Author Topic: An LF Soundtrack  (Read 2617 times)

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Offline Prob Lem

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An LF Soundtrack
« on: December 22, 2014, 02:31:47 PM »
This thread was inspired by the recent find of the initial soundtrack from Lemmings, in which most of the entries were unlicensed arrangements of tunes from outside sources such as TV programmes, films, musicals, pop music, and so on.

I'm now curious as to what we, as a collective, would come up with, if we were compiling a soundtrack in the same vein as that one. To make you think really hard about your choices, you're restricted to (up to) three picks - two tunes from TV/film/radio or wherever, and one from any other video game, to represent your dream Special Graphics level. Keep in mind that we're talking about the same sort of audio capabilities as the Amiga, SNES, Mega Drive, and their contemporaries. I'm interested in seeing the reasons for the choices!

My picks are as follows;

Tune 1: The Wombles theme tune, by Mike Batt
Reasons: The Wombles are a British institution, and the theme song from the TV series is possibly even better-known than the original books are. The "Underground, overground" hook is also very fitting in the context of Lemmings, and the tune can be made to loop nicely, as proven by the fact that it was used in the official computer game adaptation of the series (the C64 version is shown here). (Fun fact: The Wombles themselves are actually of quite a similar build to the lemmings, with nearly identical proportions, long snouts and eye placement, along with a lack of legs and the same sort of waddling fashion of walking, too!)

Tune 2: Live And Let Die, by Paul McCartney
Reasons: Lemmings' initial soundtrack had a couple of parts cribbed from songs by The Beatles, so how about this James Bond movie theme by former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney? It has a similar "action-packed" feel, in places, to that of some of Tim Wright's original compositions for the retail version of Lemmings, and is also the sort of tune that loops nicely, as well.

Dream Special Graphics Level Tune: Mad Doc 4, from Mickey Mania - The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (Mega Drive), by Matt Furniss
Reasons: The Mad Doctor was one of the "showcase" levels in Mickey Mania (it was even chosen for the game's cover artwork!). I would pick this, and the graphics from this level, for my dream Special Graphics level, as the tune (which is particularly memorable for its use in the chemical-mixing segment as you approach the Mad Doctor himself), absolutely oozed atmosphere in its own game, and would certainly do so in a hypothetical Lemmings title in the same sort of way as A Beast of a Level did in the real thing. In keeping with the theme of all of the other Special Graphics levels in the original game, Lemmings' publisher, Psygnosis, actually had a hand in Mickey Mania - it was one of the first major non-gaming licenses that they ever landed. Also, the composer of this track, Matt Furniss, was responsible for the soundtracks from the Master System and Acorn Archimedes versions of Lemmings, the Archimedes version of Oh No! More Lemmings, and the Archimedes and Mega Drive versions of Lemmings 2: The Tribes.

For what it's worth, I almost put this in the Forum Games section, but I think that this could generate some interesting discussion about the soundtracks and their impact on the feel of the games. ;) So, have at it, guys!

Offline NaOH

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Re: An LF Soundtrack
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2014, 05:13:08 AM »

Dream Special Graphics Level Tune: Mad Doc 4, from Mickey Mania - The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (Mega Drive), by Matt Furniss
Reasons: The Mad Doctor was one of the "showcase" levels in Mickey Mania (it was even chosen for the game's cover artwork!). I would pick this, and the graphics from this level, for my dream Special Graphics level, as the tune (which is particularly memorable for its use in the chemical-mixing segment as you approach the Mad Doctor himself), absolutely oozed atmosphere in its own game, and would certainly do so in a hypothetical Lemmings title in the same sort of way as A Beast of a Level did in the real thing. In keeping with the theme of all of the other Special Graphics levels in the original game, Lemmings' publisher, Psygnosis, actually had a hand in Mickey Mania - it was one of the first major non-gaming licenses that they ever landed. Also, the composer of this track, Matt Furniss, was responsible for the soundtracks from the Master System and Acorn Archimedes versions of Lemmings, the Archimedes version of Oh No! More Lemmings, and the Archimedes and Mega Drive versions of Lemmings 2: The Tribes.

Ooh, this is a very good pick. I think you've mentioned this song before -- I see why. I'm surprised that a game about Mickey Mouse could be any good, but that's a darn good track right there.

I sometimes think about what makes a good video game soundtrack; for Lemmings, I've always liked the adapted classical music turned into a driving synth score. I'm sure I would have liked ONML better if its music were in the same vein as the L1 soundtrack. So if I were to pick some songs for Tim Wright to adapt, I'd grab some of Chopin's Préludes or Impromptus. (Fantasie Impromptu would work well, I think.)

