Select Track

Posted in VVVVVV
By Terry Jan 7, 2010

This is a guest post by Magnus PÁ¥lsson, aka Souleye, who composed VVVVVV’s soundtrack!

Hello there all friendly gamers!

First I’d like to say… Terry is a monster. But more on that later.

This blogpost entry is by me, Magnus, aka SoulEye. I asked if I could talk a little about me, VVVVVV, and the music, since there’s been some questions about it. Terry being the gentle soul he is accepted so here we go!

I’ve been making computer music since the 1980’s. It became really fun with the advent of the Amiga computer. I’m very much game influenced in my music style. I love the retro games and the music that come with it and the feeling explorable within. I’ve tried a lot of genres but think that retro game music is the most enjoyable to make.

Although… It’s not always as well received by those not well versed in oldschool retro games… You know the kind. The kind that says “Theme from Wizball? Which movie was that?” when I bring up old geniuses. When I proudly announced that I have chatted with Rob Hubbard about game music, they looked at me dumbfoundedly and shook their heads in disbelief, not that I hadn’t done it, but rather that they can’t believe one can be more inclined to have anything more to do with this kind of music than hitting the off button.

But not so in the internet’s indie community! You kind folks have like me an unbridled passion for retro games, music and creativity. When I started posting songs online I never knew I’d one day be making music for games that could have been rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mega Man 2 or Mario brothers, had they only been released back then.

Which brings me to how I came to do the soundtrack for VVVVVV. I was fiddling away with my chiptunes and the more people I talked to about it, the more requests came in for game music. At one time I assisted a game development school with music for their graduating student’s exam projects, so there was always something to do.

Cutting a long story short, I came across and posted some tunes there. Charlie from asked to use a tune for his game Space Phallus, which then later Terry played, and approached me with an offer to make tunes for his new game… A weird platformer… What’s this, I thought. Boy was I in for a surprise.

Like you, I checked out Terry’s portfolio of games and was amazed at the depth that came with the games, even though they were small and short. My personal favorite became Don’t Look Back because of the chilling “untold” story. That’s when I knew I wanted to make this lad something special musicwise. Though I had only a little to work from, I got an idea and went with it. I wanted to make uptempo happy songs that would ingrain themselves into your minds whether you want to or not, hopefully so much so that you’d go humming on them when not playing, and making you want to come back to the game even more.

Did Terry and I succeed in creating that unconscious craving to return to playing VVVVVV when you aren’t? You’ll know soon enough, the game is out the tenth… I’m as excited as you are – I haven’t played that awesome-looking super gravitron either!

Damn that Terry. Making me wait for that, he’s such a monster… Oh right, this was his blog, I forgot. *Cough* What I meant to say is… Terry is a nice fella! Give him all your money!

Okay? We good? Okay. Phew.

Chevy Ray asked for it, and I deliver… A VVVVVV Haiku!

The flipping falling –
even snowflakes awaiten
gravitys release

– Magnus

Thanks, Magnus! I just want to add he’s planning to sell the game’s soundtrack separately for $4 on his own site for anyone who wants it. If you like his music, consider supporting him this Sunday too! He’s put together this preview track of the songs from the game:

18 thoughts on “Select Track”
  1. First of all, i´m so gonna buy this soundtrack! I WANT IT NAO!!!

    Ahem. Sorry for the fanboyism.

    It’s amazing the work you both have done with this game, because how well the music fits with the overal ambience. I look foward to see more colaborations like this. Really, 2010 starts with a high note! Keep it up!

  2. When I sit down and think about the greatest indie soundtracks I used to only think of Aquaria. Now I think of VVVVVV and Aquaria. I really can’t think of any other indie game that surpasses these two in terms of musical quality.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Fun trivia: Terry himself is featured with “vocals” in the final track I made for the game called Pressure Cooker. Have fun spotting him!

    And I do a little of that too, in the title track. Keep your ears peeled!

  4. It was several years ago. He was quite good at coding on the C64 from what I gathered. I guess coding was a prerequisite for making music on the C64 back then, without trackers and stuff.
    We discussed the future of game music, and chiptunes in particular. He has moved on to “normal” music long since those classic tunes and couldn’t really grasp why people still would make such music when technology has evolved so much.
    He also seemed a bit baffled about how people on the net still hold him in such high regard, because of some tunes he hade made all those years ago. It’s a bit awkward revealing this, as these views were a bit of a reality breaker to me (and maybe you too now!).
    I would LIKE to dream that he is still like the image I had of him before in my mind: a hardcore chiptune musician living in a basement somewhere and contemplating which sine wave progression would fit the next pixellated c64 shoot em up… Commando 59 or something. But I still love C64 Orchestra too.

  5. Ah, don’t worry about breaking my reality… that was roughly the impression I got from a documentary video I saw on the C64 Orchestra and it’s not something that upsets me overly. I recall reading Galway had a similar view. Still, sounds like an awesome experience!

    While I love his C64 tunes and probably always will (Sanxion is a personal fave), I too appreciate the C64 Orchestra stuff. In fact, I really hope a new album will be released soon… it doesn’t even seem like they’re still active. 🙁

    I love the music you’ve done for this game, and what I’ve heard from you in the past too. I’ll probably be buying PPPPPP on day one if all goes as planned!

  6. D’oh! When I wrote up my review of the beta I was so enamored with the game design that I forgot to make mention of this glorious music. I’ll make sure to link to the soundtrack when I opine about the final release; hearing snippets of those songs again created a not-so unconscious craving to jump –scratch that, flip — back into the game world. Those tunes are delicious.

    If my memory serves correctly you’ll also be laying the law down in Chevy’s upcoming FlashPunk game; I can’t wait.

  7. It seems silly to me to sell those tracks and the game separately, but at least the price is very affordable so I guess I’ll just buy both of them then.

  8. Whee! I know some people from the C64 orchestra; in fact, I had one over today 🙂 I’ll ask if they’re still active or planning anything.

  9. I’ll see her again tomorrow at the rehearsal of our (boringly standard symphony) orchestra. I’ll try to remember about it!

  10. Sorry that I didn’t get back earlier. She (and the other players) seem interested enough in continuing touring, but the people/company organising it just stopped. But maybe if there were an online petition or so, showing how much interest there still is, they’d reconsider…

    Also, she says that their CD is still for sale.

  11. […] “I wanted to make uptempo happy songs that would ingrain themselves into your minds,” PÁ¥lsson said of the soundtrack, “whether you want to or not, hopefully so much so that you’d go humming on them when not […]

  12. I don’t know how I got here, but I checked Charlie’s site and it looks like he is still doing a great job developing games. I hope you continue making nice music for him!

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