Turn It Up. Kenny Texeira. Three Days Walkin'. Eomot RaSun. The Stax Story. The Man Who Invented Soul. Willie "The Lion" Smith. The Holy Kingdom: Music of the Gospel. The Complete Vanguard Recordings. Big Mama Thornton. The Collection. The Blues as It Was. That's My Partner! Elvin Bishop. Soulful Blues. Kenny "Blue" Ray. Sittin' on Top of the World [Legacy]. Rush Hour Blues. Sam Lay Blues Band. Rooster Blues Records: Sampler. Rainy Season. Stan Webb's Chicken Shack. Perfect Day.
Chris Whitley. Panther Phobia. Newport in New York. New Millennium Blues Party. Most Famous Hits: The Album. Ron Wood. Let's Have a Ball [Catfish]. Junko Partner. In the Eyes of the Lord. Hey Hey. Goin' Down Slow. Friend for Life.
Bryan Bowers. Drivin' Blues. Dine Under the Stars. Denny Freeman and the Cobras. Denny Freeman. Cool Disposition. Complete Recordings: Classic Blues, Vol. Chess Masters. Both Ends Burnin'. Blues at Sunrise.
Best of Blues, Vol. Best of Blues [Madacy Box Set]. Bus Stop. Back to Back. All Manner of Menn: After Hours [Columbia River]. A Salute to the Chicago Blues Masters. Too Many Highways. Eddie Shaw. The Great Sam Cooke. Savoy Brown. Telarc's We Got the Blues. Robben Ford. Singin' with the Sun. Roots [Nascente]. Rising Son. Out of Bad Luck. Al Garrett. Nothin' But the Blues Y'all. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Magnum Rockabilly. Live in Europe [Video]. Live from Manny's Car Wash. Legends of Music: Blues - Stormy Monday.
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American People. All-Star Blues Sessions. Bob Corritore. Acoustic Blue Chicago. Acid Space. Zoo Bar Collection, Vol. Who's Been Talking. Vintage Live: Rod Piazza. These Are My Blues. The Poet of the Blues. Jimi Hendrix. Bigfoot Chester. Spirit of Blues. Slow Burn. Robert Walker. Out of the Madness. Magic Touch. Ron Thompson. London Blues Festivals Live: Feel the Blues. Jim Morrison. Jimmy D. I Know You. Hubert Sumlin.
Hands Off! Vance Kelly. Golden Age of Blue Chicago. Gold Collection [Fine Tune]. Dancing Room Only. The Sundogs. Chicago Blues Session, Vol. Otis Smokey Smothers. Blues: Gold Collection. Blues Deluxe. Rick Derringer. Blue Suit: Eleventh Anniversary Collection. A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf. Woke Up This Morning. Where Have You Been? Live in Montreux Luther Allison. To the Blues: Vent Blues Sampler. Those Were the Days. The Man from Mars.
The Misunderstood. Telegraph Road. Sonny Moorman. Peps Persson. Power Blues. Mojo Workin': Blues for the Next Generation. Messin' with the Blues. Blue Coltrane. Legends of Blues [Intercontinental]. In Search of Space: 60's to 70's, Vol. Sonny Rhodes. Howlin' at the Sun. Hotel Splendide.
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In Tempo. Orchestre National de Jazz. How Can I Forget. Jimmy Holiday. Horn Rock Bands. Groovin' with the Manfreds. Found True Love. First Blood. Evidence Blues Sampler: Five.
Don't Talk Just Listen. DJ Magic Mike. Don't Lay Your Blues on Me. Carl Weathersby. California Blues. Cactology: The Cactus Collection. Blues in the Year One-D-One. Blues Classics [MCA]. Between the Rails: America's Train Songs.
An Evening of Acoustic Music. Buster Bailey. Wanted: Live. Walk That Walk. Valley of Light. Hugo Race. Turn Up the Heat.
Detroit Junior. Trolling the Hootchy. Top of the Blues. Tony O. The Very Best of Cream. The Promised Land [Columbia].
The Genuine Article. The Essential Blues [House of Blues]. Prime Chops Vol. Piano Hits. Willie Murphy. Electric Stand Tall - Aggressive Force - Live At The Shack (CD). Nine by Nine. My Little Girl. Johnny Laws. Mighty Reapers. Live at Joe's The Radio Kings. Ledbetter Heights. Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Led Zeppelin's Sources of Inspiration. King of the Blues. Freddie King. I've Been Around. House Rockin' Blues.
