Outcast Soundtrack, Lennie Moore, 1999
Being a pioneer is rarely easy – and your efforts might go initially unappreciated. Such was the fate that befell Outcast, a sci-fi action adventure game that was revolutionary in more than one way. Its concept of a three-dimensional open world that players were free to explore preceded other games of this ilk like Grand Theft Auto III by several years. Then there was Outcast’s voxel-based graphics engine, which produced a stunningly realistic extraterrestrial world – more successfully maybe than any other game before it. That visual splendor came at a cost though. Back in 1999, only the most powerful PCs were able to properly run the game. Of course, that limited any opportunities for financial success, and a Dreamcast port and planned sequel remained unreleased. However, Outcast created a legacy among gamers that was strong enough for a remake – Outcast: Second Contact – to be released in 2017.
Obviously a very bold title, Outcast benefited from what was still a rarity in 1999 – a fully live-orchestral game soundtrack. A professed fan of John Williams and Alan Silvestri, Outcast’s director Franck Sauer placed an ad in several film music magazines in 1996, looking for a “Hollywood film composer.” Ultimately, the job went to Lennie Moore, for whom Outcast would prove to be the beginning of a fruitful career in video game music. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Moore had worked on several scores for film, television and commercials, with documentary Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie being the standout. That movie had also seen Moore collaborating with the forces that would bring the Outcast soundtrack to life – conductor William Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.