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Guitar Hero Metallica – Behind the Music

Alan Flores's Avatar + Posted by Alan Flores on Feb 11, 2009 // Lead Designer, Neversoft

Hey everyone, this is Alan Flores and I am the lead designer of Guitar Hero Metallica. I just wanted to share some thoughts about why Guitar Hero Metallica is so important to me and why I think we owed it to all the metal heads out there to make the best game we could possibly make.

Recently, I was flying back from San Francisco after doing some press for the game, and I was reading a music magazine. Inside was an article on the history of thrash metal which listed what they felt were the quintessential 12 thrash metal albums of all time. I looked over the list and realized that I have nine of these records on vinyl and one on CD. Yeah, thrash metal, especially Metallica, played such an important role in my life when I was in high school, and now 20 years later being able to work on a Metallica game is nothing short of a dream project.

Guitar Hero Metallica - Record Collection

A small sampling of my vintage thrash metal record collection

It seems like almost everyone I know has a story about how Metallica has meant so much to them, and I’ve definitely heard that sentiment here at Neversoft a lot. There’s a group of people here that would work on the Metallica game for 30 hours a day. From that perspective, we really wanted to make a game that we felt spoke to all the metal heads out there and would make them want to get up and scream about how freakin’ awesome it is.

We approached the game this way and really tried to put as much stuff in there that we (as fans of the band) would want to see. Awesome playing Metallica songs, check. Absolutely amazing opening acts (like my favorite band in high school – Slayer), check. Great character models, venues (with lots of pyro!), lifelike animations, Metallica-themed Pushead UI, check. Then we were like, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get some old photos of the band? How about putting some rare live footage in there?” One of the first things people ask when they hear we’re doing a Metallica game is whether the game will support a second bass drum pedal so gamers can play the double bass tracks. With time schedules and such, it’s really easy to limit ourselves, but we felt pretty strongly that to have an authentic Metallica experience we need to have a second bass drum pedal. We also worked with the fan club, who are Metallica fanatics, and they gave us old photos and live footage of the band and really helped us pack this game with tons of cool bonus content.

I just want to talk about one more thing before I sign off. We have this new feature in the game called Metallifacts and it’s kinda like DVD commentary where the song will play back sans notetrack and you get information in a text box about the song that’s playing. It’s great to get context about the guest artists (why is Lynyrd Skynyrd or Bob Seger in there?) and for getting some insight straight from the band about what a song is about or how they wrote it. Also, one of the things that is really exciting to me about Metallifacts is that metal heads always seem to get a bad rap as uneducated or not very intelligent, which is totally bogus. Lots of metal songs are written about some pretty deep stuff so with the Metallifacts, we can educate people a bit about the music in the game. For example, did you know that the intro to Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?” is based on Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from “The Planets Suite Op. 32,” that Mastodon’s album “Leviathan” is based on “Moby Dick” or that Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is based on the Hemingway novel?

I apologize for gushing about Guitar Hero Metallica since I did work on it, but it’s really been a labor of love and I feel it’s the best Guitar Hero game yet, and certainly the most “Metal!” game ever. But you guys can decide for yourself when the game comes out this spring!

- Alan Flores

//Add Your Own

71 Comments   1 Reply

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1

+ Skier1017 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:02 pm said:

^^
Sorry about that anyway this looks cool.
Too bad i hate heavy metal so I won’t get this.


2

+ Thrasher20 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:06 pm said:

Metallica has been my favorite band over ten years now, so yes I will get this. My other PSN is MetallicaKID, so feel free to add me. In fact I just came back from school and was bombing this out in my car:

“Do you see what I see? Truth is an offense, your silence for your confidence!” *Fast palm muting*

Kirk “The ripper” Hammett FTW


3

+ Ftwrthtx on February 11th, 2009 at 1:06 pm said:

Nice addition


4

+ Thrasher20 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:07 pm said:

OMG the picture just loaded! Thrash Metal!!! You are so awesome!


5

+ adolson on February 11th, 2009 at 1:08 pm said:

Please do a Guitar Hero: Megadeth next! Complete with an ever-changing band lineup..

And after that, Iron Maiden! With lots of their new stuff, too.