Happy Man. Stephen Barry. Chicago Blue. Bull Frog Blues. Lightnin' Wells. Brother Ray's Blues. Blues Masters, Vols. Big City Blues. Big Bad Blues. Bad Habits. Abco Chicago Recordings. What I Live For. Tab Benoit, Stand Tall - Aggressive Force - Live At The Shack (CD).
Two Sides of a Heart. Trouble No More. Tomato Delta Blues Package. The Sun Records Collection [Rhino]. That's Life. Elliott Sharp's Terraplane. Stone Rock Blues. Rock Instrumental Classics, Vol. Right Around the Corner. The Persuasions. Live in Japan Let the Dogs Run. Mike Morgan. I Want Out. Things to Come. Hot 'n' Nasty: The Anthology.
Here on the Highway. Harley Davidson Road Songs. Hamilton Loomis. Golden Classics. Deon Jackson. Fired Up! Country Girl. Complete Recorded Works Mae Glover.
Cities of the Heart. Jack Bruce. Butter Churnin Man. Monque'D Blues Band. Blues Anthology [Millenium]. Blues All Ways. Blue Blazes. Sugar Blue. Blue Bird. Jimmy Rogers. State Sweet Swingers. You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover. Tombstone Radio. Cadillac Tramps. The Sound of Speed. The Complete Collection The Best of the Blues [K-Tel]. The Appaloosa All Stars.
The Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour. Texas Cadillac. Teen Trash, Vol. The Jay Birds. Swear to Tell the Truth. Paul Rishell. Stone Crazy. Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Sound of Speed EP. Smoke N' Fire. Shame, Shame, Shame. Smiley Lewis. Portrait of a Delta Bluesman. Pinetop Perkins. Picture Has Faded. Dave "Snaker" Ray. Memphis Bound. Bryan Lee. Mellow Fellow. Fenton Robinson. Lookin' at the Blue Side of Things. Peter Lamson. Blues Authority: Fit for a King. I Am the Blues. Big Daddy Kinsey.
Howlin' Wolf Rides Again. Growing Wings. Friend of Mine. Dancing the Blues. Complete Studio Recordings. Blues Masters, Vol. Zeppelin Classics. The Wolf Is at Your Door. The Gold Collection. The Complete Decca Recordings. Count Basie. Stars of British Blues, Vol. Ready Steady Go! Paul Geremia. Monterey International Pop Festival: June Rein Sanction. King King. Red Devils. It's Good to Me. Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson.
Shack: So what was the first game that you worked on? Was it the football stuff? Matt Uelmen: We worked on a couple football ports believe it or not, which were also something that was involved with Acclaim.
Because the main card that those guys had bringing over was that Dave [Brevik] had worked as a programmer on Aero the Acrobat and a couple of titles from that era. So he had a couple connections with [Acclaim], and they passed us off a couple football ports, and Justice League Task Force of course, which was our main title.
There was also a title for 3DO later on that almost nobody knows about, that was actually kind of relatively important for them when we were developing it. Matt Uelmen: It was actually--it was an NFL game that was ahead of its time, but it never got much past the drawing board. But that was in the background as well. It's funny how much it changed, and we kind of survived, and that world didn't. It's funny when I look back at 'both of those companies are so high and mighty, and of course that changed very fast in the five years after that.
Shack: What was your experience on Justice League like? I actually loaded it up the other day. Matt Uelmen: Really? Did you play the Sega version or the Nintendo version? Matt Uelmen: Yeah, the Genesis version of course is what we worked on. Did you actually suffer through it and beat a few of the guys? Shack: I did, I did. Matt Uelmen: Yeah.
I was the voice of Darkseid. I came up with that whole shtick. When I was 21 years old, that was a lot of fun. Shack: What was it like composing with all the restrictions of a Genesis sound chip?
Matt Uelmen: It was good in that I realized I entered the industry at the right time, because the technical specs in terms of dealing with live digital stuff was so frustrating. And what you could do with the old wavetable style of music was so limited that I definitely had a strong sense that things would be moving toward much better digital capacity really fast.
