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/vgmg/ Vidya Game Music General Anonymous 02/11/2022 (Fri) 09:53:39 No.1895
Current pastebin link: https://pastebin.com/Pdr931hQ For the past years, this subject has evolved greatly but it is best to start with something a little simple. Atari, the once mighty giant, had poor design choices after their success with the 2600. They have committed the biggest sin of all, which was neglecting the sound hardware for their 8-bit gaming console, the 7800. While the 7800 had native backwards compatibility with the 2600, it lacked any sustainable sound chip other than the TIA chip from the 2600. However, the designers of the console alleviated this by having developers implement the POKEY chip in their cartridges with little costs. Although, this was dropped as soon as Jack Tramiel bought out Atari and restructured the company. The POKEY chip was primarily used in Atari's arcade cabinets and 8-bit home computers. It was most notable known for being used in Lucasfilm Games's Ballblazer for the Atari 7800. The theme Song of the Grid rip Russel Lieblich had some interesting origins, from the Wikipedia article: Ballblazer's theme music, called "Song of the Grid" and heard between matches, was algorithmically generated, a technique designed by Lucasfilm Games team leader Peter Langston and called "riffology". The lead melody is assembled from a predefined set of 32 eight-note melody fragments, or riffs, which are put together randomly by an algorithm that also makes choices on several parameters including "how fast to play the riff, how loud to play it, when to omit or elide notes, when to insert a rhythmic break". The melody is accompanied by bassline, drums and chords, which are also assembled on the fly by a simplified version of the above approach. In effect the music plays forever, without repeating itself but without straying too far from the original theme. Langston, an experienced jazz, rock, and folk musician, said of Ballblazer's music: "One reviewer, an eminent jazz player [Pat Metheny], said it sounded like John Coltrane did it. I think that's my best compliment so far." The Atari 7800 version was one of the rare releases for the system to use the POKEY additional sound chip. To pose some questions: Who is your favorite vidya composer and why? Which vidya generation, other than the 1st and probably 2nd generation, has the best music? What is your favorite sound chip?
How the Grabbag from Duke Nukem 3D could have sounded like in the Genesis port.
Time to squeeze some of those servers with a dump, sorry mr, overlords, at least it's content: Bjørn Arild Lynne is a norwegian fellow from the eastern area of the country, the shiny waterfront, who had a very serene upbringing or so it seems, he formed part of his school's band from an early age playing clarinet and learning very basic music theory like note reading but "forgot about it on latter age" due to dropping it out around his teenage years. He kept a small Casio synth and one day he picked a ZX Spectrum with a MIDI interface, later he added the additional "SpecDrum" plug and along with the keyboard he started meddling with "computer music" for recreation. Around 1987 he got his hands on an Amiga 500, which started his journey as one of the premium Amiga composers and sound effect technicians, along with a very interesting yet underrated career worth noting. Like i said back in /vg/ i found this guy by accident when checking some soundtracks, and wanted to give it a go because i found it funny he crossed roads with both our subjects Jesper Kyd and Tim Follin. In the end i researched more because this guy is legitimately good on his own, perhaps not as savant or creative as the former subjects but he has an easy to identify and digest style that commands at least a listen. While i would say Kyd is a percussion specialist, Follin a jack of all trades and master of many, Ishikawa a brass section monster if we want to include the nihonjin, the trait of Lynne in his career would be his B A S S M A S T E R antics which are tasty yet elegant, he doesn't brag about it like Wooten up to 11 but he certainly always comes with a decent line in most songs. Yet in his early days he was also known for his indulgent use of samples, coupled with the bass this guy can win the moniker of the nordic little J.M. Jarre, but better known in the Demo scene back then as Dr. Awesome. In this song, Space Deliria, probably his most famous one from the Amiga years (and perhaps his entire career) included in tons of tracker compilations and demo disks, we can hear the direct influence of the frenchman. The piece itself, while minimized in importance by Lynne, opened a contact opportunity with a group of developers that would, later on in a swing of destiny, give him his gravy train ticket and become the big white elephant in this nord's musical conversation.
To celebrate/put an end to his Amiga memories Bjørn released a compilation with a gnarly cover in 2014 gathering the most famous songs under his Dr. Awesome moniker, and because it's a bunch of songs i picked 3 groups by thematic and another as miscellaneous. In this first group let's go for a somewhat action fantasy setting, starting with his second most famous song 12th Warrior and going along with some of his first songs made in the AMG machine, ending with Zirkonium Theme which features a particular vocal sampling style very akin to Jarre's zany Zoolook. So, back in those 1987 days when he got the Amiga he started to create some Soundtracker files as personal recreation due to technological amazement one can suppose, but after meeting with some dudes who were also devs they made a small group called Crusaders, who introduced him to MOD files, and he went to share some of his work for their tech demos which subsequently started his MOD adventures as he was visited by friends, friends of friends and even curious strangers on his parent's house to hear his machine work, to the point he was requested and mailed to make more by the public.
This so-called public later refined themselves and became known as the Demo Scene, which gathered sometimes at "Demo Parties" or in their early days called "Copy Parties", with dozens of dudes hauling their Amigas all over towns to meet and exchange tips and, in shady corners of these rental places, code and software cracks. Bjørn went to create 450 MOD(ule) files and became a founder of the "Eurochart" scene/sub-group that spawned Scandinavia, some German places and England; In this journey he met many Amiga composer comrades who would be partners in future adventures, form in-groups like The Pornos and the IFF (International Fart Federation) while also meeting mythical figures like it supposedly happened with the Crionics group music man, the dane Jesper Kyd. Here we have 5 more tracks, quite a moody grouping featuring the great Oblivion, the ominous as hell sampling masterpiece. Certainly a high point in his catalogue.
