Silver Surfer (NES)

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1990
Developer: Software Creations
Buy: Amazon

Silver Surfer is a shooting game developed by Software Creations and published by Virgin Games (under their Arcadia Systems moniker). In this game, the Silver Surfer (controlled by the player) is summoned by Galactus to collect pieces for a powerful device. To do this, the Silver Surfer must traverse through six worlds, collecting a piece each world is completed. Each of these levels features an enemy from the comic series such as Reptyl, Mephisto, Possessor, Fire Lord, and Kylor. Each stage features a few sub-levels. The game has two modes; a side-scrolling shooting mode similar to Gradius, as well as a top-down vertical shooting mode similar to Galaga. Starship Hector also has these two modes of play.

The game was highly criticized for its high difficulty; one hit kills you, and there are no kinds of health powerups or temporary invincibility. Pair this with obstacles all over the screen trying to kill you at all times, and you've got a game that's near impossible to complete. If you're one of the few to have bested this game without any cheats or help, you deserve a medal! However, the game was highly praised for its outstanding graphics and music.


Silver Surfer - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Silver Surfer - NES - Gameplay 1.png

The opening cutscene.

Silver Surfer - NES - Gameplay 2.png

The level select.

Silver Surfer - NES - Gameplay 3.png

Playing Reptyl section 1.

Silver Surfer - NES - Gameplay 4.png

Playing Reptyl section 2, which changes to an overhead view.

Silver Surfer - NES - Gameplay 5.png

This screen is burned into most people's minds who have played it.


The game's soundtrack has been highly praised, some of which calling it one of the best video game soundtracks of all time. The soundtrack consists of fast-paced rock tunes that give the player the high energy needed for a game of this caliber and difficulty. Also, even though there's only 2 in-game tunes, they're both pretty lengthy and catchy, so the listener is unlikely to get bored or annoyed of the music.

To create the music, Tim and Geoff had to painstakingly write the music in 6502 assembly machine code, using a sound driver by Software Creations programmer Stephen Ruddy.

Though both Tim and Geoff are credited with music, Geoff said in an interview that Tim did all of the music, and he himself probably only helped out a bit. As a result, Tim is only listed as the composer. [1] says of the first stage theme:

The BGM played in side-scrolling stages, also called "BGM 1" or "STAGE BGM A" because it is not an official song title. The sound is so thick that it is hard to believe that it is from the NES, and the novelty of the song's continuous use of arpeggios will astonish almost everyone who hears it. Even more surprisingly, the music does not use any extended sound sources or DPCM (sampled sound sources), but only the three chords of the NES's internal sound source. It is a complete mystery how such a song could be composed using only the NES's internal sound source, Along with "Opening" from "Solstice," this song is another example of Tim Follin's extraordinary technical skills.


# Title ComposerProgrammer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 3:11
02 Summoned by Galactus Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 0:32
03 World Selected Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 0:08
04 BGM 1 Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 3:03
05 BGM 2 Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 3:28
06 Section Complete Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 0:06
07 Device Completed Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 1:08
08 Game Over Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 0:09
09 Hi Score Tim FollinStephen Ruddy 2:35



The game's credits only appear after the ending after the start button is pressed. Stephen Ruddy has confirmed programming Software Creations' NES sound driver.

Though Geoff Follin is listed along with his brother for music, he said in an interview that he doesn't think he did any music for the game, and probably just did a little assistance with Tim. The game's programmer, Kevin Edwards, confirmed that Geoff was in fact involved with the game's audio, as it is the reason he listed Geoff in the game's credits.

Game Rip






Audio Devices

The game uses the 2A03. The game uses Stephen Ruddy's sound driver. The DPCM channel is never used, and as typical with Stephen's driver, the noise channel works in conjunction with the triangle channel to produce more realistic-sounding drums.


  USA.svg   USA
Silver Surfer - NES.jpg
Title: Silver Surfer
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Released: 1990-11-??
Publisher: Arcadia Systems