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[Site Registration :: News Archive :: Interviews Archive :: Forum Index]

Dan Forden Interview

11/18/2002 :: Posted at 3:06 PM by DArqueBishop
MK5.ORG forum moderator _JRF_ has just finished the second round of his interview with Dan "Toasty" Forden, who is responsible for the music for most (if not all) of the Mortal Kombat games (including Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance)! In this interview, _JRF_ asks about Forden's past and influences [and more]:

[Mortal Kombat Online]: How has creating the music for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance Differed from your experiences with past Mortal Kombat games?
Since we developed it for the home consoles and not for arcade hardware, I was able to just think about writing music instead of worrying about how efficiently I could write a tune so that it took up the least amount of sound memory. I was able to put more energy into creating sounds and textures that evolved over time instead of making sure everything was short and crisp. Working in stereo is also nice since you can create a much richer sound field. I also got help from some of the Midway sound guys. Rich Carle wrote two fighting tunes - Quan Chi's Fortress and the Lava Shrine are his, as well as the music snippets in Test your Sight and one of the map tunes heard between Konquest missions. The woman singing at the end of Test your Sight is from a sample disk of Chinese opera - definitely a new and interesting texture. Vince Pontarelli (Cruisin', Arctic Thunder) wrote the music for the Ice Palace background and contributed sound effects for Mavado's character. Eric Huffman wrote two of the story ending background tunes used in many of the character's endings. He also contributed miscellaneous sound effects for the opening FMV as well as the fatality sound effects for Reptile, Cyrax and Raiden.

Out of all the tracks you have done for MK games, which one is your Favorite? Least favorite?
It's hard to remember all of them - I have personal favorites and dislikes in every game ... my favorite in MKDA is probably the Ship - the pseudo-metal tune ... don't remember which one is my least favorite (:>)

What kind of feel does the music in MKDA have? Is it more like the Earlier MK games or the later MK games?
I think MKDA has a more consistently evil feel throughout - the tempos are overall a bit slower and the tunes seem heavier ... the style leans more toward evolving sonic textures than toward recognizable melodies ... I can't tell if it's more like the earlier or later MK games... I view the music as a constant evolution so I guess I'd say it's closer to the later ones than the early ones...

What is the difference between making the music for the fighting MK? Games and the Mythologies games? Are there different steps you take to? Create the music to give each respective game its own feel or what?
Big difference - the Mythologies games had to be "rendered" in MIDI on the PSX which meant I had to figure out what samples/instruments I wanted to use, sample them appropriately and load them into the very limited memory on the PSX. It was fun in the sense that it was a challenge to try to extract what music I could out of a limited set of sounds, but I don't think the sound quality compares with what I'm able to do for the other games. In the arcade games and MKDA (with the exception of MK1) I was able to utilize a huge palette of sounds and instruments to compose the music. Another difference is that Mythologies, being more of an adventure game, needed a large amount of music that was a notch or two down in intensity from the typical fight music you might hear in the fighting games. Since the action plays out over a longer period of time, the music has to remain more in the background and be less obtrusive. Occasionally you would have to punch it up for boss fights, but, for the most part, it needed a more subdued treatment.

After a no-show in MK4, is there a chance we might see the return Of your mug popping out from the corner this time around with your Trademark "Toasty!!" tagline?
Every once in a while, you might hear it in the Test your Might crowd ...

Where do you draw influence when creating such a large amount of music (at least 20 original tracks, plus sound effects)?
Lots of places - usually what's in my head plus from things I hear all over the place - to me it doesn't sound like any of the things I like to listen to but probably has hooks in there somewhere ...

Any chance of seeing MK music put out on CD again, like the MK2 CD?
Probably not - the MK3/MK4 CD endeavor didn't turn out the way it was supposed to so I probably wouldn't take the risk this time around ...

Did you make music for the Drgaon King fight?
What's the dragon king fight? [Editor's note: This may be more evidence that there isn't a Dragon King fight in the game. Time will tell...]

Did you personally do voice work for this game?
I didn't for this game, but have for the previous games ... I might do some in future games ...

What other projects have you done music for, outside of MK and The Grid?
Lots of stuff - I used to do a lot of pinball sound tracks back when Williams was making pinball - I also did most of the audio for the NFL Blitz series. I did CART Fury - the racing game, and an anti-gravity racing game called Hyperdrive.

Are there are any remixed tracks from older MK games included or even buried in one of the krypts?
All the MK5 music is new - didn't re-use any old stuff though some of the music does draw its influence from older games ..

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