The Mötley Crüe Tribes 2 Theme Song Time Tried To Forget


When publishers throw a bucket of pop culture over video games with a celebrity endorsement or musical crossover, we get a fascinating glimpse of just what they think of people who play games, and those they hope to attract. Heartfelt ones can end splendidly, like Quake’s soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails, but mostly they’re just confusing and a bit odd. Take Eminem dancing in front of CoD Ghosts trailers (with a single first released as a Ghosts pre-order bonus, because reasons), or Linkin Park singing over some Medal of Honor: Warfighter LARPing. Baffling.

You might not remember when Sierra called in Mötley Crüe for Tribes 2, because for some reason (common decency?), what was billed as “the year’s largest musical venture in the gaming industry” vanished almost entirely. Almost. Would you like to hear the once-lost theme song they recorded?

Even in 2000, the cock rockers were a decade past their prime, but Sierra treated this as a real coup. Mötley Crüe were creating guitar and drum loops for sound effects, writing a brand new song for the Tribes 2 soundtrack, and would lend it several songs from their next album, New Tattoo. Nikki Sixx and the gang themselves were due to appear in-game too, digitised as skins.

Such an event demands press. Nikki Sixx described their song in an IGN interview:

We watched videos of the game, and we set out to create music to match the energy of the game. And we wrote a song called Tribes that’s got this f*cking amazing guitar riff, and this big vocal hook, and Randy’s got this tribal drum thing. Now we’re going to dissect it and reconstruct it really f*cked-up so it’s really aggressive sounding. We’re excited because it’s Mötley Crüe, but it’s like Mötley Crüe on steroids.

Tribes 2 launched without a single wicked shred or leather harness. Sierra had clearly spent a pretty penny or two on this, thinking it’d appeal to Tribes fans and bring Crüe fans to Tribes, but they scrapped it. Perhaps it was money, perhaps it was contracts, perhaps they realised it was not good. Whatever the reason, all this was brushed under the carpet.

And then former GarageGames member and current indie Tim Aste stumbled across Mötley Crüe’s Tribes 2 theme song on a PC that’d come to Garage from Tribes creator Dynamix. I first heard it from him in 2012, but two years later, or even fourteen, it’s still worth dragging up to share.

These cultural crossovers and transmedia promotions are fascinating moments where someone tries to profile a game’s players. Which bands do they like? What’s their favourite film? How old are they? What do they eat? How do they dress? It is, of course, quite daft. These “I know what you like!” declarations may be vague hits with broad demographics but alienate the majority of people, who don’t eg like Mötley Crüe. Today I’m just as put off by the assumption that I’m into chiptune because I dig some of those there independent video games (the most upset I’ve ever been by toilet graffiti was finding, in a bar full of indie devs and games journos, “give chiptunes a chance“).

Look, I said I’d share the song. I didn’t want you to think I was simply pointing and mocking. Enjoy:


  1. slerbal says:

    “Tribes! Tribes! Tribes!”

    Those are some spectacular lyrics right there.

    • Reefpirate says:

      And here I was thinking that maybe you were quoting the chorus or something… Nope, that’s the whole song. I’m not sure how to feel about this song.

      • toxic avenger says:

        Embarrassed? I think you pretty much summed up why. I mean, how much trust can you really put into a grown man who wears such a large top hat and trenchcoat?

      • Gap Gen says:

        No, it begins with “hoohoohoohaha”.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And you’d think that there’s a possibility to make a real songtext in the spirit of the game. Instead..

    • Deathmaster says:

      Makes you wonder why they scrapped it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Y’know, I think it could almost be good if they removed those.

    • Gap Gen says:


  2. Fiyenyaa says:

    I remember hearing of your anti-chiptune agenda.

    I say; everything in moderation. Yes, even chiptunes.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      This comment is not in moderation, haha.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      Also, with anything you have thin layer of good sitting atop of a heaping pile of garbage.

      moderation and discretion/ curation. I mean Henry Homesweet absolutely kills it, inarguably.

