Atomic: Fallout Music Remastered

By Alec Meer on May 11th, 2010 at 9:06 am.


Enjoy the smooth sounds of the wasteland, with a freebie 24-track pack of music from the Fallout 1 and 2 soundtracks. Original composer Mark Morgan has poked and prodded the score into a shiny form suitable for the discerning 21st century ear. The whole Vault Archives set is available here, along with four streaming tracks for preview purposes. It remains incredibly evocative sinister-ambient musicology.

(Via NMA)

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81 Comments »

  1. Miles of the Machination says:

    I have to say, this music sounds mighty impressive. I really wish that more classic sountracks would get this kind of treatment.

  2. Levictus says:

    Awesome! Bring back good memories. :)

  3. Sobric says:

    Hmmm, can you put them into Fallout 3? There’s already a mod that adds songs to the In-game radio…

    • Sarlix says:

      There’s already two mods that I know of that replace the F3 sound track with the original. You could do the same with these, you just need to rename them and then replace the existing sound track files with these ones.

      They would go in: \Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout 3\Data\music

      Think thats right.

    • Matzerath says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you even have to rename them. Put them in the appropriate music folder and they become part of the play queue. Then you keep the ‘original’ Fallout 3 music.

    • Sarlix says:

      I think you might be right Sir. I remember the music files having different names, I just forgot they had their own folders. So yeah, replace, keep, extend, whatever your preference.

  4. AlexW says:

    Reminds me of the hauntingly atmospheric music from PST. Is it just me, or is the music from older games just better?

    • Grumpy Moose says:

      Yeah, I get the feeling too. This and PST are probably my two favourite soundtracks of all time. And this remastered version is just amazing.

    • Sarlix says:

      I’m in agreement too.

      Another classic sound track http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjKctPewO7Y

    • Sarlix says:

      Hmm, I don’t think classic does the above link I posted justice.

      Every PC gamer should listen it. In 3:38 it manages to encapsulate everything that is great about PC gaming and the decade that saw the platform rise to untold heights.

      Be transported back to the 90′s and revel in the nostalgia!

      :)

    • Brother None says:

      It’s no coincidence it reminds you of the PS:T soundtrack, that one was done by Mark Morgan as well (together with Interplay’s brilliant sound designer at the time, Charles Deenen)

  5. Gorbacz says:

    That’s because Mark Morgan did the muzak for PST as well. I really really REALLY REALLY hope he does a remix of Planescape muzzak next.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Goddamnit, that’s what happens if you spend five minutes posting, heh.

  6. jeremypeel says:

    Mark Morgan is responsible for PST and Fallout 1+2. Also, for the Giants: Citizen Kabuto soundtrack which still makes me grin with unbridled glee.

    It’s a shame Inon Zur has the monopoly on big RPG soundtracks these days, as good as he is.

    • yaster says:

      He did only a handful of tracks for Giants. Then he quits afaik. Most of the stuff was done by Soule.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Oh really? Thanks for the info, these things aren’t widely publicised it seems.

      Soule is also a bit fantastic – the Icewind Dale theme gives me goosebumps every time. In fact, anything beyond the main menu in that game ends up being a little underwhelming by comparison.

    • pistolhamster says:

      Jeremy Souleless. Blandishness redefined. Mark Morgans sound tracks are awesome.

  7. Xercies says:

    Why do I imagine a cool deep voice when I read this?

    • Grumpy Moose says:

      “War never changes…”

    • jeremypeel says:

      “…it’s only remastered.”

    • Wulf says:

      @Xer

      I know what you mean, this triggers every parody of an American music infomercial that my brain has to offer. My mind reads it as Barry White.

  8. Ripbeefbone says:

    Soundtracks in general are pretty terrible for both games and movies anymore it seems. Having technology that makes the creation of it easier probably has something to do with it.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s always easy to think that until you actually pay attention to something that has a particularly brilliant soundtrack. Some examples that come to mind: Machinarium, VVVVVV, The Whispered World, Bob Came in Pieces, Toki Tori, and Shatter.

      Machinarium and Bob Came in Pieces both had wonderfully orchestrated ambient sound tracks that suited them perfectly.

