Sunday, April 24, 2005

Killer Cuts

I would like to apologize for the lack of posting in recent times. Things have been hectic on our end, but now Glenn and I have taken steps to make sure that posts will be up more frequently. It used to be that I would send Glenn any files that I wanted to post, since we're using his server, then he would deal with them when he had the time. But Glenn has an increasingly busy schedule, so he just gave me server access so I could deal with my own files in a timely fashion. In short, more KRUD for you. So let's start things off by posting a full album.

Yes, Rare produced music too

Remember Killer Instinct? It was a fighting game for the Super Nintendo with a velociraptor, a skeleton, a killer robot, a man of fire, and a werewolf among other assorted characters. The main drawing points of Killer Instinct were, of course, the unique characters, the insane combos, and the nice graphics. But one of the most overlooked features of the game is its incredible soundtrack. Killer Instinct's developer, Rare, felt so confident in the soundtrack that they released it on a CD called Killer Cuts with redone versions of all the songs feature in the game.

Killer Cuts (Front Cover)

Killer Cuts (Back Cover)

I have heard different stories about how and where people got copies of the soundtrack. I got mine back in the day when I bought a new SNES to replace my broken one. The system came with Killer Instinct and Killer Instinct came with the soundtrack. I've also read that Rare sold the soundtrack apart from the game in Europe. I have no idea how other people may have obtained copies of the soundtrack before online distribution became really big. All I know is that you're not going to find any new copies of Killer Instinct in stores and I have yet to find the soundtrack for sale anywhere. That's why the entire album will be available here at Radio KRUD... for a limited time, of course.

That's a mighty good deal considering you're getting a decent variety of quality music from one album. A lot of the tracks are reminiscent of dance music from the late 80's to the mid 90's when the synth sounds of the 80's were blending with newly developing hip hop beats. Consider the first two tracks, "K.I. Feeling" and "The Way U Move"; they sound like something Technotronic, C+C Music Factory, or even Deee-Lite might have produced. Track 2, "Controlling Transmission", delves more into the realm of techno and sort of steers away from the old-school dance grooves. Track 3, "Oh Yeah", continues with that techno trend but explores more ethnic sounds. Track 4, "It's a Jungle", explores those worldly trends even further. Then track 6, "Do It Now!", heads back towards the bumping dance grooves of the first two tracks while keeping that slight ethnic flavor for an added kick. Track 7, "Full-Bore", changes things up drastically with its pounding, industrial tinged grooves. This leads nicely into track 8, "The Instinct", which is the epic theme to the game and thus has a completely different sound to it than the other tracks. Track 9, "Yo Check This Out!" shifts gears and goes into hip hop mode with short, fast-paced tune that can easily be left on repeat. Track 10, "Freeze", continues with the hip hop sound but takes it to a medium and adds a lot more samples. Track 11, "Trailblazer", heads into the territory of rock with layers of roaring guitars that go at heated speeds. Then track 12, "Tooth & Claw", drastically changes the mood a dark, gothic symphony that sounds like it came straight from the House of Usher. This leads into track 13, "Ya Ha Haa", which is more upbeat with its fast, unique percussion but still maintains a dark atmoshpere. The tracks 14 and 15, "Rumble" and "The Extreme", are the themes to the stages where you could face Eyedol, the end boss, and so they appropriately evoke a sense of climactic danger. There's also a hidden track, track 30, called "Humiliation" that's just a silly disco-ish song. This song was played when you did a Humiliation move on your opponent. I could only do it with Orchid, but she would put sunglasses on the other character, the song would start up, the other character would start dancing, and then the announcer would say, "Humiliation!" It was awesome.

