note in this version, but still a great tune.

Edit: ah here's the Megadrive version, which I have to admit sounds a lot rougher and more 8-bit, odd as I thought the Megadrive's main claim to fame over the SNES was its superior sound chip:
 

2nd edit: the Megadrive version is far more interesting tune wise and has a great bit from about 2:00 onwards! :)

Edited by Rave
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On 23/06/2018 at 01:20, DTMark said:

One for those who remember..

Back in the day, there was always the same "debate" as to which was the better machine. The Commodore 64 or the Spectrum.

Not sure why. The Spectrum was crap and outclassed by the C64 in every respect. And not least the decent 4-channel synth chip. Which with a bit of manipulation and clever effects could sound like more than four channels. It was rather capable for its time. It didn't just make beeping noises.

And it led to some real computer game music masterpieces. Like Rob Hubbard's wonderful theme for Monty on the Run.

.. subsequently re-recorded by a stack of people. Here's a guitar based version.

I love the way that this does not deviate one bit from the original. It's just played on guitars. And it's wonderful.

 

It's amazing what a skilled musician can do. Slightly OT, but some fans of 'It's always sunny in Philadelphia'

Turned this:

Into this:

 

Which is pretty epic.

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