Music in the Creatures series of games started out in Creatures as a variety of synthesized chimes, chords, bloops and other non-specific ambient sounds, simply combined together into audio files (MU01.WAV to MU28.WAV in the Sounds folder on Windows) and played at certain points in the game or as certain applets were opened. This music was created on a Roland JV-1080 synthesizer by Andrew Barnabas, who also made an album of computer music (including one track of Creatures music) called Shades while in the Cyberlife music studio. For more details see his wiki page.
For Creatures 2, a far more capable dynamic music system was created—MNG—and this system was also used in Creatures 3 and Docking Station. You can read about MNG files, which changed depending on factors such as location and the mood of creatures.
Editing and Playing Creatures Music
For games which use the MNG format, two tools are designed to edit the music, MNGPlayer and MNGPad - MNGPlayer lets you play music in the background (or foreground), while MNGPad allows you to edit existing MNG files and create your own. You will probably want to read the first part of MNG file format to see how the scripts work, although a tutorial is included with the programs.
The music of other games can be manipulated using normal audio or music editors.
Hidden within the audio directory of Creatures 2, an amusing musical track entitled 'DJ_G' is to be found, consisting of a Grendel repeatedly hitting a Norn to the sound of a techno remix of some of the sounds from the game. Upon the release of Creatures 3 a similar track was found in there. These may have been made by Mark Ashton. See also Defiant Doosers.
Docking Station events music
Admittedly, Docking Station's birth and death music was rather lacking - for the sake of size the Hub uses the same music as death (and it is annoying after a while) - the birth music was original, but not terribly good either. Gryph provides a tutorial to make Docking Station use Creatures 3's birth music instead:
- Copy ../Creatures 3/Sounds/Events.mng to your ../Docking Station/Sounds folder
- Open ../Docking Station/Bootstrap/010 Docking Station/DS life events factory - PHOTOGRAPHS THE DEAD.cos. You may want to make a backup first, but you'll only be changing a couple of lines
- Scroll down until you see the comment '* music'
*music doif va00 = 3 strk 30 "ds_music.mng\\TremeloBleep" elif va00 = 7 strk 20 "ds_music.mng\\MetallicChords"
*music doif va00 = 3 strk 30 "Events.mng\\Birth" elif va00 = 7 strk 20 "Events.mng\\Death"
Now, create a new world and Creatures 3's music should play upon birth and death events.