After that hail of fire let's rest in this funk trip with a groovy group, starting with a Bruce Lee/David Chiang sample remix and going through some of his B A S S tracks which would feature at times in menus for cheap game compilations. About those feature appearances, since the first days Lynne had offers to use his music for different products like compilations, independent games, games with very low budget and software cracks but sometimes he also got his shit grabbed and used in unlicensed stuff and bootlegs, like Space Deliria. But still the idea was there, he later on went to describe how writing a song on free time, then loan it after a one-time fee was given and with the ability to loan it to multiple people due to not being quite associated with a specific product AND still being the full owner of the piece seemed attractive enough to try it often, which would be quite the silver chalice much later in this trip. This seems to also be a factor in why he was popular with small developers and a big factor in why half of his catalogue is not easy to find on the web, my guest is that what you are going to see here in terms of games is just half, if not less, of what he did and licensed, as many, many obscure european PC games employed him or used tracks from some of his stock albums not found on the web for free
But offers to compose music for specific games from scratch were still around, scarce but it happened. Being part of demo scene gave Bjørn the space to make contacts, grab beers and hang around with other artists, which in a more serious note also brought around the opportunities to form non-joke (or not so much) groups, apart from the Eurochart one which happened to be the Amiga Musicians Freeware Magazine (AM/FM) that shared samples, tips, tricks and discussion regarding the practice of machine music making. This is specifically mentioned because the grouping of seemingly serious individuals gave them serious opportunities like composing offers like we mentioned, one group that was interested in the services of these guys was british publisher 17-Bit Software, which already employed some of the demo scene guys. This company, which was part of the Microbyte computer retailing company, was constantly seeking foreign fellas to use in their small projects to sell them in their stores and get a piece of the quite contested action that was happening in the U.K. computer scene with many publisher-developer companies taking hits at each other as fast as they could, which had grabbed most of the local talent already. One of the early freelancers employed was fellow Am/FM man and seemingly close friend of Lynne's Allister Morten Brimble, which would share many battles with him and who seems to have given the nord his golden opportunity by featuring Space Deliria as the ending theme in his soundtrack gig for Project X around 1991, proving a popular decision and becoming crucial in Bjørn's future. In these final misc. tracks we can hear the little King Size, the full 90's Tranze Seven and an oddity worth noting, MEM-Saver, which is so far the only non-sampling, full chip song i've found from the man (that i remember of). Showcases his usual ability in a field in which he was belittled a little for seemingly never trying, the chiptune, the art of the small sized tracker file. Also featuring here Am/FM's rave song, a sampler of samples (wat) used to demonstrate the sounds in a CD bundled in the group's special issue magazines. A cohesive group, Bjørn would be an usual guest in Amiga conventions and was active on the MOD scene in the entirety of the 90's, along with appearing a couple of times in the 00's.
And so here we start with the "real" jobs, these ones are some of the first (although not "the first") offers. Marking the beginning of the bad luck that will run through Lynne's efforts towards games that seemingly just don't get released is 1991's Airline made by Software 2000, a german-dane developer founded by the Wardenga Brothers tasked with porting the popular airport simulation game to the Amiga but for contract reasons the deal felt down and Bjørn was left with a couple of tracks, as will be usual later on. Pay first as this man says, they still cut a song due to sample size the cheeky pricks. Then we have 1990's Drivin' Force by Digital Magic Software, one of the many ill fated companies that would get their shit fucked up in the relentless bong computer war that left no survivors. A drift-powered racer using early pseudo-3D graphics, nothing much to say other than some of the developers probably, maybe did another game which Lynne probably, maybe scored, but that's another story.
1991's Cubulus, also made by Software 2000, marks one of the high points in Bjørn Lynne's catalogue. Requested one of his personal tracks, Moongazer, he was later tasked on creating some other tracks to serve as muzak for the puzzle levels in this rubik session on a flat surface. Bjørn went on to say this was the most satisfactory score he did on the Amiga, i agree, it has tons of personality with the basslines, unorthodox leads and Jarresque effects. Shame it is cut short but it's good enough. Software 2000 later on went on to create other cult simulation games, like one of the first football managers in Bundesliga Manager, F1 Manager, a Flying Saucer experience and fucking Pizza Syndicate, the game that mixes the Fast Food Tycoon gameplay with underworld market manipulation, like hitting other pizzerias. The company went for the short games sold cheaply, but sooner or later the AAA pricing scheme took down their formula and they folded around the early 00's. Sending a damn hitman to retire an impoverished rival pizza chef.
A worthy musical sequel would be 1991's Fantastic Voyage by Centaur, one of those studios made and disappeared out of thin air, although contracted by 20th Fox to create this adaptation for the Amiga system. It showcases great art work and a cool soundtrack by the man himself. Supposedly hard as nails, the game didn't fare well even with its lavish production and brand name from the decent movie and novelization, which is about a scientist dying around with brain problems and a team of pros are carried to save him, so they shrink a cute special vehicle called Proteus with them inside and go into his body via blood stream to explore his brain, avoid pesky antibodies, white cells and clean his completely natural health issues OR ARE THEY? Nice picture, for the younglings just imagine a group of aliens (which are really humans) inside an armored nuclear sub going into the Osmosis Jones world and travelling straight to the capital brain while fucking shit up but end up in Solaris when they are starting to reach there. Well now that i think of it, Osmosis Jones is almost 20 years old now... Blood is a personal favorite too, nice going with the dancing melody, and the title theme is also very moody. Better than the movie tbh.