Thanks!


6

+ Skier1017 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:10 pm said:

Guitar Hero: Led Zeppelin please!


7

+ Exodus_Lang on February 11th, 2009 at 1:16 pm said:

I have to say the soundtrack alone has gotten me excited for this game, and not just the Metallica tunes. I am already looking forward to the first time a bunch of us get together to play the game, I’m on vocals, and someone picks “Evil” by Mercyful Fate :D


8

+ liketoski on February 11th, 2009 at 1:21 pm said:

Will this game be compatible, like with rock band 1 and rock band 2?


9

+ DonnyG on February 11th, 2009 at 1:37 pm said:

Stop with the band specific games. It just waters down the Guitar Hero franchise.


10

+ clupula668 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:39 pm said:

Not into playing Guitar Hero/Rock Band games (when I want to play a guitar, I play a real one), but I can totally see your love for the music in your post, so good job and good luck. Looking at your collection brought back a lot of memories (although, the nitpicky high school metalhead in me was like, “Hey! Spiritual Healing isn’t a thrash album!”).


11

+ Zezzler on February 11th, 2009 at 1:39 pm said:

Boooo, RB FTW! plus metalica it stoopid! Rock Band 2 is a Uber bagillion times better!

don’t come back unless its proving unworthy to harmonix!


12

+ DropD on February 11th, 2009 at 1:42 pm said:

thanks for adding extra gank to this title.


13

+ mywhitenoise on February 11th, 2009 at 1:44 pm said:

Guitar Hero sucks ass.

Just let Rock Band (the true owners of the GH, and GHII franchise) take care of it from here.


14

+ Zookey on February 11th, 2009 at 1:48 pm said:

Not a big GH fan–but I had to comment since, a few weeks back, our local paper (Great Falls Tribune) talked about how your president, Joel Jewett, is from here—lol kinda cool to know a president of a game company is from my home town!


15

+ Korbei83 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:51 pm said:

Don’t let the Rock Band losers discourage ya.. they’re still trying to beat Enter Sandman on Medium.. Metallica’s worst song ever.

They tried One in GHIII and went cryin’ to mommy.

Rock Band is weak. Whiners are losers.


16

+ zombie9 on February 11th, 2009 at 1:59 pm said:

I’m sold be a metallica fan for 20 years now.. I just need a cup holder for my beer on the drum kit and we will be cool :) ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!! Deathmagnetic 1 album of 08


17

+ mywhitenoise on February 11th, 2009 at 2:01 pm said:

Korbei83, I really hope that 83 is not an indication of your age, because if you’re really 25 years old then that has to be one of the most pathetic insults I’ve ever heard of.


18

+ GamerMoney on February 11th, 2009 at 2:01 pm said:

not a big GH fan but down with metallica YEA!!!!


19

+ viprdude on February 11th, 2009 at 2:05 pm said:

Megadeth rules.


20

+ GamerMoney on February 11th, 2009 at 2:05 pm said:

metallica=buy


21

+ lakaiHIGH on February 11th, 2009 at 2:08 pm said:

im not a huge metallica fan sooo sadly i will be missing out on this one. plus im still busy aerosmith. all is good!

thanks,
Lh


22

+ leimeisei on February 11th, 2009 at 2:10 pm said:

Please stop milking the Guitar Hero series like you are doing. Rock Band 2 is better because they don’t go make 5 games every year with identical (or copied) features. One day you may also want to consider this thing called “Innovation” that Harmonix did when they had the GH series.

Thank you.


23

+ saintaqua on February 11th, 2009 at 2:15 pm said:

I was just really disappointed with World Tour and since it didn’t have trophies I haven’t played my copy since I also own Rock Band 2 (I’m sorry!)
Please add trophies to World Tour.


24

+ DaxMontana on February 11th, 2009 at 2:20 pm said:

Good to see Metallica took a break from blacklisting MP3 downloaders long enough to complete another project!


25

+ Spazbiohaz on February 11th, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

You Rock Alan and Chuck :)


26

+ Matt2005USAF on February 11th, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

“Awesome playing Metallica songs, check. Absolutely amazing opening acts, check. Great character models, venues, lifelike animations, Metallica-themed Pushead UI, check.”