And I was really happy that I was not part of the industry before that. It's funny actually, Sega used a four-operator FM type of system, so it was pretty galling as a musician, because the DX7 was a keyboard that they sold 20 zillion of, and it had more FM operators than the Sega voices did.
And the one digital channel I think you got was like. The [carts] didn't have the option of doing that digital stuff because you'd just suck up memory. You could not put much music on one of those classic SNES carts, especially because they didn't have the MP3-style compression back then.
Shack: It is interesting that It was kind of like being able to hang out with George Gershwin and F. Scott Fitzgerald in or something. Matt Uelmen: Yeah, you know, the limitations create their own beauty in terms of I think there were a lot of really good wavetable composers.
It's more like the Bach mindset, where you have two or three instrumental voices, and you have to kind of get by with what you're doing harmonically. You can't rely on the texture of the instruments at all to get it across. It's just a different kind of musicianship, and not a kind I'm very good at. I'm all about the textural shtick, that's what I do. I can respect that musicianship a lot, but it's just harder for me.
Matt Uelmen: Well, we had a lot of help from Blizzard. I think, in terms of the Blizzard legacy, [Blizzard co-founder] Allen Adham was kind of the main genius behind the whole story. He was always a low-profile kind of guy, so you don't hear his name very often. But in terms of all the great things that Blizzard has done, and definitely did when I was there, especially in that era, Allen was a big part of making that happen. Those three guys were really important in terms of putting the Diablo series together, especially Mike and Pat.
And so having their help, having a lot of really great story work from Chris Metzen--who was just kind of a young kid like I was at the time--really helped put it together. Those guys were a little more experienced, in that they'd already released the first Warcraft PC game, and had done a good dozen or so ports of different titles.
It was a really good combination. I think both the original Diablo and Diablo II really were what they were because you had the kind of Blizzard Irvine polish and work ethic, and technical capability and QA, combined with the Bay Area quirkiness and personality. Those really were the two elements that put it together. It doesn't work without either half, in my opinion. Shack: What was the atmosphere like up in the Bay Area studio at that time?
Was it a hectic period? Matt Uelmen: You know, it really never was that high pressure of a situation, as much as the numbers seem small when you look at the developer budget back then. The reality was, our corporate owner, Davidson, knew that Diablo had the potential to be a huge hit. There really wasn't much pressure.
They wanted to do it right. It wasn't a gotta-show-up-on-the- weekend type of pressure for the first Diablo. The funny thing was, in developing that game and Diablo II, it was a really strange experience in that we were in the middle of Silicon Valley, working on stuff that was really commercially successful, and yet we were surrounded by all the rise and fall of all that dot-com hype.
It was a little bit frustrating occasionally, knowing that you made a software product that was extremely successful, but the guys upstairs just sold a dot-com concept for a hundred million dollars.
Or you go down to Los Gatos and that area, and you see every other expensive car made in Italy in the previous week. So that was kind of the dull roar in back of the whole thing. But it was funny--we definitely felt the rise and fall of everything. It was the opposite ofwhen those people were gone. Stand Tall - Aggressive Force - Live At The Shack (CD) That era almost feels legendary, in terms of the dot-com boom.
That must been interesting. It was fun when you got to see it all first hand. Turn the page for more. Shack: What was the first thing you wrote for Diablo? How did you approach that project?
Matt Uelmen: The first stuff I wrote for Diablo in terms of dungeon music was a real disaster. It was kind of all over the place. It was like, trying to do a full fake orchestra really badly, because I had no idea how to do it, on the one hand. And then doing this really cheesy, amped-up heavy metal stuff, that sounded like this really kind of The first half-year of working on that, all my attempts at action music were just really bad. I did have Tristram more or less in my mind, just from previous stuff I had done.
That was relatively easy. That was mostly just based on noodling around on my string. I pretty much knew where that was going from the very beginning. But I didn't really get the formula right for the dungeon music until I got over the idea of trying to do a traditional fantasy thing, and more embraced the idea of just trying to have fun with big percussion and big guitar sounds.
Shack: It's funny, because I think that's what sets that score apart. Getting away from the big fantasy thing, which was certainly overdone then--and still is, really. Matt Uelmen: For me, the strange thing is, the decision to go in that direction is the most natural thing to me in the world. Matt Uelmen: Even Pink Floyd did a lot of string finger-picking right around 73, And of course Joni Mitchell did amazing things with strings and dulcimers. But for me, I really liked especially the way that Led Zeppelin captured this kind of mystic energy that seemed like it was vaguely from the 15th century.