      I wonder if I can get the oscillators in LSDJ to fart out a wicked digitized, “TRYYYYEEEEEBES”

  3. Gallimaufry says:

    Another song that ended up really well is the song “Sacred Worlds” by Blind Guardian for Sacred 2. That song is absolutely great. I still have to play Sacred 2 properly though. Only played it for like an hour, at most.

    Tribes 2. Wow, that theme song is just… Wow.

    • RanDomino says:

      That song is almost singlehandedly the reason I can’t bring myself to play Sacred 2 again. (The other reasons being that it’s an atrocious treadmill offline-mumorpuger with no effort put toward creating a realistic world or suspension of disbelief)

  4. iniudan says:

    Actually in the case of Nine Inch Nails, I’m pretty it because some of id dev were actually fan, not because they were throwing pop culture publicity over the game, with the band logo been an Easter Egg in other id games.

    So they were basically paying themselves private composition with all their Doom money. =p

    • Antistar says:

      I worked with Paul Steed for a little while, and he had some crazy stories about his time at Id software. One was how Trent Reznor used to come around to play deathmatch with them during their lunch break.

      So yeah, I get the impression that NiN’s soundtrack for Quake was definitely not just some soulless publisher/marketer bullshit.

  5. Asurmen says:

    At least it’s not Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

  6. Horg says:

    Death to false metal.

    • Spacewalk says:

      What if it’s not metal to begin with?

      • dE says:

        It’s okay. Metal is welcoming to all. Hey, we even accepted Death Metal and Black Metal.

        • Scumbag says:

          You may have accepted them, BUT THEY ACCEPT NOTHING ELSE!
          *folds arms and pretends to be really, really serious about everything*

  7. Niko says:

    I’ve just remembered MDK ending:

    • felisc says:

      Well now i remember singing “mangez moi” at summer camp with my little friends, in 95 or something. i didn’t expect I’d end up with those memories from a rps post. Er, yay french childhood ? I guess ?

    • Acorino says:

      I still miss Shiny. :(

    • Richard Burton says:

      Ahh the memories! Merci beau-coup. You made my day, Niko… reminds me of the “Violet Berlin days”… ^_^

      • Niko says:

        Hey, made my day too :) Also, after I’ve posted this, I’ve found this colour version on David Perry’s Facebook page:
        link to Pretty sure I’ve never seen it before in colour. Wonder why they made it in black and white for the game.

  8. Duke of Chutney says:

    The drums and riff are amazingly similar to what the game shipped with, both as it’s intro track and in game music. Tribes 2 had a great sound track.

    • Skabooga says:

      Tribes 2’s soundtrack was a great fit for the game. It often had a fast tempo, but was also soft enough to be unobtrusive, so it worked whether you were dueling with spinfusors or skiing across a tract of uninhabited terrain.

    • Anthile says:

      The Ladder is actually not too bad for a post-70s Yes album. Certainly not a masterpiece or even relevant but still better than most of the other abominations they put out in that time.

  9. LionsPhil says:

    Oh, we’re doing underrated title themes, are we?

    I miss DMA Design.

  10. Crazy Horse says:

    They actually accepted Sierra’s money for this?

    Maybe there was a misunderstanding about what kind of game Tribes was and this was meant as an advertisement jingle for action toys. Also why is this song stuck in my head?

  11. cdx00 says:

    Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 — I miss them so. Starsiege: Tribes was my foray into online gaming, and what an experience that was. It’s a shame that the Tribes series never did enjoy the success that Counter-Strike or Team Fortress classic did back in the days of yore, but I still hold fond memories of the community and the games themselves. Hell, I still remember all of the viable ‘V’-key commands.

