Sunday, October 5, 2008

Muzax 11, part 1 - Music from Psygnosis games

The eleventh episode of Muzax is part of the mini-series “Famous music by video games companies”. The music you will hear is from games developed or produced by the company “Psygnosis”.

In the 1st part of this Muzax episode, you will hear music from the games Brataccas, Captain Fizz Meets the Blaster-Trons, Chrono Quest, Menace, Obliterator and Baal on the Atari ST, the Commodore 64 and the Amiga.

Listen to this podcast : (comments in French)

Download this podcast in MP3 format by clicking on this link. (comments in French)

Content of broadcast:
Welcome to Muzax, the video games music broadcast.

Today, let’s discover the range of music found in games by the company “Psygnosis”.

Psygnosis was founded in 1984 by former managers of the company “Imagine Software”: Ian Hetherington and Jonathan Ellis. Psygnosis developed « Brataccas » in 1985.
This game is one of the first games released on the Amiga and the Atari ST.
As a matter of fact, you can easily recognise the very basic original sounds of the Atari.
They use high resolution graphics.
This technique is rarely used. It has a 640x200-pixel display which uses only 4 colours.

« Captain Fizz Meets the Blaster-Trons » was released in 1988. We are listening to the intro music on the Amiga.
The music incorporates several digitalized voices.
This technique was very fashionable at the time and was highly impressive. It established Psygnosis’ reputation for releasing state-of-the-art games.
The first games by this British company located in Liverpool are developed in-house, like Arena, Deep space, Terrorpods, and their first real success, Barbarian.
On the other hand, Captain Fizz is developed by an external studio: Papyrus Design Group.

« Chrono Quest » is produced by Psygnosis.
This game is well-known in France as « Explora: Time Run ». Actually, it is developed by “Infomedia”, another famous video game company from the 80’s and 90’s.
The Music is written by the famous musician, David Whittaker, whose style is recognisable in the different pieces of music in the Atari version.

The game « Menace » is developed by the studio « DMA Design » but produced by Psygnosis
This shoot’em up was released on the « Psyclapse » label on the Amiga, the Atari ST, DOS and the Commodore 64.
The game has 6 levels all featuring the same music.
Menace has a very basic scenario like most shoot’em up games.
Its strengths are in its graphics, its scrolling and its animations.

Still in 1988, « Obliterator » uses the same concept as the game Barbarian. But, this time, in a futuristic world.We have just listened to the title screen music from the Atari version. Now, here is the ingame music on the Amiga.
The player controls the hero using the buttons on the mouse.
The size of the sprites is pretty impressive for that era.
Actually, a sprite is an animated element such as enemies, projectiles or the hero himself.

« Baal » was released on the Amiga in 1989. This time, the game has multi-directional scrolling.
This technique allows the player to move his character in every direction.
Because of this the game becomes more wide-reaching, is richer and more complex than before, in turn, making the game last longer.

The first part of this broadcast dedicated to Psygnosis is now over. Tune in soon for the next episode of Muzax!

1 comment:

msx said...

I downloaded the Amiga Longplay from YT and will now strip the sound score from the video, the music is pretty amazing.

Awesome blog dude, I'm adding it to my feed reader and sharing on the web.