Game Deaths MP3

So many people have asked for it, so here it is: an MP3 of the MIDI mix of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" as used in our "Game Deaths" montage of classic arcade death sequences: Download/MP3 file link.
Here's another version, with the lead chip an octave lower. It took me far too long to decide which of the two to use! The original, of course, was composed by Roland Orzabal and performed by Tears for Fears, the band that Orzabal and Curt Smith founded in the early 1980s. The slower arrangement used here is derived from a cover by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, famously used in the film Donny Darko and a big hit in its own right. The mix was made very simply. First, I found one of the countless MIDI arrangements of "Mad World" on the 'net (I wish I could credit someone, but they're naked of metadata) and imported it into Reason, a popular music-making app. From there, the notes and instrumentation are easy to edit; a verse was removed for length, drums added, and some of the sections edited or re-keyed to sound better with square waves. (A square wave, for the uninitiated, describes the shape of the waveform that creates the bleepy noise used in the arrangement, creating a distinctively primitive chipmusic-style sound.)


  1. Thanks for posting this. You should update your Youtube post for the clamoring horde who want to download this.

  2. I actually prefer the second version, with the lower intro. I recognized the song immediately from that, without having to wait for the “lyrics” to come in; the opening chords were instantly familiar to my ears. That might be due to my being more familiar to the Darko version, though.

  3. I’m in absolute love with Your cover. Do You share this MP3 of the remix using some kind of Creative Commons license?

    1. “How can I save this? I feel like a noob for asking! Thanks!”

      If you want to download in Firefox, right click the link and choose “Save link as…” Your PC will give you a menu box for saving the file in a location you wish.

      If you’re using Explorer, right click and select option for “Save Target as…”

  4. “The slower arrangement used here is derived from a cover by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, famously used in the film Donny Darko and a big hit in its own right.”

    It’s “Donnie” apparently –

    That is all.


    -Your Friendly Neighborhood Spelling Checker

  5. Effing brilliant creation, and kudos for the plug from frigging Curt Smith! My girlfriend nearly tackled me out of my computer chair when she heard it while I watched the Gamer Deaths video, and held me in a choke hold until I found her an MP3 of the song. Also, thank you for getting me out of a choke hold.

  6. Although the lower octave version is more recognizable from a earlier stand point, I feel the higher version is more haunting and sorrowful, much more appropriate for the video, IMO.

    Also, Suddenly recognizing the song later on in the movie gives a stronger effect to the viewer. It caught me by surprise, adding gravity to the video.


  7. I’m in love. I want to put this in a loop and just listen for hours. It resonates with something inside me on a very visceral level.

  8. hi, I love these MP3, the  2° best; you should add more id3v2 tags: to define the copyright, e.g.
    id3v2 –TCOP ‘Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution’
    and to credit your work:
    id3v2 –TPE4 ‘Rob Beschizza’ 
    and maybe also a link to this web page.

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