      VVVVVV’s soundtrack harked back to 16-bit gaming that everyone talks highly of.

      The Whispered World’s sound track is an orchestral thing of musical beauty that I simply cannot find enough praise for, I don’t have the words, so I’ll just link part of the soundtrack. It’s as good as anything my ears have ever beheld. And since I’m the sort that’s easily moved by music, it got me a number of times.

      Toki Tori is also truly exceptional. It’s so chirpy and bouncy, but its happy nature belies just how professional it is, and it’s something that you can sit and listen to. It reminds me of older PC games, and happier times, it’s great stuff.

      Shatter is everything that was bloody brilliant and loved about Amiga music.

      To say that older games were better musically than these newer titles is to insult and belittle their efforts.

      Whilst I respect your views, I must disagree with them for that reason.

  9. subversus says:

    mp3 can go to hell, even for free. I’d pay for FLAC release.

    • RedFred says:

      I’m sure your pro ear can tell the difference between a 320kbs MP3 and FLAC when played through your cheap computer sound card and speakers.

      Even with pro gear its near impossible to hear a difference.

  10. Anthony says:

    To those saying only old games had good music – I point you in the direction of the Bioshock soundtrack.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Bioshock had music?

      I don’t remember any in either game.

      I mean, there probably was, but I really cannot remember any of it. It just didn’t stick, I guess.

  11. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    mp3 can go to hell, even for free. I’d pay for FLAC release.

    Fight the power! With your Realtek AC’97! And $20 Wallmart headphones.
    That sounds extremely promising, going to grab it as soon as I get out of work. And seconding PS:T next!
    @Anthony: I don’t think grabbing a few 60s tracks counts as making a soundtrack.

    • Mr_Day says:

      50s.

      Also, that is a tad harsh, it is a properly scored game – you have done Garry Schyman a disservice there.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock_soundtrack

    • Anthony says:

      A good portion of the Bioshock soundtrack was new, with licensed tracks showing up in various places.

      It’s available (or at least, was) on the 2K site for free after people kicked up a stink about not getting it in their special edition boxes as was previously promised. And it’s pretty good.

    • Mr. ThreEye says:

      If you can’t hear the difference between FLAC and MP3 on your AC97 and $20 headphones, your ears are wrong.

      Hey, I know, let’s use the worst JPEG compression setting on everything from now on, you’ll still see what the images depict so when everyone’s used to it, it’ll be good enough, right?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The Bioshock instrumental score is probably the most creative soundtrack to a videogame I’ve ever heard. Most game soundtracks just rip off film soundtracks, which themselves are just ripping off Holst or Williams (who is a plagiarist in his own right), so it’s a bit unsettling to be in the middle of a game and hear Penderecki-style tone clusters.

      On the subject of the original Fallout soundtrack, I’m surprised Aphex Twin hasn’t asked for royalties yet.

    • subversus says:

      @Magic H8 Ball

      I don’t shop in Wallmart, but that doesn’t matter. Mr. ThreEye has it right. I want a better option and will pay for it. You people can have your mp3s, that doesn’t bother me.

    • RedFred says:

      There is no way you could tell the difference between FLAC and high quality MP3 when using poor quality hardware. In fact you would be hard pressed to identify differences between HQ MP3 and CD quality audio.

      Some people really need to get a clue.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      As Anthony said, the Bioshock soundtrack is indeed available from the 2K website: http://www.2kgames.com/cultofrapture/downloads-bioshock (at the bottom) – thanks for pointing at it.

  12. Magic H8 Ball says:

    I honestly don’t remember any of these. I think the only music I remember ever playing was the one during Bathysphere ride.

  13. sebmojo says:

    Freespace 2 had great music.

  14. mcwizardry says:

    The licensed tracks during the Bioshock 2 loading screens were awesome. However most of them were not included on the official soundtrack. Does anybody know if a list of them exists somewhere on the internet?

  15. d. says:

    Let’s see, how long it takes Bethesda to sue him.

  16. jon_hill987 says:

    Total Annihilation had the best soundtrack I remember, SupCom just isn’t the same. Doom (1 not 2) gets an honourable mention as well and shows just what you can do with MIDI.