For a legally grey soundtrack, which seems to be the goal here... I don't know if "Scarborough Fair" is a copyrighted melody, since it is a mediaeval folk tune, but the interpretation by Simon & Garfunkel is quite beautiful. Here is a score from a video game which is clearly inspired by Scarborough Fair, but is a bit of a different melody. I think it works well.

Maybe that's not enough of a copyright infringement. I need to find something with a strong melody, is still in copyright, and fits the mood of lemmings. How about Stairway to Heaven or Kashmir, both songs by Led Zeppelin? No Surprises by Radiohead sounds to me like it would fit right in in the L1 soundtrack, and has a dark undertone that fits the slaughtering of rodents quite well.

Hmm... how about Rasputin? It has a driving feel to it, sounds fairly unique (insofar as anything vaguely disco could sound unique), and is also a little dark. I think this might be my favourite pick.


Offline Prob Lem

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Re: An LF Soundtrack
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 11:44:59 PM »
Ooh, this is a very good pick. I think you've mentioned this song before -- I see why. I'm surprised that a game about Mickey Mouse could be any good, but that's a darn good track right there.
Thanks. :thumbsup: And, yeah, I almost linked to that when I was writing the parent post here, but I felt that my notes on that one track were long enough already, haha...

For what it's worth, the game's well worth playing (as is Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, also for the Mega Drive). There's certainly plenty of good TV/film/etc.-licensed games out there, in spite of the myths, honestly.

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(Fantasie Impromptu would work well, I think.)
Oh wow, I'm listening to this as I type, and it really does sound like it'd translate well into a tracker tune done with the samples from Lemmings. Nice one!

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For a legally grey soundtrack, which seems to be the goal here...
The goal's one that has the same general gist of Lemmings' initial soundtrack, really. There's certainly room for tunes from the public domain, too - after all, the initial soundtrack has a few - it's just that the soundtrack in question has a really noticeable leaning towards arranging famous, still-in-copyright tunes.

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I don't know if "Scarborough Fair" is a copyrighted melody, since it is a mediaeval folk tune, but the interpretation by Simon & Garfunkel is quite beautiful. Here is a score from a video game which is clearly inspired by Scarborough Fair, but is a bit of a different melody. I think it works well.
This also works beautifully, as per Fantasie Impromptu.

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Maybe that's not enough of a copyright infringement. I need to find something with a strong melody, is still in copyright, and fits the mood of lemmings. How about Stairway to Heaven or Kashmir, both songs by Led Zeppelin? No Surprises by Radiohead sounds to me like it would fit right in in the L1 soundtrack, and has a dark undertone that fits the slaughtering of rodents quite well.
All I can say is that you've seriously got an ear for this. All of these fit, to my ears, as well! :D

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Hmm... how about Rasputin? It has a driving feel to it, sounds fairly unique (insofar as anything vaguely disco could sound unique), and is also a little dark. I think this might be my favourite pick.
The YouTube link here seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, but if you mean Rasputin by Boney M, I absolutely love this pick; I love the song to begin with, and of course, it has a slightly obscure (and somewhat tenuous, since it's really about the man and not the song) link back to Lemmings, as well. :thumbsup:

Offline NaOH

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Re: An LF Soundtrack
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 04:39:01 AM »
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(Fantasie Impromptu would work well, I think.)
Oh wow, I'm listening to this as I type, and it really does sound like it'd translate well into a tracker tune done with the samples from Lemmings. Nice one!

Chopin has a lot of haunting and beautiful piano solo pieces, many of which could translate quite well to a videogame, I think. His nocturnes in particular are well-suited; the blandly-titled gem, Nocturne in C Minor (posth. 1837) would be quite good. Adapted, of course. He has some good waltzes, too. Really, everything by Chopin is beautiful except his mazurkas. I don't even know what a mazurka is, or why Chopin decided to write so many (he wrote over 50 of them), but they are all categorically unlistenable.

On the topic of classical music, this Beethoven piece is also easily adapted, particularly the main riff. (The piece does lose its focus here and there. Most of Beethoven's pieces wander around a lot, I don't know why he thought that would be a good idea). Perhaps a mashup of different sections of any of these songs would work well.

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Hmm... how about Rasputin? It has a driving feel to it, sounds fairly unique (insofar as anything vaguely disco could sound unique), and is also a little dark. I think this might be my favourite pick.
The YouTube link here seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, but if you mean Rasputin by Boney M, I absolutely love this pick; I love the song to begin with, and of course, it has a slightly obscure (and somewhat tenuous, since it's really about the man and not the song) link back to Lemmings, as well. :thumbsup:

Curses. Well, I fixed the link. That was exactly the song I meant :) And Lemmings 3D does have a good soundtrack of its own.