Mark Cooksey

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Mark Thomas William Cooksey
Mcooksey1.jpg
Born 1966-01-18
Birth Place Unknown
Nationality British   UK.svg
Aliases Tony Deaf, M.T.W. Cooksey, M Cooksey, Mark, Dr K
Website sites.google.com/site/mtwmusicsite/

Mark Cooksey is a British composer who has been working on video game music ever since the 1980s and is one of the better known game musicians.

Cooksey played the piano as a small child and used computers at school around 1982. In 1984, he bought himself an Oric Atmos with 32k and left school with A-Levels in Chemistry, Physics (his favorite subject) and General Studies. He then unsuccessfully looked for a job in electronics.

In February 1985, Elite were looking for programmers at the local job centre. Finding it close enough, Cooksey applied as a trainee games programmer and landed an interview with the boss, Brian Wilcox, the next day. At the end, Cooksey was tasked with programming a music driver in assembly for his Oric and arranging Airwolf Main Theme on it. Over the weekend, he did it using a very simple assembler he had programmed in BASIC. On this basis, he got employed "more or less on the spot", tasked with arranging the same song on someone else's Commodore 64 music driver, and next, and unexpectedly, with composing music for almost all of Elite's games.

Elite made Cooksey a freelancer from 1986 to 1989 and laid him off in 1990 for financial reasons. While working at Elite, he moved on to their division MotiveTime, which paid their employees bonuses for based on Elite's profits. However, the bonuses gradually got lower and eventually disappeared. He later worked for NMS Software, which was a bunch of former Elite staff members. Cooksey also worked for Arc Developments and created the sound engines there.

Cooksey's best known soundtracks are Bomb Jack (C64), Paperboy (C64), and Ghosts 'n Goblins (C64), which have had tons of remixes by C64 music fans alike. Cooksey continues to compose game soundtracks to this day and he even plays in a band. Cooksey says that writing music for video games inspired him to compose and play music.

As of 2001, he still has an Oric Atmos and a Commodore 64 and donated his Amstrad CPC and his Sanyo 286 PC to a cancer charity.

Music Development

Commodore 64

For 1985, Cooksey was given someone else's driver. Elite also had a license to Novaload, a tape loading system which had its own music format but forced Cooksey to enter notes in BASIC.

By April 1986 and autumn 1988, he created two drivers of his own. On two games, he used a bass drum sample and a snare drum sample by Christoph Bergmann and a hihat sample from a 1987 demo song, either from Music by Cavi 2 by Geert Vandevenne or more likely from Nemesis by Marco Swagerman.

Game Boy

Cooksey composed his music on Notator for the Atari ST and wrote a tool that converted the MIDI files to his sound driver.

Game Gear/Sega Master System

Cooksey wrote the music in Logic and Notator for the Atari ST. He would then convert his MIDI files to the GameGear and Master System using his own conversion tool and sound engine.

Genesis

Cooksey composed MIDI files which were converted to his 68000 sound driver. Cooksey said he had a very difficult time programming instruments on it. During the development of Paperboy, Cooksey had Sega send him instruments.

NES

All of Cooksey's NES music was composed in Notator for the Atari ST. He then converted the MIDI files in Notator to the NES. Cooksey also programmed his own sound driver for the NES. According to Cooksey, he was primarily trying to get "flutey" sounds out of the NES. His music was played back from a memory box from Spidersoft.

The game Joe & Mac uses digitized drum samples, which Cooksey says may have been supplied by Richard Frankish.

