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
Firq
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 or physics.

In February 1985, Elite Systems 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 1987 to 1988 and laid him off in 1991 to raise money for self-publishing. 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.

Audio Development

Commodore 64

For 1985, Cooksey was given the driver from Neil Bate's games, where all songs were tuned at 433.5 Hz, and Novaload.

By April 1986, he had created his own driver. On his first 3 games, it was tuned at 423.9 Hz.

By autumn 1988, he had created a different, better driver. On 2 games, he used a bass drum sample and a snare drum sample by Christoph Bergmann and a hi-hat 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 / Mega Drive

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.

SNES

For Cooksey's first SNES game Dragon's Lair (SNES), Cooksey himself is using Richard Frankish's sound driver. For the rest of the SNES games Cooksey composed, he used his own driver.

Gameography

Official Gameography: https://sites.google.com/site/mtwmusicsite/7-games-i-ve-worked-on

Released Title Sample Notes
1985-0?-?? Airwolf (C64)
1985-0?-?? 911 Tiger Shark (C64)
1985-09-?? Frank Bruno's Boxing (C64)
1986-04-?? Bomb Jack (C64)
1986-06-?? Ghosts 'n Goblins (C64)
1986-??-?? 1942 (C64)
1986-1?-?? Paperboy (C64)
1986-11-?? Scooby Doo (C64) Sound Effect Driver. Sound Effects?
1986-12-?? Space Harrier (C64)
1986-??-?? Airwolf II (C64)
1986-??-?? Bomb Jack II (C64)
1987-02-?? Commando 86 (C64)
1987-0?-?? Starforce Nova (C64)
1987-07-1? Cataball (C64)
1987-07-1? Great Gurianos (C64)
1987-0?-?? Pirates in Hyperspace (C64)
1987-09-?? Scare Bear (C64)
1987-??-?? Battle Ships (C64)
1987-1?-?? Ramparts (C64)
1987-??-?? Dead or Alive (C64)
1987-1?-?? Jackal (C64)
1988-0?-?? Ikari Warriors PAL (C64) Loading Music.
1988-0?-?? Hoppin' Mad (C64)
1988-0?-?? Salamander (C64)
1988-09-?? Battle Island (C64)
1988-??-?? Overlander (C64)
1988-??-?? Live and Let Die: The Computer Game (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-??-?? Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz (AMI)
1989-0?-?? Wanderer (C64)
1989-0?-?? Mike Read's Computer Pop Quiz (C64)
1989-06-2? Storm Warrior (C64)
1989-07-?? Forgotten Worlds (C64)
1989-08-?? First Strike (C64)
1989-??-?? Space Academy (C64)
1989-??-?? Aquablast (AMI)
1989-??-?? Commando (AMI)
1989-??-?? Grand National (AMI)
1989-??-?? Overlander (AMI)
1989-??-?? Paperboy (AMI)
1989-??-?? Spitfire (C64)
1990-04-?? Crack Down (C64)
1990-06-?? Felix (C64)
1990-12-?? Dragon's Lair (NES) (ドラゴンズレア)
1990-??-?? Commando (AST)
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)
1991-01-?? Dragon's Lair: The Legend (GB) (ドラゴンズレア)
1991-03-?? Gremlins 2: The New Batch (C64)
1991-??-?? Paperboy (GEN)
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)
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)
1993-??-?? Cool World (GB)
1993-??-?? F-15 Strike Eagle (GG) Sound
1993-??-?? RoboCop Versus The Terminator (GG)
1993-??-?? RoboCop Versus The Terminator (SMS)
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-??-?? Math Blaster: Episode 1 (GEN)
1994-02-?? Dennis the Menace (GB) (Dennis)
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-?? Disney's Pinocchio (GB)
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
1999-11-10 Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 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)
2001-12-14 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (GBA)
2002-05-29 Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (GBA)
2002-09-18 Pinball Advance (GBA)
2002-09-25 Smuggler's Run (GBA)
2002-10-04 Worms World Party (GBA)
2002-11-26 Top Gun: Firestorm Advance (GBA)
2002-12-02 Medal of Honor: Underground (GBA)
2002-12-06 Worms Blast (GBA)
2005-05-02 Tokyo Xtreme Racer 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)
2012-11-13 Rabbids Rumble (3DS)
Unknown Solitaire on Vacation (IOS)
Unreleased The Adventures of Dr. Franken (NES)
Unreleased? Blackjack-Poker (GB)
Unreleased Charlie Chaplin (C64)
Unreleased Dragon's Lair (GEN)
Unreleased E.T. Salerian Project (GBA)
Unreleased Home Alone 2 (GB)
Unreleased Hoppin' Mad (NES)
Unreleased Sydney 2000 (GBC)
Unreleased Dino Crisis (GBC)
Unreleased Kirokou 2 (GBC)
Unreleased? Matchbox: Cops & Robbers (GBA)
Unreleased? Mattel Pack 1 (GBA)
Unreleased John Madden Football '93 (NES)
Unreleased John Madden Football '93 (GB)

Aliases

He was sometimes called "Tony Deaf", in order to avoid prohibiting game credits from most developers.

Picture Gallery

Links