I know I pretty much provided a huge list of songs without saying too much about each individual track, but I can tell you a little bit more about my personal preferences right now. First off, I'll admit to not being a fond of tracks 3, 4, 14, and 15 as I am of the other songs. The other tracks are either really fun and/or a great example of high musical quality in video game soundtracks. Although, I will admit that the last 40 seconds of "The Extreme", track 15, are really good. I would also really like to see an orchestra play "Tooth & Claw". It would be awesome to see that song played by actual instruments and without samples. That's one thing that kind of bugged me about Killer Cuts: too many unnecessary samples. I mean, do you really need the sound of a coffin opening and a Dracula laugh at the beginning of "Tooth & Claw" or is it just excessive? I get it, it's supposed to sound spooky. But besides my picky complaints, I can see a lot of these songs being hits on the dancefloor or being performed by huge musical ensembles. Hey, there was an orchestral version of the Super Mario Bros. theme, so why not an orchestral version of "Ya Ha Haa" with lots of percussionists?

Anyway, here are the songs along with what character or stage they represented in pararentheses...

1) Rare - K.I. Feeling (Orchid)
2) Rare - The Way U Move (Bonus Song)
3) Rare - Controlling Transmission (Glacius)
4) Rare - Oh Yeah (Chief Thunder)
5) Rare - It's a Jungle (Riptor)
6) Rare - Do It Now! (Jago)
7) Rare - Full-Bore (Fulgore)
8) Rare - The Instinct (The Killer Instinct Theme)
9) Rare - Yo Check This Out! (T.J. Combo)
10) Rare - Freeze (Street Stage)
11) Rare - Trailblazer (Cinder)
12) Rare - Tooth & Claw (Saberwulf)
13) Rare - Ya Ha Haa (Spinal)
14) Rare - Rumble (Bridge Stage)
15) Rare - The Extreme (Eyedol)
16) Rare - Humilation (Humiliation!)


At 4/24/2005 10:25:00 PM, Blogger comeintokyo said...

WHOA. i don't know if i should commend or condemn you for digging this up. but i suppose it should be the former, seeing as how, during the mid 90s, killer instinct was my life. so thanks (?), i guess, for the nostalgia, if nothing else.

you ever play the game at the arcade? i was pretty good--and cheap--with orchid. anyway, if you do well with any character, you get treated to a brief cg scene of that character doing a victory pose of sorts. if i recall correctly, orchid took one of her light saber handles and stabbed her butt with it.

oh, my killer cuts came packaged with the game when it came out on snes,

At 4/25/2005 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Rival Dave said...

I'm not quite sure how to take your comment. I guess I'll just assume the best and say that I done good.

I never played the game in the arcade. I just whipped my brother and my cousins on the SNES. I never really had any best characters. I was decent with all of them except Glacius and Thunder, although Glacius was incredibly fun to use despite my lack of skill.

At 4/26/2005 01:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, of all things I was expecting to find, this really wasnt one of them.

Back in 96 I also played lots of KI and really enjoyed the CD that came with the game - that was a really cool thing for Rare to do.

I am just really excited you also loved it :) If I remember correctly I was either quite good with Orchid or the fire guy. They both had pretty easy and very exciting-looking combos, more fun than MK (and even with less blood).

So in any case, thanks for putting it up! - If you had trouble ripping a track or two, I can try my CD if you like (depends of course, how anal you are with your mp3s)


At 4/26/2005 01:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On second thought, I am just 19 and this post made me feel old :)


At 4/29/2005 06:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I looked everywhere for these! Thanks!

At 5/01/2005 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Khaki Onion said...

One of the ways the soundtrack could be purchased was via the Nintendo Power catalog.

I should know; I purchased a set of Killer Instinct pogs from it. Remember pogs? Oh God, what was I thinking?

At 7/14/2005 02:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you may want to note, and this is for posterity and the other type of stuff...what?

anyway, the guy who made this music at Rare is 'Graeme Norgate.'
He also did the music for some DK country stuff, sounds for DK racing, all the music for Bond and Perfect Dark, and is still making new music for new games by 'Free Radical Design.' In such games as Timesplitters 1, 2 and 3, and in Second Sight.



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