Gameography

Released Title Sample
1985-0?-?? 911 Tiger Shark (C64)
1985-0?-?? Airwolf (C64)
1985-0?-?? Frank Bruno's Boxing (C64)
1986-04-?? Bomb Jack (C64)
1986-06-?? Ghosts 'n Goblins (C64)
1986-12-?? Space Harrier (C64)
1986-1?-?? Paperboy (C64)
1986-1?-?? Scooby Doo (C64) Sound Effects?/Sound Effect Driver.
1986-??-?? 1942 (C64)
1986-??-?? Airwolf II (C64)
1986-??-?? Bomb Jack II (C64)
1986-??-?? Commando 86 (C64)
1987-07-?? Cataball (C64)
1987-07-?? Great Gurianos (C64)
1987-0?-?? Pirates in Hyperspace (C64)
1987-0?-?? Scare Bear (C64)
1987-0?-?? Starforce Nova (C64)
1987-1?-?? Jackal (C64)
1987-1?-?? Ramparts (C64)
1987-??-?? Battle Ships (C64)
1987-??-?? Dead or Alive (C64)
1988-09-?? Battle Island (C64)
1988-0?-?? Hoppin' Mad (C64)
1988-0?-?? Ikari Warriors (C64) Loading Music.
1988-0?-?? Salamander (C64)
1988-1?-?? A Question of Sport (C64)
1988-??-?? A Question of Sport (AMI)
1988-??-?? Buggy Boy (ZXS)
1988-??-?? Forgotten Worlds (AMI)
1988-??-?? Ghosts 'N Goblins (AMI)
1988-??-?? Live and Let Die: The Computer Game (AMI)
1988-??-?? Live and Let Die: The Computer Game (C64)
1988-??-?? Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz (AMI)
1988-??-?? Overlander (C64)
1989-0?-?? First Strike (C64)
1989-0?-?? Forgotten Worlds (C64)
1989-0?-?? Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz (C64)
1989-0?-?? Storm Warrior (C64)
1989-0?-?? Wanderer (C64)
1989-??-?? Aquablast (AMI)
1989-??-?? Commando (AMI)
1989-??-?? Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine (NES) Composer?
1989-??-?? Grand National (AMI)
1989-??-?? Overlander (AMI)
1989-??-?? Paperboy (AMI)
1989-??-?? Space Academy (C64)
198?-??-?? Spitfire (C64)
1990-06-?? Felix (C64)
1990-0?-?? Crack Down (C64)
1990-??-?? Commando (AST)
1990-12-?? Dragon's Lair (NES) (ドラゴンズレア)
1990-??-?? Gremlins 2: The New Batch (AMI)
1990-??-?? Mighty Bomb Jack (AMI)
1990-??-?? Mighty Bomb Jack (AST)
1990-??-?? Tournament Golf (AMI)
1990-??-?? World Championship Soccer (AMI)
1991-03-?? Gremlins 2: The New Batch (C64)
1991-??-?? Paperboy (GEN)
1991-??-?? RoboCop Versus The Terminator (SMS)
1991-01-?? Dragon's Lair: The Legend (GB) (ドラゴンズレア)
1992-12-?? Lethal Weapon (C64)
1992-12-?? WWF European Rampage Tour (C64)
1992-1?-?? Nick Faldo's Championship Golf (C64) Sound Effects.
1992-??-?? The Addams Family (SMS)
1992-??-?? Arch Rivals: The Arcade Game (GEN)
1992-??-?? Arch Rivals: The Arcade Game (GG)
1992-??-?? Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge (GB) (フェラーリ)
1992-??-?? Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (GB)
1992-??-?? The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Space Mutants (SMS)
1992-01-?? The Addams Family (GB)
1992-11-?? Prince of Persia (NES)
1992-11-?? Star Wars (GB)
1992-11-?? Super Off Road (GB)
1992-12-?? Dr. Franken (GB) (ドクター フランケン)
1993-??-?? Cool World (GB)
1993-??-?? F-15 Strike Eagle (GG)
1993-??-?? RoboCop Versus The Terminator (GG)
1993-??-?? Sensible Soccer: European Champions (GB)
1993-??-?? Speedy Gonzales (GB) (それゆ!けスピーディー・ゴンザレス)
1993-02-?? Dragon's Lair (SNES) (ドラゴンズ マジック)
1993-06-?? F-15 Strike Eagle (GB)
1993-06-?? Joe & Mac (GB) (Caveman Ninja)
1993-06-?? Joe & Mac (NES)
1993-06-?? StarHawk (GB)
1993-07-23 Jimmy Connors Tennis (GB) (ジミー コナーズ の プロテニスツアー)
1993-11-?? Cliffhanger (NES)
1993-11-?? Jimmy Connors Tennis (NES)
1993-12-?? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Ubisoft (NES)
