Monday, August 24, 2009

Muzax 8, part 2 – Turrican or Chris Huelsbeck’s music references

In the second part of Muzax dedicated to Chris Huelsbeck, you will hear music from the games Turrican, Z-out, Turrican II and Gem’X as they appear on the Amiga, the Atari ST, and the Commodore 64.

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.

Let's continue to discover music written by Chris Huelbeck.

« Turrican » was published in 1990 by Rainbow Arts. This game was a real blockbuster. We are now listening to the intro music as it appears on the Amiga.
Chris doesn’t compose the music on every device; they are adapted by several musicians.

Let’s hear the conversion made on the Atari ST by his counterpart Jochen Hippel.
The result is surprising and shows that the Atari ST, despite poorer characteristics than the Amiga, has a potential that only passionate senior programmers can highlight.
Let’s go back to the Amiga version.

While waiting the game levels’ loading, the player can listen to the famous music of the loader.

We are now ready to enter the first level of the game.

Let’s continue with the Amiga version produced by Chris Huelsbeck.
The game consists in the exploration of huge levels which are infested with enemies and traps in order to find the exit and so go to the next level.
The player moves a soldier through 13 levels over 5 worlds.

Still in 1990, « Z-out » is released. It’s a shoot’em up game having the same characteristics as the famous “R-type”. Chris writes the introducing music of the game.

As Turrican had a great success, the episode 2 is released just one year later and Chris composes some of the best music he has ever written.
This second episode has technical characteristics even more impressing than the former episode. It has more colours, larger levels and more voices in the music, a nearly perfect multidirectional scrolling. It is not surprising that Turrican II is considered as one of the games the best completed.

Jochen Hippel is the creator of a routine on the Amiga called “Amiga 7 voice replay routine” that includes 7 voices simultaneously whereas this micro-computer has just 4 voices.
Chris reuse this technology in his own routine called « The Final Musicsystem eXtended » alias « TFMX », for intro and ending music of Turrican II.

Also developed on the Commodore 64, the music we are listening to is the one of the loader on this machine.

We are in the first level of the game listening to music in the Atari ST version adapted by Jochen one more time.
Let’s observe the versions from the Atari and the Amiga.

Chris produces in 1991 music for the game “Gem’X” on the Amiga, the Atari ST and the Commodore 64.
While listening to the music in C64 version, this second part dedicated to Chris Huelsbeck is finishing. Tune in soon for the next episode of Muzax!

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