Terrarian State of Mind Header

A well-timed synergy of two goals: wanting to model Terraria’s bosses in 3D and needing a tonne of music for the time-lapse videos, and wanting to experiment with sample-driven music. My digital music making journey is almost a year old now (from the Game of Thrones intro parody video). Being a life-long hip hop fan, I caught myself wondering “why use samples when making unique sonic ideas in this day and age is two mouse clicks away?” This project is an attempt to answer this question with a set of samples built from music I’m all too familiar with: Resonance Array’s under-appreciated Terraria soundtrack, a perfect blend of orchestral music and old-school video game sounds.

Terrarian State of Mind Album Cover

Album Cover

The album cover is a parody and fusion of Nas’ Illmatic (the translucent overlay of the archetypal Terraria character reflecting on the crazy world he inhabits) and Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, M.A.A.D. city (the white frame and graffiti text). However, instead of a Polaroid photo, it is a CRT monitor, a nod to the retro aesthetic of Terraria.


Warbeats’ Dr. Dre-style composition recipe was the launching pad for this project, with the use of crisp drum samples, orchestral hits, and the “West Coast whistle” sine-wave phrases defining some of the earlier tracks. Over time, the tracks get increasingly experimental and draw inspirations from Death Grips’ and RZA’s abrasive and coarse-cut sampling styles.


To accompany the music videos on YouTube, I modelled and rendered some of Terraria’s simple but iconic objects in turntable animations and plastered graffiti all over them.

01 – Make My Slime the Blue Slime

85 bpm, C Major

Inspirations: 2001-era Dr. Dre

Samples: Overworld Day

Bespoke Sounds: Piano chords, synth whistle and bass line

Visualisation: Terrarian tree

02 – Suspicious Wandering Eyes

90 bpm, B Minor

Inspirations: 2001-era Dr. Dre, “Dilemma – Nelly & Kelly

Samples: Boss 1” and “Girl hurt” sound

Bespoke Sounds: Piano chords, synth whistle and bass line

Visualisation: Archery potion

03 – Purple Spiked thing

85 bpm, A Minor

Inspirations: 2001-era Dr. Dre


Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Demon altar

04 – Making the World Bloody

90 bpm, B Minor

Inspirations: 2001-era Dr. Dre

Samples: Crimson

Bespoke Sounds: Synth whistle and bass line

Visualisation: Crimslime

05 – Honeyed Herplings

100 bpm, E Major

Inspirations: Death Grips

Samples: Jungle“, “Boss 4“, the boss roar

Bespoke Sounds: Synth buzzing melody and bass line

Visualisation: Honeycomb

06 – Skellington J Skellingsworth

80 bpm, B Minor

Samples: Dungeon“, “Eerie

Visualisation: “The Cursed Man” painting

07 – You are a terrible person

90 bpm, D Minor

Inspirations:Apollo Kids – Ghostface Killah“, “One Mic – Nas

Samples: Boss 2“, “Underworld“, “Wall of Flesh Otherworldly

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Guide voodoo doll

08 – The Land of Deceiving Looks

100 bpm, A Major

Samples: Queen Slime“, “Hallow

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Angel wings

09 – Why Do I Hear Boss Music?

100 bpm, G Minor

Samples: Underground“,”Boss 1

Visualisation: Magic mirror

10 – Soul of Might

85 bpm, C Minor

Inspirations: Death Grips

Samples: Boss 3

Visualisation: Night’s Edge

11 – Skeletron Sans

90 bpm, C Minor

Inspirations:Megalovania – Toby Fox“, Death Grips

Samples: Boss 3“, “Megalovania – Toby Fox

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line, electric guitar

Visualisation: Stockade crate

12 – Reign of Terra

95 bpm, A minor

Samples: Underground Jungle“, “Plantera

Visualisation: Turtle shell

13 – Tuesday Morning at the Lihzahrd Temple

115 bpm, F minor

Samples: Lihzahrd“, “Golem

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Destroyer emblem

14 – Prismatic

120 bpm, E Minor

Samples: Empress of Light“, The Attic’s Lo-Fi Jazz Chords, SampleRadar’s 8-Bit Bonanza

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Prismatic Dye

15 – Mutant Terror of the Sea

90 bpm, E Major & B Minor

Samples: Ocean“, “Duke Fishron

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Sextant

16 – Lunar Lunatic Lo-Fi Beats to Cult Out To

90 bpm, D Minor

Samples: Lunar Towers“, The Attic’s Lo-Fi Jazz Chords

Bespoke Sounds: Synth bass line

Visualisation: Mysterious Tablet

17 – Call of the Moon Lord/Journey’s Beginning Outro

75 bpm, C Minor

Samples: Moon Lord“, “Journey’s Beginning“, “Overworld Day

Bespoke Sounds: Piano chords, synth bass line

Visualisation: Angel Statue

A Retrospective

In retrospect, it’s difficult to gauge how successful this project was. Sampling ideas from the game’s extensive soundtrack is like panning for diamonds in a pile of gold. It’s impressive how little repetition the game’s tracks use, and yet each track has so many sonic and musical ideas that can be expanded to full tracks that stand on their own.

Terrarian State of Mind’s compositions have tried to do many things: clean, Dr Dre-inspired (Make My Slime the Blue Slime); multi-section, highly-layered (Honeyed Herplings, The Land of Deceiving Looks); minimalistic, sample driven (Skellington J. Skellingsworth, Why Do I Hear Boss Music?); crescendos (You are a Terrible Person); industrial (Soul of Might, Skeletron Sans); lo-fi (Lunar Lunatic Lo-Fi); and straight experimental (Call of the Moon Lord).

I often revisit the individual tracks from Terrarian State of Mind, and my enjoyment of them as a piece of music is erratic: sometimes I think I’ve struck gold, other times I might think the same track is a dud. Regardless, it was an enjoyable journey, and the foremost priority was experimentation: trying to recontextualise samples, layering different sounds, making each track different, and creating a soundscape as wild, chaotic, maximalist, flavourful, and multi-faceted as Terraria itself.