1993-??-?? Poker Face Paul's Blackjack (GG)
1994-??-?? Aladdin (NES)
1994-??-?? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (GB) (インディアナジョーンズ 最後の聖戦)
1994-??-?? Math Blaster: Episode 1 (SNES)
1994-04-22 The Fidgetts (GB)
1994-06-17 Elite Soccer (GB) (ワールドカップストライカー)
1994-06-24 The Addams Family (GG) (アダムス・ファミリー)
1994-10-?? Cool Spot (GB)
1994-12-?? Hurricanes (GG) Sound Driver?
1994-12-08 Aladdin (GB)
1994-12-16 Newman Haas IndyCar Featuring Nigel Mansell (GEN) (ナイジェルマンセル・インディカー)
1994-??-?? Poker Face Paul's Solitaire (GG)
1995-02-?? Pinball Fantasies (SNES)
1995-07-?? Jungle Strike (GB)
1995-12-31 Hyper 3-D Pinball (DOS)
1996-10-31 Hyper 3-D Pinball (SAT)
1997-01-?? Hyper 3-D Pinball (PS1)
1997-09-30 Mass Destruction (PS1)
1997-10-?? Dr. Franken II (GB)
1997-10-31 Mass Destruction (DOS)
1997-11-30 Mass Destruction (SAT)
1998-12-?? Las Vegas Cool Hand (GBC) Sound Driver
1998-12-?? Pitfall: Beyond the Jungle (GBC)
1998-??-?? Cool Hand (GB) Sound Driver
1999-10-?? Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy (GBC)
1999-11-26 Les Visiteurs (GBC)
1999-12-?? Gex 3: Deep Pocket Gecko (GBC)
1999-11-10 Earthworm Jim 2: Menace to the Galaxy (GBC)
1999-11-26 Les Visiteurs (GBC)
1999-12-?? Gex 3: Deep Pocket Gecko (GBC)
2000-??-?? Papyrus (GBC)
2000-??-?? Spirou: The Robot Invasion (GBC)
2000-04-30 Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado (GBC)
2000-07-09 Men in Black II: The Series (GBC)
2000-09-15 Carl Lewis Athletics 2000 (GBC)
2000-09-15 Hype: The Time Quest (GBC)
2000-11-?? Army Men: Air Combat (GBC)
2000-11-27 Ultimate Fighting Championship (GBC)
2000-??-?? Spirou: The Robot Invasion (GBC)
2000-12-06 Playmobil Interactive: Laura (GBC)
2001-03-16 Flipper & Lopaka (GBC)
2001-03-30 Robin Hood (GBC)
2001-05-30 Commander Keen (GBC)
2001-08-24 VIP (GBC)
2001-09-?? Woody Woodpecker (GBC)
2001-09-23 Gremlins: Unleashed (GBC)
2001-09-28 Men in Black: The Series (GBA)
2001-09-28 Snood (GBA)
2001-10-09 Dracula: Crazy Vampire (GBC)
2001-11-14 Midnight Club: Street Racing (GBA)
2001-11-15 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (GBC)
2001-11-16 Kirikou (GBC)
2001-12-04 Top Gun: Firestorm (GBC)
2002-05-29 Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (GBA)
2002-09-25 Smuggler's Run (GBA)
2002-11-26 Top Gun: Firestorm Advance (GBA)
2005-08-15 Millipede - Super Breakout - Lunar Lander (GBA)
2005-08-21 Connect Four - Perfection - Trouble (GBA)
2005-08-21 Risk - Battleship - Clue (GBA)
2005-08-21 Sorry! Aggravation - Scrabble Junior (GBA)
2005-10-28 Snood 2: On Vacation (GBA)
2005-10-31 Sky Dancers (GBA)
2005-11-07 Mousetrap - Operation - Simon (GBA)
2005-11-16 Snood 2: On Vacation (NDS)
2006-05-16 Tringo (GBA)
2007-??-?? Battleship - Connect Four - Sorry! - Trouble (NDS)
2007-??-?? Clue - Mouse Trap - Perfection - Aggravation (NDS)
2007-??-?? Garfield Gets Real (NDS)
2007-??-?? Garfield Gets Real (Wii)
2007-07-?? Deal or No Deal (NDS)
Unknown Solitaire on Vacation (IOS)
Unreleased The Adventures of Dr. Franken (NES)
Unreleased? Blackjack-Poker (GB)
Unreleased Charlie Chaplin (C64)
Unreleased E.T.: Venron's Assault (GBA)
Unreleased? Gex 2 (GB)
Unreleased Home Alone 2 (GB)
Unreleased Hoppin' Mad (NES)
Unreleased? Kirouko 2 (GBC)
Unreleased? Matchbox: Cops & Robbers (GBA)
Unreleased? Mattel Pack 1 (GBA)
Unreleased Pinocchio (GB)
Unreleased? TXR Racing (GBA)

Picture Gallery

Links