"Hazard" a.k.a. Martin Galway
How did you come up with your alias ?
The only vaguely-aggressive adjective I could think of that no-one else at
Origin had grabbed for Descent already! (Haven't had it long)
City / Country:
Belfast, Northern Ireland - moved to Manchester in England in 1971
January 3rd 1966 - yes, I just turned 30, bah!
What was your first computer, and when did you get it?
16K Spectrum in October 1983 I think. Worked for 6 weeks as a painter and
decorator's assistant to get the money (my parents started poor, you know,
I've achieved everything I have all by myself... OK, cut the sob-story) I
later got a Camputers Lynx - what a waste of money, I guess I learned Z80 on
How did you get into the scene and what groups have you been a member of ?
I'm not in the scene! YEAH!
(Except in the capacity of talking with individuals who ARE in the scene)
What was the proudest moment in your career ?
I guess working on "Wizball" with Sensi and subsequently collecting a CCI
Oskar in London (big deal!) TIES WITH working on Wing Commander 3, which was
such a technology and production values leap from anything anyone here had
worked on - and we got it out pretty much on schedule.
For what specific reason(s) do you think that you are remembered ?
Music like no-one else's on the Commodore 64
What would you like to be remembered for ?
What made you stop the scene activity ? (and do you remember when?)
I refer the honorable gentlemen to the answer I gave previously (i.e. never
been in the scene)
Thinking back on the good old days, is there anything you regret?
Not working as hard as I could have/should have with the Sensible boys.
That period will remain the dark chapter of my life without peer, as a
What was your favorite
This has to be a tie!
Pit Stop II on the Commodore 64 by Epyx
"Wizball" on the Commodore 64
"Yie Ar Kung Fu" arcade unit by Konami
"Slap Fight" arcade unit by Taito
"Descent" by Interplay (PC)
"Command & Conquer" by Virgin (PC)
Hmmm.... none come to mind at the minute (sorry guys!)
PROGRAMMER(S) (OR PROGRAMMING TEAM(S))
Dave Collier, Ocean Software
Jonathan Smith, Ocean Software
Chris Yates, Sensible Software
Chris Roberts & the Strike Commander programming team
Kevin Edwards, Software Creations
Mike Webb, Software Creations
Paul Proctor, Rare
Chris Stamper, Rare
CRACKER(S) (OR CRACKING GROUP(S))
Hmmmm.... none come to mind at the minute (again, apologies to the readers)
Rob "'e'll never lose 'is accent" Hubbard
Go on then... Maniacs Of Noise!
Composer of "Act Raiser" on SNES
Composer of "Donkey Kong Country" on SNES (haven't played DKC2 yet)
BEST COMPOSED TRACK(S)
"Wizball" title track, C64
"Miami Vice" in-game track (not the TV show theme), C64
"Times Of Lore" title track, C64
"Runes Of Virtue II" title track, GameBoy (check it out!)
"Strike Commander" credits music, PC
Tim Stamper, Rare
EVENT(S) (E.G. COPYPARTY)
Never been to a copyparty, I guess I would have to say the PCW Show in
Autumn 1986 and Commodore Show in 1987
"If we can... gift them, with the past, we create a cushion, or pillow for
their emotions and consequently we can control them bettuh." "Memories!
You're talkin' about memories!" - HERE GOES!
All I can remember is LET A=10 for some reason... Playing Sega's "Super
Locomotive" arcade game, with its excellent rendition of YMO's "Rydeen."
Had to have been the best arcade music of all time. That game
inspired/convinced me to put music onto the computer.
At the age of 17, mere veal for the slaughter, working at Database
Publications' "Optima Software" outfit for six short weeks with Kevin
Edwards. Chris Roberts walked in with his "Popeye" game (you TYPE IT IN to
play it! those were the days).
Got "Zoolook" and heard sampling for the first time, not sure if I really
liked it (being an analogue fan). Visiting Ocean for the first time,
showing them all the music I'd done on the BBC, working on those early music
drivers, doing "Daley Thompson's Decathlon" in the tropical summer heat,
working overnight for the first time ever for a deadline - "Hunchback 2"
with Tony Pomfret and Bill Barna (though it was not my deadline and I didn't
get any money - HEY!) - taking home paycheques that actually impressed my
parents, though they would still continue to laugh ignorantly at my
occupation for years...
Quitting college in January and taking my first full time job (at Ocean),
working as game programmer on C64 "Match Day" for about 6 weeks - that work
was thrown away when I became the music programmer on "Roland's Rat Race";
Doing the "Hypersports" tape loading music at home at full volume and
getting kicked in the ass when my parents came back from 't pub (lad!).
