Total Eclipse Soundtrack, Burke Trieschmann, 1994
The 3DO wasn’t around for long enough to produce many classic, outstanding soundtracks that were exclusive to the system, or at least germinated there first. However, do some digging and you’ll come across a few hidden 3DO music gems. One of those pleasant surprises is Total Eclipse. While not a system exclusive like Zhadnost: The People’s Party, Total Eclipse first saw the light of day on the 3DO, before being ported to the PlayStation a year later – with markedly less full sound, making the 3DO soundtrack far superior. The game itself wasn’t much to write home about, seemingly only turning heads in 1994 because of its (back then) spectacular 3D graphics. The dull, repetitive space shooter gameplay found few fans, and by the time the largely unchanged PlayStation port appeared in 1995, the once shiny coat of painting had definitely faded.
Not just Total Eclipse’s graphics are a relic of their time – the same goes for the game’s soundtrack. However, its music ultimately feels far less dated than Total Eclipse’s other design aspects. The mid-1990s saw industrial metal peaking in popular success and entering the mainstream, thanks to bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry putting out career best-sellers. For the Total Eclipse soundtrack, composer Burke Trieschmann dipped into the genre’s blistering intensity that lent itself well to the game’s action-heavy gameplay. For Trieschmann, Total Eclipse and the same year’s The Horde (which won Best Musical Score from Computer Gaming World) marked a strong start to his career in game music. Having worked in the music industry since 1986 and running his own music production company, Trieschmann was to become a mainstay on games by developer Crystal Dynamics in the years to come.