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 Posted:   Jan 13, 2016 - 10:07 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

A few days ago I decided I'm going to try my best to sample every quality Trek game music score, to expand the musical Trek world and see if there is anything to offer. I imagine this is a process that will take months to do.

Using a list of Star Trek video game scores from wikipedia and skipping to the earliest that might not have an eight-bit cheese-fest, I have started with the only video I could find on youtube for:

"The Warp Factor" (for Apple II; 1982)
This is Godawful. It makes Pitfall (for Atari) look like the Mona Lisa.

Anyway, it has no score (there's a breif opening eight-bit fanfare for the company logo), but I had to mention it because of how bad it is.

You look at the packaging and you think: wow, a Trek game score -- this should be cool, even for the time. No, no, no, no, no:

So, it opens with a cheesy but acceptable Klingon ship image. That's the highlight.

After that it's a black screen with white text for most of the time. Then finally you get to see some ships! Man, that must be awesome, right? Wrong.

What you get are two white dildos that do nothing:

It's like the Asteroid game, only without better quality ship, and deafening silence.

"Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative" (for Apple II; 1985)

This is a runner up for a terrible game. It's like texting with rainbow DOS. That's it -- there's nothing else, no ships, no nothing. But at least it opens with the Courage fanfare, albeit in eight-bit and only seven notes. I suspect there will be nothing of note music wise until the mid 1990's.

"Star Trek: The Rebel Universe"
No music in the game, though it opens with the entire Courage theme, but in higher-quality eight-bit sound with some wobble I guess to make it spacy. Rather a novelty to hear:

"Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)
Yes, a video game based off the film. But I got here by skipping a lost of DOS-based games.

It opens with eight-bit (are we passed eight-bit yet? I don't know) version of Goldsmith's ST: TMP theme. Novel in a way to hear, but there are two bizarities: it adds a breif few notes that aren't supposed to be there and ends abrptly, not finishing the theme.

"Star Trek: Klingon" (1995)
Finally, some music score, and with orchestral (and some synths). And it's not a name unfamiliar, either: Gregory Smith, who did three scores for Deep Space Nine and would orchestrate sometimes for Chattaway.

It opens with some tom-toms and snare and for Gowron (played by the same actor from the Trek series) as well as some breif exotic sounds for him in the way of what I think are maybe bones being shake against each other. Some of the pieces on the Klingon home world (yes, there are sets, other Klingons -- it's like an episode of TNG set on the Klingon home world) sound kind of like the breif synth works Ron Jones did for Klingons (whyen he wasn't using orchestra); some synth pads, wooden xylaphone(?), tamborine, other drums. Not much to offer aside from those. It's a little too standard and simple and shifts a little too uneasily.

Of special note: we get a fun few minutes with the Pakleds. The dumb alien race from a couple episodes of TNG, but after that only seen in the background of the show and D.S.9..

"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Interactive VCR Board Game - A Klingon Challenge" (1995)

The score is composed by somebody named Peter Pope. It's his only credit on IMDb.

This may be the worst -- not counting early Apple and DOS games -- Trek music I've heard. Simple synth tracks that offer nothing. It's an especially glaring thing when you consider what Gregory Smith did that year with another Trek game score.

 Posted:   Jan 14, 2016 - 2:37 AM   
 By:   David Ferstat   (Member)

In my OPINION, you're being, at the least, unrealistic to expect listenable music from a computer game more than 30 years old.

"The Kobayashi Alternative" is gorram text adventure, and you're criticising it for having no music? On second thought, scratch "unrealistic", and substitute "childish".

I hope that you're not claiming you've been exhaustive in your search, because, for example, you've omitted "Klingon Honor Guard", which is well represented on YouTube, even having several (possibly all) of its score posted.

 Posted:   Jan 14, 2016 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   Morn   (Member)

"Star Trek 25th anniversary" (1992) and "Judgment Rites" (1993) had decent music, even incorporating some themes from TOS (i.e. not just the main title but also cues from episodes).

"A Final Unity" (1995) was scored like a late TNG episode, i.e. not that memorable. The score worked well enough for the game though.

"Star Trek: Borg" (1996) had somewhat memorable music by Dennis McCarthy no less who delivers a nicely pounding theme befitting the Borg subject matter.

 Posted:   Jan 14, 2016 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

In my OPINION, you're being, at the least, unrealistic to expect listenable music from a computer game more than 30 years old.

I didn't say I'd find listenable music, I said I was going to see what there was offered.

"The Kobayashi Alternative" is gorram text adventure, and you're criticising it for having no music? On second thought, scratch "unrealistic", and substitute "childish".

Something, anything playing underneath, even if bad eight-bit noodling, would have been better than watching fanciful DOS boxes for a long time. This isn't John Cage's 4'33, it's something that shoudl have some kind of drive behind it; if people wanted to work with DOS, they could have written their own simple DOS program, and then named it after something Trek related.

