Halo broke ground. It’s one of the greatest shooters of all time and proof that Microsoft could publish great games on its flagship console, the Xbox. Since the game’s release in 2001, characters like Master Chief and Cortana, and vehicles like the Warthog, have all become gaming icons. Those images and characters still inspire, and the music still sends chills down the spines of the series’ most hardened fans.
It’s easy to hear why— Halo’s music is great. The game’s orchestral theme became as instantly iconic as its green-suited protagonist, and the sequel Halo 2 introduced a metal version that appealed to pimply teenagers and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fans alike. Now you can watch the moment the metal version was created thanks to producer Martin O’Donnell digging up an old DVD and uploading it to YouTube.
Soundtracks are a collaborative project, and the behind the scenes video of Halo 2’s soundtrack creation feels like a bunch of talented musicians having an absolute blast.
The best moment has to be when legendary guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers is talking to virtuosic guitar player Steve Vai about the original game’s soundtrack and how they have to top it. “Let’s just vibe,” he says. “Let’s groove on it for a minute.” The chanting starts. The guitar comes in. Rodgers nods his head. Video game history is made.
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