Theme - Gremlins
Theme is a theme in three variants, used in the Gremlins hack-and-slay game as follows (unless stated otherwise in below sections):
- The full composition starts when the main menu or first get-ready screen appears.
- The second section starts when the get-ready screen to any other begun level appears.
- The full bassline plays solo when all players are out of lives.
The full theme plays over the title screen instead of the main menu. The second half plays on any get-ready screen (i.e. also after players take turns). The bass solo plays when any player is out of lives (i.e. not just both).
Although the title screen prompts to press space and you can toggle all sound by pressing the S key in-game, you really have to wait until any music finishes, audible or muted.
Gremlins: Atarisoft (C64)
The full theme starts only once loading finishes. When you press F1, the second half plays instead.
Someone ported all sound data and the driver from Gremlins (A52) to the SID sound chip. Since SID has one voice less, he did delete the bass' chorus. He changed the waveforms, probably because he was new to SID: The bass plays on one sawtooth wave, and harmony and melody play on one triangle wave each. Finally, the harmony got a nice legato, possibly by accident.
To record every variant whole, the game was played in VICE 3.2 with C64 old NTSC. On slightly newer NTSC C64s, everything is 2% faster, probably too similar for an extra recording. Apart from that, it sounds the same on every SID chip. In the rip, they are tracks 1, 2 and 4.
The main menu is silent. When the first get-ready screen appears, the second half starts instead.
Naturally, someone rewrote the driver in x86 assembly. All sound data is identical to Gremlins (A52); only the melody (or bass upon game-over) is ever used, and the driver converts POKEY pitches and volumes to PC Speaker pitches and on/off just as it plays.
The game tries to synchronize everything with the screen refresh, which turns out different on old and new graphics hardware. To record every variant whole, the game was played:
- in DOSBox 0.74 with machine=cga.
- on a real Pentium 60 MHz with a microphone standing in front of the PC Speaker.
- Bass, slightly detuned downwards to achieve a chorus
To record every variant whole, the game was played in Altirra 3.90. Unfortunately, the bass and melody together overdrive there. Whether they do on a real Atari 5200 is unconfirmed.
- deepsid.com/?file=/GAMES/G-L/Gremlins.sid&tab=visuals&sundry=osc - Visualization of full C64 arrangement.