Although for quite a few weeks of this feature I’ve gone with tracks that a lot of people will already be familiar with, I hope that this one might take you a little by surprise. It was certainly quite elusive to find information about – although I had acquired this MP3 via the indispensable remix.kwed.org, I didn’t know the slightest thing about the game it originally came from…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #22: Kate Z. – CityBomber (PsytroniKateZoid remix)

I like to understand the roots of a track, even if it’s only so that I can include a bit of artwork to go with the song in question – and after some tentative research, I couldn’t identify what was going on with City Bomber. Did it refer to this game, a clone of Blitz? None of the emulator images I could find had music anything like what I was looking for… but then, after what in hindsight was an unnecessarily long road, I came across Kate Z.‘s homepage and everything started fitting in much more smoothly!

So, there’s no need to keep passing over this fantastic remix any longer. It’s from the in-game tune of a game which was originally to have been published by Psytronik but switched labels to Visualize part-way through development – then never actually reached completion. It’s a shame, since the demo you can find through Games That Weren’t is really quite fun. Try it!

The remix itself is brilliant, featuring a sublime mix of samples both old and new alongside a great bit of drumming and guitar work that plays to the action and theme of the game nicely. Hopefully it pleases your ears – it surely does mine!

Tune in next week for more blippy beats!  :-D

Well hullo thar!

Tonight I can offer no more than a very brief writeup of my choice of tune, but that’s probably okay, ‘cos since when has anything I’ve written about this stuff ever been that engrossing? ;) Cue the clicky vid!

This would of course be the haunting melody of The Armageddon Man‘s in-game theme, with this particular remix coming from Trace (also known as Kent Walldén) back in 2002. Off the top of my head, I think this is the first track I’ve featured that was originally composed by David Whittaker – why on earth it’s taken me so long to get to some of his fantastic compositions, I have no idea…

Against a backdrop of an increasing nuclear arsenal across the entire globe, your job in this game is actually quite freeform. Although you should technically try to keep the peace for as long as possible, you have complete control to intercept communications, order troops around between countries, authorise government requests to increase nuclear armaments, and watch as the results of your decisions come to fruition. An intriguing tactical strategy game from Martech back in 1987.

“Oh,” I thought. “This looks different…”

I had just embarked upon a new Roguelike adventure. On a whim, I had renewed my acquaintance with the rec.games.roguelike.announce newsgroup for the first time in an epoch, and lurking within were announcements relating to the usual long-standing suspects – epic saga ToME, fast-paced DoomRL, Rogue-with-mechs GearHead, classic Angband and its variants, and many others. But there were also lots of unfamiliar names, a testimony to the rate at which the Roguelike scene has expanded over recent times. Looking down the list, something drew me toward Brogue by Brian Walker – was it the clever name or the enigmatically plain description? Or was it just the fact it had an unusually solid-looking version number of 1.6? It’s impossible to say. Further investigation was required!

Brogue, a Roguelike game with style

I was looking at a typical ASCII dungeon of hash signs and dots. But this dungeon had colour, variety, and life - not the usual console window of decidedly 8-colour visuals. Yes, yes – not judging a book by its cover is all well and good, but there’s no harm in making a good first impression, is there?

“Cool – there’s plants that block my vision. Let’s try walking through them. Oh, they grow back! Perfect for hiding in! Neat. Wait up, what’s that over there? Oh hello there, mouse control – this takes me back to playing Larn on the Amiga!” Good first impressions indeed. But there was plenty more to surprise me…

Read more…

Greetings to you, gentle folk of the internet. I bid you welcome! Gather ’round, for ’tis time for a rather special Game Music Monday – one that includes a chance for you to win some sublime indie music! Today is the twentieth episode, meaning GMM is finally out of its teens and is fast coming up on the small but important landmark of six months of running. Since I don’t need all that much excuse to throw a party and have some celebrations, and as it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow, this seems like as good an occasion as any to give out free stuff!

I have a gift code for the recently-released Indie Game Music Bundle 2 burning a hole in my monitor. Can you give it a good home? It’s easy to enter yourself for the draw – just log in to YouTube and post a comment on the video containing the magic word “Gadzooks!”

The draw will be held tomorrow at 19:00 GMT, and the winner will be notified through a message to the YouTube account to which the lucky comment belongs. Good luck!

Now, to the video itself…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #20: Glyn R Brown – Firelord (Symphonic)

It’s another of Glyn R Brown‘s tremendous orchestral arrangements, this time based on an 8-bit score for the 1986 game Firelord by Ben Daglish. I love both versions, though the game itself was a particularly tough nut to crack and I never got anywhere close to finishing it. Artistic license is exercised to full effect in the later section of this remix but it is still unmistakably the same tune and is done to a very high standard.

