A collage of images depicting musician Tim Follin .

Tim Follin

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Tim Follin is a video game music composer most known for his chiptune works in retro videogame consoles. He is notable for his music for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and NES. Follin currently resides in Manchester, England.


Tim Follin was born on December 19th, 1970,[1] in St. Helens, England, and listened to a variety of progressive rock bands as he was growing up, which was a major influence for a lot of his future compositions. He attended college in 1986 at Sandown Music College in Liverpool, England, but dropped out after about a year stating that he "learned a lot, but not from the lecturer."[2]

Tim's first video game composition work was for the ZX Spectrum 16K/48K home computer in 1985 when he was just 15 years old. His brother, Mike Follin, had recently learned how to program for the ZX Spectrum and earned a job at Insight Software. Mike asked Tim to do music composition work for the games he was working on. Unfortunately, Tim only knew sheet music at the time so he had to learn from Mike how to work with the system's code in order to create music drivers and the game soundtrack. Tim's first video game music compositions were for Subterranean Stryker, Star Firebirds and Vectron (shown below).

In 1986 and 1987 his skills in ZX Spectrum music programming would improve, allowing him to give his music more depth in games such as Agent X (shown below, left) and Chronos (shown below, right). Both of these games were published by Mastertronic.

In the '80s, Follin also composed for the Commodore 64, Atari and Amiga systems. Some notable games with his scores include Ghouls'n Ghosts (Amiga version shown below), Bionic Commando and Magic Johnson's Fast Break.

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Tim composed for several NES games. The two most notable are Solstice (shown below, left) and Pictionary (shown below, right). These two games are often mentioned in YouTube comments and Tumblr threads and gave Tim the reputation for being called a "wizard" on said sites.

Slaanash 2 years ago Composer Tim Follin, featured on the game's cover. It 264 1 REPLY View all 12 replies v Emotional Snail 3 years ago TIM IT WAS JUST PICTIONARY t 7.2K P REPLY

Other notable NES compositions are Silver Surfer (shown below, left) and Treasure Master (shown below, right).

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

Tim worked on several games for the SNES, including Plok! (shown below, left) and Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge (shown below, right). Most of the SNES soundtracks were composed with his older brother, Geoff Follin.

Sega Genesis / Megadrive

Tim only composed for a handful of games for the Sega Genesis / Megadrive. One of which, Time Trax, was never released, but a prototype of the game ROM was eventually discovered and uploaded on July 8th, 2013.[3]

Post-Chiptune Works

One of Follin's most notable soundtracks after branching out from chiptune works was 2000's Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, released for the Dreamcast. The soundtrack would later heavily influence Vaporwave: the title of arguably the first vaporwave album, Chuck Person's Eccojams, is a reference to Ecco the Dolphin.

Recent Projects

Most recently, Tim has stepped away from video game music to focus on personal projects. The most notable of which was the FMV-based mystery game Contradiction: Spot The Liar!, which was Kickstarter-backed and released on iOS and macOS on January 14th, 2015, and was released for Windows PCs on July 10th, 2015, on Steam.

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