Even with these past cool concepts, on most days this song will be my favorite one on the Amiga... and it doesn't even have a name. According to the info at ExoticA, one day in the summer of 1992 Bjørn was contacted by a programmer that needed some music to sell the software to a company, he didn't tell him the title or the focus but claimed it was "an Oriental-inspired Shanghai-style game", so he went to make some tracks, gave him the files but the guy never managed to sell the game, and thus never paid Lynne. So with these set of new tracks for himself he released them one day on the Am/FM magazine, claiming he never knew the title and always used the placeholder names, so he decided to leave it at just that, Shanghai. Boosting a very unorthodox melody sequence and pitch changes this one is worth the experimental classification, tense yet soothing, pretty strange. Once saw the menu in the Gameboy port of the original Shanghai while looking this, for some reason it was burned in my mind and hence why i used it here although in a custom square form. And talking about unreleased blunder projects, how about another one with Kasei Vallis, a cyberpunk game that was probably based in Mars if the name is to go by, according to the ø-boy some fellow norwegians discussed the game and wanted a bunch of music for it, this happened around the summer of 1991. By mid 1993, when it was obvious it wouldn't get released, Lynne published the tracks on a Am/FM issue, explained the story and some of the tracks. Overall the songs have a dark "atmospheric" feel into them because the concept was not to grab the player's attention too much, just add a layer of tension into the whole thing, making it Lynne's first foray into the ambient music he would later burn out from. One track does stands head and shoulders above the others: The pause song titled Stardance, made specifically to distract or create contrast to the player, molded to be "a disco piece with popping bass, tight drums and whining leads". The song later had some other leads added and published to the Eurochart, which is the version currently posted. Uses samples from a 1990 sci-fi movie called Hardware, personally i didn't know about it but it has Lemmy Kilmister in it, can't be that bad can it.
After these first 5 years jamming and with enough recognition, mainly as a hobbyist with his Doctor moniker, one thing strikes me the most about Lynne's legacy: His famous works, according to forum posts i've read at the beginning while researching his stuff, are easily among the most "interesting" ones to put it elegantly and non-aggressively. Quite frankly i'm appalled that all the Amiga fans i read name only Brat and Qwak as his trademark Amiga pieces under his real name. It might also be an easy explanation, but let's put it inside a bigger, more complicated one for the fun of it: One day at his home his mum got a call, it was some dudes that found his parents' phone number on a demo and called the place so they could pass the notice about an offer, the "foreign languages weirdos" were handing 200 pounds for compositions for a project called Brat. He accepted on the spot. The dudes were from a, you guessed it, small british developer coupled with a bigger but still warring publisher, this time called Image Works. Lynne seems to have been pretty quick and professional, even if the score in my opinion is pretty inconsequential, and got himself some credits as the game became quite popular in the Amiga, that didn't help the publisher from bankrupting a year later but oh well. Supposedly according to his website it was his first paid job, meaning it came very early in 1991 or that he did some of the games >4 free. He recalls being offered 200 british pounds, which shocked his mother and supposedly made her stop nagging the man for playing with his computer. His real name still went into a list of people who delivered, and after Cubulus, something occurred which he mentions lead to his first "big job". IIRC (heard it more than a year ago) it seems he traveled around with his pals in conventions and met some devs, representing Team17. This company years before had been 17-Bit Software, the company that had on their payroll various Am/FM folks, most notably Allister Brimble but also some other dudes in the scandinavian lands. One of those was a swedish guy called Andreas Tadic (ex-yugo?) and after showing some skills with dev he was introduced by a british Microbyte employee named Martyn (with an y?) to a visual artist called Rico Holmes (Rico a british name?) which became friends and along side some other swede names Tuleby they formed a game dev partnership called Team 7. They made a game called Miami Chase, a budget title which seemed successful in the market, Martyn was seemingly scouting them and called his boss, the owner of 17-Bit and Microbyte Michael Robinson, and finally convinced the guy to make a publisher-developer and push the products with the retailing Microbyte, all internally. He suggested Team7 as they were cheap and promising, the man agreed and greenlit the venture, moving a gril sales manager to become their commercial support, an aggressive entrepreneur called Debbie Bestwick. Soon enough Robinson's shit got crazy and the venture decided a merging, calling themselves Team17. Microbyte used their own data to see which genres and games sold the most, then talked to Team 17 and planned a project to capitalize on this. Pretty straightforward although probably not creatively engaging with some, but still it worked and they made some charting projects, usually with Allister Brimble as freelancing composer. In one of these games Brimble would feature his pal Bjørn with his Space Deliria as ending theme for 1991's Project X, making the guy have his name written in bold after the hit with Brat and Cubulus. After talking a while with these Team17 devs they realized this fella was the famous Doctor music guy that also had a string of successes a year ago, so they asked for his contact data and confirmed they would make a call soon. And yeah, they did, he was offered a game called Qwak and wanted a certain kind of feel. He delivered quite the explicit interpretation of the name, attached to this post, which seems to be his most famous work on the system; the man who made Cubulus and Fantastic Voyage is represented in real name as "the guy who did Qwak", and mostly because it sold well and was pushed hard in the U.K., as Cubs was a jerry title no one cared about and Voyage Fantastique is a cash-in for the show, also reviews bashed the shit outta it. All this wall of text is to hype the fact that, after some months, on the Spring of 1995, he was called in his parent's house: Team17 was starting to make tons of projects and needed a musician full-time. And that was that. The Ø was working as a tech support by phone gig, nothing biggie and somewhat hilarious already by his age (29?), after his CD making venture didn't land much money and no norwegian bands seemed to want a keyboardist in the black metal era. This shining opportunity made him, according to himself, quickly sell everything he owned but the machine and some childhood souvenirs, kiss his mum goodbye and head to England, commando style. This marked the beginning of another rollercoasting 5 years that would place Bjørn Lynne as one of the most multifaceted composers around, ditching the Jarre image of sampling and Moog-experimenting into more of a chameleonesque, multi-purpose one.
