The few sections i’ve heard of tommy’s music ever since I learned who he was last year I distinctly remember hearing classical compositions that weren’t his that he used to riff off of. Immediately I thought, AMATEUR and didn’t really pursue anymore of his stuff because of that.
This. One would like to think that somebody actually recorded some of those hastily slapped together pieces of other people’s work rather than directly lifting them. I was doing some sequencer and multi-track work back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and it was pretty easy, even on dos apps, to take midi music tracks and just arrange your own virtual instruments and edit together sequences. Liberal use of public domain classical music pieces would be consistent with that approach. I don’t know if it’s because I had access to all the tools and worked in media then, but the only thing impressive to me in game music back then was that they started using digital recordings rather than tones generated by an oscillator.
Compared to anything else you could listen to, the game tracks were repetitive and annoying with a rare instance of one creating a mood at the right time. X-Wing and some of the other LucasArts games did a good job with that. I remember Sonic CD was an interesting technical demonstration of real production music in a game. I never heard of Tommy, and still don’t think anything of his contributions. I think any notoriety he has, in his mind or otherwise, is a product of his tireless self promotion and bullshit, nothing more.