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Music Monday: Warhawk

In the first of a weekly series celebrating some of our favourite gaming tunes, Leon recalls boogieing to Rob Hubbard’s title screen overture from budget vertical scroller Warhawk.

The game itself wasn’t anything to write home about (and not to be confused with either of Sony Computer Entertainment’s Warhawk games for PSone or PS3), a smooth-scrolling but rather dull £1.99 Star Force clone with some nice bas-relief graphics but little else to recommend it, other than its sensational soundtrack.

For every two minutes I spent playing the game I probably spent 15 listening to this driving, hook-laden multi-layered, multi-channel space opera from C64 maestro Rob Hubbard.

This piece, despite sounding somewhat different to the Commodore version, reminded me that my Atari 800XL could, when coaxed, produce more than simple bleeps and bloops. Hubbard’s signature twangy bass line, synth washes, arpeggios and crisp percussion made everything about this humble little budget sh’mup seem so much more epic.

Coder Andrew Betts even made the parallax star-field interactive – you could change its direction with a stab of the Atari’s ahead of their time brushed steel ‘option’ and ‘select’ keys (years before Hideo Kojima was creating attract screens you could mess around with).

Strap in to your 8-bit fighter and prepare for blast off:

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