Mick Gordon's legacy discussion

I have opened this thread to pay respects to Mick and to talk about the past and future of the music of this game.

First off, I want to say that the passion this person has shown is unmatched from any other game composer I know. The level of feedback, involvement with the community and overall commitment is legendary, that Mick has drawn the guidelines of sharing videogame music creation with the fans done right. His attention to detail in the form of Twitter teases, Vines and audio cues made every new song release to be as hype as the character it was coming with.

Second, that his music has helped put KI on the map, that this game matches its predecessors in terms of revolutionary music, for which KI was always known for, that he stands in the hall of fame of KI music composers, making him part of the KI legend forever, at the same heights than Beanland and Norgate.

and third, that I hope the new composers fill the shoes left by Mick. Judging by their past achievements, they sure will. Good luck Atlas and Dweller.


Now, after my first post, which I want to leave untouched and pure as an homage to Mick, I’ll tell you how I feel about Mick’s departure, speculating from my impressions.

First, I think the one month per character release has hurt Mick. After the Riptor fiasco (deemed as such by the community, because I do like the theme indeed) it seemed clear Mick was gasping for air creatively. The fact that MS had dismissed Riptor’s old theme at the last minute, and Maya’s theme was done in a week, helped give me the impression that maybe the feedback between Mick and the team wasn’t at an all time high (this is my opinion only, nothing else)

Second, Mick had expressed his creative concerns on Twitter with the fans, it may not seem much, but he tweeted the fans to give him ideas about sounding intense without recurring to guitars. Maybe a sign he was running out of ideas. (my opinion again, nothing else)

Third, as of now we do not know who has discontinued the collaboration, MS, Mick, or both.

Hypotetical reasons for Mick to leave:

-On Mick’s side, maybe the release of new games that may spark Mick’s passion as much as KI may have also weighed in his hypotetical decision to not continue.

-Also the very late confirmation that he was going to be the season 2 composer, may have sit badly with him, and maybe he did not want to sit around until confirmation having a lot of hot games and projects for him to work.

-And third, maybe the apparent fact the Killer Cuts albums are owned by MS made him feel he should share % of the sales if he doesn’t (Which I think he doesn’t because he shared the KI OST for free on the web)

Hypotetical reasons for Microsoft to fire him

Maybe they felt Mick’s music was starting to show signs of wear and tear. I admit ARIA’s theme is a bit unoriginal, that it sounds similar to unreleased Riptor theme, but for example Hisako’s music is awesome, Omen sounds great and Cinder’s is a worthy homage to the old one.

Or maybe there’s behind the scenes reasons that have nothing to do with what I said. But this is simply a speculation thread, so hit me up with your impressions


The day Mike Robles left as community manager broke my heart. I would tune in to his Friday streams every week and play in the community lobbies and such.

But when Mick announced he wont be composing for Season 3 I was lost for words, his musical talents and the passion he has for this franchise really gave Killer Instinct that “umpf” that the last games had in terms of audio. He will always be remembered in the community as a legend. Really looking forward to hearing his work in DOOM!


Agreed on the Aria bit. Mick’s work on that track and Riptors was subpar. I will say Riptors theme has grown on me, but it def isn’t on par to something like the other tracks. Also his public out cry could have made MS uneasy that he couldn’t handle the fast paced schedule. With Mick working on doom it would get only worse.

They needed a new composer and probably briefed him that it would be a tough job. To assist with that they brought in two composers just too make sure the quality wouldn’t suffer.

1 Like

This makes a lot of sense actually. Maybe it’s true that as you say, Mick working on other projects made MS plan the switching in advance

Thats true, The one character per month could have possibly hurt him. I personally think he did very well with aganos jago and spinal music but the rest i wasnt really just feeling…the riptor debacle was hot also cuz riptor had one of the best from the classic. its his sabrewulf that i didnt really enjoy, cuz the 2 older sabrewulf themes were str8 fire and epic not horror…

Mick worked very hard, but i guess some community members were looking to see music that will surpass Killer cuts. robin beanland and graeme norgate music was just too godlike. that anyone that would surpass it will have to work 10 times harder.

well done to mick tho

I was saddened by the news that he was leaving the project. To me, Mick was as much a part of KI as anything or any one else at this point. At the end of the day however, He has worked on it for 2 years and with it’s bizarre schedule of a theme every month or even every 2 weeks which it ended up being. I can understand him seeing it as time to move on.

I have no doubt that the new guys will do a job that’s equally as awesome. They are clearly talented. A long window until launch gives them plenty of time. Plus, How many of us thought Mick did Rash’s theme. I was watching stream where people were saying Mick has done another stellar job with this theme. Turned out it wasn’t him so it’ll be a smooth transition.

