The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

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Developer: CD Projekt RED | Released: 2016 | Genre: RPG, Third Person

I had a vacation between Christmas and New Year and I managed to complete the main story of the second and last expansion pack. I was invited to a new zone by a couple of noble knights in shining armor. The new zone had a different color palette, more vibrant and saturated, and the buildings looked like something from the southern part of Europe. But to be honest it didn’t really feel all that different. The dungeons, the caves and even the big town felt like it could just as easily have been part of the main game.

At least the people there were much friendlier towards Geralt. No more spitting as I passed by.

Screenshot

The second expansion followed the trend of a harder difficulty that the first expansion introduced. I was particularly miffed at the spewing plant monsters that spawned around a monster area, confusing me with bubbling pods and forcing me to run around all over the place. Sometimes I avoided a spot in the distance because I could see those pesky plants warming up for a fight. Some of the vampire enemies, especially the naked ladies, were also a bit too tough for my liking.

Quote of the Past

I think the most likely issue is that while there just has to be other life of varying intelligences around the universe given the sheer number of galaxies and stars, the odds of intelligence popping up at the same time are somewhat astronomical.

Our planet’s been around for 4.5 billion years. Homo Sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years. We just started using radio for less than 150 years. There’s a not-negligible chance we may wipe out our own species with engineered disease or war in the next hundred years or so if we don’t get some backup humans off-planet. (Thanks, religious fanatics with modern weapons!) So that’s a mighty short window to broadcast to another civilization.

If you look at history as a 24-hour day, even if two species pop up a couple of seconds from each other, they’ll likely miss the window to communicate with each other.

The only way contact is likely is if intelligent species can survive in a technological era for many thousands of years. That’s going to require other species to be a lot more reasonable than ours is proven itself to be so far.DennyA, Quarter to Three Forums

The Early AdLib and Sound Blaster Music

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This blog post contains my early AdLib music from 1991-93. Most of it are conversions from SID tunes on the Commodore 64. These were painstakingly transferred using a basic converter program, after which I had to spread arpeggio chords into real channel chords since AdLib had three times as many channels as the SID chip did. In some cases I even added a tenth Sound Blaster channel with sampled drums.

The editing was mostly done directly in the assembler listings except for a few of my own test tunes which was done in a prototype music editor that would eventually become EdLib. You won’t need an emulator plugin to play the tunes – they have all been saved as MP3 for easy listening.

The Alibi (AdLib)
March 1992 C64
Converted from Laxity’s original C64 tune. This is the standard AdLib version.

The Alibi (Sound Blaster)
March 1992 C64
Converted from Laxity’s original C64 tune. This version features a tenth channel with digi drums.

Colgate – Title Music
December 1991
Converted from Drax’s original C64 tune composed for the game.

Lollypop AdLib Music

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In 1994, the side-scrolling 2D platform game Lollypop was released for DOS, and in 1995 for Amiga. It was developed by Brain Bug and released by Rainbow Arts, featuring music and sound effects by Vibrants.

lollypop_title_screenlollypop_main_menu

This blog post contains all the AdLib music made for the DOS version, saved as MP3 for easy listening. Most of it was composed by Thomas Mogensen (Drax) and Torben Hansen (Metal) in EdLib.

The peripheral tunes made use of all nine channels that the OPL2 chip supported. However, the level tunes only made use of five to make room for the sound effects in the remaining four channels.

Peripheral tunes

Title Tune
1993-94 Vibrants

Hiscore
1993-94 Vibrants

Congratulations
1993-94 Vibrants

FastTracker II Music by Drax

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Thomas Mogensen, known as Drax in the European C64 demo scene, was known for his many excellent SID tunes there, but he also made more than 180 FastTracker II tunes from 1995 to 2003.

FastTracker II was a popular DOS tracker in the 90’s that used the proprietary XM file format. It employed samples as instruments, played with alphanumeric notes in patterns of typically 64 rows each. Up to 32 channels were possible. I have converted the original XM music to stereo MP3 for easy listening here.

3 Monkeys – 1 Beer!
June 1997 Maniacs of Noise

666
December 1997 Maniacs of Noise
A short sine waveform tune.

A Different Existence
June 2002 Maniacs of Noise

My Favorite SID Tunes by Laxity

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Thomas Egeskov Petersen, known as Laxity in the European C64 demo scene, composed more than 200 SID tunes on the Commodore 64 from 1987 and up, most of them in his own music player.

Question: SID tunes? What's that?

SID tunes are chiptunes created on the Commodore 64, or an emulation of the C64 or its SID chip.

The SID chip in the Commodore 64 was quite advanced in 1982. It had three channels across eight octaves, ADSR, four different waveforms, pulsating on the square waveform, three ring modulators, and multi mode filtering. The music players written for it were usually called 50 times a second, quickly changing waveforms and frequencies to simulate vibrato, drums and arpeggio chords.

