Artists derive inspiration from all sorts of places, whether it's Dark Souls pulling from Zelda or Loki taking note from Doctor Who - Jak was no different. Naughty Dog's early 2000s platformer was composed by Josh Mancell, and he brought plenty of his favourites to the table to create a familiar but alien-sounding track.
"I gravitated to Jerry Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes score," Mancell told TheGamer. "It similarly used a varied collection of non-Western instruments that combine with traditional Western orchestral instruments in unexpected yet effective ways. I was also listening to a lot of leftfield electronic artist Richard H. Kirk. His tracks are often composed with only a few instruments - yet his arrangements have subtle shifts and nuances that keep them interesting and listenable over longer periods of time."
If you don't know, Richard H. Kirk is an English DJ and member of the industrial music band Cabaret Voltaire. The band formed in 1973 but they broke up in 1994, not long before the original Jak game launched. It came back in 2014 with only Kirk at the helm, but he passed away in September of this year. Mancell was born in 1969 so he grew up with Kirk's music as well as the aforementioned Planet of the Apes film - it released only a year prior in 1968.
Aside from Kirk and Planet of the Apes, Jak itself was a major inspiration in Mancell's composing of the score: "Even though I obviously wasn't playing the final version, I was able to get an overall feel for most of the levels - how they looked and felt as a player.
"I was also given a tester console and Naughty Dog would periodically send me playable discs of levels as works in progress. It took a lot of discipline to not get hooked into playing the game for hours when I had deadlines to meet."
Jak and Daxter turns 20 next week and while there hasn't been a remake, remaster, or sequel for the PlayStation 4 or 5, you can buy the PS2 ports in the store to play natively - there's no need for streaming.
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