Kris Hatlelid

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Kristjan Hatlelid
Gender Male
Born 196?-08-29
Birth Place Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Nationality Canadian   Canada.svg
Aliases Igor Shimskey

Kris Hatlelid is a Canadian composer, sound designer and programmer.

Hatlelid encountered Commodore PET computers at school and owned a Commodore VIC-20. He started programming at age 14 or 15 and learned a lot from Gregor Larson, with whom he wrote and sold his first game, Frantic Freddie (C64), in 1983 while still at high school.

At a 1985 Toronto trade show, Hatlelid talked to one of the founders of PirateBusters Inc. which did copy protection. Having wanted one on Frantic Freddie already, he was invited to do protection with them. He also programmed a gory cartoon for when a copy was detected. The cartoon is around since 1986, but from what game it was ripped is unknown. Hatlelid called the venture not really profitable, but said at the same time he started a pretty decent career in video games.

At the beginning of 1987, he worked for Distinctive Software and Electronic Arts. He was a manager, developer, and composer. At Distinctive, he not only wrote music and sound effects, but also programmed the sound drivers in his own format (KMS). In 1993, Hatlelid left Distinctive and was the president and CTO of ICE Online. At the beginning of 1988, he worked for Electronic Arts again until April 2002 as a senior producer. Ever since, Hatlelid has been working at Microsoft, handling many tasks in the past; principal development manager, group program manager and developer. He is now their engineering director.

Hatlelid no longer composes for video games since leaving Distinctive, but he continues to compose and play music in Seattle.

Audio Development

Commodore 64

For Frantic Freddie (C64), Larson and Hatlelid programmed a music driver and arranged in hex. Hatlelid used this driver again on the PirateBusters cartoon.

By February 1988, he had created a new driver and sampled drums and guitars at 2622 to 6473 Hz, 4-bit.

Except for the samples which are almost mute on the 8580, their songs sound the same on every SID chip.


Hatlelid wrote his own sound driver (KMS) and wrote the music in assembler macros.


Released Title Sample Notes
1983-??-?? Frantic Freddie (C64)
1988-02-?? Power at Sea (C64) Title song.
1988-1?-?? Grand Prix Circuit (C64)
1988-??-?? Thud Ridge: American Aces In 'Nam (C64)
1989-??-?? Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun (AMI)
1989-??-?? Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun (DOS)
1989-??-?? OutRun (DOS)
1989-0?-?? Test Drive II: The Duel (C64)
1990-??-?? 4D Sports Driving (AMI)
1990-??-?? Altered Beast (DOS)
1990-??-?? Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge (DOS) With Mike Sokyrka and Brian Plank.
1990-??-?? Mickey's 123's - The BIG Surprise Party (AMI)
1990-??-?? Metal Gear (C64)
1990-0?-?? Castlevania (C64)
1990-??-?? Castlevania (DOS)
1990-??-?? Super C (AMI) With Mike Sokyrka
1990-??-?? Super C (DOS) With Mike Sokyrka
1990-??-?? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (AMI) With Ivan Allan. Arranged NES version's music.
1990-??-?? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles World Tour (C64)
1990-0?-?? Wings of Fury (C64)
1990-09-?? Pipe Dream (NES)
1991-??-?? 4D Boxing (DOS)
1991-??-?? 4D Sports Boxing (AMI)
1991-??-?? Champions Forever Boxing (TG16)
1991-??-?? The Cycles (C64)
1991-??-?? Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (C64) With Ivan Allan. Arranged NES version score.
1991-??-?? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Manhattan Missions (DOS) Music & Sound System with Brian Plank.
1991-04-?? Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge (NES)
1991-10-?? Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (NES) Sound Driver
1992-??-?? John Madden Football '93 (SNES) Arranged Rob Hubbard's music.
1992-??-?? The Simpsons: Bart's House of Weirdness (DOS) With Mike Sokyrka, Dan Scott, Traz Damji, Brian Plank, and "Tara".

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