LScreenshot TMNTSR 1
Image: Dotemu

Imagine growing up in the 80s with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You watched the cartoons, played the video games, and then, eventually, you got the chance to work on a TMNT game yourself. The dream! We can imagine that's how everyone at Dotemu and Tribute games felt about working on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, but especially Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes.

In a recent post on PlayStation.Blog, Lopes has shared the creative process behind one of the beat 'em up's tracks — Big Apple 3pm, the second stage of the game. This was the first piece of music Lopes composed for the game, "born out of pure excitement", and you can totally tell from the original version.

In the blog post, the composer also shares some rough drafts for the second stage's music that he came up with as he was watching footage for the game "with the biggest smile on my face". Lopes says of the first draft that it was

a basic proposition for the soundtrack’s general aesthetic, which I thought was very in line with the game’s philosophy – the goal was to dive into the golden era of TMNT, gather up some of the most memorable elements from all of the different media available then, and bring them back in a creative and modernized package. It would contain lots of fun references for that sweet nostalgia, but also be its own thing and introduce fun new concepts to the series, all within that ’80s and ‘90s palette of genres and sounds. Fortunately, everyone was on board with the style, and thus began this musical journey!

Lopes went through at least two more drafts — both of which are included in PlayStation.Blog's post. Lopes had started working on the rest of the soundtrack once he was onto the second draft, so began fleshing out the sound, extending it to be more consistent with the rest of the game's music, and also adding in new sections. One part he added in the second draft was "a bit of a break around 1:09 that allows for the song to breathe for a moment before looping back into action. At this point, the guitars were still computer-generated, and the guitar solo was still non-existent."

The composer was influenced heavily not just by the Turtles themselves, but also by the music of the 80s and 90s, and the arcades. And by the third draft, "everyone was raving" about the song's energy — which, by this point, had Jonny Atma's (YouTuber GaMetal) guitar in.

The whole post is a fantastic overview of the creative process behind composing a musical score for a video game, and Tee Lopes' enthusiasm is infectious. You can read the whole blog below, where all of the draft samples are included.

What do you think of the Shredder's Revenge soundtrack? Let us know in the comments!

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