Not surprisingly as they made him come all the way to England, man got the job and seems to have settled in Yorkshire. Was placed as the full-time composer of the team and later on this would upgrade, but more on that later. His first task was to carry on the legacy of his pal Allister and compose the score for 1995's Alien Breed 3D, the third and seemingly most popular entry of the series ripped based from the Alien franchise. But the catch was that he had to compose this twice, why? Amiga CD32 of course The first version had some pretty decent tracks, but because the game filled the disk already he had to reserve and upgrade them to Redbook, which results in this stereotypical sounding early CD soundtrack which some cool licks here and there. The title theme, The Breed, starts right of the bat with the score's trademark sound, the ominous wailing sirens, that reappear once in a while to remember you in-game that you are going to get your shit fucked from behind by a basketball-american from space. Breed Theory is a slow burner but when it starts, man, you are greeted by some sort of Unsolved Mysteries reimagining, which is something not cool in a game with alien sucker punches in dim-lit rooms. Some time later Bjørn would release some handmade CDs, with permission of Team17, with the tracks of the game along with the unreleased tracks for the classic Amiga version, presented here. The in-game song is unsettling, the growling organ sounds just make you think the entire place is filled with these housebreakers that jump higher than a helicopter. The title theme in my opinion sounds more effective here, the simplicity is better in this case. Trivia about his England stay, somehow he became a Manchester City fan since the late 90's, which a bit of a trivial fact but for football fans this might come as bizarre and unlikely if it wasn't for the fact the guy has old merch to show for it. An interesting choice that's for sure. Also the release of this OST costs a lot for some reason.
His next work was also going to be a legacy job and a nice touch from life... the sequel to Project X: 1996's X2. When i read and heard this game i immediately though about Einhänder, the same thing really, side-scrolling shooter in neon landscapes, space, electronica score, PS1 title, same year even so i guess it was a rip-off... OR IS IT? IIRC this game came first, a full year before even, and wasn't promoted that much other than in PAL zones but it did get a release in Nippon, not in America due to lol Acclaim publishing. Features the only Techno score i know of from Lynne, it isn't very moving to be fair as it was made more around the idea of atmospheric rather than danceable, which is a huge flaw if you ask me, but serviceable enough to be included. It does remind at times with Underground Resistance, especially in Red Planet Approach, The Martian Mad Mike project nod maybe? The game was called trash for being too chaotic and wacky, but its art style and sound effects praised. Einhänder would come later on and be praised to hell and back deserved and this game promptly forgotten, but due to some fixes made by Lynne in production, along with the next game mentioned, he was made the undisputed sound effect specialist in the house. And no surprise, taking into account the monstrous influence that game had...
Yep, the white elephant in the room, Bjørn Arild Lynne will be remembered mostly because he made the music and sound effect editing for the franchise Worms, Team17's beaten-to-death cash cow, starting from its first game in 1995. The story about how this came to be seems more interesting than the hell Lynne went to edit all the voices, come up with something fast and "force himself" into making tracks for sessions that might last for a long time. He also seems to have prepared hard for his spot as he recalls going into a music store after the first checks and buying the cheapest guitar he found along with a beginner's book, then jumping to a bass a month or so later. This heavy focusing would later reap great dividends in the next game. About the story of Worms... this baby was created by a dude called Andy Davidson, one crazy son of a gun lone wolf that had an idea originally titled "Artillery", which was that, artillery-based gameplay with crude placeholders instead of tanks or howitzers. Later on this would evolve into cartoony worms with squeaky voices and the dirt mounds into freaky, zany landscapes. Andy entered this idea, renamed Total Wormage at this point, to a competition run by the Amiga Format magazine, but lost. He sent the game to various publishers, but received no answers. Then one day he visited the European Computer Trade Show, an old times trade show that lasted until 2004, and met some dude called Mark Foreman, a knowledgeable distributor. The lad told Andy to try his luck with Ocean or Team17, which were looking for stuff and had some stands in the place. Sure enough this guy went to Team17 and they were so enthusiastic about the idea they offered developing the game further and publish it. Andy was amazed, he wrote his contact info on the spot and the booth fellows vowed to call him soon. And yeah, they didn't, story says they lost the paper with the numbers written on it and that was that, but it seems someone insisted, so Team17 started searching for him. They discovered Andy entered that one mag competition in which he lost hard, anyways they called the magazine and asked if they still had his info which they did and sooner rather than later they made the call. He was brought onto the ship to start polishing the idea, but the guy had several conditions for the game, one was using his own voice for the worms because he simply could not imagine them otherwise after a long period working on the placeholder audio. Bjørn was tasked with recording the guy again, then coming up with other quirky comments, many made by himself while others had to be taken from the studio's workers, usually extracted when taking the piss and with the idea they should be in the game. Many complied and some of those still appeared in latter iterations (the James Brown worm). Lynne's perk for using samples and experimenting with them went to make him the go-to Special Sound Effects man alongside Composer, his sample hunting for stock gunshots, squishes, dirt mound kicking, water drops and so on made the game varied enough to be tolerable, even when the gameplay was good enough on its own. The game went on to sell 250k units 6 months after release, surpassing the modest figure of "10 or 20 thousand" the devs had projected in the same time span, reaching 5 million copies by 2005 in all platforms released. Coupled with the ambitious administration of Team17, you can bet they never let this game go and beat it with a stick at every opportunity they got, but more work to Lynne i guess, later he would feel frustrated at the title mongering the studio did because, soundtrack wise, there's not much to say here other than the iconic title theme. This particular entry used mostly "ambient" tracks as not to distract the user but it probably was because Lynne didn't have a lot of time to come up with something as he was pestered in the sound effect department; it did introduce what would be a common trend in the series and his catalogue... Ice/Snow level and Space/Alien level ambient styles, something he would perfect over time but in this case it's pretty bland to be fair. Funny how in the ports for consoles, the theme adaptations had to be done by Allister Brimble.
