Castle of Illusion
Sega enlisted former Rare composer Grant Kirkhope for its upcoming remake of the Genesis classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Kirkhope is best known for his work on GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. The composer pays homage to Castle of Illusion's wonderful 16-bit soundtrack while infusing it with his personal flair and a distinctly Disney sound. Sega sent us a sample of Kirkhope's new tracks from the Enchanted Forest stage to share with eager listeners.
The first stage of Castle of Illusion is a whimsical, enchanted forest that starts off as a gleeful trek. The bright colors and breezy platforming is accompanied by a happy-go-lucky melody that sticks closely to the original. Kirkhope ratchets up the Disney flavor with fleshed out strings, brass, and flutes that sound like they're straight from one of Mickey's cartoons.
After the first stage the Enchanted Forest turns spooky, with ghosts and bats flying through the night sky. Kirkhope sets the mood with a spooky track that sounds like it comes straight out of Gruntilda's castle in Banjo-Kazooie. The '50s sci-fi-esque theremin section is a great touch.
Kirkhope's new boss theme is one the remake's most drastic departure from the original soundtrack. This driving, intense battle music picks up in intensity as Mickey deals damage to the Enchanted Forest's tree boss. This versuib plays when the evil flora is really pissed off.
Fans of the original 16-bit soundtrack are also in luck, because the old tunes can be swapped in place of the remastered tracks from the start. For a taste of how the original tracks mesh with the new visuals, check out our Test Chamber episode of Castle of Illusion.