Out of the many less-than-successful CD-based consoles that emerged around the mid-90s, the Amiga CD32 was probably one of the bigger failures. Granted, Commodore had been a major player in the home computer gaming market with its Amiga product family. However, with the era of 2d-gaming coming to an end (for the time being), Amiga was looking to make a bold step into the future – only to fall flat on its face. Due to legal issues, the Amiga CD32 could not be sold in the US and sales in Europe (around 100,000) were insufficient to safe Commodore. Only eight months after the Amiga CD32 had debuted in 1993, Commodore went bankrupt – a lifespan rivalling that of Nintendo’s infamous Virtual Boy. It didn’t help that the majority of the titles sold for the Amiga CD32 consisted of games ported from other Amiga platforms – no system sellers in sight.
At least, the fact that so many developers decided to simply port their older Amiga games meant the Amiga CD32 saw a decent number of releases – 147 at the time of writing. Often enough, the only difference between a game’s release on say the Amiga 500 and the Amiga CD32 was that the latter benefited from a red book audio soundtrack. However, due to the exceedingly low-profile of many Amiga CD32 titles, finding their soundtrack years after the game’s release isn’t an easy undertaking – identifying the best Amiga CD32 music takes a bit of research.
Ultimately, there are a few noteworthy scores to be found among the limited library of Amiga CD32 games, including Heimdall 2, Litil Devil and the two Zool games. However, ultimately the only truly outstanding Amiga CD32 soundtrack is Patrick Phelan’s score for Hero Quest II: Legacy of Sorasil. It’s not much in the big scheme of things, but at least the best Amiga CD32 game music includes one of game music’s best-hidden orchestral gems.