With plenty of time for preparation, with polished skills in the guitar & bass and comfortably enough in his position at T17, Lynne pulled in my opinion the best score he did in the franchise and maybe in his career: 1997's Worms 2. While in interviews he claimed influence from tons of bands and artists, a group of them particularly strike me as interesting: Eloy, Porcupine Tree and Ozric fucking Tentacles. While they didn't really appear that much in previous scores, they certainly do here in the general mix of hard rock fused with plenty of genres, especially when Ozric appears in the track Squish! which is one of those rare examples of jazz, rock and psychedelia that Tribal Tech at times would meddle with, and hearing it in a videogames is much more interesting. Stale Socks keeps going in the same direction, albeit a bit goofier to not kick the musical perceptions of the users, but that falls to the side as those tracks were not released with the game, only appearing in the CD release. A shame really but just shows how much material was produced. Gumbo Gringo goes to Porcupine Tree town too, the guitars give it away soon. In a recent update, it seems those first two songs appeared in an old album under the moniker of Dr. Awesome called Decade from the same years Worms 2 released, so they may or may not be done for the game but that album looks interesting, it comes with the archive of everything the guy did in their original MOD or MIDI files. Now i wonder if many old tracker artists pulled that kind of CDs often.
It's all fun and games until the entire level starts sinking. The real kickers are the hard rock songs, either with guitars or hard brass. Swim like a Brick is just one mean son of a gun with a very Eric Serra orchestration. Attack in Sevens keeps the aggressiveness but with a Fusion taste, maybe it's because of the name but it sounds like All Sevens by Chad Wack. Sometimes the score reminds me of that same year's uber classic Goldeneye, shame this kind of score wouldn't be seen again in the series for some reason or another, maybe because it was too distracting or simply because the long sessions would make it repetitive, but true enough it wasn't seen again. Instead the rest of the games opted for a much, much more atmospheric feeling with tons more of variations but ultimately just ambient background noise. At least this happened, an oddity but a complex one that can stand on its own even as a "real" album.
Team17 went on with making games not Worms but they simply couldn't help themselves, shoving it in a lot of things they made. In 1998's Addiction Pinball we can see that with the marketing, a game with 2 (or 3?) pinball sets with their own music, one which includes the Worms pinball table with tons of modes, very complete... and oh yeah, the others were cool too. It features some of the Worms 2 songs but also a couple of exclusives, attached here. The menu songs in both these games are kicking, but this one sounds like Sega, it has that particular "modern" or millennium arcade vibe. Bjørn was tasked with the whole sound effect shebang along with scoring the modes in the Worms table but next is where things get interesting. Mr. Lynne made the set up for all the tables but only scored one, and others had their own thing with one being particularly cool, Rally Fever Addiction based on the game World Rally Fever made by T17, sound effects by Lynne but scored by a mysterious dude nicknamed "Nooon", who only ever did that game's score and probably this one too, yet he doesn't appear in the credits nor Lynne is named for it, the man just disappeared into thin air. I might make a post just for that game but safe to say it was pretty decent, but why the smoke and mirrors who knows, probably a musician who was with another company making a secret score or a moniker for a scene fellow who never made it past the sobriety of the situation. And figures, soon enough they just dropped the Addiction name and called this Worms Pinball on the PS1, making it a tie-in with our next set of games.
It begins, the ambient track/background atmosphere hell. 1999's Worms Armageddon, the expansion pack turned full-priced stand alone game acclaimed by many, and was supposedly going to be the last in the series, made it into the scene with a radically different approach to music but keeping all the wacky worm one-liners and comedy with the addition of drunk scotswerm. Some of these had a semblance of something going on, like Caverns which is probably the start of the "entertaining" ambient songs, but the rest are just idle. Many sound would re-appear in this next iteration, 2001's Worms World Party, the expansion pack turned full-priced stand alone game acclaimed by not many, made originally as a Dreamcast exclusive but turned multi-plat when good old Sega started to go belly up. This one added the long-awaited international stereotypes much loved since the scots, along with the start of the real deal versions of Snow and Space levels, in this case the Arctic one.
Open file (10.30 KB 224x300 Bjørn circa 1997.jpg)
Open file (2.86 MB 500x300 The Wormsong.webm)
Not much to say about the past two games, really, development went frantic and the constant overwhelming popularity of the series made Bjørn keep busy with new sounds, voices and different translations being edited into every new game or re-release. But it wasn't all that bad, at this point our fella here had been constantly creating music on his own when the scores were ready and only editing was needed, kinda like he did in the old tracker days, but the output was such that the same thing started to happen like with his Dr. releases, clients (which included his own full-time employer) started to be interested in his own stuff and reached deals for licensing it on a single payment plan. At first it was the usual deals (at least for him) but realizing the variety of music he had released, the clean and frankly stock-like nature of it made the guy move into an idea that would be his future life ticket. At one point years later he described the process of making music for a living as something you can learn over time as you can "force" yourself to be creative or spawn ideas, although it isn't really that adequate nor fulfilling, something that could be seen and will be seen in his employer's gravy train. So pondering about his future one day, in April 2000, he started the Shockwave Sound licensing service. Back in the Amiga days, to reiterate the point given, many games requested loans on specific MOD files in his library for a fee or one-time payment, along many unlicensed and bootleg software devs just taking the files from a tracker/demo and running with it, but still this gave Lynne the idea of a stock music library with people who couldn't afford the risk to pirate assets for their own professional work, serious corporations and executive ventures in short, that would eventually make Shockwave, along with 1Soundfx and Lynne Publishing, later described by him as being profitable enough to hang around comfortably or so to speak, "make it" Team17 had become big as a company in the context given and with the downfall of many british studio-publishers in the bloodshed that happened with the computer scene, many talented workers reached the team to get a job. But the highly corporative nature of the administration was taking its toll, clear ideas on where to go as a studio were simply about Worms and ripping off some popular games, leaving other ventures on the side expecting the newly recruited, experienced blood to do the job. They kinda did for a couple of years, but many of its employees could get away with a bunch of things. Bjørn, at this point having released 12 albums in his name (not counting the game scores) along with another 2 trance albums under the Divinorum name, both groups with a decent cult following (the Alien Breed 3D OST got auctioned for 200 dollars used once), had enough stuff in his vault to share for a fee, making the true figure of his game scoring antics somewhat difficult, especially if you count he got to bring some friends into the plane, like his pal Allister Brimble being the first "signing" for Shockwave, along with many small Amiga dudes in their real names later, and also with some publishing or distributing in his very small firm like Jøgeir Lijledahl. Examples of this "licensing product to my own boss" kinda situation are notorious in the next games, the last hurrah for the huscarl here, and a very grrroovy one too.
