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.
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!
Since I was lazy enough to miss out mentioning last week’s GMM, I must atone for this grievous display of apathetic behaviour and at least give it some passing mention!
Episode #11: Richard Westall – Arkanoid (Title Screen)
You’d think that with there being so many different mixes of the unmistakable Arkanoid title screen theme that it would be easy to find one that was good whilst also being a bit out of the ordinary. Not so, to my ear! Well-known UK remixer Infamous came close with one of his versions but, at the end of the day, I plumped for one of the oldest listed versions by Richard Westall. The original music was, of course, by Martin Galway. If you think my choice of mix is a little boring, well… you’re wrong, of course, but perhaps this week’s offering might be more to your liking…
Episode #12: Mixer – Nemesis the Warlock
Mentioning one musical legend in this post isn’t enough for me. It’s time to double the awesome – so how about a saxaphonistic re-imagination one of Rob Hubbard‘s compositions? The tune was one he made for the computer adaptation of 2000AD’s comic book character, Nemesis the Warlock. In a strangely effective tangent to the comic’s style, artist Mixer decided to jazz it up – with real jazz. I think it works surprisingly well. Treat your ears for a few minutes and see if you don’t agree.
Happy listening – until next time!
Without too much further ado tonight I present the tenth Game Music Monday – wahey, we’re in double figures! Still, I should really try and get these posted a little earlier in the day…
Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #10: J Krafft – IK Hamburg Extravaganza RMX
Today’s arranger, J Krafft, takes one of Rob Hubbard‘s iconic songs from International Karate and changes it into a softer, more ambient mix that is perfect to just chill and unwind with. The vocal samples are a nice touch and don’t sound gimmicky as such additions often can.
Click play and tune out! Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you same time next week.
For this week’s GMM you might want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere a bit by getting out your graph paper and grabbing some “potions” from the fridge. Things may get slightly fantastic…
It’s hard to talk about music in the 8-bit era without dropping the name of Rob Hubbard into the mix somewhere. He created so many legendary pieces of music that it’s hard to avoid addressing him as “High Grand Musical Master” or, more simply, “God”. There are hundreds of remixes of his compositions and it’s sad but fair to say that the larger portion of them aren’t very good. I hope you will share my opinion that this particular track doesn’t fall into that category…
Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #4: OJ Oscillation – Master of Magic (Medieval Cover)
The game itself, Master of Magic, is completely unrelated to Simtex‘s Civ-like creation that you may be thinking of. Published by Mastertronic back in 1985, should you find yourself in possession of a suitable emulator and game image, I would recommend trying it! Oh, and if you do, I really wasn’t joking about the graph paper… well, unless you enjoy being hopelessly lost, in which case, no need to worry about it.
In a brief period of scouring more images for the random snippets up top I came across this handy site with information about the many remakes, past and present, of the venerable Speccy classic Chaos.
Some titles there were already familiar to me, like Chaos Funk and its excellent sequel Chaos Groove by Richard Phipps. Out of all of the remakes that have appeared over the years, these are probably the finest and stick closest to the original with some nice 2D graphics upgrades, plenty of configuration options and some chuckle-inducing sound effects. I also found another, Duncan Timiney‘s Ataxia II, sporting a trendy isometric view, a 3D landscape and whizz-bang particle effects. I highly recommend checking them both out if you have a passing interesting for hotseat multiplayer strategy battles!
That said, though, there’s one other project which I’ll be keeping a close eye on…
Archaos, by Lewis “SEPTiMUS” Lane, aims to provide the holy grail: cross-platform multiplayer Chaos over the ‘net! Nowhere will be safe from the war of wizards should this happen. Its flash-based predecessor, Chaos Enhanced, isn’t configurable can be configured and played through this page after a recent addition – thanks Lewis! – and although it was apparently created only as a prototype, it still looks most tasty. Give it a spin straight from your browser, and follow the development of Archaos on the rotates.org blog.
Breaking news! IT’S BACK!
RGCD #5 is now available!
And with it comes a spifftastic and star-studded selection of reviews, articles and extras covering a year’s worth of retro gaming. You thought it was dead, didn’t you? I’ll admit that I was thinking the same at one stage. Fortunately it is not so! James Monkman and his band of merry men have come up with the goods and, after some turbulent times, the mag should hopefully be back on a regular update schedule again.
Thrustburst is the featured game (though if I had my way it would’ve undoubtably been Qwak instead), with reviews of Rana Remake, Noitu Love 2, 3D Starstrike, Self Destruct and Rom Check Fail amongst the many PC titles you can read up about.
In the authentic “modern retro” corner there’s Sirius, Loops of Zen, Sub Hunter, Animal Party, Wizard of Wor (for the Speccy!), Plutos and the trip-off-the-tongue Crocodingus in Cube Island to name but a mere few.
This just scratches the surface! Honestly, there’s more stuff in it than I could cover in a week of posting – 45 articles and over 47,000 words, to be exact – so get your browser over to the RGCD homepage to download your copy today for a right proper blast from the past.
Oh, and if you look carefully, you’ll see some of this mysterious “writing work” that I was on about the other week, since yours truly is now a RGCD contributer. It was indeed a very cool thing to be given the chance to write for one of my favourite retro mags. Why James wanted to involve a nutter like me we’ll never know… I suspect it may be best not to wonder too much on that
Anyhow – happy reading, ’til next issue!