Didn't realise the impact of that music until I returned from a 4-week
InterRail trip around Europe with my old schoolpals in the summer. Working
on BBC "Hypersports" and the C64 "Rambo" game, whose game tune was based on
a German disco mix of the Jerry Goldsmith score (working weekends for the
first time), and the "Yie Ar Kung Fu" Jean Michel Jarre music at my uncle
James' flat in Switzerland over Christmas...
Sensible Software walked in from Essex with a demo disc of their new game
"Parallax," I was the only one around to play it & I gave it the thumbs
up... despite being accomplished musicians already they said they would not
be doing music and I would likely be supplying it... but we hit it off
immediately and established a great rapport. I remember several months
later when the boys came up to Manchester and I played 'em the 11-minute
title track, with the lights out, sound turned up and my debug-graphics
supplying the tripping-out visuals; after the tune finished, the astounded
Jops commented solemnly, "that's the best fackin' music I've ever heard...!"
It was a pretty heart-stopping moment. (Another "Parallax" story: I bought
"Rendez-vous," the first Jean Michel Jarre album I got on CD first time
around, i.e. not on vinyl. Listened to it daily. My CD player broke 2
weeks later and didn't get repaired for 2 months, during which time I worked
on "Parallax" without realising that "Rendez-vous" was unconciously creeping
into the music! Only realised it after I played the album again after the
game shipped.) Other 1986 memories include working on the "Miami Vice"
soundtrack and conquering the SID filter in such a tripped-out fashion! The
Ocean lads hearing it for the first time swore I had a cassette deck playing
somewhere and it was not the C64! "Street Hawk" got cancelled, even though
I'd done great music for it... Finally, I remember the 2-man day-trip to
Hasbro in Reading, to demo Denton Design's license of "Transformers." I was
the game-player, the other guy was Jon Woods, illustrious boss of Ocean.
During the trip I conducted an in-car cellphone conversation with a Zzap!
64 reporter who had turned up at Ocean to interview me, only to find I had
left on this day-trip! (I had forgot to tell him). Does anyone have a copy
of that magazine so we can all read the interview again? I lost all my
copies or gave them away. I think it's the Nov 1986 issue. Did "Cobra" on
the Spectrum, which later became "Arkanoid" on the C64.
Things were heating up on the C64, it was becoming increasingly difficult to
better myself each time, which was frustrating. In April did "Wizball" by
travelling with all my equipment to Ilford, Essex, where Jops lived at the
time. We jammed together for a whole week, and I incorporated their tunes
into the game. Jops actually came up with a lot of the sections of the
bonus music, and the game-over lick is copied directly from Chris' electric
guitar. I remember us playing bass guitar alongside two C64s at pretty high
volume in the middle of the night - his neighbours probably had shit for
brains by the end of it. We ate dozens of "blow-outs," a type of large
burger from the local fast food store. 1987 came to a big blow-out ending,
in fact - I quit Ocean, disillusioned by working so hard in such shitty
offices (you would not have believed it). "Athena" did not help, where I
only had 4K of RAM to work in! Jonathan Dunn walked in right around the day
I quit, so his chances of getting a job were, how can I put this, "somewhat
improved" (since they had no sound staff!) My two most perfect arcade
conversions were "Arkanoid" and "Slap Fight" whose C64 versions sound pretty
much exactly like the originals. Last thing I remember about Ocean was
gaping in awe at "Rastan Saga" with the rest of the team, thinking "how the
fuck are we going to do this on the C64?" (I pulled off a reasonable attempt
with the music). I interviewed with Rare Ltd as an on-staff musician, but
didn't get the job. That was a fantastic place - biggest opportunity missed
yet. Paul Proctor, where are you?
Beginning of the Dark Ages for me. All the enjoyable moments were squeezed
into travelling to Origin Systems in Austin Texas USA, where for 2.5 months
I slaved on the music and sound-effects for "Times Of Lore" with Chris
Roberts & Dallas Snell. There I learnt the meaning of dedication. Chris
worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week (and since I did not drive and was
getting rides to work, I did the same thing). His heavy use of Pink Floyd
as background musak in the office hypnotised me into making heavy effort
into guitar solo work on it. Never for one moment did I not have a great
time there. Even Sensible Software came over for a few days to discuss
their new medieval fanstasy RPG "Touchstone", though unfortunately Jops
didn't have any film in his camera so none of us have any evidence of our
trip! I resolved to come to work full-time at Origin. BUT travelling back
to the UK, I worked on "Microprose Soccer" with Sensible Software and agreed
to forget Origin and become a partner in their firm. (My fingers start to
shake with terror as I remember the events...)