I hope that you're not claiming you've been exhaustive in your search, because, for example, you've omitted "Klingon Honor Guard", which is well represented on YouTube, even having several (possibly all) of its score posted.

Gorram, you didn't even read the fraking thread. Scroll back up, this time try reading it.

 Posted:   Jan 14, 2016 - 9:30 PM   
 By:   jwb   (Member)

I really like Klingon Academy. Some nice chorus.

 Posted:   Jan 14, 2016 - 10:58 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

Lets not forget Armada and Bridge Commander. Both had good scores

 Posted:   Jan 15, 2016 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

Lets not forget Armada and Bridge Commander. Both had good scores

Loved Bridge Commander. Still listen to it regularly.

 Posted:   Jan 17, 2016 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

"Star Trek: Borg" (1996; for Windows and Macintosh)

This is another bad video game, only for different reasons. As comedian Brian Posehn outs it: nothing pisses off a nerd more than getting the thing they wasted twenty years of their life on, wrong. Suffice to say, I'm one pissed off nerd.

The Borg have returned, a subspace message from another Federation vessel warms. Cut to: a Galaxy-class ship going by. Okay, so far so good, even the font if TNG proper on screen. Ut-oh -- problem: that's not a Galaxy-class design we see inside, it looks like the Intrepid-class cooridors (Voyager).

Some nobody officer apologizes that the captain couldn't be there himself, in what I guess was supposed to be the Conference Room, but it is not. It's amazing at how with a Borg ship coming, the captain couldn't make it. In fact, none of the crew make it the entire game. The only familiar face is non personnel: Q (yes, re-praised by De Lance).

The director and main writer all worked on various Trek spin-off series.

Oh, it's gets worse. Q takes one of the characters to the ship his father died on during hte battle of Wofl 359. Problems: that's not TNG era designs and everybody is wearing Voyager-style uniforms which didn't exist back then. Perhaps the most hilarious is the turbolift control panel which not only doesn't look like one ever used, you can see what appears to be two phillips-head screws holding it to the wall (yummy, some of that 24-century technology!); and it's also a Voyager era turbolift.

Oops -- another problem: not eve ntwenty minutes in and they've forgotten they opened with a Galaxy-class ship, so now the ships has become an Excelsior-class vessel, which makes all the interior designs even worse.

My god -- those are the highest Jeffries' Tubes I've ever seen.

The Borg individules don't fire personal weapons -- that was something the Borg that Lore took over did. Likewise I don't recall any green lighting inside a Borg cube until Voyager (though I recall some outside green lighting for the cube in ST: FC). Also, I don't recall, though I could be wrong, any Borg computer display designs like this in TNG.

As for the score, it's synthy sounding. It opens with a faux militaristic piece more in line with say Stargate. The score is mostly reactionary, uneventful and even lathargic at times.

Almost all the score I heard doesn't even sound like Dennis McCarthy's Trek work.

And then there is the inappropriately scored scene: Q appears in a cooridor in a beach chair with two girls and a server who must have gotten lost from the "Love Boat: The Next Wave" series set. It's scored prodominately with steel drum. Yes, the scene is scored for comedic effect. It's not like that one time in "Deja Q" where Q appears with Mexican players and Q leads a traditional piece with trumpet. No, it's scored like it were "Scrubs", as a cut-away gag.

Overall I would say there's nothing that I would want apart from it. Ron Jones did a superior job scoring the Borg on the series.

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Harbinger" (1996)

The score is by somebody named Steve Scherer. IMDb shows he scored two other Trek games as well.

It opened up decently enough, with scoring that could have come out of late TNG and D.S.9., then even re-produced the opening credits theme (asthe sequence was re-done in computer animated as well), but after that the score devles into annonymous perfunctory servicing. For some reason the end credits are left silent.

"Star Trek: Starfleet Academy" (1997)
Composed by Ron Jones and Brian Luzietti. I've already said what I wanted to about the score in my review of the Ron Jones Trek box (I also commented on Luzietti's efforts). Just head there if you want to read it.

"Star Trek: Generations" (1997)

Steve Scherer is back, this time joined by somebody named Scott Petersen (his only scoring credit on IMDb). at least, IMDb says so; only Scherer is credited in game's credits.

This time the score is a little better. The openign recap sequence (recapping the film Generations) seems to be mimicing somewhat McCarthy's scoring for the film sequences in question. When the end credits begin, it uses Courage's fanfare (like Jerry would do on the film scores), then goes into this weird combo that is like a cross between the Mars, Bringer of War counter melody line from the title theme to "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" and the Courage fanfare and what I guess is the new theme created for the game.

After that it's nothing worth noting. Better than his first effort, but still not worth owning.