How about smallest setlist ever and just another way to make some extra money, just like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith! CHECK! Sorry I am all for Metallica but this game does not do the name justice…


27

+ jedi_webslinger on February 11th, 2009 at 2:39 pm said:

This is going to be the best game ever for 3 reasons Sanitarium, For whom the bells tolls and fade to black.

I’ve been a long time fan of Metallica and I love the world tour game. So this is going to rule.

Please put Metallica at a Raiders tailgate party as a bonus stage!!!! I beg you!!!


28

+ KoD7085 on February 11th, 2009 at 2:41 pm said:

I have been a Metallica fan for a long time so I’ll be picking this up. It’ll be a nice party game addition. Track list looks sweet, I love that Orion is in their as it’s one of my all time favorite’s.


29

+ IIHMD on February 11th, 2009 at 2:49 pm said:

I don’t play guitar hero but I must compliment you on your record collection.

Thrash Metal Rules! Especially:

Kreator
Megadeath
Death: Baptized In Blood
Death: Spiritual Healing
Celtic Frost: Morbid Tales

Actually I have a morbid tales tattoo!


    Alan Flores's Avatar

     

    + Alan Flores on February 11th, 2009 at 3:14 pm said:

    In case you\’re interested. The albums in the picture (from the upper left hand corner) are
    1. Kreator – Pleasure to Kill
    2. Death – Spiritual Healing
    3. Death Angel – The Ultra-violence
    4. C.O.C. – Animosity
    5. Kreator – Flag of Hate
    6. Slayer – Haunting the Chapel
    7. Slayer – Live Undead picture disk
    8. Hirax – Raging Violence picture disk
    9. Kreator – Endless Pain
    10. Death – Scream Bloody Gore
    11. Metallica – Kill \’Em All
    12. Metallica – Master of Puppets
    13. Metallica – Creeping Death maxi single
    14. Metallica – Ride the Lightning
    15. Excel – Split Image
    16. Exodus – Bonded by Blood
    17. Slayer – Show No Mercy
    18. Megadeth – Peace Sells
    19. Megadeth – Killing is my Business
    20. Nuclear Assault – Game Over
    21. Slayer – Hell Awaits
    22. Possessed – 7 Churches
    23. Anthrax – Fistful of Metal
    24. Venom – Black Metal
    25. Celtic Frost – Emperor\’s Return
    26. Voivod – War and Pain
    27. S.O.D. – Speak English or Die
    28. Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales
    29. D.R.I. – Dealing with It
    30. Cro-Mags – The Age of Quarrel


30

+ motorhead85021 on February 11th, 2009 at 2:49 pm said:

I still can’t believe The Four Horsemen was not included… That lowered the coolness level about 6% right there…


31

+ Movistar_GSX on February 11th, 2009 at 2:52 pm said:

Can you guys release this thing already…….


32

+ EvoAnubis on February 11th, 2009 at 3:15 pm said:

Nice collection, Alan!


33

+ Fausk on February 11th, 2009 at 3:28 pm said:

@15

Yeah, then we dealt with …And Justice For All, Ride the Lightning, and Blackened.

After that, we got Battery.

And then we got Megadeth’s entire Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying album. Yeah, real scared over “One” which isn’t even that hard.


34

+ ZeForgotten on February 11th, 2009 at 3:50 pm said:

I don’t understand you fanboys. Why are you posting on a blog that has something to do with a game you guys “hate”, as you call it. Is it just to show the world that you’re incapable of getting friends and thus has become an angry bastard?. If you guys “hate” Guitar Hero for what it is, then why bother posting? If Rock Band 1&2 is so great, why aren’t you playing it? .. Oh it’s not that great? So that was a lie? ok then, sorry..

I think this is a great addition to the Guitar Hero series. Personally I enjoy Rock Band more, but that doesn’t mean I hate that Guitar Hero: Metallica is coming out.


35

+ linebeginstoblur on February 11th, 2009 at 4:19 pm said:

No thanks. Too bad Metallica didn’t go with Harmonix.

