Another tune that has stuck with me from the 8-bit era is the intro music from Fairlight on the ZX Spectrum. Or, to give it its full title, Fairlight: A Prelude. Or, its even fuller title, FairLight: A Prelude: The Light Revealed. Hmm … I think I’ll stick with Fairlight for now.
Fairlight is an isometric adventure game set in a medieval fantasy world (the Land of Fairlight, obviously!). It was developed by Bo Jangeborg and Jack Wilkes for The Edge and released for the Speccy in 1985. Ports for the Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 came in the following year.
Set inside the walls of Castle Avars, an imprisoned sorcerer tasks you with finding the Book of Light. Much like the pioneering isometric game Knightlore, the game involves navigating your way through a non-linear sequence of interconnected rooms, courtyards, and caverns while dodging and fighting baddies.
To progress, you need to find keys and other useful items and solve a series of environmental puzzles. A neat feature of the game is being able to interact with most objects, such as pushing and stacking things to create staircases to get to otherwise unreachable places. Shame the control system is bloody horrible by today’s standards.
My main memories of Fairlight are getting hopelessly lost, avoiding tornadoes in castle courtyards, and picking up the helmets of defeated guards, which you can place into the path of said tornadoes!
And obviously, I remember the fab baroque-style chiptune arpeggios of the intro music and the chirpy looped track that plays in-game. Apparently, the music was by someone going under the name of Pennsoft. What a strange moniker for a video game composer!
I find the intro music is endlessly whistleable. Sometimes, I wonder if I was milkman in a previous life?
You can checkout my classic video game music playlist on YouTube.