Finally, one of the most kicking scores from the catalogue and the game where i discovered Bjørn Lynne... or sorta. 2000's Ford Racing made by Elite Systems under command of Empire Interactive, both british, is a small little racer for PC and PS1 that seems to have been blasted for its gameplay, mostly because it makes you start with compact stock vehicles in really slow turns and you only get to drive the cool cars in the late game, which supposedly not many reached. Oh well, at least it was praised/noted for its contrasting and aggressive sounds. The score seems to be licensed from Lynne's Accelerator (or it may be the album of the game?) featuring half of the songs from it and boy they are feisty as hell, Slicks & Chicks being the first song i heard from the guy and falling in love for it immediately, you can't get much more Y2K than that. Still, originally i found it in the Ford Racing 2 soundtrack, which seems to have been licensed too as a nod to the first game or because they paid two deals, who knows, and in that game you also had as guest the master of the realm, Tim Follin, going for the idea and sharing/licensing his funk music from the Starsky & Hutch game (also published by Empire) so that baby bleeds music and hence why i thought Slicks was a Follin song: The tracks had no names and one of the transitions sounds just like the ones in the score for Arcade's Revenge Marvel game Tim did. Doesn't help another of the songs doesn't really quite fit the trance/dance vibe, going for a somewhat funk rock, and that just fits Tim's S&H so i also confused that one until i checked the credits carefully in the Need for Speed fan site. This one is definitely up there with his best, a complete blast and probably the only reason i might buy Ford Racing 2 if i see it somewhere.
That brings us to another hit, Team17's own Stunt GP, the furious rival to Acclaim's Re-Volt that also adds tons of x-treme tricks for the small RC to do along with improved graphics. There is a problem tho... it was released a year later. So it seems this was going to be a Hasbro venture with Atari Interactive, one of its digital arms, publishing it but after some deals felt through and the Interactive section sold off to the french (this is Atari, after all, there has to be drama) the game stuck in limbo for a while. A full year later the game was released with its main platform, the Dreamcast, dead on the water, and it really doesn't help at all the publishers who decided to do the job were shady to say the least: Eon Digital, which had just a few months in the market and dissolved a year later without paying its bills did the job for PC and the DC (their headman, Mr. Burns, would go on later being an EA and Activision executive after being an Atari one for a long time) with the PS2 version being released by Titus... yep, the same guys who pulled Superman 64, Blues Brothers 2000 and RoboCop gen 6. Nobody bought the thing it seems but hey, at least the score is cool enough to warrant a view, turns out that mysterious funk rock song from Ford Racing was supposed to be here, but cut to make space to the co-composer for this game Marc Pattison, a pretty good session guitarist specialized in heavy metal that later on went to form part of a pretty darned good prog metal album under the name of Futures End (feat. bass monster Steve Di Giorgio). Marc does a good job here, complementing Bjørn's arrangements, i mean Marc is clearly a specialist in the axe (The Loopback is top tier) so not a lot of comparison with the nord's skills but they seem to fare well together. The tracks only composed by Bjørn form part of the other half of the Accelerator album, which seems like an interesting choice in terms of tonality but that doesn't stop it from being licensed a few times, The Hustler (called Wide Wall Chase in the game) has been featured in some commercials and i know i've heard it in a SickAnimation video so i guess even some people still hit n run his tracks from the small free previews. Our man didn't stop just there, he also squeezed a Divinorum track in it renamed as Flying Finish, i mean this is getting silly.
Here's an interesting due from the same year. First let's go with 2000's Siege of Avalon made by Digital Tome, one of the pioneers of "episodic" content so maligned these days but hey, at least they let you keep all the previous stuff and in the end released a complete version so it can't be that bad, can it? they even slipped you the first chapter for free so you could feel the cliffhanger harder. Licensing shenanigans appear again, at least with the track The Fairy Woods, a MIDI rearrangement from a track that appeared in Lynne's catalogue all the way in one of his albums released when he was a tech support dude in Norway. The main star here has to be The Alchemist, too cool. Later on it was supposed to have a sequel but the studio went down, curiously one day the idea of making the thing run on multiple platforms was presented and the devs gave up the source code for the first chapter, which is currently at GitHub supposedly, citing "an extended practical life... and to share our technical learning experience with the game development community" among other things. In 2014 a re-release was planned but the planning company went down too, so i guess these guys have some serious trouble with their management. Our second fellow here is the curious case of Spin Jam, released on 2000 and made by H20 Interactive, a studio by the fellas at Empire Interactive, who even released an ad styled as a manga for this game. I mean that's interesting, makes a step ahead from just using anime-style to promote your stuff to weeaboos to actually making the manga counterpart for those who are cooler than to play the game only, which is a Bust-A-Move-sque game. The cutesy tootsie atmosphere is enhanced with the score, a full-on bubblegum pop that sounds straight out from a Britney Spears album from the era, but at times things get a dreamy turn like what happens in the first in-game song at aroud 40 seconds in. Lynne once again flexing his adaptability, and it's not licensed either!