  17. Gorbacz says:

    So guys… how about we all mail them at info@auralnetwork.com and request kindly a remastering of Planescape: Torment soundtrack ? Pretty please ?

  18. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Mr. ThreEye said:
    If you can’t hear the difference between FLAC and MP3 on your AC97 and $20 headphones, your ears are wrong.

    The fact that both of you didn’t even bother listing kbps for the mp3 in question(and since it’s an “official” release I’m sure it’s at least 192) leads me to believe you’re terribly ignorant pseudo-audiophiles.

    • Alastayr says:

      I hate these kinds of people. You’d think that Mark Morgan, with the support of Vladislav Isaev, would know how to release music in an optimal way. 320kbps MP3s from a decent encoder are fine, especially for such a FREE release. He owns the music as far as I know, he could’ve charged for it.

      And then there’s the fact that we only had 128kbps MP3s before, so I DON’T GET WHAT PEOPLE BITCH ABOUT.

      Had to be said.

    • RedFred says:

      Agreed.

      Seems like with many things that bigger numbers and hype will lead people to believe anything.

  19. Morningoil says:

    Mark Morgan’s work was indeed fantastic – Deionarra’s Theme from PS:T is still one of my most played tracks on my itunes. I also loved – talking of ‘incredibly evocative sinister-ambient musicology’ – his soundtrack for Zork Nemesis – for e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADbxLlxEuiw – the style of the tracks dovetailed with the game design in a powerfully atmospheric way.

  20. Sunjammer says:

    I love the F1/2 soundtracks, but anyone with a slight interest in 90s ambient knows how much was pilfered from other acts. Fallout 2 is wall to wall “tributes” to isolationist Ambient of the times.

    Not bad i guess, but like recognizing a synthesizer preset in a song, it’s a little sad sometimes.

    • pistolhamster says:

      Well isn’t it wonderful that isolationist ambient from the 90s is barely known to mankind, so that many of us know-nots can rejoice over this re-release of old intellectual contraband that this Mark so wantonly ripped off.

      Next time down in front of the piano I will regret that all chords are already known, and that I am doomed to perpertual plagiarism.

    • Sunjammer says:

      Knockoff is knockoff, and you can’t excuse it with obscurity.

      The Fallout 1/2 soundtracks are spectacular (Much better than the Fallout 3 one), but they take so directly from something else that it becomes hard to ignore. If a soundtrack rips off the carmina burana we all notice, because that is well known. If it rips off something less known, that makes it “more okay”? To me that makes it even worse, because the obscure has less supporters to fight for its sovereignty.

      It’s the Timbaland/Chiptune thing again, in a sense.

    • Sunjammer says:

      And here’s another

      Fallout’s “Acolytes of the new god” vs Nijiumu’s “Once again i cast myself into the flames of atonement”

      Also note that both tracks i’ve compared with here are from the same 1994 ambient compilation.

      It’s a pretty rad foundation for a soundtrack though, i have to admit. Dude obviously listens to music after my taste, and produced something tasteful in return. As a friend just told me, it may have been that they used some of Isolationism as placeholder music during dev. I like to think they did anyway.

    • Sunjammer says:

      Enough whining! But everybody, if you’re into this type of thing, please do yourself a favor and check out this album and use that as a starting point. This is a GENRE. And it’s rad.

    • Alastayr says:

      @ Sunjammer

      This was never meant as a (commercial) product, back in the 90s it was (merely) a soundtrack for a game. I don’t want to be apologetic, but he took his influences and made them work in a different context. I would’ve never discovered artists like Lustmord, Eno, Aphex Twin and other ambient works had he not introduced me to them with this soundtrack.

      And thank you for linking to Ambient 4, I immediately ordered a copy. I’m in the mood again. ;)

    • Thants says:

      “Isolationist Ambient”, eh? Just when I think there can’t be any more sub-sub-genres of Electronic Music. Sounds interesting.

    • Muzman says:

      I thought it was just called Dark Ambient. Oh well.

      For further comparison, the Dreamtown track that’s demo’d on remaster site sound at least highly influenced by the Heat score. So we know he’s go more than one CD at least.

  21. Talorc says:

    Fantastic sound track. I could completely picture each location the sounds tied to. It certainly demonstrates the importance of sound design for a really good game, and how easy it is to overlook.