Mick will always still be missed though. Great guy. Replied to fans and has been on it since the start. :clap: :heart:

1 Like

I don’t see how making a simple track for a game can be all that time consuming, if that’s all you do, I’ll never believe that as I am a musician and if you put your mind to it, it shouldn’t take a month to produce a quality track.
Unheard of , and not acceptable.

On the other hand, if it were superiors waiting until the last minute to ask for a theme without letting he composer know within a week, I can understand that.

But- back to knowing you are working on the stdk, have outlines already drawn for each character, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Riptor theme - time of chaos it’s all in that theme. The ball was dropped.

I never knew about Mick having a breakdown and publicly out crying about the schedule.
Maybe he allowed his time to the better paying company…

Just start making tracks for possible submissions and flesh them out for the characters, I don’t understand, it’s not like the composers have a 9 hour shift at Costco 5 days a week.

You are right Blackorchid, i assume he had other projects going on at the same time with KI that coulda clashed with his KI schedule. when u work on a game like KI… u must devote 100% of ur time. KI is too strong to have its devotion of attention shared by any other game .

I think mick left when he heard they are adding a battletoad to KI…

1 Like

Lmao. left cuz of battletoads? lol

Mick did an AMAZING job with the music in KI. As much as I hate to see him go, maybe he just wanted to pursue other projects. I thought it would be tough to fill his shoes, but the new Battletoads theme (what we’ve heard of it so far) is REALLY awesome. They seem like they’re doing Mick proud. :slight_smile:

The new guys have some really big shoes to fill !!! The Rash theme is good… its close to Micks style…but it feels thin, weak, IMO… I will say i havent listened to it enough to be 100% sure … Ill give it another go here in a minute.

But Mick is a genius… I’ve been jaming both S1 and S2 Cds in my car, I phone, work computer…everywhere i go. Its amazing and I know because i myself am a musician and his arrangements just blow me away.

Omen…the Herald of Gargos is just perfect and the secret blues guitar solo at the end is just awesome…not sure who that is playing but its great!

1 Like

Mick’s music prompted me to purchase both Seasons’ soundtracks - something I have never felt compelled to do for a video game before. His work for KI was really amazing, and I’m happy that I get to listen to the music even when I’m not playing the game!

My one gripe is that Maya’s theme lost so much of it’s epic, tribal quality on the S2 soundtrack. The techno-like change doesn’t stand up to the ingame music, in my opinion.

Maybe, if we’re lucky, Mick can release another track similar to the ingame one?


If you want a full long version of Maya’s original track, as I agree, it was dead on arrival on the official season 2 soundtrack, Sears the komplete dynamic theme by RKosmik on YouTube.

It is and will always be the superior version.

I have that downloaded as well, but I don’t particularly like the way RKosmic (spelling?) tends to lay out his version of the KI songs. They get hyperextended beyond reason, and don’t flow as well as Mick’s versions do, which is why I’m hoping Mick will release her original track too.

Well if Micks version had all of the actual content found in the song, it would go to his edits, but, alas, the issue with most, especially Orchids, is that there were 2 verses LEFT OUT of the edit.

Just sayin, I’ll take a skip or a repeated sequence, in which I also love that he included an instrumental portion of Orchids theme, it wins, sorry. It’s still Mick, and I wouldn’t have wanted any other composer to have done what he did at least for Orchid, but the edit sorely misses the mark.

Mick did an amazing job with the soundtrack. It was one of the things that got me interested in the game. I’ve already mentioned this plenty of times already, but I don’t actually own KI despite me being a big fan. I want to play it but I don’t own an Xbox One. I love to watch it though, I watch tons of videos and streams.

But anyway, when a new character would come out I would get excited because 1) I would have something new to watch. 2) I like seeing the game evolve. 3) I would have an awesome new track to listen to.

Mick was awesome. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to music from KI.

1 Like

I dunno. I don’t really have any desire to speculate on why he left. The point is that he’s gone from the game, but he leaves a lasting legacy of phenomenal tracks. I actually listen to Orchid’s and Kan Ra’s themes in my car. Not sure I’ve done that with any other game music.

Sure, there were some tracks that I personally wasn’t as in to as much as others, but taken as a whole, I’d still say it’s the best fighting game soundtrack I’ve ever heard and it’s up there with some elite company in video games as a whole.

As for Atlas Plug and Celldweller, I haven’t heard much from the former, but what I’ve heard from the latter is pretty awesome. I’m REALLY excited to hear what they put together for season 3!

Thanks again, Mick!! You’re one of a kind, man. Hope to hear more of your stuff in other games soon! :grin:

It’s Mick himself, he confirmed it on Twitter… it was his “way to say goodbye” man I almost choked up when I read that.