Hades was the sleeper hit of 2020. From its dungeon crawler gameplay to its vibrant art design, Hades broke through with a narrative about being trapped in the underworld, in the same year that we were all trapped in our own houses. But one thing that helped to elevate every aspect of Hades was its epic music design. Now it’s time to learn more about the hard work that went into scoring this rogue-like masterpiece.
In the latest episode of local Aussie podcast Gameplay, host, James Parkinson, dives deep into the sound and music of Hades. Gameplay got the chance to speak with Darren Korb, the Audio Director at Supergiant Games and composer on Hades, and uncovered some interesting behind the scenes info.
Darren discusses the heavy metal influences that inspired the music for Hades, what it was like voicing multiple characters in the game and how he managed to adapt 2.5 hours of music for hundreds of hours of gameplay.
Check out some highlights from the interview below!
James Parkinson: When it came to composing for Hades, and its Greek mythology setting, Darren looked to regional influences for inspiration.
Darren Korb: Early on, we knew we were going to do something having to do with Greek myth. And so I went out, and I acquired, a handful of Mediterranean guitar-shaped instruments basically. Because I knew I wanted to have something sonically that represented that part of the world, in some way or another. So I dug into that a little bit, and I got a bağlama, and a lavta and a bouzouki. The first two are Turkish instruments, and the bouzouki is a Greek instrument. And they all have pretty distinct sounds.
Darren Korb: Eventually, about a few months into development, we sort of had a creative redirect for what we wanted the game to be about, fictionally. And at that point, is when we decided that the game was going to take place in the Greek Underworld, and that you were going to be Zagreus escaping hell. And that’s the point at which I added the metal to the music. Because I knew it was going to need some metal, if you were gonna be escaping hell.
Darren Korb: The way that we implemented the music in Hades was really deliberately to try and extend the shelf life of the music, within the experience of the game. Because one of the unique challenges of this game is we expect people to play it for dozens, hundreds of hours. So I wrote about two and a half hours of music for Hades. And it’s got to stand up to people playing the game for maybe a couple hundred hours.
You can listen to the full Gameplay podcast episode here or listen on your favourite podcasting platform.
And if you haven’t checked out Hades yet, you really should! You can purchase the game for PC via Steam or the Epic Games Store or get it on Nintendo Switch. And you can listen to the full epic soundtrack for Hades here.