|Thomas V. Tallarico
Tommy Tallarico is an American video game composer. He created video game music since the 1990s. He is one of co-founders of Video Games Live, a show where video game musicians play their composed music for games in a live band.
Tallarico started music when he was learning piano at age 3. He was first hired when he traveled to California and one of the producers of Virgin Games asked him if he wanted to test video games and he accepted. The first game he tested was the Game Boy version of Prince of Persia. While testing it, he noticed that there were no audio designers for the game, so he asked if he could work on the music and that he'd even do it free of charge. The staff at Virgin let him port Francis Mechner's complex compositions from the computer versions to the Game Boy. He later went on to found Tommy Tallarico Studios and worked as a contractor for various developers, providing music and sound effect.
Tallarico is a cousin of Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler. For many years, Tallarico served as President of Intellivision Entertainment. On February 7, 2022, it was announced that Tallarico was stepping down as the CEO.
In November 2022, the YouTuber hbomberguy published a video that was originally intended to briefly investigate the origin of the Roblox "oof" sound effect. While the video deduced it was Joey Kuras that made the sound effect under Tallarico for the game Messiah, hbomberguy noted manipulative language by Tallarico trying to take credit for Joey's work. The video then takes a deep dive into the entire career of Tommy Tallarico, identifying the many lies about his discography such as being the "first American to work on Sonic". The video garnered over ten million views as of January 1 2024, and as a result, grabbed the attention of various members in the video game preservation community and original artists who worked with Tallarico.
For decades, Tommy Tallarico was believed to have composed for Earthworm Jim 1 and 2. After hbomberguy's video, Tony Bernetich commented elaborating on his involvement with the game:
Additionally, Tallarico took MIDIs from online and imported them into the game with very little modification, often referred to as "MIDI slapping". Given this information, all video game credits attributed to Tommy Tallarico should be analyzed under scrutiny.
Tallarico used GEMS.
Tallarico used Tommy T's Play Me Sound Editor.
Tallarico initially used Chip Level Designs' audio driver, except in The Jungle Book (SNES), for which he used Sculptured Software's Wolfgang driver instead. Tallarico initially had to work with sheet music and would write it in assembly, like most other non-Japanese composers that utilized Kankichi-kun, until a MIDI sequencer was implemented.
Earthworm Jim 2, Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams, Madden NFL 96, and the unreleased port of Spot Goes to Hollywood used the SLICK/Audio sound driver from Bitmasters. Spot Goes to Hollywood uses two different builds on its prototypes; the early prototype uses version 1.01 and the later prototype uses version 1.07b.