Of odd note: while Courage is credited for his theme, Goldsmith is also credited, but I don't recall hearing his theme used anywhere (though I did skim a good deal of game play on other planets). I think maybe the game creators were confused.

"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Klingon Honor Guard" (1998)

The score is credited to three composers: Mark Cromer, Mark G. Reis, and Roland Rizzo.

The score is a complete misfire. Nothing about it says it's Star Trek. No score even sounds Klingon. It's repetitive, unremarkable, and even does the horrible thing of including electronica sounds here and there. There are at least seven music-only tracks on youtube, though I wouldn't advise wasting your time on them.

"Star Trek: The Game Show" (1998)

Yes, this happened.

The game opens up with a cheesy rendition of the TOS theme, along with a cheesy TV announcer, then is interrupted by Q (yes, John De Lancie). Q hosts a game show about Trek knowledge.

You know he [the announcer] makes it sound like your quest for knowledge is sugnificant. To you, maybe, to me sticking your starship into other people's business is merely a quaint exercise in frivolity. But you know what? That's what I love about your species! Your ability, your desire, to dwell on all matters trivial, is the best thing to ever happen to me. Besides me, of course.

there's score excerpts from the various series in clips used. But there's also a funky disco version of the TOS theme used breifly. And some othyer renditions. No original scoring. This was probably all licensed.

"Star Trek: Starship Creator" (1998)

A game where you create your own starship.

There is no IMDb page and I couldn't readily find a list of composers, other than it was multiple people and was of those was Randy Alan Miller. There also a library piece by Peter Tomashek in there from MegaTrax. Based on there being no seeming connection to all the music, I'd be inclined to say it was al licensed.

"Star Trek Birth of the Federation" (1999)

Composed by Steve Scherer. Nothing of note here. His last Trek score, according to IMDb.

 Posted:   Jan 18, 2016 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   Morn   (Member)

As for the score, it's synthy sounding.

Yes, video game scores in the 90s did not have the budget to be recorded live I think. However it was still an improvement over MIDI music which entirely depended on the player's sound card to deliver either bad (FM) or decent (wavetable) sound.

The 2013 ST game score by Chad Seiter was apparently recorded by a 120-piece orchestra though:

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2016 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

"Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury" (1999)
The game was cancelled.

I have no idea who did the music (I searched, but didn't find it, though I'm sure I've seen it in the past):

That one cue doesn't particularly grab me.

"Star Trek: Starfleet Command"
Online sources, including Ron Jones' website say he composed it, while IMDb shows two other people (I'm going with Jones -- the IMDb listing must be an error).

It's a bit of a mixed bag. I didn't care for it or the other Trek game he scored, but the music is better than so far. Jones has some cues available for listen at his website:

"Star Trek: Hidden Evil" (1999)
The score is by somebody named Jamey Scott. This would be his only Trek score, according to his IMDb page.

The score opens with the Courage fanfare, the way Goldsmith would do it, then it rips off some of the orchestra transition bit from Insurrection, as the game takes place after the film (as if we needed to see more of that). Yes, it's as boring as you might think.

The score just kind of drones on in the background and doesn't do much of stand out. Early on with the trombone and piano it was trying to sound a little like the film score, as well as one cue later on in the game when some Son'a attack the officer who leads the game, in duckblind suits (like Data was wearing early on in the film).

For some reason the end credits is a power anthem. Nothing in this score really needs to be heard outside the game.

"Star Trek: Armada" (2000)
Scored by Danny Pelfrey, who appears to have been a favorite as his IMDb page indicates he did six Trek games scores, starting with this one. EDIT: He did seven, one was cancelled.

He creates a theme for each race, it appears, including the Klingons, the Borg, and a fanfare for the Federation.

Pelfrey scores the Klingons with militaristic drums and snare, with some brass and chugging strings. Nothing of note to speak of.

The Borg "music" is a terrible amalgamation of electronic effects, sound design, and what sounds like some electronica elements.

The intro uses not only the Courage fanfare, but Goldsmith's fanfare as well as a brief big of his Klingon music.

But over all there's nothing that should be heard apart from the game.

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2016 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Surprised you didn't like Starfleet Command. I thought it had some excellent cues and I actually prefer it overall compared with Jones's Starfleet Academy score. The neatest thing about Starfleet Command is how he establishes a very different musical "sound" (each interesting) for each race represented in the game. Surprised you didn't mention that.

Really glad that Lukas included both on the Ron Jones Project box set.

I wonder when you're going to get to a Trek score you *do* like?


 Posted:   Jan 26, 2016 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I don't know. I got about three dozen more (I think) to do. Maybe I won't find anything.

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2016 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I don't know. I got about three dozen more (I think) to do. Maybe I won't find anything.

