After a night of insane partying with his buddy Danny Elfman, Tim Burton had a fever dream, woke up, said “That was weird,” and promptly forgot about it, moving on to make Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That dream was somehow projected into the brains of Chris Sorrel and Jason Wilson of SCE Cambridge Studio, which resulted in the creation of a game for the original PlayStation called MediEvil.
Okay, that’s probably not what actually happened, but it’s a pretty decent guess.
MediEvil tells the story of a knight named Daniel Fortesque who had a habit of slightly, ah, exaggerating his accomplishments. The king of Gallowmere was so impressed with his tales of valor that he made him the head of the royal military, and Dan soon after got the opportunity to demonstrate his awesomeness in real time when the kingdom was attacked by a legion of undead lead by a dark wizard named Zarok. The valiant knight took the first arrow fired, right in the eye, and dropped dead.
So much for heroics.
Humiliated, the king told everyone Daniel had died an honorable death, made him into a hero, and buried him with full honors in a massive tomb. Well, Zarok came back, and in order that Daniel might legitimately earn his spot in the “Hall of Heroes,” he is brought back to life to face his foe once more—and redeem himself (sans lower jaw.)
Sounds like a Burton film, yeah? And nowhere does the similarity show more than in the music. The soundtrack for MediEvil is the soundtrack Danny Elfman would have come up with if he were running on God Mode. This masterpiece by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold is dark, it’s quirky, it’s atmospheric, and it’s fun while staying away from being cheesy. And, hands down, it is the best element of an already fantastic game.
MediEvil was re-released for the PSP as MediEvil Resurrection. and with it came a revamped soundtrack performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The revamp, as revamps are known to do, changed quite a bit of the arrangements from the originals—but the results are fantastic and most certainly worth a listen.
Moods: Whimsical, Dark
Highlights: “Scarecrow Fields,” “The Time Device,” “Hilltop Mausoleum”
Final Score: 5 out of 5 Nobuo Uematsu Bandannas