Frank Klepacki in his studio, 2015
|This article is written from a real world point of view.|
Frank Klepacki is a video game composer, audio director, sound designer, recording engineer, musician and voice actor. He is best known for his work on the Command & Conquer series from 1995 to 2002, with returns in 2008 and 2009, as well as Westwood's Dune titles and Blade Runner. From 2003 to 2018, he was the composer and audio director at Petroglyph Games, after which he became a freelancer, but returned to the company to work on Command & Conquer: Remastered and Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Remastered.
Born to a family of musicians of Polish and Italian descent, Klepacki had drawing and music as his hobbies, with the latter eventually prevailing, receiving him his first drumset at the age of 8 and his first professional performance at 11. Learning to program in BASIC on a Tandy 1000 got him interested in computer games.
Klepacki joined Westwood in 1991, having applied as a game tester for DragonStrike a year earlier. He was later employed as a music composer, debuting in Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon in 1991, and later composing for Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty. In 1994, Frank Klepacki composed music for the first Command & Conquer game, being the first to implement such a music style in a video game. At the time, he was a drummer in the band called I AM and has provided their song Destructible Times as the Nod ending credits theme. A year later, he composed music for the first Red Alert game. His composition Hell March won him the 1996 PC Gamer Magazine award in the Best Game Soundtrack competition, over Quake's Trent Reznor. He also compose the soundtrack of Dune 2000, which, among other tracks, had remakes of certain Dune II tracks.
By 1999, Klepacki was joined by Jarrid Mendelson as a mentee, with whom he worked on the soundtrack for Tiberian Sun. Klepacki continued to work alone on Firestorm, Nox, Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge and Renegade, and shared the composition credits on Emperor: Battle for Dune with Jarrid Mendelson and David Arkenstone. In 2002, prior to Westwood's shutdown, he composed for their last two games - Pirates: Legend of the Black Kat and Earth and Beyond. He composed only one demo track for Command & Conquer: Generals, which was not featured in the final game.
In 2004, Klepacki joined Petroglyph Games, scoring for their 2006 game Star Wars: Empire At War, along with the Forces of Corruption expansion pack. He set his roots in the studio and continued to work there. Later he composed music for Universe at War: Earth Assault, Panzer General: Allied Assault, Rise of Immortals, Guardians of Graxia, Mytheon, End of Nations, Victory (a cancelled game), Grey Goo, the cancelled Victory Command, 8-Bit Armies and its expansion packs, and Forged Battalion.
In 2007, Frank Klepacki was called to compose for Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, but he was already busy with Universe at War: Earth Assault at Petroglyph. He was replaced by Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris.
In 2008, he was called again to compose for Red Alert 3. He accepted the job, and remixed his Hell March track for the second time and Grinder for the first time, in addition to a new track, Nuclear Death (which was ultimately shortened and titled Red Menace). He continued his work with Uprising in 2009, making three new tracks, all of them being Soviet combat theme variations.
On 6 January 2019, he performed a selection of Command & Conquer tracks at MAGFest with the band The Tiberian Sons, also announcing an album collaboration with them. In the same year, he spoke with other former Westwood Studios staff at the Command & Conquer post-mortem panel at GDC 2019.
Right after Westwood dissolved, Klepacki guested in two studios - Opus Corp. and Impulse Games, composing for the 2004 UFC Sudden Impact and the 2005 MX World Tour. He also composed for JV Games' Pong Toss: Frat Party Games (2008) and Playlogic's Fairytale Fights (2009). He played at the HBO Emmy Party, produced by Jarrid Mendelson, in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Acting in games
In 1992, Klepacki was the voice actor of the House Harkonnen in Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty.
In 1995, Klepacki played a Netrunner at the ending of the Nod campaign in the original Command & Conquer. He is the one to the right side, who was killed by an automated defense system. He also provided the iconic voice acting for the commando in the same game. The next year, he reprised the role of the commando in Sole Survivor as one of the selectable EVA soundbanks.
In 1998, he reprised his role of the House Harkonnen voice-actor in Dune 2000, in addition to the Ordos serviceman-spy.
In other games, he was the voice-actor in the 1993 Lands of Lore, 2006 Star Wars: Forces of Corruption and the 2007 Universe at War: Earth Assault.
- Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (1991)
- Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (1992)
- Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (1992)
- The Legend of Kyrandia (1992)
- Order of the Griffon (1992)
- DragonStrike (1992) (NES port)
- Young Merlin (1993)
- The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (1993)
- Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos (1994)
- The Lion King (1994)
- The Legend of Kyrandia: Book 3 - Malcolm's Revenge (1994)
- Dune: The Battle for Arrakis (1994) (SEGA Genesis port)
- Monopoly (1995)
- Command & Conquer (1995)
- Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations (1996)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996)
- Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny (1997) (with David Arkenstone)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike (1997)
- Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor (1997)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath (1997)
- Blade Runner (1997)
- Dune 2000 (1998)
- Lands of Lore III (1999) (with David Arkenstone)
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999) (with Jarrid Mendelson)
- Nox (2000)
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm (2000)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (2000)
- Emperor: Battle for Dune (2001) (Atreides music only)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge (2001)
- Pirates: Legend of the Black Kat (2002)
- Command & Conquer: Renegade (2002)
- Earth & Beyond (2002) (with David Arkenstone)
- Command & Conquer: Generals (unreleased demo track)
- The Tapestry - Chapter 1: The Unraveling (2003)
- UFC Sudden Impact (2004)
- MX World Tour (2005) (with Jarrid Mendelson)
- Star Wars: Empire at War (2006)
- Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption (2006)
- Universe at War: Earth Assault (2007)
- Pong Toss: Frat Party Games (2008)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (2008) (three tracks)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising (2009) (three tracks)
- Panzer General: Allied Assault (2009)
- Guardians of Graxia (2010)
- Mytheon (2010)
- Rise of Immortals (2011)
- Battle for Graxia (2012)
- End of Nations (2013, cancelled)
- Grey Goo (2015)
- Battle Battalions (2015)
- Twisted Insurrection (2016) (Space Echo remix, Killing Fields remix)
- 8-Bit Armies (2016)
- 8-Bit Hordes (2016)
- 8-Bit Invaders! (2016)
- Forged Battalion (2018)
- Lethal League Blaze (2018)
- Conan Unconquered (2019)
- Command & Conquer: Remastered (2020)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert Remastered (2020)
- Earthbreakers (TBA)
Frank Klepacki has composed and/or recorded music outside video games.
- There's A Home (1995)
- Mmm, Mmm, Mmm (1997)
- Pink in the Middle (2000)
- The Bitters (2006)
- Grudgement Day (2008)
- The Bitters: Live In Vegas (live album)
Face the Funk
- Here At Last
- Morphscape (2002)
- Rocktronic (2004)
- Virtual Control (2005)
- Awakening of Aggression (2006)
- Infiltrator (2009)
- Viratia (2009)
- Conquering 20 Years (2012)
- Digital Frontiers (2016)
- Transform (2018)
- Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (1992) - Harkonnen mentat
- Dune: The Battle for Arrakis (1994) (SEGA Genesis port) - house voices
- Command & Conquer (1995) - Commando
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996) - additional voices
- Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor (1997) - Commando-themed EVA
- Dune 2000 (1998) - Harkonnen mentat, Ordos serviceman-spy
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999) - additional voices
- Command & Conquer: Renegade (2002) - additional voices
- Earth & Beyond (2002) - additional voices
- Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption (2006) - Ewok handler, IG-88, additional voices
- Universe at War: Earth Assault (2007) - narrator
- Grey Goo (2015) - The Revolver
- Command & Conquer (1995) - right-side Netrunner
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996) - Soviet guard, Allied general
- C&C Remastered Announcement from EA. Reddit (14 November 2018). Retrieved on 14 November 2018.
- Frank Klepacki's website
- Frank Klepacki's official Facebook page
- Frank Klepacki's official Twitter profile
- Frank Klepacki at Last.fm
- Frank Klepacki on Wikipedia
- 2012 interview for GameReplays.org
- 2015 video interview for RetroNeo Games
- 2017 interview for Arcade Attack
- 2017 interview for CNCNZ.com
- Profile at RAWG.io
- Credits and Biography at MobyGames