Yes, after releasing "the last installment in the series" twice Team17 came up with Worms 3D in 2003, and somehow they pulled it. Featuring Lynne's biggest score (5+ hours) it's not surprising that most of it is slow minimalist ambient, and yes he was also told it was too much and the scores later on would have yet another change of concept, which was ambient with a little more pace and not so much in quantity. No wonder the guy was brewing another business if his life was about chopping small samples in languages he didn't understand and forced to play with less and less stuff, but at least he extended stuff easily. Personally i find the Arctic and Space sub-groups here to be relaxing, used them for a while as background noise while playing Mount & Blade, they do work in their intended way. Also features a Junior Senior song that pesters users as it is the default in many menu sections and never goes fully away, sad really as i liked the song a lot and was surprised to see some heat for it. Yeah dude, nothing much to say here again. Also V O I D space in its front cover art style, the infinite white space with neverending blue sky.
Guess what, here's another one, Worms Blast from 2003 is an attempt by Team17 to give some variety to the franchise instead of making other games, i haven't really checked it that well, other than the bloodthirsty cover not matching the puzzle gameplay, but the explanation on how the score came to be warrants a view. There are 4 themes with 4 to 5 variations that differ significantly, they are separated in gameplay intensity (low, med low, med, high, etc) and when things get heated the music changes a little, this gets a transition in the middle of the usual puzzle mechanic sounds that create quite the soundscape which is the standard in most puzzle games, but still got a kick out of it as i don't remember reading such an explicit explanation outside. The 4th theme at Medium, heard here twice, screams like Sega music and particularly Super Monkey Ball. I know one of the songs from the first one starts similarly.
At this point we can deduce Bjørn Arild was getting somewhat burnt with this franchise, especially when i omitted a couple entries. Worms 4 appeared in 2005 and with its remaster in Ultimate Mayhem they serve as the last games in the original run of the franchise. I couldn't find a clean rip or album version of this soundtrack for free so i went with a nasty in-game rip, apologies, although it gives a special vibe in certain songs like Camelot #2 and Construction #1. It has more varied instruments but the essence remains the same: just record something the easy-going background ambient sounds in the middle of slapping worms silly in the vastness of randomly generated maps.
By 2005 our man in Yorkshire was getting really livid about video games and video games music, his last big gig would be the sound effect technician serving as Tim Follin's sidekick in his Lemmings score, which would also prove his last as a professional video game composer... yes, at one point Team17 had Follin, Lynne and Brimble as base or supporting composers, doing little with them. Some time later between late 2006 or early 2008, many of these devs went out and left the company, some deciding not to return (Follin) while others continuing licensing but de-facto never working on it again (Lynne), while others simply lowered output but kept going (Brimble). In the case of Bjørn he shifted his focus entirely to stock/licensing, one of the well-known examples of his music slipping in products is Club Penguin, which features a couple of tracks for the night club and alien abduction sequences. But for the most part it's only stuff for spas, executive lounges, stand-by phone tunes (ironically for him) and shoestring-budget games. After a bunch of people going out Team17 would then have a string of financial bad luck, so they rebooted Worms around 2007 along with producing a couple of games to kickstart themselves again, like Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust which, needless to say, was a not good game so they just ended up making Worms again and years later had to re-structure the whole thing as an indie dev studio only, seeing the founder of it all Martyn "James" Brown go to new pastures while Debbie Dough kept being the de-facto overlor... overlady.
The guy returned to Norway, and even when i read he's an Oslo native he went to settle in the small cozy resort town of Stavern, not far away from the city. Seemingly with everything he needs at walking distance he dedicated himself on managing his business while passing the rest of the day with his family in a decent house on the waterfront. But one day after being slapped with e-mails from a long-time fan the man gave an announcement on his personal zogbook account, screenshot here, in which tl;dr he confirmed calling it quits and just passing the days as a manager while once in a while writing some songs for stock music databases. While this sounds grim if we take into context the things he managed to get i would say this is one of those instances where a person "made it" and decides to live on, in this case chilling around and checking on his family. I can't blame him at all, currently he seems to be playing tennis with his town pals, hiking and camping around Scandinavia, going to Oslo for festivities, i heard he also does fishing... come on now, if you can do all that without worrying about the money then you are settled. About this long wait to post all these being narratively better, i never got to check video interviews on the web until some weeks ago and there's a very decent one on him around 2011 by a russian game soundtrack website, hosted by a mongolian raider called Valentin Kozin. Coincidentally i ended using many pictures and songs they also used in their video (pls no bully, bored minds think alike) but they still went on their way to find very tough to find info. Def worth a check sometime, funny to see a glimpse of Lynne's CD stack, the only album visible not from his own hand or Amiga/Shockwave musician friends is a Jesper Kyd soundtrack for Hitman. https://www.jewtube.com/watch?v=S03tkpDspfA
These are just some bonus ones. Currently the guy has 72 albums released, including the game scores, so tracking his stuff is a little daunting if not for the fact not many of those are found on the open web, so i didn't go balls deep on his music but i did hear all his stuff available in good quality, which is still quite the sum. One particular specialty of this guy is "folk" music or fairy/forest tracks as called on stock, and while not strictly video games some of those tracks went on to appear in certain games or remade after them. One set of these albums are based on some books made by Allan Cole, a prolific screenwriter and spook who made a trilogy of fantasy books, namely the Timura trilogy, in which the albums are based from. They are pretty ok, first one is Lynne alone, second is him with collaborations and the third is him as a band leader, final one is a bit chaotic but i'm not a big fan of Power or Folk rock/metal so cannot judge it for what it really is. Still pretty interesting.
And here's a set of his usual personal stuff, the first one not so much as i read it's from an unofficial collection of the belligerent and FPS/TPS stock work he did with other freelancers, included here because i found it to be a decent comparison of what he would sound like in recent years if he kept going. The rest are his space synth, trance and downtempo stuff.
