The earliest hint of a theme song for Apogee Software might have been in such
early games as Crystal Caves and Secret Agent, wherein the then Apogee logo
was accompanied by a series of trills uttered by the PC speaker. It was
less of a theme song and more of a "semi-standard opening" for Apogee games
at the time. The first real appearance of the familiar Apogee theme song,
was in the game Major Stryker. Today, any Apogee fan will instantly recognize
the Apogee theme song and will probably be able to hum it on command.
The Apogee theme song is a short, simple, but sweet few bars, and one could
easily imagine it as a theme in a symphony or fugue.
Lee Jackson's paraphrased history of the Apogee theme song follows:
Robert "Bobby" Prince, the composer of the scores of numerous Apogee games,
did the original theme song, which appeared essentially unaltered in Major
Stryker, Monster Bash, Bio Menace, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, and Blake
Stone: Planet Strike. He composed a "rock"-like version for Duke Nukem II,
which was later used in Raptor v1.2. (Previous versions of Raptor had a
version of the theme much like the original.)
For Halloween Harry (Alien Carnage) and Mystic Towers, something different
was needed. These used MOD music instead of the MIDI-style used in our other
games, so a new file was needed. The folks at SubZero composed a dramatic
version for Harry; an appropriately silly version was made for Mystic Towers.
I took over the MIDI version of the fanfare starting with Hocus Pocus. It
wasn't something I was asked to do -- I just played around with an idea, gave
it to Tom Hall and Joe Siegler, who then played it for Scott Miller and
George Broussard, who dubbed it the "John Williams fanfare." (It was actually
an attempt to emulate the MOD file that SubZero did for Harry -- I always
liked it.) This fanfare has appeared in Hocus Pocus, Wacky Wheels, Boppin,
Rise of the Triad, Realms of Chaos, and XenoPhage: Alien Bloodsport.
For Stargunner, again something new was needed since Stargunner used MOD music
instead of MIDI. The "John Williams fanfare" MIDI didn't really work with the
musical style introduced in Stargunner. I tried several different MOD
versions of the fanfare and never got anything that satisfied me. So I
talked the Stargunner team into supporting large WAV files so I could use a
digitized recording of a MIDI playback of the fanfare. Scott and George
wanted a new fanfare that featured rock instead of orchestral music. I came
up with the new fanfare, played it out through one computer into the
Roland SC-88 in the studio, and recorded it digitally into a second computer.
That was the fanfare that wound up in Stargunner.
One final note that should be mentioned in this section is Raptor's unique
hidden rendition of the theme. When Raptor is started when the system date
is set to the birthday of one of the Raptor team members, you don't hear the
usual theme. Instead, it's a sound file of the Raptor team trying (in vain)
to sing the theme song themselves. More information on this can be found
in the "secrets and other fun things" section.
No theme song was ever created for 3D Realms or Pinball Wizards.