River City Girls Zero OST // Interview with Megan McDuffee

interview OST synthwave

FFO: Zoku: The Legend of Bishin, DEMONDICESpace Patrol Luluco and NINA

Favourite Track: Manga 1

Megan McDuffee took the time to answer a few questions we had about her work. Here's what she had to say!

Q1: Last Year you released your debut full length Inner Demons. How different is your process when composing your own music versus music for a soundtrack? 

A1: I'd been wanting to produce a full vocal album for a while, so I'm really glad it finally happened. Normally I have some idea from my clients as to tone, genre, or overall theme, but for Inner Demons I kinda just started. The first track ended up dictating the theme and tone for the rest of the album, instead of the other way around. I also had more time than usual, since it was all self-imposed deadlines.

Q2: What was it like collaborating with 8 bit legend Chipzel on the River City Girls boss battle tracks?

Q2: So Chipzel and I didn't actually collaborate on anything. Confusing, I know. I didn't hear her boss themes until I was assembling and mastering the entire soundtrack! The only reason I'm listed alongside her on the track titles is so that the soundtrack didn't end up in the Spotify/streaming void of 'Various Artist' releases. So that goes for everyone else on the album as well; when I'm listed next to another artist, it was wholly their work.

Q3: River City Girls Zero is the North American localization of 1994's Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka for the Super Famicom. Were you aware of the game before working on the localization? 

A3: I did know it existed, only because the legacy of the River City Ransom titles was revealed to me when I first signed on to work on River City Girls. I had a vague awareness of the games, but didn't really know the extent of the titles until being brought on to that first project.

Q4: You composed the theme song for 2Awesome Studio's precision platformer Aeon Drive. Games often have main themes but they generally don't contain a vocal performance. Are there any specific examples of theme songs or title tracks from other games you looked to for inspiration?

A4: That was definitely a fun one; I always love the chance to incorporate vocals into anything I work on. I didn't look to any specific songs for inspiration, other than the genre and vibe the studio requested.

Q5:  Last year Atari released their Recharged series. A collection of classic Atari titles with graphical upgrades and brand new soundtracks. As the lead composer for this series, was it challenging creating new music for such fundamental titles?

A5: Not especially! It was quite fun to see how I could both capture a somewhat retro feel injected with my own musical sensibilities. The devs were great with communicating the genre that they wanted from the get-go, so I had plenty of inspiration.

Q6: Does it ever get frustrating finishing work on a game soundtrack and then having to wait several years for the game to be released?

A6: Haha of course. Similarly, working on a very exciting project and not being able to tell anyone what it is for a long time is sometimes aggravating!

Q7: What can people expect to hear on the upcoming River City Girls 2 OST?

A7: The same catchy retro-flavored electropop as the first game's OST, but with some new genre inspirations! I got to try quite a few different things this time around, so the soundtrack feels a touch more varied. Some of the references I got were downright tricky to use as a foundation! The vocal songs are subtly different too...but I can't give away how yet :)

Q8: What have you been listening to lately?

A8: The one thing that I don't get to do much is listen to music. I'm working on producing music all day, so sadly I can't just pop on an album in the background! The main time I do listen is on weekends when I'm looking for more songs to add to my pole dancing playlist (which is my main hobby). Lately I've loved stuff from Heilung, Demeter, and some very old Overclocked Remixes.

Find more of their music below.


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