And there we go, that's the man in a resumed form. Here's the links for his stuff but i have to warn that a good bunch of the albums are dirty game rips, not the official soundtrack releases that contain a bunch of bonus tracks (although not all games had one) that's because i couldn't find them or had a release after i organized them since April 2019 :^) hence why they still have a /vg/ stamp too, rip And ripip Julay/v/ too where i originally posted this two years ago to the date STANDARD >Dr. Awesome's Original Amiga Works https://mega.nz/file/HU4BwYID#Ycv9IdVq0aHmU_9ffAsKcajFCkh6XjL2Gi46vPCzRCk >Airline https://mega.nz/file/6ERkCQqB#RyTSWew2tZAPNPTdY-3UN29eCok4JxQgbA_el3FE8SM >Drivin' Force https://mega.nz/file/fQxliIyD#Vusq2IWJ_ELKailo7u_mt-1LOsillh8pew-bvArGmJ8 >Cubulus https://mega.nz/file/7UxRQabT#TrcU9He4kLqhpEXBcrm5iMx4IwbULQ1AovAC0Nf10tk >Fantastic Voyage https://mega.nz/file/jQ5x2IDA#zCq-ETm3Z3lCRvSTS6Oyxp6IcWs0adT9yGE1aSWx_Hs >Shanghai https://mega.nz/file/DA5DQYSA#0JUqgEjCkfmWh1H4Tk1FLSWF3JwPpZoSzqDn8CXFsuk >Kasei Vallis https://mega.nz/file/ycpB0IhL#iN5jBvVjmMCZ0920jz3HSvT2nX86pSaipjB8LIg4vc4 >Qwak https://mega.nz/file/WIwXHSzT#Mh9L49w818rRkczdxO5OB9ualsMgwHrxtXXkjVm7-Gc >Alien Breed 3D https://mega.nz/file/yd5zBCKJ#wlw30Yo3jHAqGuMSkI5bJHgBfm9oH9Jxhd8-THp84vk >X2 https://mega.nz/file/3IoTxKgB#flrAucmq5jgXWxPWc5DSvSMKOrYyaBWJa5EWlRHzesw >Siege of Avalon https://mega.nz/file/aE4xla7Y#SI47v8r_76bTtjKL7_1cgacvgLeI6VtyGh28_HUecwE >Spin Jam https://mega.nz/file/uIoXESRZ#I3Fiijsiy1Szx1MFiLafMhStoZlczzecT47iIxxtLAM >Ford Racing https://mega.nz/file/GAoR1aoJ#IZ_2vRkmJImz5ZpA5QBY4RX3mOfX1XA0YDov7auwwxw >Stunt GP https://mega.nz/file/HUp3lKpD#Sfxjngf75ekGNpAWEVdsBiaVZh3aKsiK2rlXhJLroLk WORMS >Worms 2 https://mega.nz/file/eUwTharb#jkrKKkHUGfoSAom8aaJ22MSq-re1SB6PSD-ozw330FI >Addiction Pinball https://mega.nz/file/SIAggIKA#4THeTTSn1Uy3jNFpDpzYjrFNxI28hQPw2eFiz4en9F8 >Worms Armageddon https://mega.nz/file/OEpV3QiD#cttUv7rkWQ0DJZIrphGqXdQgqnaar5_UBcGB1fE7sto >Worms World Party https://mega.nz/file/TcIGAahL#JSHvfYIk-mSDRkVm_4c_misHCne0-ACXfKFYGeLwHRs >Worms 3D https://mega.nz/file/SUYkGYRI#NaIllymj-GvFjna1N4L5ajepIhlMgy-TmnXiDM-80b8 >Worms Blast https://mega.nz/file/OJxj0IQQ#srL35CBPOqxRJSgdmIZNy_DLd524ubYtqVE6Vb2EFLs >Worms 4 https://mega.nz/file/mYolxQLY#WxzRuov2LAvsZxDgJrP1-o4PwL-IrrxCzeRVwSUtNX0 How's that for a dump
>>2264 Damn anon, good job! This must have taken a lot of research. Reading about the demoscene is always a treat.
Ico's OST is so special
Dark Cloud has always been one of my favorites. King of comfy.
Arc the Lad Twilight of the Spirits is a rather weird game but the soundtrack is excellent.
Chaos Legion is a cool little pre-DMC3 hack 'n' slash from Capcom. It has a really slapping techno-rock choir sound. Nothing like this is made anymore.
>>2512 Dark Chronicle also has a nice OST, though with a completely different vibe, very Uematsu-ish. Ultimately I prefer the Dark Cloud one but it's still nice.
Open file (3.14 MB 360x360 Burning Spirits.mp4)
Open file (2.95 MB 360x360 Chi arasou.mp4)
Open file (2.01 MB 360x360 Dark Shrine.mp4)
Open file (1.00 MB 360x360 Kesshikou.mp4)
Open file (3.87 MB 360x360 Shitou.mp4)
Dawn of Mana, or Seiken Densetsu 4, is a somewhat questionable entry into the series and being a Square game it has a very expensive epic score that's maybe a tad generic, but there's also this rockish undertone to it spicing things up a bit.
Dark Native Apostle is a rather bizarre 2001 PS2 puzzle/platformer/action game from Hudson of all people. It's one of the earliest games to utilize cell-shading technology but the really cool thing about it is that late '90s techno sound that only a very small portion of 6th gen games managed to catch.
Drakengard 2, arguably the best in the series and more well known for begetting the Nier franchise, has a really interesting score.
Eternal Ring is an early From Software game, from back when they still used to make something other than Souls games. It's somewhat notorious for its eccentric score that doesn't fit anything happening on the screen but that's kinda part of its charm.

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