There was always a crossover between that kind of aesthetic and the Dungeon and Dragons kind of mindset. So for me it was the most natural thing in the world. Shack: The song I'm thinking of Led Zeppelin-wise is, what is it The Battle of Evermore? That's the one where they have the mandolin and the guest vocalist.
The fourth one kind of brought those two things together, which is why that one has sold billions. Stairway to Heaven is an obvious reference--that starts with a finger-picked string doing a really slow minor chord. Matt Uelmen: For me, I don't know why people don't latch onto that imagery quicker when they think about trying to do a Tolkien-style world. I'm flattered that [Tristram] seems unique from the perspective of other people, but for me, when I think about Merlin, I think about Jimmy Page.
It's the most natural thing. You know, I liked a lot of things the Lord of the Rings movies did. I disliked a couple of them. The fact that they didn't Matt Uelmen: That's the whole moral of the story. The fact that they left out the Scourging of the Shire, I don't know Shack: Yeah, I agree. Also, that's the Diablo chapter, really. Matt Uelmen: [laughs] Yeah. Saruman's a bitter old guy at that point. He has all his power taken away.
All he can really do is make a lot of hobbits miserable. Shack: [laughs] Right. But I did want to get back to Tristram for a second, because I think it really is so iconic. Do you have any thoughts on why more musicians don't allow their music to--it's not minimalist, but allowing that single instrument to be audible amongst the rest of the track? At least an instrument that is not a trumpet. Uelmen's signed copy of Diablo, the only in existence. Matt Uelmen: Well, I think people give me way too much credit for creating something that was that amazing, when a lot of it was just being in the right place at the right time.
But it is definitely a component of musicianship to just step back, and be the opposite of busy, and even the opposite of melodic. And I think with Tristram, it really kind of works on a more psychological level, in that Diablo is just a vaguely narrative game. It really is more about trying to play with the addictive part of the brain that wants to play slot machine games and improve the character. And I think Tristram really fits in with that, in that it's kind of a piece that never really goes anywhere.
It's funny--it's a hard thing to do, because every musician wants to take people on a journey, and teach them something about themselves spiritually, et cetera.
And a lot of times, I think music is more successful when you kind of get out of the way of everything, and just let things go where they want. Shack: And so that came out of just playing around on your guitar? That's true--it came out of playing guitar on the weekends, and playing around the dock at the marina there, around where the studio was.
That's as good a description as any. Shack: The continuous nature of the soundtrack is interesting. I think there is really only 25 minutes of music in Diablo, is that right? Shack: You don't really notice, because the tracks are generally uninterrupted and looped. In recent games there's a tendency to go in the opposite direction, to create little vignettes of music and have them triggered by certain moments in the game--fights, quiet moments, et cetera.
Are you a fan of that? Matt Uelmen: I love it when it's done correctly. We're actually doing that [with Torchlight]--and speaking of not much content by the clock, and very short cues, but part of what I've done in the past 24 hours has been to try and really normalize a couple boss fights that we have. It's hard to get right. It's funny when you see chatter on the internet--especially for people that are the biggest fans of a given series, they will be really obsessed with lore.
For me it's like being obsessed with icing when you're talking about a cake. The hard thing is that It's really a challenge to construct a system where the intensity of the music really matches where you're at. Any time you play a game like that, it's easy to remember people being really sick of the short one-minute loop, or the time when it didn't work out for the environment in the game. Shack: Was there ever a time when you considered writing "The Butcher's Theme," or something along those lines?
Matt Uelmen: That wasn't really on the table in terms of the level of sophistication that we were at. We developed that game inso that was a little early for that. I think more the idea of doing something that had a little bit of narrative, but was still an action-heavy game, was more what we were concerned with. One thing that gets really challenging when you make these style of games--for me, I really try to encourage people to let the game be less narrative.
Just because I think the more you impose a narrative onto the game, the less it becomes that kind of dreamscape, where you're really into your character, and you're enjoying the fight, and the points management. I really don't like it when a game design breaks you out of that involuntarily.
Especially if you're really not into whatever the narrative is. Obviously it's easier when the narrative is stronger. Shack: It does sometimes take away some of your imagination, the connection that the player makes with the game.