  22. McTecman says:

    You don’t even need to replace the existing music, you can extend it! Just put them into /Data/Music/Explore name them something like Explore_##, the first new track being one number higher than the last official track, and they auto-cycle!

  23. archonsod says:

    It reminds me of why I tended to turn the music off when I was playing and put a CD on. Although not quite as bad as my recent replaying of MoM. Midi really ought to be classified as some form of sonic weapon.

    • Sunjammer says:

      MIDI? What? You’re thinking about a different soundtrack altogether

  24. Club penguin Cheats says:

    I belive that this game indeed has some of the best music ever made. But I dont understand were to download the stuff youre talking about

  25. Kiddex says:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Beyond Good & Evil as an example of recent, high quality game music:

    http://www.myspace.com/hyllianmusic

  26. postx says:

    I really thank Mark Morgan for this haunting music.
    I’m quite the picky person when it comes to music but still after all these years this music brings me back to the wasteland where I’m looking at a screen full of dust and a little cool guy standing there like he owns the place.

    Furthermore there are only a few occasions where music becomes as big as the film. Like Morricone did in “A few dollars more”, I think Mark Morgan hit pretty close with Fallout 1.

    • pistolhamster says:

      Quite, I can almost feel my mouth dry up when I listen to the sound track of Fallout. It blends so well with the world, nay, it defines the world emotionally. I am quite sure the sound track is a significant contributor to gamers’ fond memories of the titles.

  27. Barrow says:

    It would appear that Bethesda has already caught wind of this… the download button is disabled, followed by the statement,

    “BETHESDA. BETHESDA NEVER CHANGES…

    Release lifetime: 2 days”

    Lovely.

  28. garren says:

    Well that didn’t last long. Damn bastards.

  29. Dreamhacker says:

    Alternate download locations are up. FIGHT THE POWAH!

  30. Flobulon says:

    An interesting thread in regards to this:
    http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9511

  31. Momo the Cow says:

    As much as I adore Fallout, Mark Morgan’s music was about 40% of the experience for me. The sad part is that I didn’t know it until I listened to the tracks years later.

  32. blah says:

    @Alastayr : Aphex Twin is a genius (/nods to Brian Eno).

    Also, has anyone noticed how the Half-Life box-art looks very similar to the Aphex Twin album cover for Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2? http://www.tomamusica.com/caratulas/A/Aphex-Twin-Selected-Ambient-Works-Vol-2-Delantera.jpg

    Even the H-L logo seems awfully familiar with that picture (yes, besides being a Lamba for half-life)…

  33. Premium User Badge

    Vitamin Powered says:

    It now reads “Please wait for the update” Maybe the previous message was too narky, or maybe it’s being worked on.

    But thank you Gaytard Fondue for your link. And your interesting username.

  34. diebroken says:

    Excellent, thank-you Mark. Love that artwork, but it reminds me more of Syndicate than Fallout! :D

  35. Poltergeist says:

    “The Bioshock instrumental score is probably the most creative soundtrack to a videogame I’ve ever heard. Most game soundtracks just rip off film soundtracks, which themselves are just ripping off Holst or Williams (who is a plagiarist in his own right), so it’s a bit unsettling to be in the middle of a game and hear Penderecki-style tone clusters.

    On the subject of the original Fallout soundtrack, I’m surprised Aphex Twin hasn’t asked for royalties yet.”

    This is so very true. There are many newer games with a good score but even of the better ones only a hand full are actually original in any way. I really like the soundtrack of Crysis, though. It’s about as generic as it gets, but being generic doesn’t mean it’s also not good.

    And Aphex Twin could ask pretty much any electronic musician of the last 20 years for royalties.

  36. 13_11 says:

    MP3s are fine. FLACs are much better. But what would best suit Fallout? Cracky vinyl in big nice booklet.

  37. Fumarole says:

    Thanks for the tip. This soundtrack is most excellent. Kinda makes me miss GamingFM, however.

  38. disperse says:

    And now I have to go home and reinstall Fallout. Thanks RPS.

  39. Charles deenen says:

    Glad to hear that after all these years you all still like marks music…
    Did you Also check out his work in nfs shift?.

    Cd