The Sultans of SID: #10: Gerard Gourley

Our tenth SID sultan of our Advent Calendar

From yesterday, our little clue was:

His works include the soundtrack to Codemasters’ last ever Dizzy title on the Commodore 64.

Firstly, to answer the question, you needed to know what the Codies’ last Dizzy game was on the Commodore 64. That was Crystal Kingdom Dizzy from Christmas 1992. His music defined the C64’s twilight years as much as Messrs Hubbard, Daglish, and Galway did during its commercial peak.

Our tenth Sultan of SID is…

Gerard Gourley

During 1992 and 1993, a fair number of budget games (on the Hi-Tec Software and Codemasters labels) features Gourley’s SID tones. They were very good though very much of their time. Melodic? Most definitely, though a bit on the twee side for some ears.

After the C64, he composed music for 16 and 32 bit computer formats. From the Amiga to Windows PCs. The first two versions of Micro Machines (SNES/Gameboy) also had Gez’s tunes.

I first came across his works on DJ Puff’s Volcanic Capers, quite a decent platformer in the CJ’s Elephant Antics mould.

Essential Tunes

i. DJ Puff’s Volcanic Capers

Throughout the game, there is only two tunes. Both of which of a high standard. From my experience, with the slightly battered Quickshot II Turbo, it went well with the game itself. This clip is the game in full, kindly posted on YouTube by David Golder (late of Commodore Format and Your Sinclair).

ii. Crystal Kingdom Dizzy

Crystal Kingdom Dizzy was the ovoid character’s swansong on the Commodore 64 and broke new ground by not being a Speccy port! The in-game music is punchy with some good bass notes. This clip has all the music from the said title. There is also some resemblance to the title theme from Soccer Pinball in Crystal Kingdom Dizzy’s title theme.

iii. WWF Wrestlemania

If there was one gaming licence that screamed 1991 – 92 in earnest, it was Ocean Software’s WWF licences. With this clip, there’s a clear Maniacs of Noise influence in this score.

Tomorrow’s Sultan of SID…

Once again we shan’t divulge who our next SID legend is, but we can give you a clue. The clue is as follows:

He made it through the Reyn...

All will be revealed tomorrow.

S.V., 10 December 2016.

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