Well, Chad Seiter's score, at least, is really impressive and certainly must be the biggest-budgeted Trek game score to date. I heard some lengthy tracks he put up online at some point. I actually think he does a better job developing Giacchino's theme than Giacchino does himself, and obviously the full orchestra really matters. Really a shame that it couldn't get an official release. Maybe Lukas will be able to include some on the upcoming 50th box set, so that "modern" Trek music is represented beyond the one missing cue from Into Darkness.


 Posted:   Jan 26, 2016 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   Penelope Pineapple   (Member)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen has a great score credited to David Von Kampen. Several cues were released for free online (via the game's website) back when it was released in 2000. I'd love to see it released properly. (I think a promo was put out ages ago.)

 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 3:15 AM   
 By:   cormoranstrike   (Member)

"Star Trek: Borg" (1996; for Windows and Macintosh)
Oops -- another problem: not even twenty minutes in and they've forgotten they opened with a Galaxy-class ship, so now the ships has become an Excelsior-class vessel, which makes all the interior designs even worse.

If I'm not mistaken, the game begins in "present day" on the Galaxy-class ship, and then Q transports the player into the past on the USS Righteous, the Excelsior-class ship.

Some game scores perhaps worth exploring:

Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force (composers Kevin Schilder and Danny Pelfrey)

Star Trek: Elite Force II (composer Zak Belica)

Starfleet Command II (composer Inon Zur)

Starfleet Command III (composer Danny Pelfrey)

Star Trek: Legacy (Composers Rod Abernethy and Jason Graves)

Legacy even has some nice throwbacks to Horner's ST2 score:

 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 7:19 AM   
 By:   jwb   (Member)

"Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury" (1999)
The game was cancelled.

I have no idea who did the music (I searched, but didn't find it, though I'm sure I've seen it in the past):

That one cue doesn't particularly grab me.

Composer is Ken Allen. And you are bad taste if you didn't like this.

 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Wow, for a non-orchestral score, Legacy sounds pretty darn good. I don't think the Starfleet Command sequels sound as good as what Ron Jones did, from those brief samples.

Secret of Vulcan Fury obviously owes a debt to Eidelman's Star Trek VI score. (But I love that score, so it's good with me.)


 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 5:58 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen"
Composer by: Steven von Kampen. His only Trek game scrore, according to his IMDb page.

Years ago the score was available for free as a download from the company's site or something, as I recall. I'm sure it credited two other composers with the score at the time, even though only Kampen is credited in the game intro.

The opening sequence music chuggs along with cello bass strings and is nothing to take note of. However, after that the new take on the opening credits does get a notable cue: instead of using McCarthy's D.S.9. theme and the opening images of the TV series, it changes it up. The new music is a slow work for strings and brass; it's peaceful and slow and actually quite plesant. I may have found the first cue, thus far in this thread, I'd want to hear apart from a Trek game. It starts 2:15 in:

Side from the fact you can hear some of the cheapness in the synths used to make the score and that's it's not complex, it's a nice listen.

Some cues: (the End Credits; I'd like to hear this performed with a real orchestra -- it's nice)

"Star Trek: ConQuest Online" (2000)
Composed by Jason Graves. There's too much SFX nd game review comments on youtube links to comments on the score and there are no samples of the score on his website (the game credit is missing from his site, too). Counting this and the other Trek game credits on his website, that's five Trek game he scored, so you'll be seeing his name again in future comments in this thread.

"Star Trek: Klingon Academy" (2000)
Composed by: Inon Zur. He did four Trek game scores according to his IMDb page. this is the second (the other is on a seperate listing from the page I'm using, so it will be reviewed later).
Additional by: Albert Lloyd Olson.

According to IMDb, this is a prequel to the film The Undiscovered Country, dealing with events on the Klingon home world.

I'll comment on some cues.

The opening theme in an orchestral battle march with operatic wordless choir (probably a way of winking at the Klngon opera music talked about before on Trek). Some people might like it, but it does nothing for me.

Next up we have what it titled the first battle cue, which owes -- I think - a little bit to a Goldsmnith cue from "Mulan", combined with traditional orchetral and some classical nods (with more choir over it). It's actually kind of exciting and well done. This may be the first most real orchestral piece heard yet in a Trek game score:

Plenty of drums, snare, strings, brass, choir, cymbol crashes, and action music. There's plenty of cues to sample on youtube if you want to keep looking. I'd say some cues from this definivitely would be nice to put on a compilation.

I swear this was the Klingon Trek game that I saw and saved demo cues of, from Ron Jones' website over a decade ago.

 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 7:43 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Mulan doesn't have choir in its action cues like that. Sounds much more influenced by Conan the Barbarian to me...pretty cool I agree.


 Posted:   Jan 27, 2016 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

This is the Goldsmith cue I was thinking of:

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