, The Dreamcast Junkyard: Composer Spotlight: Philippe Vachey

Composer Spotlight: Philippe Vachey

When writing about video game music, one should start with beloved and favorite games. I'd previously looked at the music of Sonic Adventure, so for my first 'composer spotlight' article, why not look at my second favorite game on the system?
Toy Commander is a fun romp through a child's house and imagination. How do the tunes stack up? Developed by No Cliché, Toy Commander's music was composed by Philippe Vachey.

Compared to other composers and bands I've seen, Vachey's discography is fairly short; however it does include the famous survival horror title Alone in the Dark. Other games he's scored are Little Big Adventure and its sequel, a Cthulhu game, and Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals. With a few exceptions, most of Vachey's work has been for adventure games.
Probably not a Dreamcast keyboard
For us, the relevant music is from the oft-mentioned Toy Commander. In a 1999 article, IGN notes that the music "is also quite thematic, and helps keep up the frantic pace." However, other reviews from the same year don't mention the music at all. Perhaps that's a good thing, with the music being a welcome, but unnoticed, addition to the background. Or maybe it was forgettable?
Let's find out.

The overall OST is composed of approximately 10 unique compositions. There's an overall air of techno/synth throughout.
The track 'Feel' illustrates the overall feel of the soundtrack: at times slow and mysterious, and at other times, fast paced and driving.
"Your Mission" features a dramatic voice telling the player that "This is your mission" to a cool beat. In addition to concluding with some dramatic brass, the opening of the track seems to quote the first few notes of Ennio Morricone's theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
On the 'Music' tab of Mr. Vachey's official website, there are tracks from most of his previous projects. Representing Toy Commander is the track 'Cassis Bleep' which is a energetic track pushed forward by a strong element of percussion.

In my perusal of a couple interviews, those conducting the interviews seemed to focus on his various forays into adventure game music, rather than our beloved Dreamcast title. It is almost certainly an outlier among games like Alone in the Dark, Little Big Adventure and Nikopol: Secret of the Immortals.

Another tragedy is the unreleased Agartha. Had it not been for circumstance, No Cliche would have released their survival-horror game on the Dreamcast, all set to the notes of Philippe Vachey. Nonetheless, Toy Commander is a solid OST for him to call his first, and last, on the console.

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