Pilotwings 64 with Dan Hess – PA158

We’ve got a great show today with Dan Hess, the composer behind Pilotwings 64! It was released as a launch title for the N64 in 1996 by Paradigm Simulation and is the second in the series (Pilotwings, Pilotwings 64, Pilotwings Resort). Pilotwings 64 continues the tradition of a lightweight flight sim where you use a variety of flight tools like a hang glider, jet pack, gyrocopter to complete simple objectives, or just fly around more casually.


Dan Hess is a composer, performer and sound designer with over 30 years experience. In addition to his work on Pilotwings 64, Dan wrote the music for F1 World Grand Prix for N64. During the development of Pilotwings, Dan was the in-house composer for Paradigm Simulations / Entertainment. Dan plays a mean keyboard and has been performing since he was a teen, with the likes of Second Self and Skeleton Crew. Dan continues to work in tech, and is engaged in a number of side projects like recreating a lot of the Pilotwings 64 soundtrack for donors to his Patreon. Over the course of the show, Dan also shares a number of tracks related to his time in VGM, some of which he uploads to YouTube.

Also guest hosting with us is Ian Cowell, a guitarist and VGM musician who grew up with the N64 and loved Pilotwings 64 enough to put out a cover of Birdman, which we use to close out the show. If you enjoy his track, check out the rest of his recently released album Exceptional Goblins, with features a total of 12 awesome and laid back VGM tracks from the popular to the obscure. Those with a good memory will recall Ian also joined us at MAGWest 2018.

We had a fantastic time with both of our guests, and even though we like all of the shows we put out, this one might be one of our favorites already. We hope you enjoy it and all of the music as much as we do.

All tracks composed by Dan Hess unless otherwise stated

Track List:

  • 0:00:00 Opening
    • based on music from the original Pilotwings, composed by Soyo Oka
  • 0:00:36 (Bedding) Title Demo
  • 0:06:22 (Bedding) Jumble Hopper
  • 0:12:48 (Bedding) Earned a Badge
  • 0:14:42 Game Menu
  • 0:21:33 Mission Menu
  • 0:30:10 Hang Glider
  • 0:37:50 Cannonball
  • 0:43:12 Rocket Belt
  • 0:45:38 Rocketpack Inspiration
  • 0:49:57 Opening from Pilotwings SNES by Soyo Oka
  • 0:52:24 Birdman – feat. Zac Zinger (excerpt) by The 8-Bit Big Band
    • From “Album 3 – Backwards Compatible”
  • 0:54:08 Gyrocopter
  • 1:01:54 Sky Diving
  • 1:06:16 Track 18 – From F-1 World Grand Prix
  • 1:10:02 Track 6 (bass test) – From F-1 World Grand Prix
  • 1:11:41 Synth 2 M2
  • 1:12:54 Synth 1 M3
    • Unused alternate tracks intended for Spy Hunter (PS2) by Dan Hess
  • 1:20:07 Birdman
  • 1:32:22 Replay
  • 1:40:28 Birdman Returns – rearrangement by Dan Hess
  • 1:47:27 Bravissimo!
  • 1:54:42 Ca-Caw, Brah by Ian Cowell
    • Cover of Birdman from the album “Exceptional Goblins


  • Dan Hess
    • Patreon – If he raises enough, he’ll redo all of Pilotwings!
    • YouTube – has some of the tracks supplied by Dan

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