Come on, guys. Feel free to deny it, but you know Activision is ONLY continuing the Guitar Hero series because they hold the copyright to a series that has enough name recognition alone to sell copies of anything that bears the name.

Rock Band is the spiritual successor to Guitar Hero II. Tony Hawk’s Legends of Rock and Tony Hawk’s World Tour don’t count.


36

+ THE_TERRORIZER on February 11th, 2009 at 4:20 pm said:

hahah holy crap man, that is one HELL of a collection…..you got Show No Mercy, Stormtroopers of Death (Scott Ian &^##! rocks), cro-mags, megadeth, Kreator, hell, even exodus (im wearing an exodus t right now)
if you put these albums on the game, i will get it without even thinking


37

+ THE_TERRORIZER on February 11th, 2009 at 4:21 pm said:

haha i just saw venom’s black metal album in there as well…venom is one of my all time favorites haha


38

+ wizardpsx on February 11th, 2009 at 4:31 pm said:

Is there some future songs to donwload via PStore? i shure want and justice for all!!!
Keep Rocking!


39

+ mafecto on February 11th, 2009 at 4:37 pm said:

Wow. I had all those tapes. Nuclear Assault, Exodus…wow…that brings back memories


40

+ JBruno on February 11th, 2009 at 5:14 pm said:

Hey Alan, I have many of this albuns too! You have good taste for music, but you need a Ramones\ The Clash stuff in your collection.

Looking foward GH Metallica!


41

+ UltimaChocochu on February 11th, 2009 at 5:17 pm said:

Ahh, love Megadeth
And Slayer = Woo!
And SOAD
You did mean System of a Down right? Cause you left out the A, just noting
I’ve a question however, I read something about another bass pedal?
So this means double bass?
IF so, could you buy the double bass pedal or would you have to get the game combo or whatever to get it?


42

+ enewtabie on February 11th, 2009 at 5:38 pm said:

Wow,I feel a little old. I used to have a Megadeth patch on the back of my jeans jacket. Some good choices though.


43

+ Happy_Spud on February 11th, 2009 at 5:38 pm said:

I’ll wait till it’s $20.


44

+ metallikat on February 11th, 2009 at 5:40 pm said:

this is cool. I was lucky enough to be on PSN early and got the absolutely awesome PSN ID that I have. “metallikat” is an early days reference straight from the boys in the band referring to metallica fans, a metallikat, like a “Deadhead”. the guys in Metallica have always been on the cutting edge of technology and whenever they release something like this they always demand perfection! just like with S&M .
I’ve been saying this for over 20 years, “Metallica Rules The World.”
this might just get me to invest in the guitar hero equipment, but I would have to find a new place to live!


45

+ metallikat on February 11th, 2009 at 5:49 pm said:

oh, BTW any real Metallica fan will tell you, Dave Mustaine is a reject, and megadeth blows hard!


46

+ clupula668 on February 11th, 2009 at 7:53 pm said:

@41

S.O.D. is Stormtroopers of Death, not System of a Down (who are awful, btw). I seriously doubt System of a Down would entitle an album “Speak English or Die.”


47

+ MegadethAndy on February 11th, 2009 at 8:23 pm said:

Good to see some Megadeth in the collection.


48

+ IIHMD on February 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm said:

@Alan

Oops, yeah I was thinking of the song Baptized in Blood on Scream Bloody Gore.


49

+ IIHMD on February 11th, 2009 at 8:30 pm said:

@47

Just read your comment and I got say I agree 100%. Dave Mustaine is the man.


50

+ SNmnIE6 on February 11th, 2009 at 9:35 pm said:

@ 45
Obviously you have NO history on the origins of Metallica, cuz if you did, you would know that Dave Mustaine is the ONLY reason they ever got their start. James didn’t have the chops and look who they got to replace him? Kirk WHO? Yeah I respect Metallica for what they did for Heavy Metal in it’s fledgeling years but Megadeth has always possessed better talent and musicianship. Idk how Metallica got so popular and idk how every piece of crap they continue to release is even listened to. Megadeth lives on stronger than ever!!!
Btw, cheers to a setlist full of Black album material and the tamest collection of thrash metal for gh.


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