Composed by
Kevin Manthei

 

Published by
KMM Productions (2004)

 

Tracklistings
Gameplay
1) Pitfall Harry Theme
2) Jungle Explore
3) Jungle Go
4) Jungle Combat
5) Spooky Cave
6) Spooky Cave Combat
7) Jungle 2 Explore
8) Jungle 2 Go
9) Jungle 2 Combat
10) Interior Ruins Ambient
11) Snow Explore
12) Snow Go
13) Snow Combat
14) Native Jungle

Explore
15) Native Jungle Go
16) Native Jungle

Combat
17) Jungle 3 Explore
18) Jungle 3 Go
19) Jungle 4 Go
20) Native Village

View full tracklistings

 

Extras
- Game Website
- Composer Website
- Interview

 

Availability
- Kevin Manthei's shop
- Synsoniq.com

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Pitfall: The Lost Expedition

The genre of 3D-jump-n-run will never become extinct. There is something fascinating and entertaining about running through levels trying to evade evil monsters, to press buttons and to find secret treasures. Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, simultaneously released on all console systems to reach a wide audience, tried again to bring action-adventure fun to game players. It was an obvious choice for publisher Activison to hire Kevin Manthei as composer for he had worked with them on quite a number of projects including Vampire: The Masquerade.

To underscore Pitfall Harry’s adventurous journey Manthei cleverly manages to combine synthesized and orchestrated elements to a varied, small-scale score. For most of the locations in the game, he composed three tracks: “…Explore”, the ambient cue for the area; “…Go”, a more fast-paced version of the ambient cue; “…Combat”, the battle track for the area. The Explore-cues introduce the theme and/or style of the respective location. This theme often reappears in the Go- or the Combat-track(s).

Most the tracks play over and over again in the game so Manthei didn’t make them too thematic. Nevertheless, there are quite a few themes and motifs in the score, above all Pitfall Harry’s theme. It is both heroic and memorable and is quoted a few times throughout the album although Manthei doesn’t make extensive use of it. Instead, as mentioned above, he gives every area its own theme. One of the most thematic cues is “Spooky Cave” that isn’t really that spooky but offers an interesting motif that makes its statement in the “Spooky Cave Combat” as well. Another highlight of the score is “Jungle 2 Explore” that features a panpipe solo backed up by other woodwinds and percussion. “Native Village” is arguably the best track on the album offering African chants accompanied by orchestra. It is a wonderful and very well composed cue. Tracks 29 – 36 feature cues from the game’s cinematics which is a nice addition to the album.

An unforgivable fault of the score becomes evident in “Olympics High Paced”. Some of the tracks don’t seem to end properly, they just cut out which is very annoying. It really gets you out of the listening experience. Furthermore, as I said in other reviews, Manthei's sound-engine isn’t the strongest or most sophisticated out there. Most of the tracks don’t come close to the sound of a real orchestra, although (as in Shrek 2) this isn’t such a problem because the more weak sound suits the comic-style visuals of Pitfall very well. The whole score has a very fun and light-hearted feel to it that makes for an enjoyable listen from time to time.

With that being said, Pitfall: The Lost Expedition is a very well done score and not only recommended to Manthei fans but also to fans of small-scale action-adventure scores in general.