I hope very much you enjoy listening – it’s one of the best remixes I have in my humble collection. Good luck, keep it retro, and see you again next week!

Greetings, traveller of the web! I bid you a warm welcome to another tuneful Game Music Monday.

Today we return to remixing through a choice that, somehow, I’m expecting to receive only a luke-warm reception. Despite being one of the more prolific arrangers out there in the last few years, Instant Remedy seem to be rather underappreciated. Hopefully I can persuade you to give them a look. If you like what you hear below, check out all of their productions over on their homepage - it’s well worth it!

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #17:
Instant Remedy – Last Ninja – The Wastelands (Extended Version)

From the second those iconic ninja eyes fade into view the discerning viewer will recognise that the song I’ve picked is from 8-bit masterpiece Last Ninja. The Commodore 64 version was produced almost completely by a Hungarian team known as SoftView at the request of Mark Cale, the boss of System 3. They were never credited for it – allegedly at their own request – and nor were they paid for their efforts. Considering the success that their game enjoyed, this seems most unjust. For many it must feature high on list of the best games of all time, on any platform.

Enjoy the track and be sure to tune in next week for another trip back in time!

Greetings and welcome once more, traveller, to another Game Music Monday!

Back in time we go, way back to the happy ol’ year of 1987 – a time when the Commodore 64 was in its heyday, Mastertronic was as close to a household name for budget gaming as you could get, and bedroom coders were busily programming their way towards innovating the next fantastic game.

It’s debatable whether Energy Warrior falls into the exact category of “fantastic”, but I’d say the music is more than good enough to deserve a listen. This is the original title theme as composed by Andy Grimson (according to Lemon, at least… and who am I to prove them wrong?).

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #16: Andy Grimson – Energy Warrior

I particularly like the punchy start and creative use of unconventional drum sounds, and for me it ranks up there as one of the most memorable tunes of the C64 era. I wonder if the SID chip’s designers ever thought that three channels and some noise would be the source of such fond reminiscing all these years later…

Anyhow, I bid you farewell until next time, SID-heads!

Greetings again, gentle folk of the internet!

Here we find ourselves on another Monday full of dreariness and possibly even despair. But push whatever ails you out of your mind for just a few minutes and enjoy another retrolicious remixed track from two people you’ve probably never heard of before in your life! Apple is the fine person to have rearranged the original composition from Blair Zuppicich. And, er, no… we’re not talking about that Apple. Oh no. Certainly there are no apps or music playing devices in this post, except for the cunning Flash wotsit through which you can enjoy the tune on YouTube, right below these very words…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #15: Apple – Cybernetix

If the image wasn’t enough of a clue, let me tell you that this comes from an old but excellently polished Amiga title called Cybernetix: The First Battle. I seem to remember it being similar to Transplant – another game with great music that someone really needs to remix – in that all you had to do was kill all of the aliens in each level. In this game, however, there is no nausea-inducing screen rotation, just good ol’ fashioned wraparound horizontal scrolling. Pretty standard fare for 1992, really, but packaged up and presented quite professionally by the author, Paul Andrews. Some credit should also go to Rodney Smith for the game’s artwork.

Where are they now, eh? I will leave you to ponder that thought until next week’s thrilling episode! :roll:

After a week off for the holidays, Game Music Monday is back and ready to fill your 2012 with sweet, sweet tunes! In case you missed my salutations on Twitter, I wish everyone a productive and peaceful new year – and fingers crossed for no world-ending disasters, eh? ;)

So, on to business we go. My pick today is just a single one of the many remix productions of Sebastian Bachliñski, aka moog. Arguably the most prolific musician of the last 5 years in the scene, his portfolio on remix.kwed.org spans over thirty pieces of music, and all of them are rated either “very good” or “excellent”. He knows his art, that’s for sure. This is the first track of his that I’ve featured and, you know, I rather think there’ll be others as the year rolls on…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #14: moog (Sebastian Bachliñski) – Rubicon Title 98

The song comes from Rubicon, a game released in 1991 by 21st Century Entertainment, with the music being composed originally by Jeroen Tel of the legendary Maniacs of Noise. Yep – he’s the same man who created possibly the greatest piece of C64 SID music ever for Cybernoid 2… but that’s a story for another Monday. Meanwhile, this track isn’t too shabby either, so I hope you enjoy it and be sure to tune in next week for some more of the good stuff!