    VGQ – “Damnit!”
    VGX – “You idiot!”

    edit: I guess to stay on topic, both games had an awesome soundtrack.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Yea, I enjoyed Tribes 1, which came as a bonus to the Starsiege game (Which is a sequel to the Earthsiege series). Especially the fact that you could just jump into a vehicle and fuck around on this huge map blew my 16-year old mind.

      Then of course came Tribes 2. Bye bye life. Loved the shit out of it. It was apparently riddled with bugs, but I never encountered them. It added a customisable UI (A lá World of Warcraft, but less dumb) which let you add scripts for all kinds of shit. But it also had the vehicles. A tank! And transports! Can you imagine this shit nowadays – 4 random people in heavy suits would, on their own accord, board a waiting transport-VTOL, which would take off and circle the hostile base, while the heavies lob them green mortars down. And it was with the utmost courtesy and cooperation. With no achievements, unlocks or whatever voice-comm bullshit!

      I’m sorry for sound like an old man, which I am, but goddamnit children, THAT is how it used to be!

      But of course, then Sierra went DURRR let’s fuck it all up and have Vivendi enter the picture. Gone were the in-game community features, the support. It was still a good game, but something died that day.

      And let’s not mention Tribes 3… The latest reincarnation is fun, up to a point, but the whole unlock-minigame isn’t really my thing. Technically, it’s outstanding. But it’s missing a lot of what made the Tribes games unique.

  12. Duke of Chutney says:


  13. cog says:


  14. PopeRatzo says:

    You should give a trigger warning when you’re going to mention Linkin Park.

    • toxic avenger says:

      Or any nu-metal from the mid 90s, early aughts for that matter.

  15. P.Funk says:

    I had almost forgotten how much bad music my peers listened to in the 90s and early 2000s. This has reminded me of that. Damn you all.

  16. Inverselaw says:

    I still miss the wonderful theme song of Marathon 2.

  17. wcaypahwat says:

    • Smoof says:

      No idea Vader did a Witcher song. Guess it makes sense though, being from Poland and all.

  18. El Mariachi says:

    Mick Mars is really looking his age, which if I’m not mistaken is 973.

  19. Moraven says:

    There was always the Motley Crue pinball game developed by EA.

    Crüe Ball

    link to

    Motley Crue also came about in the news when they were one of the first in-game ads to show up in Anarchy Online.

  20. Spacewalk says:

    Didn’t a real band do something for Painkiller?

  21. FuriKuri says:

    This one is pure class;

    link to

    From Incubation (Battle Isle Phase 4)

  22. Gothnak says:

    Favourite game theme tune?

    Sadly it wasn’t on the PC, but the Blue Dragon Boss Battle music was epic… The Japanese showing the West how to get rock into Computer games…

  23. cpt_freakout says:

    Anyone remember this terrible piece of… humanity? (warning: STAR WARS ROCK)

  24. hugolefou says:

  25. zeep says:

    I don’t get it, so where is the link to the Tribes 2 song?

  26. halldors78 says:

    one of the worst Crue songs i have heard but they could have done something better with the riff. but still many times better then even the best Eminem song

  27. Nogo says:

    Weirdly this cycle would semi-repeat for Tribes: Vengeancy, where the von bondies had a music video made in-game.

    Bizarre stuff: link to

  28. jasondesante says:

    what about the contrast between Trent Reznor making the music for Quake and then making a song for Black Ops 2.

    In an interview he said “I’ve bought all the Call of Duty games, played them pretty much all through, and enjoyed the majority of them for the most part.”

    He talked about how amazing everything at Treyarch was coordinated. He has no idea about what happens.

    I really just don’t want to know about this stuff because it makes me respect them so less.

    Also makes me respect people like Guthrie Govan even more because not only is he the greatest guitar player on the planet he is 100% genuine in his hate for the establishment. So much so its ridiculous. I almost got into an argument with my favorite guitar player of all time over the internet because he hates the establishment so much.

    Guess what Guthrie Govan’s right!