When it comes to the creation of a game as evidently inspired as Hades, there are obviously a variety of influences at play. From the Greek mythology ostensibly threaded throughout its narrative, to the less predictable presence of the MCU’s version of Loki, the voice actor for Hades protagonist Zagreus recently confirmed that there’s another influence floating around in there, too: Radioohead’s Thom Yorke.
Darren Korb — who wears the songwriter, composer, and voice actor hats in Hades — has a long history of working with Supergiant Games. Prior to the studio’s most recent roguelike, Korb also wrote scores for Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre. Hades was particularly challenging, however, because Korb had to write and sing songs as Orpheus — revered in Greek mythology as the most prodigious musician to have ever lived.
In a recent interview with The Gamer, Korb admitted that he struggled when it came to figuring out a suitable sound for the legendary musician. ““I had some challenges trying to figure out what my take on Orpheus was going to be,” says Korb. “When you’re trying to embody the supposed greatest musician of all history, who moved the gods to tears with their singing, you can’t just make something standard.”
Eventually, Korb decided that in order to give voice to the illustrious poet, he would have to take inspiration from a more contemporary vocalist. Korb knew that the sound he was going for “had to be something angelic and ethereal” — and from that point on, it didn’t take long for him to revisit his own musical tastes.
“Thom Yorke, or Radiohead — they’re always in there,” Korb says. “They’re always an influence. But specifically I imagined a ‘when Thom Yorke sings in falsetto’ kind of vibe for the stuff I might write for Orpheus.” The resulting track does a remarkably good job of capturing the exact kind of otherworldly musical aesthetic he was aiming for.
It’s worth noting that Hades’ end-credits track, In The Blood, was actually recorded in Abbey Road — yes, where the Beatles recorded all but one of their albums. “In January we had just gone to London to do an acoustic show, and we recorded an album at Abbey Road,” Korb says. “In addition to recording that album at Abbey Road, we recorded two tracks for Hades that I wrote for a chamber orchestra to get the most out of the session, and partially to justify doing it.”
If you’ve yet to give Hades a go, be sure to check out our complete Hades guide and walkthrough. Also, make sure to give our full interview with Darren Korb a read for more information on Radiohead, Transistor, the creation of Zagreus’ voice, and more.
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