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Trailblazer – “Alchemy” (Robert Wells)

June 30, 2010

Trailblazer (1986, 1992) is a classic C64 game that was later ported to the Amiga via shareware. You control a rolling ball through a racetrack in outer space. There are different kinds of tiles: blue ones speed you up, red slow you down, whhite sends you at warp speed, purple are walls, green make you bounce, and the black ones are holes. There are also cyan colored blocks that reverse left and right directions. You can also bounce your ball, but depending on the game version, there may be a limited number you can make. Trailblazer was recently re-made for Gizmondo. The original design was by Shaun Southern, and it was ported to the Amiga by Alchemy, which is also the name of this song. The music is by Robert Wells (Ginseng).

Trailblazer – “Alchemy” (Robert Wells)

“Alchemy” is the only song playing in Trailblazer – it plays on the title screen and within the levels as an endless trance. It’s a nice active theme with a forward-rolling bass line and drums upon which additional layers of electric piano and bass flares. There are plenty of drum and piano solos. The synth piano accompanied with a drumline makes the track feel a bit like commando music. It’s a little monotonous after awhile, but the style is very consistent. Out of all the Amiga games I had on my system (and here I didn’t have anything really cool like Turrican…), this was the most memorable simply because the song was so good. Here is the original MOD for reference (had some trouble looping it!).

There is little information on Robert Wells, though his complete discography (or in this case MODography) is on Amiga Music Preservation (an awesome site that archives Amiga MOD files (playable in Winamp and Foobar out of the box) and catalogues information on who composed them (though it sadly does not include the names of the games in which these tracks appear)). Google suggests he lives in Australia.

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One comment

  1. Hi. I wrote this game (i.e. I am Vision Beyond). Yes, we are Australian and all met at Monash University. I did a nostalgic Google and found this site.

    Rob did some nice work on music. I may even have a bunch of his mods at home in the garage somewhere. I have not caught up with him in several years. Last time I spoke to him he owned a very successful web development company.



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