References in videogame music

My post about the Agent X II theme reminded me of something else that’s interested me for a while. The music in computer games back in the 80s and 90s clearly contained some major pop culture influences, but I wonder how often it was completely subconscious, and how often the composer set out to copy the feel (or even the notes!) of an existing piece of music? We had a much more relaxed attitude to copyright back then!

Anyhow, the influences ranged from the utterly blatant:


Or the stunning (for 1990) game over music from Shadow of the Beast II on the Amiga, and a piece of incidental music from Miami Vice:

But sometimes it was a little more subtle.
Take for example, Rob Hubbard’s C64 music for One Man and His Droid: Listen to the section 3:05 into this:

and compare with the passage 2 minutes 40 seconds into this:

Of course, sometimes it works in the opposite direction!

So how many more examples are there?

An old favourite

After such a dry, technical post, here’s something a bit lighter: more videogame music from my childhood!

This was Tim Follin’s masterpiece from the Commodore 64 version of Agent X II. I’ve always loved the eccentric rhythms in this. (Also, listen out for a reference – perhaps accidental? – to Rutter’s ‘Shepherd’s Pipe Carol’ towards the end.)

PACE Adventures – Part 4

A worked example…

Since I’ve been asked just how difficult it is to port a PACE arcade machine to the Chameleon, I figured a worked example would be useful! So what I’m going to do is document the process of getting Galaxian up an running. I’m going to assume you’re using Linux here. It’s all equally possible on Windows, but you’ll need to deal with things like getting an SVN client up and running, and I’m afraid I can’t help with that.

The first thing you need is a copy of the current PACE repository (Revision 1402 at the time of writing), so from a terminal, type:
svn checkout
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