Due to Hubbard’s increasing popularity and success, eventually he was offered a job at the now legendary Mastertronic. A company that specialised in marketing cheap games. It’s not surprising to see why so many of those £1.99 games sold so well - some of the games may have been rather average, even poor, but not the soundtrack. It is indeed correct that some Commodore 64 gamers bought certain games not for the game but for the soundtrack! I know, because I was one of them! And with Mastertronic it was easy to justify it because the titles were priced so low! There really can be no doubt that Mastertronic’s continued success on the C64 was due to the game having a Hubbard soundtrack. Personally, I think Mastertronic showed their considerable genius for selling these cheap games by employing Hubbard.

Formula One Simulator (Mastertronic 1985) had a soundtrack which some believe (including myself for some time) was not an original work, but a rendition of the song Hard Times by the successful 80’s pop group - Human League.

The confusion appears to stem from the Zzap! 64 review of this game, where Gary Penn described it as a cover of Hard Times. Although it does share some similarities, they are vague, and it therefore is not a cover.

It’s an impressive, boppy, upbeat tune that was superior to the game in every way! Although the music strangely worked in that it seemed to suit the game!

In a way it was wasted, as it would have been far better associated with a bigger more expensive racing game - can you imagine something like Buggy Boy with this music!

Formula One Simulator
Formula One Simulator by Mastertronic

The Last V8
The Last V8 by Mastertronic

The Last V8
(Mastertronic 1985), was one of Hubbard’s finest hours at Mastertronic. It's a driving game with a storyline similar to a sequence from a James Bond film. The game incorporated some software speech synthesis, which was unfortunately, appalling! The speech sounded like – 'V8 return to Vase hemediately'.

It was infuriatingly difficult to play, infact some would say almost impossible! However, it had one saving grace, truly amazing theme music - it made you forget just how poor the game was! You could easily imagine this cinematic music being associated with a film – it’s that good. A Hubbard masterpiece. A perfect example of just how powerful the Commodore 64’s SID chip was.

I’m sure owners of other home computers who were already in awe of C64 music - were green with envy when they heard this...

Master of Magic (Mastertronic 1985) was released under the M.A.D label - an acronym for Mastertronic Added Dimension. A range of budget games that added more quality and value to a game, either in terms of extra features or a more impressive audio/visual punch.

This title was totally different to their usual efforts - a 'maze' type role-playing game (R.P.G.), with weird 'dungeons and dragons' style characters, similar to the game Temple of Apshai by Epyx, but more visually appealing.

Hubbard's track on this is just so good it actually became a distraction! Beautifully constructed, wonderfully atmospheric. It is a cover of the track Shibolet by the band Synergy which appeared on the Album Audion.

The game may only have been average but the music really helped to drive the game and keep you interested.

Master Of Magic
Master Of Magic by Mastertronic

Human Race
Human Race by Mastertronic

The Human Race
(Mastertronic 1986) had an outstanding soundtrack. The music was powerful and cinematic, but yet again probably too good for the game, although it was appropriate. It would have benefited from being associated with a more classier game.

This is one of Hubbard’s most popular pieces of music, so it’s not surprising that this music has been remixed by a number of other computer musicians including Markus Schneider, who did a terrific remix of Rob Hubbard’s original and Hubbard himself in recent times has composed a new arrangement for the Back In Time CDs (see more information on c64audio.com at the end of this article).

Also, a variation/remix of one of the Human Race level tunes was arranged for the cartridge utility, Game Killer by Robtek (more information on this appears towards the end of this article).