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Shadowgate – “Title Screen” (ICOM Simulations)

October 11, 2010

Shadowgate is a pretty interesting game. A graphical adventure game, players are presented with a view of a room and must click on objects in the room to interact with them. You can take the treasure, but is it booby-trapped? Will you turn to slime if you touch that water? Or will the dragon burn you alive? Success in Shadowgate requires cunning to solve puzzles, combine artifacts, and fight the evil warlock to save the world – all before your torches run out! Shadowgate was originally on the Mac and Amiga in 1987 but was later ported to the NES in 1989. It’s been many a year since I played this on my NES, but I still remember it fondly!

Shadowgate – “Title Screen” (ICOM Simulations)

“Title Screen” is fairly short, but has a rousing melody with a mellow square wave for the lead instrument. The piece only has two sections, each 12 seconds long each for an agonizingly short 24 seconds – which is terrible because the song deserves to be expanded. The first segment is played lower on the scale, and suggests the difficulty of the quest at hand; the second half the hope and burning devotion towards the completion of the task. Behind it all is a driving drumbeat of the warrior king heading off on his quest, inviting the player to dive right in. Sadly, like so many other games of that era, the composer is unknown. However, he worked for ICOM Simulations. The NES version was ported by Kemco. The game’s other songs are mostly about as short, and so get repetitive very quickly (not something you want in a puzzle level, but ok for getting people off the title screen and into the game).

phoenixdk created a nice rock medley of several Shadowgate themes for OCRemix. Of course, the all-time best Shadowgate rock medley goes to Virt for “Warrior King“. This is some epic stuff, with a rock and string version that quickly leaps into the level themes. While I’ve heard some of Virt’s work before, this is pretty amazing and I’ll have to stick it on my iPod when I get the chance!

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