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Clark Wen

Wen (center) with veteran Metroid series composers Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano.

Clark Wen is a freelance audio director and sound designer. Wen owns a sound services company called Exile Sound, which he founded in 2015. He worked as the audio lead at Retro Studios for both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Wen directed the overall vision of the two games and developed the technology for the sound engine, while creating a large amount of the in-game sounds and managing a team of audio contractors.[1] Having grown dissatisfied with Austin, Texas (where Retro is headquartered), Wen hired Scott Petersen as is replacement for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.[1] Since leaving Retro, Wen worked on the sound of the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero games at at Neversoft Entertainment and Infinity Ward, before founding Exile Sound.

Kenji Yamamoto stated that Wen and Scott Petersen were his "best [email] friends" during the development of the Prime series, due to the extensive email exchanges and conference calls they shared.[2] It was only after Wen left Retro that he met Yamamoto in person in Japan.[1] Wen and Petersen were nominees at the 2004 NAVGTR Awards in the category of Sound Effects for their work on Echoes.

Wen was interviewed by Metroid fansite Shinesparkers in 2018.[1]

TriviaEdit

  • Wen, a longtime Metroid fan himself, was led to apply to work at Retro after being impressed by the Space World 2000 demo. He was hesitant due to negative press surrounding Retro at the time, and having to relocate to Austin, but was convinced upon meeting the development team.[1]
  • In 2017, Wen revealed that the original Prime was meant to be played without music to maximize the feeling of isolation.[3] He later clarified that this was never an official direction but a worst case scenario. It took a long time to find a composer for Prime; Yamamoto did not step up until later in development. He says that the game should be played with the musical score turned on as intended.[1]
  • Wen recognized the voice of one of the actresses who auditioned for Samus as that of Gabrielle Carteris, who he remembered from Beverly Hills, 90210.[1]
  • Wen is most proud of the original Prime, saying it "will always be like my firstborn".[1]
  • Personally, Wen prefers when Samus Aran has little to no dialogue, as that is how he remembers her from growing up.[1]
  • Wen hoped that Metroid Prime 4 would include the same open world concepts from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and "get wild" with the sound design.[1]

Comments about WenEdit

I have rarely met a more dedicated and hard working developer. Clark developed the entire audio package for our product and worked insane hours to get it "just right". He welcomed feedback, actively sought it in fact, and never settled for "good enough". He is a priceless asset and a dedicated craftsman.

Mike Wikan[citation needed]

I think that Clark Wen (Lead Sound Designer for Prime 1) did an amazing job of staying true to the 2D Metroid franchise while establishing a new and compelling aesthetic for the 3D Metroid Prime. The game really hit all the right notes from every discipline.

Scott Petersen[2]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kerwin, Darren, RoyboyX. "Interview: Clark Wen", Shinesparkers, 2018-06-02. Retrieved on 2018-06-02. 
  2. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20090228072301/http://www.music4games.net/Features_Display.aspx?id=174
  3. ^ Wen, Clark (exile5ound). "Most people don't know it but Metroid Prime 1 was designed originally to be played without music. It's all about the isolation. #Metroid" 20 Jun 2017 7:54 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/exile5ound/status/877298609116532736