Matt Uelmen: Yeah, it's a two-edged sword. Because if the character really gets into the narrative structure, it definitely drags you along and gives you a more intense relationship with the game. But it's one of those things where, I really feel like the whole way the aesthetic of popular culture in the last fifteen years, it's less about Stand Tall - Aggressive Force - Live At The Shack (CD) that ties into video games, as they're an avatar-based thing.
I find it more interesting when game designers give you an open-ended experience. And I think people really responded to that--the game that Diablo II was constantly battling it out with was The Sims. And I think how commercially popular it can be when you really just give people a sandbox. I really try to encourage that, as opposed to interrupting gameplay with cinematics, no matter how appropriate they are. Shack: And if there's anything unique about games as an art form, it's that open-ended unpredictability.
Matt Uelmen: The immersion of that, yeah. It's nice to have it, but Matt Uelmen: It's important to do it right, but, when you're eating a nice piece of tiramisu after a meal, it really shouldn't be about the tiny layer of chocolate on the top.
Shack: So after Diablo, you did some work on StarCraft. What were you involved in there? Matt Uelmen: I did very little work for StarCraft. They were actually very generous to give me the credit they did. I did mainly a dozen or so unit noises. Shack: Any specific sounds you can name off the top of your head? The Plants Kill! There are also four giant mantises hiding in the foliage. The door is permanently open and has a curtain of overgrown plants. Inside the vault are numerous mantises and spore carriers hidden in plant beds.
Spore carriers blend in with the vegetation and will not show up as enemies on the compass until they are disturbed. On Level 5 - Pest Control, there are spore plants who spit spike projectiles. There are many password-free terminals Stand Tall - Aggressive Force - Live At The Shack (CD) the vault which can be accessed to find some of Keely's notes and information on what became of the Vault's inhabitants.
Once inside one has the option to repair the elevator Repair 50 or walk the five levels by stairs. Since access to some staircases is blocked, repairing the elevator will make things easier. With a Lockpick skill of 75 or higher, one can take the elevator directly to Level 5 - Pest Control and unlock the data bank room.
Follow the signs through the common areas to the Overseer's office where one will find a terminal no password needed that can be used to unlock the crew quarters, the data banks, and the cave entrance. The crew quarters can also be opened with a Lockpick skill of The keycard is in the first room on the left side of the hall as one enters the crew quarters, on a shelf to the right of the entrance.
There are three spore carriers waiting inside. NOTE: there may be a glitch on the metal shelf where the keycard should be. Items will be invisible and only the item identification will be shown upon scrolling over where the object should be. In this case the key card will be on the bottom shelf in the right corner next to a couple of purified waters.
With the keycard, climb back up the stairs to Level 3 — Food Production the stairs to Level 5 are blocked and follow the arrows until one sees a door to the caves. The keycard will access the adjacent terminal, where the lock can be disengaged. The vault door to Pest Control will be down towards the left in the cave. Follow the arrow to the door. Once the player character is on Level 5, they can access the Data Room either by picking the lock or having disengaged it from the Overseer's office.
At this point one can finish the quest by downloading the data and returning to Hildern, or, either with or without downloading the data, one can look for Keely this will provide opportunities for additional XP, caps, and either positive or negative Karma.
To find Keely one must locate one of two entrances to the cave where she is stranded. The shortest route is through a room with a hard lock Lockpick Open this room and there will be a cave entrance. There are plenty of spore plants and mantises in the cave, even a family of baby mantises.
Follow the arrows to find Keely. If one does not have a high enough lockpick skill, the room adjacent to the room with the hard lock has another cave entrance.
The entrance is partly concealed by a computer wall panel that is been moved slightly from the wall. This route takes a bit longer. Keely can be found at the far end of the caves.
She is on the south end of the cavern sitting alone next to a mantis pod. She will ask the player character to meet her in her lab on Level 2 - Oxygen Recycling. If one has not repaired the elevator yet, Keely will do so at this point, making the trip up and down a bit easier. Upon seeing Keely on Level 2, she will tell the Courier about her plan to eliminate the contagious spores.
She is pumping flammable gas through the vents on Level 5. She wants the player character to find the vents and ignite the gas, without dying in the process. There are several ways to achieve the intended outcome.
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