I’ve been listening through all of Laxity’s tunes in the latest High Voltage SID Collection which was at #65 at the time of publishing this blog post. I selected more than 180 tunes I liked and created stereo MP3 files for easy listening here. You could call it sort of “Laxity’s Greatest Hits” as compiled by JCH.

21.G4 Demo Tune #1
2005 Vibrants / Maniacs of Noise
One of three demo tunes Laxity made to test music player v21.G4 for my music editor.

21.G4 Demo Tune #2
2005 Vibrants / Maniacs of Noise

21.G4 Demo Tune #3
2005 Vibrants / Maniacs of Noise

Quote of the Past

Why do most PC gamers like Steam, but dislike Origin?

There’s something to be said for customer consideration and there’s definitely very little of that when you only sell your games on Origin. Steam is the defacto distribution platform on PC and the vast majority of PC gamers use it. Not only that but they enjoy using it. As such, it makes perfect sense to support it (which is why every single publisher does except EA). It’s simply good for customers. It’s also good for business, as your game will receive more exposure and more sales (which is why Ubisoft still sells their games on Steam, even though they have their own digital distribution platform). It’s a win-win situation.

Imagine if every company only sold its products exclusively through its own storefront. Supermarkets, convenience stores, book stores, Amazon… all would cease to exit. Want to buy a box of Cheerios? Sorry, you have to go to your nearest General Mills store. Want some Colgate toothpaste? Check your local Colgate store. Want a new Nvidia video card? Gotta buy direct from Nvidia. Shopping would be a very inconvenient and irritating process. That’s why people don’t like Origin.Jerykk, Blue’s News Commenter, February 2016

My FastTracker II Music

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The contents of this blog post was previously a menu page, but I have since decided to change the menu page into an index of all the blog posts that contain chiptunes and tracker music. Hence this is now a blog post.

In 1995-98, I created 14 official tunes and another 14 unfinished work tunes in FastTracker II.

FastTracker II was a popular DOS tracker in the 90’s that used the proprietary XM file format. It employed samples as instruments, played with alphanumeric notes in patterns of typically 64 rows each. Up to 32 channels were possible. I have converted the original XM music to stereo MP3 for easy listening here.

Acid Jazz
February 1996
This was made in less than three hours without a keyboard.

Ara
March 1996
Originally created in summer 1995 but first finished in March 1996.

Bambi Funk
December 1996
Unfinished work tune. The deep leader from 1:10 was supposed to slide on a lot longer.

My Favorite SID Tunes by JCH

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Wait, who is this JCH now? What a silly abbreviation. Just using his initials – how uninspired. Must be some kind of idiot. Anyway, it says here that he was active on the Commodore 64 from 1987 to 1992.

Question: SID tunes? What's that?

SID tunes are chiptunes created on the Commodore 64, or an emulation of the C64 or its SID chip.

The SID chip in the Commodore 64 was quite advanced in 1982. It had three channels across eight octaves, ADSR, four different waveforms, pulsating on the square waveform, three ring modulators, and multi mode filtering. The music players written for it were usually called 50 times a second, quickly changing waveforms and frequencies to simulate vibrato, drums and arpeggio chords.

I’ve been listening through all of my own tunes in the latest High Voltage SID Collection which was at #65 at the time of publishing this blog post. I selected approximately 200 tunes and created stereo MP3 files for easy listening here. You could call it sort of “JCH’s Greatest Hits” as compiled by… uh… JCH. Yes.

42nd Street
1989 Vibrants
The name refers to the fact that the tune plays for 42 seconds before looping.

Abstract #1
1989 Vibrants

Accident
1989-90 Vibrants
Cooperation between MSK and JCH. The bassline was taken from some pop hit by George Michael.

My Favorite SID Tunes by Jozz

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The Danish pianist Johannes Bjerregaard created a few hundred SID tunes on the Commodore 64 and is regarded as one of the most brilliant C64 composers of all time. He was active from 1986 to 1990.

Question: SID tunes? What's that?

SID tunes are chiptunes created on the Commodore 64, or an emulation of the C64 or its SID chip.

The SID chip in the Commodore 64 was quite advanced in 1982. It had three channels across eight octaves, ADSR, four different waveforms, pulsating on the square waveform, three ring modulators, and multi mode filtering. The music players written for it were usually called 50 times a second, quickly changing waveforms and frequencies to simulate vibrato, drums and arpeggio chords.

I’ve been listening through all of his tunes in the latest High Voltage SID Collection which was at #65 at the time of publishing this blog post. I noted down 78 tunes I liked and created stereo MP3 files for easy listening here. You could call it sort of “Johannes Bjerregaard’s Greatest Hits” as compiled by JCH.

Again It’s JB
1989 Johannes Bjerregaard

Alf TV Theme
1988 Johannes Bjerregaard
Conversion of the theme from the TV show “Alf” by Tom Kramer and Alf Clausen.

Balloon
1990 Johannes Bjerregaard