Games like Shadow of the Beast were unique in a couple different ways, in my opinion. The cover art was surreal, aesthetics of the game felt almost alien and yet indigenous, and the mechanics were deceivingly basic yet challenging. The game’s music mirrored it’s visuals quite a bit with its ethnic instrumentation, that was tweaked and played upon with it’s sequels.
The original Shadow of the Beast OST was written and composed by David Whittaker, who was prominent in the realm of music creation for the Commodore 64, Amiga and ZX Spectrum. (Bit of trivia; he’s also the composer of Lazy Jones, whose track “Star Dust” would later be bought and sampled by Zombie Nation to help create the song “Kernkraft 400″.) Shadow of the Beast 2 and 3 were both composed by Tim Wright, whose other popular works spanned from Lemmings to Wipeout. With these two men at the helm of the franchise’s music, the games were given an almost ethereal value with it’s soundtracks.
Fast forward about two decades, and we have the Kickstarting of a book; The Amiga Visual Compendium, which celebrates the imagery and graphics of the games of the Commodore Amiga personal computer. My personal desire to get my hands on this book was one of pure aesthetic nostalgia, as the Amiga was the only other gaming machine I owned growing up beyond our model 1 Sega Genesis and the games we owned for it (or at least, had been burned to disk by the previous owner, since Amiga games were laughably easy to copy) held a special place in my childhood memories. My sole focus was the book, and I passed by any of the additional swag that had progressively been added as additional content as the campaign broke it’s stretch goals. So of course I was pleasantly surprised when I received my hardcover book full of Amiga visual goodness, and along with the typical trinkets was a CD that contained a remix album of the music of Shadow of the Beast; my eyes focusing on the byline “Tim Wright vs David Whittaker”. Cue my mounting giddiness.