Monday, February 22, 2016

Structural analysis of Tomb Raider: Underworld cue(s)

"Panthers vs. Poachers" (from Tomb Raider: Underworld) was analysed in detail as part of a video game music blog entry for Gamasutra: "Video game active ambient music and figurative silence". In the article, University of Pretoria alumnus Pieter Smal, also responsible for a dissertation on the music to Crystal Dynamics' second Tomb Raider continuation, discusses track extracts from other games too - including Fable III, Simcity, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Rayman: Origins:

"Panthers Vs. Poachers features an interesting form: an extended binary form with repeats inside and outside... O'Malley included a bridge that modulates from A to B, repeating both A and B with slight changes... Scale-like violin writing thickens the texture... After brass swells... the bridge section starts... featuring a melody in the cellos and basses. Violins joins the ensemble... tremolo arpeggiating violins, ending in a tonic repetition doubled with swelling choir." - Pieter Smal

Featuring in the Southern Mexico segment of the game, the track is part of the Tomb Raider: Underworld community developed soundtrack and is a recycled sibling to Coastal Thailand's "Pouncing Tigers".


  1. Hello. I'm writing a paper on Tomb Raider music representations. Could it be possible to talk to the person who wrote this little article? I'd like to at least put an author on it. Thank you

    1. Flick us an email via our contact page, and we can get you in touch with Smal


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