Track of the Week: Early ThornTail Hollow (Star Fox Adventures)

We continue our celebration of David Wise with a musical gem from Rare’s divisive Star Fox game.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 02/16/2014 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze less than a week away from its North American and European release, we thought it would only be fitting to devote another edition of Track of the Week to David Wise, the composer whose melodies have become synonymous with the ape’s adventures. Last week, Marc highlighted what is perhaps the most iconic tune from the Donkey Kong Country series, but for this installment, we’ll be turning our ears to the distant planet of Sauria for one of Wise’s less-celebrated compositions.

Regardless of your feelings on Star Fox Adventures (I thought it was an enjoyable take on the Zelda formula, one that even introduced a few ideas that the Zelda series could benefit from incorporating), there’s no denying that it had one of the greatest soundtracks of its generation. It’s difficult to pick a favorite tune, but the one I most closely associate with the title is the early ThornTail Hollow theme, which highlights everything I love about Wise’s compositions. As Marc noted last week, the most memorable gaming scores are the ones that are able to evoke a sense of place, and Wise perfectly conveys the prehistoric beauty of Sauria’s hub area with this piece. From the tribal drumming that opens the track to the Native American-inspired woodwind melody, the ThornTail Hollow theme evokes the image of a land forgotten by time, where ethereal Krazoa sanctuaries intermingle with the planet’s natural wonders. Together with the game’s beautiful art direction, it went a long way in making Sauria– as Dinosaur Planet would later come to be known– one of my favorite video game settings.

What are some of your favorite tunes by David Wise? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

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