Height of the Dark Ages. "Microprose Soccer" dragged on as the problems
with that company which would later lead to Microprose's demise were
gestating & 1festering at their height. "Touchstone" grew and grew as a
game and changed platforms twice and programming languages even more times.
Money was very tight. "Insects In Space" was scant respite from the gloom.
Instead of helping me on "Touchstone," Chris started work on a 3D Tennis
game on the C64, which left me as the sole guy on the project (all
programming). Then Warren Spector, our liason at Origin, called to say "oh
yeah, about that Touchstone project... well, we've decided to forget about
it, OK?" As a project, Touchstone remains for me the one with the most
unfullfilled potential; I still think Sensi could turn the idea into a great
product, it has a great story. I started work on the Amiga version of "3D
Start of my "Renaissance period." Despite the best intentions, my
enthusiasm for working, our not-too-mature business sense and our terribly
damaging experience with Microprose finally killed off my relationship with
Chris & John. Sensible & I parted ways in February & I retreated to my
English cottage, my Porsche and my Amiga music. I subsequently lost touch
with Sensi altogether (hope you guys are OK). Without money for
synthesisers though, working on the Amiga is like driving a car without
trying to put any petrol in it - you soon run out of material to work with.
My software routine was 1st-class, but no-one will ever hear it, I don't
think. Without money, my Porsche went from bad to worse, particularly since
I kept scratching the bodywork and having it repaired (instead of the engine
or brakes, for example). Without money, working on my house was... I think
you get the idea. I called Chris Roberts & Dallas Snell and they said (in
typical Bob Barker style) "Come On Down!" and so began the "home straight"
feeling I had all through 1990 as I filled out visa paperwork to go over
there. December 11th saw Axel Brown picking me up from Austin airport, and
I was finally out of my Dark Ages. (things will speed up now!)
Hard at work on "Wing Commander 2," recorded the Speech Pack with Ellen
Guon. Then we worked on our first CDROM game, FM-Towns "Ultima 6", which
has 200 speaking characters all with a page or two of dialogue! Hired some
great sound staff at Origin.
Worked on PC "Strike Commander" and "Ultima 7" for a while, the crunch for
June CES have to be remembered as the halcyon days for the team, I'm sure.
We were so enthusiastic to show our products however that we didn't realise
that not releasing for another year & a half would allow all our competitors
to get in on the same texture-mapping stuff! (oh well). I started work on
the SNES for a string of games we would be producing, firstly an "Ultima 7"
conversion. I loved the SNES, it was like a return to the C64 days with all
that byte-saving. Great sound module, ranks up there with the SID. The
work was difficult and stressful though. Our SNES games never sold that
Toiled on the SNES all through this year. Assisted on PC Strike Commander
when necessary. I think I squeezed in GameBoy "Runes Of Virtue 2", which
was a lot of fun.
Finished up SNES work very painfully, and in March started the next phase in
my career with the direction of audio on Wing Commander 3, which was a
massive project and frightening in its scope to all who were coming on board
at that time (Chris was like "yeah, it's no big deal, man, we're just gonna
kick ass again!"). The game was all done by the end of the year and we
emerged feeling as gritty and worn as Jack Palance in "City Slickers," like
boys going to war and coming back as men.
Took care of 3DO WC3, which is regarded as one of its best games in its
short career as a videogame platform, and then on to WC4, which was simply
upping the production values ante in all areas.
Finished up WC4 ASAP since it missed Christmas. Fortunately it has sold
well. Therefore (!) we remain the company with the highest production
values and will continue to improve in the future. (bit of Origin hoo-haa
there!) WC5 is the current project.
Boddington's Best Bitter - don't get to drink it much these days.
You forgot, favourite car!
Infiniti Q45 - BADASS
What are you doing nowadays ?
Working at Origin Systems on the Wing Commander games. (If you didn't just
read the massive story up there)
What are you doing on your spare time?
Stuff including but not limited to (!) - - Working on my house, driving as
fast as I can around Texas' great roads, watching a lot of movies in DTS,
SR*D and SDDS.
Is there anything you'd like to say to the public (read: admires)
Only that I intend to return to music composition some time...
What is the meaning of life?
Come on, man...