Episode #223: Peter McConnell on Grim Fandango: Remastered

February 5, 2015 · 31:30

When Top Score received the soundtrack to Grim Fandango: Remastered, the tracks came with notes from the game’s composer, Peter McConnell. The main theme read, “the way I always wanted to hear it.”

Grim Fandango, originally released in 1998, is a game set in the land of the dead. Skeleton Manny Calavera works as a travel agent for the dead, helping his clients move to better lives in the Ninth Underworld. Clients are supposed to receive better or worse travel packages, based on their pureness of heart. When the system starts to favor impure hearts, Manny sets off on a journey to discover the culprit.

McConnell took his research for the game seriously. Studying mariachi bands and old film soundtracks, he came up with the sound that is uniquely Fandango’s. Recording and playback technology limited his ability to use live instruments in 1998, but the new recording has fewer limitations. This time, he got to work with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

We also had the pleasure of talking to Peter about his work on the recent game Hearthstone. Tune in for that episode, coming soon!