Game: Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Song: Port of Adia
Composer: Darren Mitchell
Above: Port of Adia from Turok 2
Poor Turok - after his first game received a surprisingly capable sequel (that'd be Turok 2), many of us assumed he was on the path to franchise superstardom. Instead, the series middled around and never saw the clincher game, the one that really solidified Turok as a viable contender. So strong was its premise (mystical Native American kills dinosaurs with increasingly elaborate guns) that it even saw TWO failed reboot attempts. For now, let's leave the franchise dreams alone and remember how good Turok 2 actually was, beginning with its impressive score that kicks ass right from the beginning.
Your first mission takes place in the Port of Adia, a city that's been ransacked by the... oh man they're really called Dinosoids? Ugh, yes, ransacked by the Dinosoid army. Anyway, the underlying tune begins slow and ominous,then swells into a rocking orchestral climax that's begging for violence. Strong stuff, especially on the N64, which was constantly derided for its poor sound quality and limited storage space. The fact Mitchell could pull off such convincing strings on this console is noteworthy indeed.
Above: A straightforward remix that imagines the Adia tune through modern audio tech
Above: Speaking of elaborate weapons, here's a montage of T2's sizable armory
Say what you will about Turok, the N64 or console FPSes, but that Cerebral Bore will go down in gaming history as one of the most creative guns of all time. Beyond that, the game managed to create a very real sense of urgency and scale on a console that was notorious for blurry graphicsand horribly tinny audio. That weapon montage video also containsa few other tracks, so be sure to give it a complete view/listen. Port of Adia alone was so compelling it made me play that first level over and over again, so you can be sure thefull OST contains a few other "call to action" gems that walk the line between background atmosphere music and melodic "videogame" music.(opens in new tab)
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Place of Reticent Lava by JDK Band (ultra-rockin'!)
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Simian Acres by Graeme Norgate
A very jazzy, swingin' cover band